NU Online News Service, Sept. 5, 2003, 5:23 p.m. – CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, has received preliminary approval from U.S. District Court Judge Federico Moreno for a proposed settlement agreement that could resolve litigation with more than 700,000 doctors, according to an announcement from the lawyers who have organized the litigation.
The litigation organizers have filed suits accusing CIGNA and other managed care companies of working together to lower and delay payments to doctors in unreasonable ways.
The proposed settlement agreement calls for CIGNA to improve communications with doctors, and to clarify and streamline its system for handling claims. The parties involved estimate the changes in practices have a value of about $400 million.
CIGNA also has agreed to pay doctors a minimum of $85 million and to pay $15 million to a foundation that will focus on “health care issues important to physicians nationwide,” according to the litigation organizers.