TREATMENT DENIALS: Get Independ’t Review Under New CO Law
Colorado HMO enrollees will have the right to an independent review of treatment denials after they exhaust their plans' own appeals processes under a bill signed into law yesterday by Gov. Bill Owens (R). The Denver Post reports that HB 1306, sponsored by state Rep. Marcy Morrison (R) and state Sen. Dottie Wham (R), "was the result of more than two years of negotiating between the various HMOs, the state's division of insurance and legislators." Attending the bill-signing ceremony, Kaiser Permanente legislative liaison Jerry McElroy said, "It's a fair, fast and efficient way to resolve disputes without going to litigation. It'll go a long way towards improving the trust (between consumers and HMOs)" (Dally Johnston, 6/2). The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that the review panel will be comprised of 10 health care professionals appointed by the state insurance commissioner and not associated with health plans. Health-related bills dominated the "stack" signed into law Tuesday:
- SB 6 requires insurers to pay for continuing care services "in certain cases when the patient returns home";
- HB 1118 creates a public health program on hepatitis C;
- HB 1019 "establishes a statewide taskforce targeted at advising lawmakers on issues related to health care";
- HB 1088 extends insurance coverage for medically necessary care to children up to five years old;
- HB 1166 "increases the state payment of personal needs money for individuals in nursing homes from $34 to $50" (Ames, 6/2).