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Doctor Suits UndermineAn Already Sick System

A new skirmish in the battle over managed care broke out this month when a New York medical association representing some 27,000 physicians filed a dozen lawsuits against six of the biggest health insurers in the state.

According to published reports in the Aug. 16 editions of Newsday and The Wall Street Journal, the Medical Society of the State of New York charged the managed care firms with arbitrarily denying medically necessary healthcare, and wrongly slashing contractual payments to providers. The suits also claim that the insurers have inadequate staffing to deal with the volume of claims they are asked to handle, resulting in unsatisfactory service to providers and patients.

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