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RICO an insurance company that was accused of conspiring with other carriers to underpay doctors settled with a class of physicians on May 21 for $100 million, plus $50 million in attorney fees. Promised changes in Aetna Insurance Co.’s payment system will increase the value of the settlement to about $470 million. The class of more than 700,000 physicians alleged that, for several years, Aetna, along with seven other insurers, had conspired to reduce payments unfairly and deny coverage. The class claimed that the carriers “downcoded” procedures and bundled separate procedures together, enabling them to pay the physicians less. The nonpayments and underpayments allegedly cost the class members billions of dollars. The other seven insurers are scheduled to go to trial in 2004. In re Managed Care Litigation, No. MDL No. 1334 (S.D. Fla.). PLAINTIFFS’ ATTORNEYS: Edith Kallas, Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, New York; Harley S. Tropin, Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, Miami; Archie C. Lamb, Law Offices of Archie C. Lamb, Birmingham, Ala.; Nicholas B. Roth, Eyster, Key, Tubb, Weaver & Roth, Decatur, Ala.; Joe R. Whatley Jr., Whatley Drake, Birmingham DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: Richard J. Doren and Miguel A. Estrada, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Los Angeles; Hilarie Bass, Greenberg Traurig, Miami; Lewis K. Kaden, Davis Polk & Wardwell, New York

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