Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2012

Blue Shield of California has demanded $10.5 million in damages from a large Orange County physician group that was recently acquired by rival insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. The nonprofit insurer said Wednesday that it had filed a demand for binding arbitration with Monarch HealthCare of Irvine, the largest physician group in Orange County, which contracts with 2,300 independent doctors and serves 176,000 patients. Blue Shield alleges that Monarch, under its new ownership, refused to treat some of its members and tried to switch them from Blue Shield coverage—in violation of its contract.

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