An Empire State official says health insurers should give detailed explanations of how they come up with any physician quality rankings.

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has sent letters to three more midsize New York health plans to stop efforts to start doctor ranking programs or justify existing programs.

Cuomo sent similar letters to three national managed care companies earlier this year.

Health plans say the programs help patients choose efficient doctors who get good results.

Cuomo argues that the programs may rely mainly on cost data.

“Consumers need to be aware that doctor ranking programs, as currently designed, may steer patients to the cheapest, but not necessarily the best doctors, letting profits trump quality,” Cuomo says in a statement about the latest batch of doctor quality program letters. “Transparency and accurate information are critical when making health care decisions and should not be clouded by conflicts of interest.”