Independent Health has become the seventh health insurer to adopt N.Y. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's Model Code for doctor-ranking programs.
According to the Buffalo, N.Y.-based payor, the model code that governs accuracy, transparency and oversight that was drawn from input from national physician and consumer advocacy groups, is meant to protect consumers from being directed to certain "preferred" physicians based solely on cost. It also offers measurements of quality of care to help them make well-informed decisions, said Independent Health.
The health plan representing 360,000 members agreed to follow the code, although it “doesn't currently rank physicians.”
"We signed the agreement because we share the attorney general's goal of maintaining accuracy, accountability and transparency in the information we provide to our members and physicians," said Michael Cropp, MD, president and CEO.
N.Y. legislative leaders recently announced plans to pass legislation codifying the doctor-ranking model.
The American Medical Association, led by Nancy Nielsen, MD, AMA president-elect, worked with Cuomo to develop the model. Nielsen had been chief medical officer at Independent Health prior to accepting the national leadership position.
"The AMA commends Independent Health for voluntarily joining the ongoing shift in the health insurance industry's stance on physician profiling," Nielsen said. "Although Independent Health does not profile physicians, its agreement with the Attorney General indicates that a primary commitment to quality improvement already exists within the company."