Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Eagan, pulled doctors from a tiered-network plan it intends to offer as of Jan. 1, 2006, because it did not have adequate quality and cost data on physicians. Minnesota Blues spokesman Karl Oestreich said the insurer will begin by offering a two-tier hospital benefit and subsequently add a reworked ranking of doctors. "We think that's a really good decision and we've been applauding them for it," said Robert Meiches, chief executive officer at the Minnesota Medical Association. Meiches said Blue Cross originally planned to tier doctors based on the ranking of hospitals where they admitted patients, rather than physicians' own quality and cost data. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Medica became the third Minnesota insurer to announce a tiered-network plan. HealthPartners already is offering a tiered plan, Meiches said. -- by Melanie Evans
Lack of data snags Minn. Blues' tiered-network plan
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