CIGNA HealthCare says it’s the first health care plan to agree to submit its physician performance measurement program for independent review under a 2007 agreement with New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.

The Bloomfield, Conn., company, a unit of CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, says the state Attorney General has approved CIGNA’s plan to have the National Committee for Quality Assurance serve as a “ratings examiner” to review its doctor-rating program. NCQA will report its findings to the Attorney Genera when its review is completed, which CIGNA expects will occur by the end of May.

“CIGNA was the first to adopt our Doctor Ranking Model Code and is now the first to retain a ‘Ratings Examiner’ to oversee implementation of the Code,” said Cuomo. “NCQA will help ensure that the core principles of the Code-transparency and accuracy of information-are met. This is a step in the right direction for both consumers and physicians.”

The Code requires insurers to ensure that rankings for doctors are not based solely on cost and clearly identify the degree to which any ranking is based on cost. In addition, insurers must use established national standards to measure quality and cost efficiency, CIGNA notes.