CMA LAWSUIT: Insurers Strike Back Against Charges
Santa Ana-based PacifiCare of California has called the lawsuit filed by the California Medical Association against eight HMOs "unfortunate," the Orange County Register reports. The suit is an effort by CMA to force the state's major HMOs -- PacifiCare, Aetna U.S. Healthcare, Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California HealthNet, MaxiCare Health Plans Inc., Prudential Healthcare and United Health Care of California, to "pay doctors for services performed when companies that act as middlemen between HMOs and doctors go under." CMA filed the lawsuit partly in response to several "middleman" failures, such as when MedPartners' California network and FPA Medical Management went under, leaving doctors with millions of dollars in unpaid bills. Aetna spokesman Bob Pena dismissed CMA's assertions, saying "After we've paid the medical groups once, we aren't obligated to provide duplicate payments to physicians" (Crabtree, 9/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.