Doctors in disaster areas get extension to file Health Net claims

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 10, 2005

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Physicians who live or practice in regions that were declared disaster areas after Hurricane Katrina have an additional 60 days to file a claim in a class-action settlement doctors forged with California-based Health Net in May. The claims are now due Nov. 20.

The extension, which U.S. District Court Judge Federico Moreno has approved, gives physicians who were affected by the hurricane a chance to track down any information that might have been lost or damaged in the storm. The original deadline for filing claims with the insurer was Sept. 21.

More than 700,000 doctors are part of class-action lawsuits against the nation's largest HMOs. They accuse the companies of conspiring to systematically underpay physicians by downcoding and bundling claims.

Several insurers, including Health Net, Aetna, CIGNA Healthcare, Prudential Insurance Co. of America, and WellPoint, already have settled their cases. Coventry, Humana, PacifiCare Health Systems, and UnitedHealthcare and are expected to go to trial next year.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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