Aetna, still stinging from a class-action lawsuit that charged the insurer with systematically reducing payments to physicians and overriding their treatment decisions, this week unveiled its “Guiding Principles for Physician Relations,” in which the company says it formally defines its “continued commitment to building the best possible relationships with the medical community…”
The principles include commitments such as:
- Aetna will work to make it easier for physicians to do business with us.
- Aetna will continue to make our business processes as transparent as possible.
Considering the company had to pony up $170 million under a 2003 settlement agreement on behalf of 700,000 physicians, it’s no surprise the insurer is continuing to massage its physician relations. Aetna even alludes to the settlements in its explanation:
“All of the changes Aetna made as part of the settlement agreement are embedded in the company’s business model and are consistent with the way the company wants to continue working with physicians. The Principles reinforce those changes…”
Aetna writes about $50 million in premiums in Kansas.