Information on Patient Suits Against Health Plans Should be Public, Sacramento Bee Says
Information about arbitrations and civil lawsuits between patients and their health plans should be made public, a Sacramento Bee editorial says. It would go "against the public interest," the editorial adds, to let a "rogue health plan ... seal the records of settlements that show a pattern of denying benefits that are clearly covered." The editorial predicts that the Department of Managed Health Care will "duck" the issue, brought about by a petition filed by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, by saying that existing law restricts what information the department can release, and that it will send the debate to the Capitol. The Bee advises lawmakers to "keep their eye on sound health policy, not politics" and to balance residents' privacy concerns with "the public value of disclosure." Keeping such an objective in mind, the editorial concludes, legislators should either "craft the details" of such a policy or require the managed care department to do so (Sacramento Bee, 3/15).