N.Y. AG concerned about MD ranking system

New York State's attorney general has taken a firm position on a hot-button issue--whether insurance companies are doing a fair and reasonable job in ranking their physicians. In a new statement, AG Andrew M. Cuomo said that as currently designed, the plans mounted by Aetna and Cigna could confuse or deceive consumers.

Cuomo is asking the health plans to explain why the programs are designed the way they are and, more importantly, to justify that design. Cuomo was particularly concerned about a few key aspects of these programs, including that they're often are based on questionable claims data, that the plans don't disclose accuracy rates for their rankings, and that insurers have a motive to recommend doctors who are cheaper rather than better.

Cuomo says he's also concerned inaccurate rankings may harm consumers, in that employers may charge consumers more to see doctors ranked more highly by insurers. If the rankings are inaccurate, consumers may actually be forced to pay more for lower quality care, he noted.

To learn more about Cuomo's concerns:
- read this New York AG's office press release

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