Judges in Kentucky and Ohio state courts approved a settlement that requires Humana, Louisville, Ky., to pay an additional $100 million in reimbursements to about 2,000 Cincinnati doctors to end its part in an antitrust lawsuit. Humana, which admitted no wrongdoing, also agreed to cover the plaintiffs' $6 million in attorney fees and to create a compliance committee to monitor its payment rates for at least three years beginning in 2007. The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed in 2002 by area physician groups that alleged Humana and three other health insurers had conspired since at least 1995 to keep reimbursements as much as 50% lower than what doctors receive in comparable markets. The suit claims the reduced payments have made it difficult to attract new doctors to the Cincinnati area and prompted older physicians to retire sooner, forcing patients to wait longer to see specialists. The other insurers named in the original filing-Aetna, Anthem and UnitedHealth Group-are continuing to fight the case through litigation. -- by Laura B. Benko
Courts approve Humana antitrust settlement
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