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Health Plan and Preferred Provider Network Communities Issue Joint Statement on Passage of Healthcare Simplification Act
Date:3/11/2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An informal industry group committed to ensuring that Ohio consumers have access to affordable, high quality health care today issued a joint statement upon the passage of H.B. 125. Comprised of the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations (AAPPO) and the Ohio Association of Health Plans (OAHP), the industry group continues to be concerned that H.B. 125, the Healthcare Simplification Act, isn't necessarily as simple as its name suggests.

"While our industry group believes there are some elements of this legislation that will meet our goal of providing affordable, high quality health care, there is concern about the additional administrative burdens that all parties will incur -- running counter to the intent of simplification. Many of our concerns surround the additional time, money and paperwork that may result from the requirements, including limitations in some cases on allowing doctors and health plans to simply communicate by phone. All parties agree that caring for patients should be the doctor's top priority. However, H.B. 125 does nothing to expand access to providers or services and does not reduce costs.

"Passage of H.B. 125 today was the result of discussions facilitated by lawmakers between physician, preferred provider network (PPN) and the health plan communities. Our industry group's number one priority is to continually improve the health care experience for all Ohio consumers and to ensure they have access to affordable, quality health care. Unfortunately, that priority had to take a backseat due to the provider community's insistence on pursuing passage of H.B. 125. We are disappointed that time was taken away from efforts to find workable solutions to the more pressing issues that prevent over 1 million Ohioans from being able to afford needed health care services.

"As H.B. 125 is implemented, it will be the responsibility of the physician, preferred provider network and health plan communities to monitor the implementation to ensure there are no unintended consequences that negatively impact Ohio consumers' access to needed health care services."


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SOURCE The Ohio Association of Health Plans and the AmericanAssociation of
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