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News of the Day ... In Perspective

12/19/2006

Physician rating system delayed in Texas

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas agreed to shut down its BlueCompare internet doctor rating system after the Texas Medical Association (TMA) complained about its accuracy.

The TMA argued that the system relied too heavily on billing data.

“You can no more tell from looking at a claim form that good medical care was provided than you can tell from looking at a restaurant bill that good food was served,” said TMA president Dr. Ladon Homer.

BlueCompare proposed to award a blue ribbon to doctors in the top 60 percent of its quality ratings, and to brand with a gray ribbon those in the lower 40 percent plus those without a sufficient number of claims forms or in a specialty for which Blue Cross lacks a rating system.

Negotiations are underway to try to persuade the company to replace the system with one that has accurate and useful information. The next step is to ask the Texas legislature to step in (Dallas Business Journal 12/14/06).

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