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In The Media - 2002

The San Diego Union Tribune - Dec 27, 2002   
Frist Will Not Help Health Care's Ills
Unfortunately for the public, the doctor running the chamber, Sen. Bill Frist, typifies the GOP's new health-care strategy: care most about the health of corporations that elect you.... more

Gannett News Service - Dec 24, 2002   
Frist brings support for drug companies to majority leader job
Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist's official ascension Monday to Senate majority leader could end up helping drug companies.... more

Gannett News Service - Dec 23, 2002   
Senate Republicans drop Lott, elect Frist as their leader
Frist's family founded HCA, a major hospital chain known as Hospital Corporation of America when it began in 1968 that recently agreed to pay more than $880 million to settle claims of false claims, kickbacks and fraud.... more

USA TODAY - Dec 23, 2002   
Few question Tenn. senator's ability to lead Frist's toughness impresses members of both parties
Frist's father and brother founded what has become the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain, HCA. The company has created vast wealth for the Frist family. It also has been subject to the largest-ever federal fraud case;... more

Chattanooga Times/Chattanooga Free Press - Dec 22, 2002   
Attention on Sen. Frist turns to issues, his ties to HCA
Sen. Frist's likely election to the majority leader post already is raising new questions about his ties to HCA. The chain was founded by his father and is now run by his brother, Thomas Frist.... more

The Sacramento Bee - Dec 22, 2002   
State health care bind: Fixing inequities can be expensive
Maria Teresa Quiej Alvarez and Andrew Willis symbolize the two extremes of California health care: Have and have-not. Got and can't get.... more

City News Service - Dec 20, 2002   
Senator Bill Frist is a bad choice to suceed Trent Lott
Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., is a bad choice to succeed Trent Lott as Senate majority leader because of ties to "corporate swindles," the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said today.... more

The Associated Press - Dec 18, 2002   
Governor pledges fast track for lawsuit abuse laws
Texas Gov. Rick Perry pledged Wednesday that neither the insurance lobby nor a lawyer-packed Legislature would prevent him from pushing a lid on medical malpractice jury awards and new controls over insurance rates into law next session.... more

Wilkes Barre Times Leader - Dec 15, 2002   
Is capping jury awards the best medicine?
As a new governor and General Assembly prepare to address skyrocketing malpractice premiums that doctors say are driving them out of Pennsylvania, lawmakers might heed two lessons from states that have attacked the problem with caps on jury awards... more

BestWire - Dec 11, 2002   
The second-largest provider of medical-liability insurance in California has had its 2003 rate request--originally approved by the insurance department--set aside as a consumer group requests public hearings into the need for the increase.... more

American Health Line - Dec 09, 2002   
The Los Angeles Times today features opinion pieces by Ronald Brownstein, a Times columnist, and Jamie Court, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, on the problem of the uninsured.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Dec 09, 2002   
Commentary; Universal Coverage Will Take Universal Sacrifice
Universal health-care reform is back in vogue, but it will take sacrifice by every stakeholder in health care to achieve it.... more

The Sacramento Bee - Dec 06, 2002   
Curb on HMO price hikes urged
A consumer group wants legislation to regulate premium hikes.
A California consumer advocacy group Thursday called for legislation to limit the ability of HMOs to raise health insurance premiums without prior permission from state regulators.... more

Associated Press - Dec 05, 2002   
Major California HMOs fatten as insurance costs rise
California's biggest HMOs are getting richer even as rising medical costs strain the budgets of their customers, according to financial figures filed with state regulators.... more

Associated Press - Dec 04, 2002   
California health care system aches for reforms
Almost everyone agrees California's health care system is hurting badly, but are enough businesses and consumers ready to accept the potentially painful cures currently in the works?... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Dec 04, 2002   
State health-care system unraveling; Blue Shield CEO pushes universal coverage
The head of one of California's largest insurance companies said Tuesday that the state should provide health coverage for all residents -- creating a system that could become a model for universal health care nationwide.... more

San Jose Mercury News - Dec 04, 2002   
Insurer proposes giving Californians universal health coverage
The proposal by Bruce Bodaken, CEO and chairman of Blue Shield of California, would use a combination of public and private insurance programs to provide coverage, and would require most employers and individuals to take part.... more

The Associated Press - Nov 21, 2002   
Insurers begin charging more for some hospitals and doctors
Some insurance companies are trying yet another tactic to drive down health care costs, using tiered medical coverage to steer patients from high-priced hospitals and doctors to less expensive ones.... more

Los Angeles Times - Nov 16, 2002   
Kaiser Will Pay $1-Million Fine for Death;
The state's biggest HMO gives in to regulators who said thefirm failed to deliver timely care to a woman who died of an aneurysm.
The fine, initially imposed in May 2000, is the state's largest against a full-service health maintenance organization, said Daniel Zingale, director of the California Department of Managed Health Care.... more

Sacramento Bee - Nov 16, 2002   
Kaiser will pay fine of $1 million over care
Kaiser Permanente will pay a $1 million fine - the largest in California history against a full-service health plan - to settle a longstanding legal battle with regulators that began with a patient's death, state officials announced Friday.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 16, 2002   
Kaiser to pay $1 million fine over death; HMO had disagreed with state on its authority on access to care
Ending an acrimonious battle with state regulators, Kaiser Permanente agreed to pay a record $1 million fine Friday to settle a case surrounding the death of a 74-year-old San Leandro woman whose treatment was allegedly delayed at its Hayward hospital.... more

The North County Times - Nov 16, 2002   
Health care more costly, more elusive than ever
Community officials gathered at a town hall meeting Friday concluded that getting people, particularly working people and children, the health care they need is more expensive and elusive than ever.... more

American Health Line - Nov 09, 2002   
Kaiser Permanente to Pay $1 Million Fine for HMO Patient Death
The California Department of Managed Health Care imposed the $1 million fine, the largest the department has issued against an HMO, in May 2000. Kaiser had "vigorously fought" the fine but decided to end objections to "move on,"..... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 03, 2002   
It can't hurt to get 2nd opinion;
American Heart Association offers guidelines
When it comes to serious medical conditions, getting a "second opinion" is often not only a good idea, it can be a requirement. Health insurers will, in some cases, insist on a second opinion before they'll agree to pay for an unusual or particularly e... more

Chicago Daily Herald - Oct 31, 2002   
Sizable jump in health-care costs stings employees
Many employees also are seeing jumps in the amount they're charged as a co-payment for office visits and prescription drugs.... more

The Orange County Register - Oct 28, 2002   
UCI adopts medical error plan
Hospitals: Staff won't immediately face penalty. UC program first assumes that the system is at fault.
University of California hospitals hope to reduce medical errors by promising not to punish the doctors and nurses who make mistakes -- a move that could revolutionize the culture of hospitals across the country.... more

The Daily News of Los Angeles - Oct 16, 2002   
Healthnet to Offer New Rates
Jamie Court, executive director of The Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, said HealthNet is creating more products to ease the burden of a downtrodden economy. "HMOs right now are robbing the insurance system of capital," he said.... more

The Orange County Register - Oct 13, 2002   
Help with making health-care choices.
There's no reason for making uninformed decisions, given the number of public and private resources.
Whether you're deciding among health plans, hospitals or doctors, there's no dearth of information to help you navigate your way -- and to educate yourself on the ABCs of our health-care system while you're at it. Here are some useful resources:... more

The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, MS) - Oct 06, 2002   
House says 'yes' by narrow margin, Senate stalling as Congress eyes tort reform
State delegation split over medical liability reform legislation's worth
Essentially the same political scenario is being played out in the U.S. Capitol as well as in Mississippi, as Congress confronts the same issue.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Oct 06, 2002   
Disability Insurer Is Under Fire;
Legitimate claims denied, suits say
The nation's largest disability insurance company has been accused of systematically denying legitimate claims from seriously ill customers, a corporate strategy allegedly concocted for one purpose: boosting profits.... more

The San Diego Union-Tribune - Sep 29, 2002   
MEDICAL SCHOOLING; Consumers can arm themselves with information about health plans, physicians and promising advances
Health plan decisions, usually made from September through November, are both important and complicated. You need information, whether you are seeking a provider for conventional care or revolutionary, state-of-the-art treatments.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Sep 27, 2002   
Doctors Get Class Status for Lawsuit Against Top HMOs;
Fraud claims could alter California's managed-care system. In same decision, judge denies bid to combine allegations by patients.
The nation's biggest HMOs on Thursday suffered a major setback in their long-running court battle with doctors suing them for fraud, but they won a key victory in a companion case brought by consumers who claimed the insurers put profits before care.... more

Los Angeles Business Journal - Sep 09, 2002   
Checking in can make you sick;
Medical Errors
A landmark report by the Institute of Medicine found that up to 98,000 people die each year in the nation\'s hospitals from medical mistakes. On average, that's nearly 20 for each of the nation's 4,900 hospitals--making it the eighth leading cause...... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Sep 05, 2002   
Kaiser compromise on rare illness
Grant will help treat 2 young brothers denied coverage by HMO
The Bennett family stood in front of the Kaiser Permanente headquarters in Oakland on Wednesday, ready to wage a war against their health maintenance organization to get medical coverage for their two sons, who are suffering from a rare and fatal disease.... more

The Sacramento Bee - Sep 05, 2002   
Kaiser gives grant for rare syndrome research
Kaiser Permanente announced a $1 million research grant to Duke University Wednesday in lieu of covering an expensive treatment for two Ione children with a fatal genetic disorder.... more

Oakland Tribune - Sep 05, 2002   
Kaiser to fund research for rare disease
Last-minute decision reverses denial of controversial treatment that could save two boys
Just minutes before a health care advocacy group was to denounce Kaiser Permanente on Wednesday for denying treatment for two boys with a rare genetic disease, Kaiser representatives announced the firm would provide $1 million toward research on a novel t... more

KRON-TV Website - Sep 04, 2002   
Family's HMO Fight Ends Happily
The news conference had been called by consumer advocacy groups to shine a public spotlight on the Bennett family's plight.... more

The New York Times - Aug 25, 2002   
Rise in Insurance Forces Hospitals to Shutter Wards
Around the country this summer, at least half a dozen hospitals have closed obstetric wards, others have curtailed trauma services, and a string of rural clinics have been temporarily shuttered as a result of soaring costs for medical malpractice insuranc... more

The San Diego Union-Tribune - Aug 20, 2002   
State must take lead on health care
The recent Capitol Hill burials for a Medicare prescription drug benefit and HMO reform signal that California must take matters into its own hands. Gov. Gray Davis should convene a special session of the Legislature to lead nationally on a crisis of new... more

The Palm Beach Post - Aug 18, 2002   
'Pressure Building' to Fix Malpractice
Now, with premiums soaring 50 percent over the past three years, doctors are crying crisis again. And again, they're pushing the state for relief. How it ends this time might depend on their ability to find common ground....... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 14, 2002   
California's Malpractice Damage Caps Still Debated
California's cap on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits is being recommended by President Bush as a model for the nation. But his claim that such caps will drive down soaring health care costs is hotly debated by consumer and medical groups.... more

Las Vegas Review-Journal - Aug 10, 2002   
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: Insurer has no plan to lower costs
Obstetricians say decision renews crisis
Just one day after Clark County obstetricians announced they would reopen their practices to new patients, their primary insurer said sky-high malpractice premiums would not change anytime soon. Without lowered premiums, one doctor said Southern Nevada ob... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 08, 2002   
Prescription drug issue goes to state Senate;
Watchdog agency would get more say over HMO coverage
A Senate bill introduced this week would give the state more muscle in the battle between patients and HMOs over prescription drug coverage denials.... more

NPR - Aug 02, 2002   
Malpractice Costs

National Public Radio - All Things Considered - Aug 02, 2002   
California's medical malpractice premiums some of the lowest in the country
Doctors across the country say the price of malpractice insurance has become unaffordable. As a result, many have retired early or stopped performing the procedures that are more likely to lead to lawsuits. As a result, members of Congress have consider... more

Modern Physician - Aug 01, 2002   
The blame game; The cause of the malpractice insurance crisis depends on who's doing the talking
As malpractice premiums skyrocket and carriers abandon markets, trial attorneys and insurers are blaming each other for the mess.... more

BestWire - Jul 26, 2002   
Bush Favors Limits On Med-Mal Lawsuits
Bush wants to address the crisis of rising medical-malpractice premiums by putting caps on awards in malpractice lawsuits.... more

The Los Angeles Daily News - Jul 26, 2002   
Woodland Hills, Calif.-Based Insurer Health Net's Vital Signs Get Stronger
As the clash between capitalism and doing what's right for patients comes under federal scrutiny, companies like Health Net and Thousand Oaks-based WellPoint are quick to rationalize their profits.... more

American Health Line - Jul 25, 2002   
Malpractice: Bush Plan Would Cap Awards In Lawsuits
Under Bush\'s plan, which he will announce at a speech in High Point, N.C., the amount patients could be awarded for noneconomic damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering, would be limited to $250,000.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Jul 25, 2002   
Bush Seeks to Limit Malpractice Suits;
Such a move will turn aspects of the health-care system into an 'even bigger death trap,' one opponent says. But HHS paper touts benefits.
Bush plans to call today for stringent new curbs on malpractice lawsuits against health-care providers and insurance companies, contending that limiting such litigation will lower the cost of care and increase the number of medical specialists, administra... more

The Los Angeles Daily News - Jul 24, 2002   
Midsize Firms in Pacific Region Bear Brunt of Rising Health Costs
Double-digit increases in health benefit costs have hurt the state's midsize companies hardest because they lack the power of larger firms to negotiate better coverage or the ability of small businesses to cut benefits according to a new industry survey.... more

BestWire - Jul 24, 2002   
House Medical-Malpractice Bill To Get More Attention After August
The House has held a brief hearing on a medical-malpractice bill that seeks to limit liability in health-care lawsuits.... more

Federal Document Clearing House - Jul 17, 2002   
In an age where expanding patients' rights has become a national demand, HR 4600 would dramatically contract patients' rights across the nation. This anti-consumer legislation will shield HMOs and providers they influence from legal accountability... more

The Los Angeles Times - Jul 07, 2002   
Op-Ed: Let a Public Board Set Health-Care Rates;
Manage hospitals like utilities
The only way to ensure access to Los Angeles County's emergency rooms and hospitals is by employing the same model that Angelenos use to protect their electricity and water costs and Marylanders use to maintain their hospitals: public utility regulation.... more

L.A. Weekly - Jul 05, 2002   
Say It. Ain't So, Miguel.
L.A.'s top labor leader shills for the HMO vultures
When it came to an urgent, no-brainer, pro-consumer reform of some of the notorious practices of our morally bereft HMOs, Contreras took a dive. We caught him smack-dab in bed in the most compromising of positions with the HMO lobbyists and... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 27, 2002   
Editorial - Your Legislators In Inaction
The "walks" continue. Two significant bills were killed on reconsideration in Assembly committees Tuesday, with pivotal blocs of legislators failing to vote. This "courtesy nonvoting" scheme is becoming common in Sacramento, detailed in Tuesday's editori... more

The Sacramento Bee - Jun 27, 2002   
HMO arbitration reform bill fails -- L.A. labor leader is blamed
Sponsors of a bill that would have allowed patients to avoid mandatory arbitration in certain HMO disputes blamed powerful labor boss Miguel Contreras on Wednesday for defeating the measure.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 25, 2002   
Editorial: Do-nothing Politics;
When the going gets tough, more and more lawmakers are taking a walk
An outbreak of spinelessness has struck the California Assembly. Significant bills are failing because legislators are turning strategically silent or absent at key moments. The problem is, the rules require a majority of all committee members - not just... more

Philadelphia Inquirer - Jun 25, 2002   
COMMENTARY: One for the patients: Court backs states on allowing second opinions on health care
Just when the anti-HMO movie "John Q" was well on its way to the bottom shelves of video stores, along comes the Supreme Court to bolster Americans who have a simmering feud with managed-care insurers.... more

Dayton Daily News - Jun 23, 2002   
Rising malpractice premiums may force some doctors to stop delivering babies
Miami Valley physicians say rising malpractice premiums soon will force some to make a hard decision - whether to continue delivering babies.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 22, 2002   
Two more top executives to leave Kaiser in shake-up
Two top executives at Kaiser Permanente will leave July 1, including its California division president, whose job has been eliminated by the giant nonprofit health group.... more

The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jun 21, 2002   
In a victory for patients and a serious blow to the managed-care industry, a closely divided Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can now force health maintenance organizations to pay for treatments they initially reject.... more

American Health Line - Jun 21, 2002   
The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday upheld state laws that allow patients an independent second opinion when an HMO denies coverage (See story 1). The following is a summary of editorials and organizations' reaction.... more

The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jun 21, 2002   
Court: States can make HMOs pay for procedures
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that states can force health plans to pay for procedures recommended by outside independent parties... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 21, 2002   
Editorial - A close call for patients
The busy U.S. Supreme Court also delivered a strong ruling for patients' rights Thursday. The justices upheld laws in 42 states -- including California -- that assert a patient's right to get a second opinion when a health maintenance organization denie... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 21, 2002   
Court rules HMO patients entitled to 2nd opinion
States can entitle patients to a second medical opinion if their HMO refuses to pay for treatment, a closely divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a decision that upholds laws in California and 39 other states.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Jun 21, 2002   
Patients' Rights Get Lift From Justices
Patients whose health maintenance organizations deny them a medical treatment or drug benefit have a right to a second opinion from outside doctors, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, upholding the new "independent review" laws in California and 41 other... more

San Jose Mercury News - Jun 20, 2002   
State criticizes HMO preventive health care
Barbara Feder Ostrov & Julie Sevrens Lyons
Some California HMOs are falling short on their mandate to provide good preventive health care, state health officials say, so much so that they want to require insurers to file public plans that spell out the care they'll provide.... more

San Gabriel Valley Tribune - Jun 20, 2002   
Assembly committee kills patients' rights bill
Legislation aimed at strengthening patients' rights has been dealt a damning blow after members of a key Assembly committee rejected a proposal seeking to protect those insured by HMOs.... more

The Sacramento Bee - Jun 18, 2002   
Battle brews over HMOs Bill would let clients bypass arbitration in some serious cases.
A bill that would allow patients to forgo mandatory arbitration in certain HMO disputes and turn directly to the courts is shaping up as the patients' rights battle of the year.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 14, 2002   
Editorial - Patients and the law
Most enrollees in managed-care health plans are required to submit disagreements to HMO-dominated arbitration procedures rather than seek redress by lawsuit. But this contradicts the intent of California's 1999 patients' bill of rights to make HMOs legal... more

Capitol Hill Hearing Testimony - Jun 12, 2002   
House Judiciary Committee - Commercial & Administrative Law Subcommittee - HEALTH CARE AND LITIGATION BILL-NO: H.R. 4600
California is a failed model for the national restrictions being proposed on patients. California patients have been denied adequate compensation and representation for their injuries, and California doctors have seen almost no premium savings. Only the... more

The Los Angeles Times - Jun 10, 2002   
HMOs Stalk Patients' Rights;
The industry must not be allowed to wiggle its way out of accountability to the ailing.
California HMOs are slyly attacking the new patients' rights laws touted by Gov. Gray Davis as the toughest in the nation. The industry can\'t be allowed to undermine the two pillars of HMO patients' rights it has targeted effective state regulation and... more

Modern Healthcare - Jun 03, 2002   
Docs' insurance fight heats up
Two volleys were fired last week in the growing battle over malpractice insurance premiums, which is either a looming national crisis or a public-relations scam orchestrated by physicians, depending on the diametrically opposed arguments.... more

The Sacramento Bee - May 31, 2002   
Health agency rejects ruling
The managed-care chief says no to a judge's slashing of a fine against Kaiser.
A legal battle over patient rights that began six years ago with a death at a Kaiser hospital took a new turn Thursday when state regulators rejected a court ruling they say undercuts their ability to guarantee California\'s 18 million HMO members timely... more

Associated Press - May 30, 2002   
State HMO regulators lose round in dispute with Kaiser
An administrative law judge sided with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Thursday in a dispute with the state Department of Managed Health Care that tests the authority of the 3-year-old department. The state rejected the ruling, said Director Daniel Zingale... more

The Las Vegas Review-Journal - May 30, 2002   
Supporters, opponents of tort reform bill present arguments
Dueling news conferences Wednesday at Valley Hospital Medical Center marked the first time the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association has engaged in an overt bid to win the public\'s sympathy in the medical malpractice insurance crisis.... more

Associated Press - May 22, 2002   
Workers' comp bill shows Davis' way with campaign money
After vetoing workers' compensation reforms for three years, Gov. Gray Davis this year declared the legislation long overdue and signed the labor-friendly bill into law.... more

Toronto Star - May 18, 2002   
Phone clerks rewarded for limiting MD visits
Bonuses for keeping patient calls brief
Telephone clerks at California's largest HMO received bonuses for keeping calls with patients brief and limiting the number of doctor visits they agreed to set up.... more

The Los Angeles Times - May 17, 2002   
Kaiser Clerks Paid More for Helping Less
Bonuses were given for limiting members' calls and doctor's appointments. HMO defends program but has dropped it.
Kaiser Permanente, the state's largest HMO, until recently had awarded financial bonuses to call center clerks who spent the least amount of time on the phone with each patient and limited the number of doctors' appointments, internal documents show.... more

American Health Line - May 09, 2002   
Health insurance in California is "fast becoming a bait-and-switch scam" in which consumers choose a health plan and insurers then increase costs or reduce benefits... more

The Los Angeles Times - May 08, 2002   
Insurance: You Pay, They Bait and Switch;
Health-care plans are beginning to feel like scams in California.
The revelation that health insurers will be levying surcharges of as much as $400 per day for the best hospitals shows the degree to which insurance is fast becoming a bait-and-switch scam.... more

The Baltimore Sun - Apr 21, 2002   
Insurer's success evolves from "WellPoint Way";
The insurer that wants to buy CareFirst is praised for its acumen by business analysts but not by doctors.
"The WellPoint Way" began the moment Leonard D. Schaeffer saw the shrimp and the ice sculpture. It was 1986, his first day as chief executive of Blue Cross of California, a company that was on its way to losing $157 million that year.... more

ABC World News Tonight - Apr 21, 2002   
Increase in health insurance prices in California can affect rest of country
Last week CalPERS accepted a 25 percent increase in HMO premiums for next year. The steep increase speaks to a serious problem facing companies and workers nationwide.... more

American Health Line - Apr 18, 2002   
As expected, the board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the second-largest purchaser of health insurance after the federal government, yesterday approved a 25.1% increase in premiums for the system's HMO plans in 2003,... more

Los Angeles Times - Apr 18, 2002   
Healthy Profits Don't Equal Good Health
If the California Public Employees\' Retirement System--the Goliath of buyers--can get stepped on, then without new controls the little guys--small businesses and individual purchasers--will be crushed. ... more

The Washington Post - Apr 17, 2002   
Health-Care Costs Jump At Calpers; Big Premium Increase May Signal Trend
Health insurance premiums for California's 1.2 million state employees and retirees are likely to jump a record 25 percent next year, officials said yesterday, delivering an ominous warning for the rest of the nation about rising medical costs.... more

The Orange County Register - Apr 17, 2002   
CalPERS likely to up premiums;
Health care State employees could pay 25% more next year. Other employers might follow suit.
Health-insurance premiums for public workers throughout the state are headed toward a stunning 25 percent increase next year, after a decision Tuesday by a key committee of the California Public Employees\' Retirement System.... more

American Health Line - Apr 17, 2002   
The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the second-largest purchaser of health care behind the federal government, is expected today to approve a "historic" 25% increase in health insurance premiums for next year, the San Jose Mercury News... more

Modern Healthcare - Apr 15, 2002   
Loosening their grip;
As HMOs' popularity continues to erode, more plans turn to less-restrictive rules. But with costs rising, what's next?
It has been two years since UnitedHealth Group essentially ripped up the managed-care rule book by shedding its preapproval requirements and granting doctors final say over how they treat their patients.... more

In These Times (Institute for Public Affairs) - Apr 01, 2002   
When HMO's Attack
HMOs aim to stop even modest reform in its tracks
California's HMO reform laws, in force since mid-2000, make up the toughest patients' bill of rights in the nation. They allow bigger fines and send more types of challenged HMO decisions to independent review boards than in any of the other 40 states wi... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Mar 31, 2002   
David M. Lawrence; CEO led Kaiser through HMO storm
Some have criticized Kaiser -- and Lawrence in particular -- for trying to mimic the structure of for-profit HMOs and straying off course with overly aggressive expansion plans.... more

Daily Journal - Mar 13, 2002   
Face-Off in Assembly Over Health-Care ADR
While Kaiser defends mandatory arbitration to lawmakers, attorneys and nurses disagree.
Consumer advocates urged members of two state legislative committees Tuesday to pass legislation banning mandatory arbitration in health care disputes, contending it is unfair and biased against patients.... more

The Los Angeles Times - Mar 11, 2002   
Health Care Disputes at Issue
Policy: Arbitration provider breaks with HMOs, saying it will no longer handle such cases unless both sides agree to the out-of-court process.... more

ABC-TV World News Tonight - Mar 06, 2002   
Health insurance companies that refuse to pay
PETER JENNINGS, anchor: Most Americans depend on their employers for health insurance. Some small businesses cannot afford traditional insurance. And with special insurers come special risks.... more

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel - Feb 18, 2002   
Check Out Fine Print
Don't look now, but you've probably signed away your right to sue your credit card issuer, broker, long distance company and health maintenance organization.... more

The Orange County Register - Feb 16, 2002   
'John Q' Pains Health-Care Industry
The film's premise is flawed, officials say, adding that its violence could encourage copycat crimes.
The movie 'John Q', Hollywood's latest take on the outrages of the U.S. health-care system, is raising the hackles of health plans and hospitals, who say it is factually flawed and could even be dangerous.... more

Los Angeles Times - Feb 15, 2002   
Closer Look at Complaints on HMOs Urged
Regulation: State wants to review arbitration cases involving patients, while industry representatives say it would be an undue invasion of privacy.
California HMO regulators are seeking to expand their review of arbitration cases involving patients, citing concerns about the fairness of the process.... more

San Diego Union-Tribune - Feb 06, 2002   
State HMO regulator snagged in web of legal challenges
A year-and-a-half into his tenure as the state's head regulator over the managed-care industry, Daniel Zingale is facing a series of legal challenges that could limit his department's ability to govern health plans.... more

The Orange County Register - Jan 16, 2002   
PacifiCare to link doctors, cost
PacifiCare of California plans next year to roll out new health-maintenance organizations in which members who choose "preferred" primary doctors will be rewarded with lower deductibles and co-payments.... more

Sacramento Bee - Jan 16, 2002   
Bonus pay tied to patient care
Six health plans are set to assess medical groups for their service quality and to reward good ones.
Six California health plans Tuesday unveiled a joint venture to pay bonuses to physician groups based on patient satisfaction and quality of care.... more

American Health Line - Jan 16, 2002   
"Fundamentally, it's a mirage. If they really wanted to change the quality of care patients received, they would pay doctors more for treating the sicker patients."... more

East Bay Express - Jan 16, 2002   
Critical Condition: California's Department of Managed Health Care is fighting for its life.
Will a court challenge from Kaiser strip the agency of its power to regulate HMOs after only nineteen months on the job?
Margaret Utterback awoke on the morning of January 26, 1996, with abdominal pain so severe that she wanted to see her doctor right away. The 74-year-old San Leandro resident and Kaiser health plan enrollee... more

Los Angeles Times - Jan 16, 2002   
Health Plans to Pay Bonuses for Quality
Pact by six state insurers is further sign of disenchantment with HMO system.
Six of California's largest health insurers said Tuesday they will begin paying bonuses to doctors for providing superior treatment, giving further evidence that the current system of fixed HMO payments for patient care rapidly is coming unglued. ... more

San Francisco Chronicle - Jan 16, 2002   
Health care plans sign on to rating system for doctors
A coalition of California health plans, employers and physician groups announced an effort yesterday designed to improve the quality of health care by paying doctors more for better performance.... more

San Diego Union Tribune - Jan 16, 2002   
Bonus plan will reward doctors for quality of care
In a move aimed at improved health, six of the largest managed-care plans in California will award bonuses to doctors groups based on the quality of care they give their patients.... more

Modern Healthcare - Jan 15, 2002   
Bonus time
California association plans to reward physicians for good patient care
A collaboration of California health plans, medical groups and employers is expected this week to unveil a statewide healthcare initiative that uses money from insurance premium increases to reward physicians for improving the quality of patient care.... more

Los Angeles Times - Jan 14, 2002   
A Shift to Quality by Health Plans
Newest approach would reward better care--but give consumers more responsibility.
Six California health plans are expected to announce Tuesday what they call an "unprecedented" effort to improve patient care and control spiraling health-care costs by rewarding doctors and hospitals for quality, not just efficiency.... more

Los Angeles Business Journal - Jan 14, 2002   
Business Blues; Health Care; attitudes toward a universal health care system
There's no doubt that businesses are fed up with rapidly escalating health care premiums, but so much so that they are willing to swallow state-sponsored universal health care?... more

BestWire - Jan 08, 2002   
A consumer group\'s 1999 lawsuit against Kaiser Permanente, which accuses the health system of false advertising, is set for trial this fall.... more

San Francisco Chronicle - Jan 07, 2002   
Lawsuit Disputes Truth of Kaiser Permanente Ads
The long-running advertisements by Kaiser Permanente claimed medical decisions were "in the hands of doctors." But a consumer group says it will introduce documents during an impending trial that show those decisions were not only in the hands of th... more

Los Angeles Times - Jan 02, 2002   
Cases Reveal Lapses In Emergency Care
The Kaiser Permanente doctor who examined Harun Antwine had worked at least 10 hours that day, seeing 25 patients in his office and 15 more that evening at the HMO\'s Fontana urgent care center.... more

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