The above headline was inspired by a news report in the daily email I get from AMA ( one of the few perks of membership). I had blogged previously about the Blue Shield matter in Seattle.
Apparently, something call the "AMA Litigation Center" joined in a legal action with the Washington State Medical Society and six physicians against the "Select Network Plan" devised by Regence Blueshield. I had not heard of the Litigation Center, but it seems that for the past 10 years it has been involved in legal actions that look after the interests of physicians and has a new initiative to fight back against insurers who play fast and loose with bogus guidelines and performance indicators "delisting" docs and damaging their reputations and practices.
The insurer dropped the plan.
Dr. Pleasted, president of AMA, is quoted as saying:
"A patient's choice of a physician must not be influenced by a health insurer's mistaken assumption that low cost is the only acceptable measure of quality."
Physicians should not neglect the powerful effect that legal action that sometimes have but what happens now is not clear.What about the patients that received letters from the insurance company informing them that their doctors were not practicing according to some standards? They were said to not be practicing "quality and efficient " medicine. What reparations will be made for lost patients,damaged reputations and lost income? According to AMA websites ,( I believe membership is required to access) the law suit continues in an effort to obtain monetary damages.