New York States largest health insurer, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has followed in the footsteps of Cigna Corp. and Aetna by agreeing to adopt the New York attorney generals model for physician-ranking programs.
Empire, a WellPoint subsidiary with 5 million members, does not yet have a physician-ranking program. When developing the program, the insurer said it will agree to transparency in its ranking system for physicians and consumers; hire a compliance monitor for the ranking program and report to state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo every six months; ensure the rankings are not based solely on cost; and use established national quality standards.
Robert Goldberg, president of the Medical Society of the State of New York, applauded the agreement and expressed hope that it will become the cornerstone of all future relations on the subject with health insurance carriers, patients and physicians. -- by Rebecca Vesely
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