OHIO: Managed Care Battle Gives Hint of Things to Come
As part of a five-part series on state-level "innovations in key social and financial issues," the Washington Times takes a look at Ohio's HMO reform efforts. Noting that Ohio's experience may presage the national legislative battle over HMO reform, the Times details the political battle over a right-to-sue measure, and notes that a second emerging issue of contention is "whether an HMO can overrule a doctor's medical opinion" (Scully, 5/10). The Akron Beacon Journal reports that the compromise measure likely to emerge from the Ohio Legislature will include "speedy external review of patient- insurer disputes instead of the liability provision." However, the compromise has angered patients' rights advocates. Diane Lardie, executive director of Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio, said, "It boggles the mind. It's who has the lobbying power and who contributes to campaigns." The Beacon Journal reports that state Rep. Dale Van Vyven (R), who moved to strip the right-to-sue measure from the bill, received "at least $18,000" for his last campaign from the insurance industry, "the liability provision's biggest opponent." Van Vyven denied any implication that campaign monies influenced his thinking on the issue. "I'm not in anybody's pocket," he said (Gottschlich, 5/9).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.