HMO LIABILITY: Bee Argues for Restraint
A Sacramento Bee editorial, in the wake of the $120 million jury verdict against Aetna U.S. Healthcare, calls for "legislators to approach future reforms with reason, not emotion." The Bee notes that the HMO decision-making structure in place at the time the plaintiff in the suit, David Goodrich, was denied his request for an experimental medical treatment is now illegal. As "the drumbeat from the trial lawyer lobby, and their legislative lackies, is to focus reform on opening the floodgates for more lawsuits," the paper concludes that a "more rational approach is to give more patients, not just those facing death, the chance to take treatment disputes to independent experts. ... These steps would help restore confidence in the health care system and allow more money to be spent on care, not in courts" (1/29).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.