EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC) announced Wednesday that UnitedHealthcare failed to follow the state’s care criteria for substance use disorder treatment.

Rhode Island law states health insurers must follow the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s substance use disorder treatment criteria. In a review of UnitedHealthcare practices, the OHIC found the insurer did not follow these guidelines between 2015 and 2018.

The insurer now faces a $100,000 fine and must agree to take “corrective actions” to meet the state guidelines. UnitedHealthcare’s criteria was “also inconsistent with generally accepted standards
of care among substance use treatment providers,” according to the OHIC.

Gov. Dan McKee thanked the OHIC for its review of health insurer practices and said his administration seeks to improve access to behavioral health care and substance use disorder treatment.

“Now more than ever, it is critical that our Administration hold health care entities accountable for ensuring parity between physical and behavioral health care,” McKee said in a statement.