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IN BRIEF / COURTS

Aetna Settles Lawsuit Over Doctor Payments

October 25, 2003|From Reuters

Aetna Inc. said a federal court approved an agreement with nearly 1 million doctors who had accused the nation's No. 3 health insurer of cheating them on payments.

The firm said the ruling by Judge Federico Moreno of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida settled a class-action suit that had been pending for more than three years.

Last week, Aetna said the judge delayed ruling on Aetna's proposed $100-million cash settlement with the doctors, saying he needed to review the deal. Hundreds of thousands of doctors and more than two dozen medical societies sued the Hartford, Conn.-based insurer as part of a nationwide class-action lawsuit against major health maintenance organizations.

The physicians accused the insurers of shortchanging them on reimbursements and skimping on patient care in order to boost profits.

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