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Massachusetts Medical Society files suit over rankings

Boston Globe, May 22, 2008

The Massachusetts Medical Society, which represents the state's doctors, have filed a lawsuit alleging the Group Insurance Commission plan to rank physicians on cost and quality measures hurts both physicians and patients. The Group Insurance Commission oversees health insurance for thousands of public employees at state and local levels. The suit claims doctors ranked lower have been defamed, and that patients who have to pay higher copayments based on their doctor's ranking have been defrauded. To compile the rankings, the insurance commission uses a database of claims from six insurance companies, and applies computer analytic tools to compare the performance of physicians.