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AGA statement on the House Energy & Commerce and Senate Finance Committee hearings

US Capitol
US Capitol

Bethesda, MD (May 1, 2024) – Today the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) released this statement following the House Energy & Commerce and Senate Finance Committee hearings grilling UnitedHealth Group’s CEO Sir Andrew Witty:

“We commend Congress for leveling some long-needed scrutiny towards UnitedHealthcare––one of the largest, most profitable, and least transparent health insurers in the world.

Insurance is supposed to support patients during their times of need – that is what beneficiaries pay for in monthly premiums – but unfortunately UHC’s policies have obstructed patient access to care and overburdened healthcare providers time and time again. As was made clear at today’s House Energy & Commerce and Senate Finance Committee hearings, UHC’s slow and inadequate response to the Change Healthcare cyberattack left many practices high and dry, which threatens their ability to serve their communities. UHC’s efforts to rectify this colossal breach are far from commensurate with the damage done.

Beyond the lingering impact of this unprecedented failure, UHC has steadily imposed frustrating barriers for even the most basic and vital services. When it comes to GI care, for example, UHC has indicated it will include diagnostic and surveillance colonoscopies and endoscopies in its forthcoming “Gold Card” prior authorization program for its 27 million commercial beneficiaries.

Despite multiple entreaties from Members of Congress, professional GI associations, and countless doctors, UHC has yet to release any information about when the program will be implemented, what its requirements are, how physicians can “earn” a “Gold Card,” and why such burdensome requirements are needed when there is no data to suggest that these vital services are overutilized.

UHC forewarned the gastroenterology community and its patients of this prior authorization program nearly a year ago. Yet, physicians have been left in the dark with mounting concerns as they know all too well prior authorization often leads to unnecessary delays and denials for care. This is particularly worrisome as applied to colonoscopies and endoscopies when colorectal cancer is the nation’s #2 cancer killer and is on the rise among Americans under 50.”


Media contact:

Rebecca Reid


[email protected]

About the AGA Institute:

The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice, and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research, and educational programs of the organization. For more information, visit 

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