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4 out of 5 CA Voters Demand Health Insurer "Code of Conduct"
Date:7/2/2009

p>This week, a New York Times editorial on health care reform highlights the need to hold health insurance companies accountable, noting that:

"Congressional committees heard a lot this month about the devious schemes used by health insurance companies to drop or shortchange sick patients. It was a damning portrait -- and one Americans know from painful personal experience -- of an industry that all too often puts profits ahead of patients... No matter what happens, strong regulatory oversight will be a must to ensure that insurers skilled in denying coverage don't find new ways to evade just claims."

("Insurance Company Schemes," New York Times, 6/29/09).

Healthcare decision-making has shifted to health plans rather than doctors, which has compromised the doctor-patient relationship. In the medical field, stakeholders are required to follow a voluntary ethical code of conduct. These guidelines create a checks and balance system to ensure proper care and safety of patients, doctors, nurses, and the like. AfPA and HAAF believe that health insurance companies should also follow a code of conduct, and California voters agree.

The American Medical Association House of Delegates is currently drafting a National Health Insurer Code of Conduct that will address restrictive practices of the managed care industry that undermine the integrity of doctor-patient relationships. The AMA is scheduled to adopt this code in November 2009. Among the other findings in the survey:

  • 90% of California voters would support a code of conduct if it includes provisions that keep patient care decisions in the hands of doctors.
  • 87% of voters are more likely to support the code of conduct if patients are given more rights when it comes to their healthcare, including allowing consumers to compare insurance plans; giving patients the ab
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SOURCE Alliance for Patient Access; Healthy African-American Families
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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