Doctor fee database set to launch


By year’s end, Americans will have access via a Web site to a new database that will allow them to track what Indianapolis-based
WellPoint Inc. and other health insurers pay doctors who are not in their pre-negotiated networks, according
to Bloomberg News.

The not-for-profit database is being funded with $100 million in legal settlements from 12 health
insurers as part of a lawsuit by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

He said insurers
were using the Ingenix database, owned by Minnesota-based UnitedHealthcare, which used faulty data in
order to reduce payments to doctors, which left patients with larger bills.

The 12 insurers have agreed to use
the database, hosted at Syracuse University, to set the rates they’ll pay when their customers
receive services from physicians that are “out of network,” which means the doctor has not
agreed in advance to give the insurer a discount.

WellPoint settled with Cuomo by agreeing to
pay $10 million. UnitedHealthcare paid the most: $50 million.

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