Anthem Blue Cross of California parent WellPoint Inc. colluded with database firm Ingenix to fix prices in a multistate scheme to underpay doctors for so-called out-of-network medical care, physician organizations contended in a lawsuit filed Wednesday.
The American Medical Assn., the California Medical Assn. and other state medical organizations said in the suit filed in federal court in Los Angeles that the scheme cost physicians millions of dollars and resulted in patients paying more than they should have.
Similar lawsuits were filed last month against WellPoint competitors Aetna Inc. of Hartford, Conn., and Cigna Corp. of Philadelphia.
Ingenix's price database is so widely used to set reimbursement rates that the litigation is believed to affect seven out of 10 people with health insurance.
Indianapolis-based WellPoint said in a statement that it was committed to providing appropriate reimbursement for out-of-network services. The company said it was reviewing the suit and had no further comment.