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WSMA Responds to Regence Dropping High Performance Network

Statement Attributable to W. Hugh Maloney, MD, WSMA President

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    SEATTLE, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- "The Washington State Medical
 Association (WSMA) is very pleased to hear of Regence BlueShield's decision
 to stop implementation of its high performance Select Network. This is a
 positive step in the right direction.
     "One of the primary goals of our lawsuit against Regence was to prevent
 the implementation of the Select Network because of the flawed methodology
 and data that was being used to disqualify quality physicians and prevent
 patients from receiving care from a doctor of their choice. That goal has
 now apparently been achieved. Our lawsuit also seeks money damages for
 Regence's improper and inaccurate statements to patients that certain
 physicians failed to meet certain quality and efficiency standards. We are
 hopeful that in the near future we can resolve these issues with Regence,
 as well as be provided an opportunity to work with the insurer in a
 meaningful and collaborative way to pursue alternative approaches to
 achieve the quality and efficiency improvements that we both seek.
     "Keep in mind, true quality improvement programs need the active
 involvement of physicians to make sure the standards that are applied are
 fair, accurate, and do not unduly interfere with the doctor/patient
     "In the meantime, the WSMA celebrates with SPEEA and the AMA Litigation
 Center this significant achievement on behalf of our physician members and
 their patients."

SOURCE Washington State Medical Association

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