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A Monitoring System Is Needed for Health Care

March 06, 1994

* In his Feb. 21 letter responding to Roselle Lewis' health maintenance organization horror story, Edward H. Moss incorrectly states that under the Clinton health-care plan, everyone in the United States would be subject to only managed care.

The Clinton plan, as introduced in the House of Representatives in December, specifically requires regional health alliances to offer at least one traditional fee-for-service plan.

As an individual with multiple sclerosis and as the government issues coordinator for the California Chapters of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, I certainly share both Lewis' and Moss' concern about managed care. In fact, I have written a nationally distributed paper about the dangers that managed care--as currently practiced--poses for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses.

However, with or without the Clinton plan, the fact is that managed care is taking over more and more of our health care system.

This situation makes it clear that we need effective mechanisms in place to monitor quality and protect consumers against inappropriate denial of service. In that regard, the Clinton plan represents a significant improvement over what we have now.

In fact, a policy report prepared by the American Medical Peer Review Assn. in January states: "Of the legislative proposals currently on the table, Clinton's Health Security Act goes the farthest in spelling out the functions and framework of a comprehensive quality management program."

LAURA REMSON MITCHELL

Canoga Park

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