HMO REFORM: Davis Tells Docs He’ll Fix The System
Lt. Governor Gray Davis (D), a 1998 gubernatorial hopeful, told delegates of the California Medical Association Sunday that "he would reform [HMOs] to give doctors more control of patient care." The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Davis "outlined four principles that he said should guide HMO reform." First, he said medical review boards used as a cost-saving practice by HMOs should "be comprised of doctors, not administrators and insurance regulators." Second, Davis said that "since doctors can be sued for malpractice, HMOs also should be held liable for mistakes." Additionally, Davis called for "patients in life-threatening situations" to have the right to seek independent, second opinions. Davis also "targeted the specific care women get from HMOs," calling for an end to "drive-through mastectomies" which force women out of the hospital hours after surgery. He said, "When an HMO decides to cut corners on women's health care, women pay with their lives. That must end." Davis also talked "about keeping down malpractice costs." He said he would protect 1975 California legislation that "imposed a $250,000 cap on damages for pain and suffering" (Monteagudo, 2/16).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.