Ortiz Calls for Hearing on Request To Drop 38 Hospitals From CalPERS’ Blue Shield HMO Network
Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) in a letter Monday asked Department of Managed Health Care Director Cindy Ehnes to hold a public hearing before ruling on Blue Shield of California's request to eliminate 38 hospitals from its HMO network for CalPERS members, the Sacramento Bee reports (Rapaport, Sacramento Bee, 7/13). CalPERS last month voted to drop 38 of the most costly from its Blue Shield HMO network beginning in 2005 in an effort to control premium rate increases. The group said that an analysis by Blue Shield indicated that some of the hospitals being dropped had proposed rates for 2005 that exceeded the statewide average by as much as 80%. The move to drop the hospitals is expected to save CalPERS $36 million in 2005 and $50 million annually after that. Members whose providers are dropped from the network will be able to enroll in one of two preferred provider plans offered by CalPERS to avoid switching physicians or hospitals (California Healthline, 7/1). DMHC spokesperson Lynn Randolph said that Ortiz's letter had been received but would not comment on whether a hearing would be held (Sacramento Bee, 7/13).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.