Doctors group sues Blue Shield over online ratings

by Alan Mansfield on September 10, 2010

California Medical Assn. officials announced Thursday that they and two physicians had sued Blue Shield of California alleging that the health insurer’s new online doctor rating system is inaccurate and potentially misleads consumers.

Blue Shield’s Blue Ribbon Recognition Program, launched in June, analyzed about 6,000 doctors statewide and posted blue ribbons on its website next to the names of those who met national standards for quality care.

The medical association, which represents about 35,000 doctors statewide, alleges in the lawsuit that the ratings fail to take into account information from patient medical charts, patient outcomes and previous treatment, in part because the program relies only on a few years of claims data from five insurance products sold by three large health plans (Blue Shield of California, Anthem Blue Cross and UnitedHealthCare).

The suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, also alleges Blue Shield failed to give doctors an adequate opportunity to correct errors in the ratings, which the association says steered patients to cheaper physicians.

The Consumer Law Group is one of the counsel for plaintiffs in this action.

For more information about this action, follow this link:

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0910-cma-20100910,0,750414.story

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