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Roll-back of insurer rating systems?

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:51am
On my favorite topic, reporting of clinical results, Theo Francis at the Wall Street Journal talks about ranking of physicians by insurance companies:

Doctors and regulators are pushing back against rating systems that some health insurers have developed to guide consumers in choosing physicians. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo demanded last week a "full justification" of the rankings that Aetna Inc. and Cigna Corp. have rolled out in the state. He warned the companies that the ratings are confusing and potentially deceptive, in part because insurers don't disclose how prone to error their rankings are. The move follows rankings lawsuits by doctors accusing insurers of libel, unfair business practices and breach of contract in other states.

A number of insurance company people here in Massachusetts had raised similar concerns with me, stating that any ratings they produced would be viewed as self-serving by members of the public. So, I guess this throws the ball back into the court of the public agencies. (Or, of course, providers could self-report on an insurance company website that was open to all.)
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