LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a consumer-protection lawsuit Monday against Louisiana-based United Networks of America Inc. for multiple law violations, including statutes governing health-related cash discount cards, according to a news release issued by her office.
“Arkansans are guaranteed a certain level of transparency and accountability to help them make their health care decisions,” Rutledge says in the release. “When a company like United Networks of America chooses to ignore those requirements, it puts consumers at risk and makes the probability of confusion and harm more likely.”
UNA distributes prescription drug discount cards to Arkansans under the name of “Arkansas Drug Card.” In order to provide the so-called discounts, UNA contracts with pharmacy benefit managers and establishes a network of pharmacies through which consumers may present the card and obtain the discount.
The Attorney General’s office, in the release, said that UNA’s marketing materials contain false and misleading images, including seals that imply a government endorsement; that it designed and managed a website to endorse its discount cards; that it failed to include statutorily required cancelation notices; that it failed to maintain contracts with pharmacy providers; and failed to have a registered agent for service of process, as required by law.
On its website, UNA describes itself as one of the largest providers of value added managed care products and services in the United States and says it enlists more than 240,000 participating providers to serve more than 120.1 million members. It claims that, in 2015, its members saved an estimated $1.58 billion on prescription drugs, cosmetic surgery, dental, vision, hearing and wellness benefits.
Saying “the diversity of our membership base is a testament to the versatility and value of our networks,” UNA says on the website its clients include third party administrators, insurance companies, associations, universities, federal and state governments, school systems, value added programs and large employers.
Although UNA is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, the BBB has given the company an A+ rating, listing no reviews and no complaints. According to the BBB website, United Networks of America has been in operation since 1995.
The lawsuit, filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court, asks the court to impose civil penalties, attorneys’ fees, costs and other relief against UNA.