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Empire BCBS To Establish Physician Ranking System

Armen Hareyan's picture

Physician Ranking System

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield will create a physician rankingsystem in New Yorkthat provides information about how cost-efficiency and skill contribute to itsselection of "preferred" providers, New York Attorney General AndrewCuomo (D) said Wednesday, AP/Long Island Newsdayreports.

Empire plans to launch a physician ranking system in the state next year. Thecompany is the third insurer in the past two months, along with Cigna and Aetna, thathas agreed to guidelines for ranking systems developed as a collaborativeeffort by Cuomo's office, the American MedicalAssociation, the Medical Society of the State of New York and consumer advocacy groups (Bauman, AP/LongIsland Newsday, 11/14).

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Cuomo had expressed concern that ratings systems based solely ordisproportionately on cost could confuse or potentially deceive consumerstrying to select a physician. Cuomo in a statement said, "Our agreementwill encourage the nation's leading insurers to line up to adopt similarprinciples of accuracy, transparency and oversight, establishing our model asthe norm within the industry."

Under the guidelines, insurers must use nationally recognized standards tomeasure quality of care, and they must disclose to consumers how the program isdesigned and criteria used to rank physicians (AP/HoustonChronicle,11/14). In addition, Empire will hire an oversight monitor, known as a ratingsexaminer, who will evaluate the insurer's compliance with the agreement andreport to Cuomo biannually. Cuomo also will meet with Empire twice per year toreview information compiled by the company (AP/Long Island Newsday,11/14).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.