MANAGED CARE: San Francisco Chronicle Weighs In
An editorial in today's San Francisco Chronicle urges passage of a piece of HMO reform legislation being proposed by state Assemblywoman Carole Migden (D-San Francisco). The Chronicle says that "the requirement that patients have available to them a third-party review process to expedite consumer complaints about denial of care" is "[e]ssential in any HMO legislative reform." The Chronicle says that Migden's bill "would bring needed outside oversight to a process that too often leaves the patient with no alternative but to accept substandard health care." Under the bill, the state Department of Corporations would be required "to contract with an outside entity to conduct independent medical reviews" of coverage denials by HMOs. In addition, the review of a treatment denial would have to be completed within 14 days, instead of the current 60 days. According to the Chronicle, Migden's bill, or similar bills, have a strong chance of passage particularly because Assembly Republicans also endorse outside reviews of treatment denials. The Chronicle concludes: "The details will be refined during the legislative process, but most important is that both parties' proposals head in the direction of protecting patients" (2/20).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.