Court Tosses Appeal of CIGNA HealthCare Settlement

April 23, 2004 ( - All appeals challenging an agreement between CIGNA HealthCare and some 700,000 physicians have been dismissed by a federal court of appeals.

A handful of doctors were appealing a settlement between CIGNA HealthCare and the broader physicians groupregarding insurers’ claims payment practices.   The settlement resolves for CIGNA HealthCare the issues raised in physician lawsuits challenging the claims payment practices of the nation’s largest managed care companies, according to a news release.

CIGNA said the federal appeals court’s dismissal of the case clears the way for implementation of the settlement.   Under the settlement, CIGNA HealthCare is offering multiple alternatives for monetary compensation to physicians who participated in the class action and instituting new business practices intended to make it easier for doctors to work with the company in meeting the needs of patients.

Additionally, the health-care division of the Philadelphia-based company is committing funds to a foundation governed by representatives of state medical societies.   The foundation will consider funding for a range of health care initiatives.   Further, the settlement provides for the establishment of a Physician Advisory Committee through which physicians can offer input to CIGNA on ways to enhance the delivery of health care and maintain a strong, cooperative relationship between patients, physicians and the company.