Patient's Bill of Rights

A. Szul mack97 at EROLS.COM
Thu Jul 15 23:19:33 MDT 1999

The Senate did the right thing. Imposing liability, medical necessity and other
onerous mandates to the US health care system would have not only caused rates to
skyrocket, but increased the number of uninsured b/c businesses would not be able
to afford coverage of their employees.

Now, on to the House.......

Fighting the good fight. Onward we go.

John Frendo wrote:

> In a message dated 7/14/99 4:07:09 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
> thclax00 at UKCC.UKY.EDU writes:
> <<  In addition to failing to protect millions of Americans, S. 326 is
> deficient
>   in other ways.  For example, S. 326:
>   o    Does not ensure that treatment decisions such as how long a patient
>   stays in the hospital are made by the patient's doctor;
>   o    Does not hold managed care plans accountable when their decisions to
>   withhold or limit care injure patients;>>
> Unfortunately, these are the two biggest points brought up against HMOs.
> What the public fails to grasp is that HMOs merely administer what the
> employer groups mandate them to do.  Both of the aforementioned points do not
> even affect my HMO plan.  Those who have problems with these aspects do not
> have a problem with their HMO, they have a problem with their employer - as
> it is the employer who chooses the health plan.
>  << o    Does not provide for a genuinely independent appeals process and puts
>   significant limits on the types of disputes that can be appealed;>>
> This varies from state to state.
>  << o   Does not ensure that patients undergoing a course of treatment (such
> as
>   women     undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer) can continue to see the
>   same health care  professional when their employer switches plans;>>
> The vast majority of oncologists are accessible on each HMO plan.
> <<  o    Does not ensure that women can obtain ob-gyn services from the
>   participating health care professional of their choice;>>
> This varies from state to state.
>  << o    Does not require plans to have an adequate network of providers;>>
> What is your definition of "adequate?"
>   <<o    Does not go far enough to ensure access to specialists (inside or
>   outside the network);>>
> Then join a PPO or a POS plan.  I believe it is mandated that employers must
> offer more that one plan.
>  << o    Does not prohibit plans from denying access to clinical trials;
>   o    Does not adequately protect people from having to pay out of pocket for
>   emergency  room care;>>
> Again, this varies on the benefits of your particular plan.
> <<  o    Does not ensure that doctors and nurses can report quality problems
>   without retaliation by HMOs, insurance companies, and hospitals; and>>
> This argument is a thing of the past as most HMOs within two years will all
> have to be NCQA certified to exist.  ( The NCQA is an independent quality
> assurance organization.)
> <<  o    Does not give consumers access to an independent consumer assistance
>   program to help them choose plans and get the services they need.>>
> Again, the problem is for the HMO to solve, not governenment's.  If you need
> a plan to better explain its plans and services, petition your company to
> choose another HMO, PPO, or POS plan.
>   <<During Senate floor debate from July 12 through July 15, 1999, we urge
>   Senators to vote for amendments to add these and other essential
>  protections.
>   America's families need a REAL patients' bill of rights, not a sham.
>   >>
> I agree.  The sham would be the liberals idea of forcing HMOs to fall flat on
> their faces so that the FED could step in and pick up the pieces.  Folks,
> this is a guised "Hillarycare."
> What the media has failed to get out is the fact that studies show that since
> the emergence of HMOs, the quality of health care has improved tremendously
> and costs have gone down.  The emphasis on preventative health measures may
> not be noticeable now, but 20-30 years down the road, our medical system will
> enjoy prosperity that has never been seen before because of our healthier
> society.
> John W. Frendo

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