Several month ago I posted an entry on this Blog about a lawsuit the New York Attorney General was threatening to file to prevent United Healthcare from ranking its participating physicians. Well, according to an article on USAToday.com, CIGNA and the Attorney General have reached a settlement in a similar case. While CIGNA will move forward with its public ranking system, it has agreed to do the rankings on factors other than cost alone and to make available to the public details of how the ranking is performed including the relative weight placed on various cost and non-cost factors.
Clearly physician ranking systems are the waive of the future. How much weight patients will actually place on these systems remains to be seen but physicians should monitor these developments closely and gain a firm understanding of how these systems will apply to their practices.