Insurers Protest Recommendation for Kaiser Trauma Center
The vice president of HealthNet in a letter last week to Sacramento County's director of health and human services warned of financial repercussions in the region for county residents who are not Kaiser Permanente members if the HMO wins its bid for a new trauma center designation, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Kaiser is competing with Methodist Hospital to receive a trauma center designation from the county.
Lynn Frank, director of county health and human services, is endorsing Kaiser's bid for the designation.
Martha Smith, vice president of HealthNet, said in her letter to Frank that Kaiser has a "position of not contracting with other health plans" and could charge above-market rates.
A similar letter recently was sent by Blue Shield of California, which also predicted higher health care costs if Kaiser wins its bid.
Methodist Hospital included Blue Shield's warning in its formal protest of the county's recommendation of Kaiser (Kalb, Sacramento Bee, 5/23).
Methodist said the recommendation was based on a "fundamentally flawed" analysis by a team of medical experts hired to review both hospitals' proposals for the designation. Kaiser scored higher on the team's review (California Healthline, 5/18).