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DISPUTE OVER RATING DOCTORS HEADS TO COURT

This article is more than 11 years old.

The Massachusetts Medical Society is suing the state's Group Insurance Commission and two insurers over a physician rating system the society says is misleading and unfair. The GIC rates physicians based on the quality and cost of their care. Patients are charged higher co-pays if they see physicians who are not in the top tier. The complaint seeks to stop the program or force the GIC to make major changes. Medical Society spokesman Frank Fortin says there are many mistakes in the state’s data on doctors.

These have resulted in physicians assigned to incorrect tiers and these are tiers that the GIC says are signs of a good doctor and a bad doctor and we’re saying they represent nothing of the sort.

GIC director Dolores Mitchell calls the suit regrettable.

Mitchell says she will vigorously defend both the program and its goals.

There’s just overwhelming evidence that measurement improves performance, and that’s what we’re about. We’re not out to punish anybody or hurt anybody or cut into anybody’s income. We’re out to improve health care.

Both the Medical Society and the GIC say the central dispute is the rating of individual doctors.

This program aired on May 21, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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