Statement In Response To Order Lifting Stay Of Discovery In Provider Track Litigation

HARTFORD, Conn., May 9, 2001 — Aetna (NYSE: ΑET) today issued the following statement:

"On Monday, May 7, during oral arguments before U.S. District Court Judge Federico Moreno, defendants representing eight managed care companies persuasively demonstrated that any disputes between doctors and insurers should be dealt with on an individual basis. Defendants showed that there are tremendous differences in how doctors are paid, and that the only way to fairly decide billing disputes is to look closely at the facts of each claim.

"The court has already seen video excerpts of depositions showing that even plaintiff physicians agree that each claim presents individual issues. We are confident that further discovery will confirm that each claim presents individual issues, and that no class action can properly be certified.

"We believe that further investigation will establish that plaintiffs' allegations are untrue, and that any billing issues are best dealt with on an individual basis, and not as an unwieldy nationwide class of hundreds of thousands of physicians who have differing contracts with insurers. Massive multiparty lawsuits will not benefit physicians nor improve the quality of care for millions of Americans.

"Aetna believes that these suits have no merit, and we will continue to aggressively defend against these actions. At the same time, Aetna will not let this litigation distract us from the important job of working to improve services to our various constituents."

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