Rep. Dingell Reintroduces Patients’ Bill of Rights Legislation
Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and other Democratic legislators have introduced a new patients' bill of rights measure that would allow health plan members to sue their insurers in disputes over coverage of health care services, CQ HealthBeat reports. The measure, which is based on a bill passed by the Senate in 2001, would guarantee basic standards for access to care, including clinical trials; allow access to health care specialists; and give patients "a fair, independent" external review process if an HMO denies care.
Dingell said, "If HMOs want to continue to play doctor then they should be held accountable like a doctor. Patients injured or killed as a result of their HMO's negligence still have no way to hold that HMO accountable." According to CQ HealthBeat, both the Senate and the House passed patients' rights measures in the 107th Congress but compromise legislation was not crafted (CQ HealthBeat, 5/12).