United Healthcare is going ahead with plans to release its physician rankings for the New York area, despite a threat of legal action from the state's attorney general, a United spokesman said.
However, the company is delaying implementation of the rankings system for a few months so physicians can get more familiar with it -- a move United says has nothing to do with the attorney general's threat.
A July 13 letter from the attorney general's office said the ranking system would influence patients to use physicians who are cheaper but not necessarily better. The letter told United it would face legal action if it released the rankings as planned at the end of July.
Mason said United will release the rankings at the end of the year, and added that the delay is not because of the letter, but because the plan had already decided to give physicians more time for input and review.
AMNews: Aug. 6, 2007. New York warns of lawsuit over physician rankings by United ... American Medical News
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