UnitedHealth uses AI model with 90% error rate to deny care, lawsuit alleges

UnitedHealthcare, the largest health insurance company in the US, is allegedly using a deeply flawed AI algorithm to override doctors' judgments and wrongfully deny critical health coverage to elderly patients. This has resulted in patients being kicked out of rehabilitation programs and care facilities far too early, forcing them to drain their life savings to obtain needed care that should be covered under their government-funded Medicare Advantage Plan.

That's all according to a lawsuit filed this week in the US District Court for the District of Minnesota. The lawsuit is brought by the estates of two deceased people who were denied health coverage by UnitedHealth. The suit also seeks class-action status for similarly situated people, of which there may be tens of thousands across the country.

The lawsuit lands alongside an investigation by Stat News that largely backs the lawsuit's claims. The investigation's findings stem from internal documents and communications the outlet obtained, as well as interviews with former employees of NaviHealth, the UnitedHealth subsidiary that developed the AI algorithm called nH Predict.