Class-action trial date pushed back

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 7, 2004

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Physician class-action lawsuits against the nation's largest HMOs are now set to go to trial March 14, 2005. The federal judge in Florida overseeing the litigation pushed back the trial that previously was set to begin in September.

The two sides are scheduled to wrap up fact discovery by June 1, and expert reports are due June 28.

Medical societies and individual physicians sued health plans in federal courts nationwide, accusing them of unfairly reimbursing physicians for the services they provide to the plans' subscribers. The lawsuits were all sent to Judge Federico A. Moreno at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami.

Aetna Inc. and CIGNA HealthCare have settled the lawsuits physicians filed against them. Moreno is still overseeing similar class-action lawsuits against Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Coventry Health Care Inc., Humana Inc., Prudential Insurance Co. of America, United Healthcare Inc. and WellPoint Health Networks Inc. Insurers are still waiting for an 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on whether the lawsuits will go forward as class actions.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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