KAISER PERMANENTE: Charged with False Advertising
Consumers for Quality Care has filed a "first of its kind" lawsuit in state Superior Court accusing Kaiser Permanente of false advertising. The suit, filed on behalf of approximately 500,000 new Kaiser members, "alleges that Kaiser was supposedly forcing doctors to cut costs at the same time it was spending $60 million a year to attract new members with ads claiming that doctors, not administrators, were in charge of care," according to the San Francisco Chronicle. CQC Executive Director Jamie Court said of the ad campaign, "If that's not a lie, I don't know what is." Francis Crosson, executive director of the Permanente Federation, said that doctors are in charge of care at Kaiser Permanente and called the lawsuit an "outrageous" move that "attacks the hard-earned reputation of thousands of Kaiser Permanente physicians." The Chronicle reports that the suit seeks "unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, an immediate halt to Kaiser's current ad campaign and corrective advertising to set the record straight" (Abate, 3/16).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.