NU Online News Service, Dec. 13, 2004, 5:26 p.m. EST
A Bloomfield, Conn., managed care company has negotiated an agreement that could resolve litigation with 210,000 providers of specialty health care.[@@]
CIGNA HealthCare, a unit of CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, says the proposed provider settlement is similar to an earlier settlement it negotiated with lawyers representing a class of more than 700,000 doctors.
Lawyers have filed suits accusing CIGNA and other managed care companies of working together to lower and delay payments to doctors and other care providers in unreasonable ways.
The courts have consolidated the litigation in Miami under U.S. District Court Judge Federico Moreno.
Moreno must approve the proposed provider settlement before it can take effect.
The proposed settlement class includes acupuncturists, audiologists, chiropractors, counselors, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, optometrists, orthotists, physical and occupational therapists, podiatrists, psychologists, speech and hearing therapists, and others, CIGNA says.
The current proposed settlement calls for CIGNA to establish an $11.55 million compensation fund. Each provider’s compensation will depend on the amount of claims the provider has sent to CIGNA over the past 15 years.