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Minority and Women's Advocacy Groups Send Letter to California Attorney General Jerry Brown Requesting Investigation Into Discrimination by Health Insurance Companies
Date:7/31/2009

, for insurers to deny a patient access to a medicine the doctor knows will relieve their pain and to require the patient to go through multiple steps of taking drugs that don't work.

Denying patients in pain access to medication is more than a quality-of-life issue. When a single mother suffering from fibromyalgia is forced to try multiple pain treatments that do not work, she often must miss work, and arrange childcare and travel, which threatens her livelihood and ability to provide for her family.

In March of 2009, 16 state Attorneys General sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) raising concerns about Medicare plans requiring patients to fail first on multiple medicines, including treatments not even approved for their particular condition. In response, CMS tightened restrictions and adopted a policy that prevents health insurers from requiring patients to take more than two medicines before the insurer will cover the medicine that the doctor thinks is the most appropriate treatment.

California patients not covered by Medicare deserve the same protections. We respectfully request your office investigate California health plan practices relating to their fail first policies so patients in pain can have access to the treatments their individual physician thinks they need.

Sincerely,

Loretta Jones

Executive Director

Healthy African American Families 2

Irma Resendez

Executive Director

Familia Unida

Cynthia Toussaint

Founder

For Grace

About Health African American Families II

Healthy African American Families II (HAAF) is a non-profit, community-serving agency whose mission is to improve the health outcomes of the African American and Latino communities in Los Angeles Cou
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SOURCE Healthy African American Families
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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