HMO LIABILITY: Paper Urges Appeal Of Texas Ruling
A Dallas Morning News editorial urges Texas Attorney General Dan Morales (D) to appeal a recent ruling that threw out key portions of the state's HMO liability law (see CHL 9/21). The ruling, issued last Friday, upheld Texas consumers' right to sue their health plans, but it threw out the state's trailblazing independent review system. As such, the editorial notes that the decision "threatens to unravel Texas' successful health care compromise." The Morning News points out that the review system attempted to strike a balance, providing "patients a recourse short of contentious and expensive litigation." Since it took effect last year, the liability law "hasn't unleashed a flood of lawsuits," a fact the editorial attributes to the review system's successful resolution of many consumer complaints. The Morning News concludes: "Texas' independent review system properly recognizes the importance of maintaining patient rights without making HMOs the target of bad lawsuits. For that reason, ... Morales should appeal Judge Gilmore's ruling. ... The Texas system is working. Let's not break it" (9/22).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.