A federal appeals court dismissed challenges to a $540-million settlement between Cigna Corp. and thousands of doctors who claimed the health insurer systematically underpaid them.
The bulk of the nation's doctors, some 700,000, have signed on to a massive racketeering lawsuit against the managed-care industry, charging the insurers with breaching contract terms by shortchanging them on payments and curtailing necessary patient care.
Philadelphia-based Cigna won approval for its settlement in February. But a small group of doctors disagreed with the settlement and attempted to derail the deal through the courts.
Cigna said the dismissal of those appeals cleared the way for implementation of the settlement, which would end Cigna's part in the lawsuits filed by doctors in the late 1990s.