Doctors' group folds over quibble with insurance

— Disputes over payments from the largest health maintenance organization in Colorado have prompted a group representing 1,000 doctors to disband.

Patients will not feel any immediate effect from the dissolution of the Millennial management group, which acted as the business manager and negotiating agent for four doctor groups contracted to serve members of PacifiCare.

Millennial's demise had been foreseen since PacifiCare's decision in November to make payments directly to the doctors and not to the group. HMO officials said they were concerned about the doctors getting their money because of Millennial's financial problems.

''It was the only thing we could do,'' Millennial spokesman David Scot said of the decision to disband. ''PacifiCare has withheld payment to us and we have no money left to pay our staff.''

Scott said Millennial had ceased most operations Nov. 15, but the official declaration to dissolve was not made by the group's board of directors until Wednesday.

PacifiCare members will continue to receive treatment from the same physicians for the next several months, but after that, the patient-doctor relationship depends on whether the former Millennial physicians sign new contracts with the HMO.

If the company is unable to reach new agreements with the doctors in Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs, it will require patients to find new doctors, according to PacifiCare officials.

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