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'We had Hoped for Better Transition'

February 24, 2001|Bobby Pena | Vice president of communications, California Assn. of Health Plans

KPC Medical Management was in serious financial trouble for some time. Rather than staying open with a skeletal staff a month or so to help with administrative duties-- such as dispersing medical records and recent lab test results and helping patients select new doctors-- KPC closed all of its clinics suddenly one Monday morning. We had hoped for a smoother transition.

Medical records had to be sent to the new physicians as quickly as possible. The health plans involved contracted with SmartCorp, which placed all of the medical records at the La Habra site. Patients undergoing treatment and those scheduled for surgery were given priority, and their records were sent out first. Currently, SmartCorp is sending the remaining records in bulk to the physician that has either been assigned by the health plan or selected by the patient. Individuals can also arrange to have their records sent to the doctor of their choice. Whenever possible, continuity of the physician/patient relationship will be maintained.

The No. 1 message to members is for them to call their own customer service line with any questions. The number is on the back of their cards.

The majority of patients now would never be asked to pay a fee. The health plans, out of their own pockets, are paying SmartCorp to facilitate this effort. Fortunately, this kind of thing doesn't happen very often.

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