Cincinnati doctors settle with Blues
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 24, 2005
Cincinnati-area physicians are poised to see an increase in reimbursement from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Kentucky and Ohio after both sides agreed to settle a physician lawsuit challenging the insurers' payment practices.
The settlement, which earned preliminary approval in county courts in Ohio and Kentucky, requires the health plans to boost their reimbursement rate by $160 million over three years. It also calls for the insurers to use $2.75 million to create a charitable foundation to promote high-quality health care and help regional physician recruiting, said Donna Gilliam, acting executive director at the Academy of Medicine of Cincinnati.
Doctors in the region filed lawsuits in 2002 against several area insurers. Aetna and Humana settled claims in 2003, and a claim is still proceeding against United HealthCare of Ohio.
The Anthem plans are subsidiaries of WellPoint. Keith Faller, president and CEO of WellPoint's central region, said the settlement "is in the best interest of everyone, including physicians and our members, and builds on our close relationships with physicians."
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/10/24/prbf1024.htm.