As vice president for network operations for CIGNA HealthCare, I am responding to the article in the April AAP News, " `Gag clauses' restrict options." The article quotes Dr. Rosabel Young making serious, yet unsubstantiated, charges against CIGNA HealthCare. It is most disappointing that, in his contact with us to research this article, the writer neglected to give us the opportunity to respond to Dr. Young's comments.

CIGNA recently sold the CIGNA Medical Group in Los Angeles, where Dr. Young was employed, to Caremark. When we operated the CIGNA Medical Group, we had no explicit or written clauses in our physician employment agreements that prevented them from talking about treatment options or health plan grievance procedures. There were no implied or verbal instructions that restricted our staff physicians in what they could discuss with their patients.

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