MANAGED CARE REFORM: New Measures Introduced
State Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont) and Assemblywoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced several HMO reform bills to kick-off the new legislative session. Davis' AB 12 would allow HMO patients to seek a second medical opinion within their health plans. Davis and Figueroa introduced AB 62 and SB 19, respectively, which would fine health care providers for violating patient confidentiality by negligently disposing of medical records. They also introduced AB 58 and SB 21, which would require HMO employees who make decisions about medical necessity or appropriateness to be certified under the California Medical Practice Act. Figueroa introduced SB 21, sponsored by Consumers for Quality Care and the California Nurses Association, which would "remove the shield that protects HMOs when they harm or kill patients." Davis said, "I am confident that a new Legislature and new governor will be successful in achieving these basic consumer rights." Figueroa said, "Patients have been waiting long enough for real HMO reform. The wait is finally over" (Davis and Figueroa releases, 12/7). Click here for previous coverage of recently introduced bills.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.