The bottom-line question about health care for an increasing number of Ventura County residents is a frightening one: Are patients being shortchanged under HMO plans?
The controversy over HMOs has erupted into one of the hot-button issues of the year and the push for reforms is on at the national, state and local levels.
Early this year, we assigned staff writer Daryl Kelley to look at how HMOs are working in Ventura County.
The result is a three-part series that starts Sunday and continuesMonday and Tuesday. It tells the story of doctors and patients who are turning away from HMOs, of other physicians who are dedicated to making the system work, and of lawyers and patient advocates fighting for reform.
"The HMO Backlash" is a series I think you will want to read. As HMO reforms take shape, we plan to continue to report on this especially vital issue.
BILL OVEREND, Times Ventura County Editor