Navigation Links
State's HMO 'Report Card' Fails in Meaningful Evaluation of Health Care Quality and Ignores Affordability
Date:10/18/2007

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The annual HMO report card released today by the Schwarzenegger administration is so vague and incomplete that it does not allow consumers to accurately evaluate HMO quality or safety. The report omits key consumer information including costs, medical failures and illegal behavior that is rampant among the state's HMOs, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).

FTCR noted that today's release was timed to coincide with the governor's legislation that would require Californians to buy health insurance, even if it is unaffordable and of poor quality.

"Car buyers get more complete information about auto quality, reliability and safety from Consumer Reports; even Zagat tells us more about where to get good ravioli," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR). "This report, and as far as we can tell, the entire state Office of the Patient Advocate, is a waste of taxpayer money, more concerned with the political protection of HMOs than with informing patients of life-threatening problems at HMOs."

The worst behavior of California HMOs -- the illegal cancellation of coverage when patients get sick or the wholesale throwing overboard of kidney dialysis patients by Kaiser -- wasn't even mentioned in the report. It is easy to get good grades when the teachers ignore bad behavior, said FTCR. This vague and incomplete analysis gives consumers a false sense of security about the quality of HMOs.

The HMO report gives every HMO "gold stars" in broad, vague categories with no explanation of what went right or wrong at individual plans.

"Instead of receiving stars, HMOs should receive bad grades with detailed descriptions of the offense when they fail to uphold standards of patient care," said Flanagan. "By making all HMOs look safe and ethical, this report seems more concerned with furthering Gov. Schwarzenegger's deeply flawed health care plan."

In the report:

** Blue Cross was awarded two stars for "meeting national standards of care" even though regulators found in a report released in March that Blue Cross illegally canceled health policies in 90 out of 90 cases reviewed. Read more here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/healthcare/pr/?postId=7596

** Kaiser was awarded three stars for "members rate their HMO" even though enrollees are paying for care they don't get, with the premiums going to Kaiser "reserve funds" that are 13 times more than the state requires;

** Kaiser Northern California scored highest for "clinical quality" despite the fact that the HMO's kidney transplant office yanked patients from a successful program to an unready in-house one that ultimately contributed to the death of several patients, untenable delays for many others.

** Out of the nine HMOs, 6 received three stars for "members rate their HMO," which does not describe medical quality, and 6 received two stars for "meeting national standards of care," which are not well-defined in the report.

FTCR said that a true report card would at least include the following types of information:

** information about the kind and number of patient complaints against each HMO;

** information collected about HMO quality in independent audits performed the Department of Managed Health Care, including illegal policy cancellations;

** information garnered from arbitration reports in cases of medical negligence;

** information about the real cost of plans for families and individuals with pre-existing conditions, as well as information about applicants denied policies for even minor conditions.

FTCR is California's leading public interest watchdog. For more information, visit us on the web at http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org


'/>"/>
SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists plan human cloning clinic in the United States
2. Prescription Drug Use Varies Widely Between States
3. GlaxoSmithKline to Supply United States with 8 Million flu vaccine, Fluarix
4. Condom Vending Machines To Be Installed Across Indian States
5. Inhospitable Response Curtail Growth Of Specialty Hospitals: United States
6. Southern States Health Ministers To Discuss Ways To Stop Chikungunya
7. Bird flu in Nigeria spreads its wings to southern states
8. States Urged By NHRC To Rehabilitate Cured Mental Patients
9. Controversial Theory Says DNA Can Be Pushed To "Dark States"
10. Blend Of Sleep And Wake States To Explain Near Death Sensation
11. Health Insurance Plans Varies among States
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A ... 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the ... history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the ... several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar ... M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal ... complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a ... such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain ... following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, ... ... at CitiDent, is now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has ... , self-ligating Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on ... today announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing ... Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. ... in the third quarter of 2016, and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June ... receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any ... scholarship winners, announced today online at www.diabetesscholars.org ... type 1 diabetes stand in the way of academic ... supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 The vast ... an outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times ... hours per visit, including travel time, equipment preparation and ... patient, but especially grueling for patients who are elderly ... a skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for some duration ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: