Justly Prudent Files Lawsuit Against Optum, Inc. For Discriminatory Practices In Medical Reimbursement Claims

By JD Howlette Law

UPPER MARLBORO, Maryland, April 23, 2024 – Today, Justly Prudent announced the filing of a discrimination lawsuit on behalf of Choice Pain & Rehabilitation Center, LLC (“Choice Pain”) against Optum, Inc., and its Maryland operations, collectively referred to as “Optum.” The complaint, filed in the Circuit Court of Maryland for Prince George’s County, seeks redress for substantial financial losses incurred by Choice Pain due to Optum's discriminatory denial of insurance reimbursement claims.

According to the complaint, Choice Pain, a pain management practice operated by two African American physicians, has faced over a year of improper claim rejections by Optum, resulting in a loss exceeding $1 million. These rejections selectively targeted Choice Pain, while similar claims by non-minority-owned laboratories in the same region were approved.

The lawsuit highlights systemic issues within Optum’s handling of reimbursement claims, particularly affecting minority-owned businesses. Choice Pain alleges these actions violate both federal and state discrimination laws, including 42 U.S.C. § 1981, which addresses racial discrimination in contractual relationships.

"Optum’s actions have not only inflicted significant financial harm on Choice Pain but also undermined the integrity of equitable business practices," stated Jordan D. Howlette, Managing Attorney at Justly Prudent. "This case is a pivotal moment in the fight against corporate discrimination and emphasizes the ongoing challenges faced by minority-owned businesses in the healthcare sector."

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the losses and hardships endured by Choice Pain, including the forced layoff of staff and acquisition of high-interest loans due to the financial strain caused by Optum’s discriminatory practices.

This case is Choice Pain & Rehabilitation Center, LLC vs. Optum, Inc., et al. (Case No. C-16-CV-24-001926), filed in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County.