Aetna establishes doctor-ranking program at behest of N.Y. AG

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Aetna and New York Attorney General (AG) Andrew Cuomo have agreed on a doctor-ranking program, making Aetna the second insurer to adopt the AG’s model and the first to apply it across the United States, according to the Hartford, Conn.-based payor.

Under the new doctor-ranking program, insurers will fully disclose to consumers and physicians all aspects of their ranking system. The American Medical Association and the Medical Society of the State of New York consulted, along with several consumer advocacy groups, to create the program.

Prior to the agreement with Cuomo's office, Aetna, which has more than 16 million members, did not reveal to its consumers how much of the evaluation process was based on cost efficiency or on quality measures, which the company said it will now do.

On Oct. 29, Cuomo reached its first doctor-ranking agreement with Cigna, establishing a model for future programs.

Cuomo had previously sent letters to Cigna and Aetna, as well as UnitedHealthcare, warning that their physician-ranking programs were likely to confuse consumers.

Cuomo has since issued letters asking Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield to justify its planned ranking program, Blue Precision, and called on Preferred Care and HIP Health Plan of New York/GHI to refrain from launching similar programs without first obtaining consent from the AG's office.