HEALTH CARE REFORM: Committee Hears Options for Money-Troubled Plans
Doctors, health care managers and consumer groups Wednesday testified before the Senate Insurance Committee regarding how the state should regulate "financially troubled" health care providers. The Sacramento Bee/Capitol Alert reports that at the hearing, "doctors complained about not being paid, managed care operators demanded more access to the financial records of ailing physicians groups and consumers focused on care." Committee Chair Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) said "the crux of the problems" inhere in providers' rapidly changing roles with the advent of HMOs, physician management groups and IPAs. The Bee/Alert reports that managed care in the state "has turned into a financial mess for many providers and uncertainty for consumers who found themselves wondering who their doctors are." Speier said she believed there "absolutely should be a moratorium at this point" on state approval of new types of health providers. She also "said she will consider legislation to clarify the state's authority to regulate all types of medical providers and to hold HMOs accountable for unpaid bills for services to their customers." Also at the hearing, state Department of Corporations Acting Commissioner William Kenefick said his agency has placed five health providers, including MedPartners, on a "watch list because of financial problems." Kenefick would not reveal the other four providers (Henshaw, 3/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.