Cigna makes MD rating deal with NY

Cigna has reached an agreement with the state of New York under which it will give customers with more information on how its physician rating system works. Cigna is one of several health plans under investigation by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo over their doctor recommendation lists. Cuomo, who had previously demanded that the plans halt their ratings programs, has contended that such ratings are questionable, given that health plans have a strong financial interest in steering patients to doctors that charge less and don't contain complete clinical information.

In yesterday's agreement, Cigna didn't concede that it had indeed ranked doctors solely by cost. However, it admitted that cost has been part of the equation. To address Cuomo's concerns on this matter, Cigna will now move up from offering one as many as three preferred doctor lists, including rankings by quality, cost or a combination of both. Also, Cigna will hire a ratings examiner who will oversee the listings, notify physicians of their rankings more effectively and explain how the rankings are compiled.

To learn more about the agreement:
- read this Associated Press article
- read the Cuomo press release

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