DEPARTMENT OF MANAGED CARE: Zingale Appoints Financial Review Panel
As one of his first moves as California's new "HMO czar," Daniel Zingale, director of the state's new Department of Managed Care, appointed a seven-member board to review financial solvency issues facing the HMO industry, the Orange County Register reports. "I recognize the urgency of the situation, and that's why I'm appointing the financial solvency board on my first day," Zingale said. The new board members have backgrounds in public policy, managed care, finance, underwriting and medicine. On July 1, the Department of Managed Care assumed oversight of the state's health plans from the Department of Corporations (Wolfson, 7/4).
A Word with the Czar
In an Orange County Register interview Monday, Zingale said that his new department would focus on prevention measures as a means of restoring public confidence in the state's managed care system. He said: "The governor's HMO package (passed last year) included preventive measures for diabetes, breast cancer and mental health. An early priority of this department will be to make sure those preventive mandates are implemented. ... I believe the governor was right when he said Californians have lost faith in the managed health care system, and if we can begin the process of restoring that faith, then I'll be very pleased." The department also will address the faltering KPC Medical Management group. Without specifying details, Zingale told the Register: "I would say that the department will take responsibility for ensuring that the plans provide continuity of care for people with acute conditions" (Wolfson, 7/4).