Judge OKs Blue Shield Doctor Rating Program


A judge dismissed a lawsuit by the state’s leading physician trade group last week, stymieing an effort to stop Blue Shield from posting “blue ribbons” on the Web pages of physicians who meet certain quality standards. The California Medical Association sued Blue Shield over the program, saying the data was flawed and was an effort to “economically profile” doctors. Alameda Superior Court Judge Steven Brick dismissed the case, though, saying the blue ribbon program is protected speech that helps consumers make important decisions. Brick ruled on an “anti-SLAPP” motion, a filing that a defendant can make to quickly quash a lawsuit meant to silence free speech.



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