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Health Maintenance Organizations

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BUSINESS
June 1, 1989
Maxicare Will Cut 100 Jobs: Maxicare Health Plans Inc. said it will eliminate about 100 jobs at its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles. The company, which in March filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, said it is reducing staff, effective July 28, because it operates substantially fewer health maintenance organizations. Maxicare has sold more than 20 operations since early 1988.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2008 | Jordan Rau, Times Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration has moved to ban physicians and hospitals from billing patients for the cost of services above what their HMOs are willing to pay. Such bills, which patient advocates call a consumer abuse, are the product of a protracted feud between insurers and healthcare providers, principally emergency room doctors, radiologists and anesthesiologists.
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BUSINESS
November 10, 2000 | SHARON BERNSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Secure Horizons, the nation's largest Medicare HMO, said Thursday it will freeze membership next year in 41 counties nationwide, most of them in California. The announcement that new members will not be accepted in 24 California counties, among them Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Kern, Alameda and Contra Costa, came as Secure Horizons' parent company reported disappointing results for the third quarter, though they beat estimates. Santa Ana-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 2008 | Jordan Rau, Times Staff Writer
In 2002, California's HMO czar, Daniel Zingale, declared, "The days are over when they could make patients wait and wait for healthcare." Zingale was heralding a new law that required his department to ensure that HMO patients received timely appointments with doctors. The law was spawned by the case of a 74-year-old woman who died from an aneurysm in a Kaiser Permanente waiting room while pleading to see her physician.
BUSINESS
March 26, 1989 | BRANT S. MITTLER, M.D., BRANT S. MITTLER, a cardiologist in San Antonio, is president of Physicians Who Care, a national grass-roots organization with a broad agenda of public education issues, including the promotion of private practice in medicine. He is also a medical reporter for KENS-TV in San Antonio. and
The financial troubles of Maxicare, at one time the largest for-profit health maintenance organization in the United States, do not mark the beginning of the end of the troubled HMO industry. Rather, Maxicare's troubles merely clear the decks for the emergence of a strengthened movement in government and industry to force medical consumers into HMOs.
BUSINESS
September 4, 1991 | SONNI EFRON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
PacifiCare Health Systems and Health Plan of America on Tuesday announced a proposed merger that would form one of the three largest health maintenance organization in California, company officials said. The merger would give Cypress-based PacifiCare the foothold in Northern California that its rivals, including FHP International Corp. in Fountain Valley, have sought.
NEWS
May 5, 1991 | ROBERT STEINBROOK, TIMES MEDICAL WRITER
Contrary to many expectations, older heart attack patients enrolled in health maintenance organizations received better medical care than similar patients treated by private doctors, according to a new study from the UCLA Medical Center and the Santa Monica-based RAND Corp. The results, announced Saturday in Seattle at a meeting of the American Federation for Clinical Research, reinforce studies over the past decade.
BUSINESS
November 4, 1990 | LESLIE BERKMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The short, bearded man in a gray, double-breasted suit walked swiftly through a Long Beach medical clinic, pivoting often to point out cosmetic flaws that might mar the image of the health-care organization he spent a lifetime building. The clinic's young managers obediently took notes as Dr. Robert Gumbiner pointed scornfully to some tattered telephone directories, wheelchairs that obstructed a hallway and two pictures hung askew in a waiting room.
BUSINESS
December 24, 1992 | DON LEE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In what analysts say could be the nation's largest initial public offering of a health insurance firm, Blue Cross of California next month hopes to raise more than $400 million in a stock sale from its new for-profit subsidiary. Blue Cross, based in Woodland Hills, is currently a nonprofit entity. But its new subsidiary, WellPoint Health Networks Inc., will represent virtually all of Blue Cross' operations, having 2.1 million members statewide.
BUSINESS
August 29, 2007 | Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer
Eight months after pledging to put the brakes on retroactive cancellations of individual health insurance policies, the state agency that regulates HMOs said Tuesday that new rules were taking longer than anticipated because of the variety of health plans involved. Cindy Ehnes, director of the California Department of Managed Health Care, pledged in December to introduce regulations aimed at stopping most retroactive cancellations of individual coverage. The department held a public hearing Jan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2007 | Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein, Times Staff Writers
Kaiser Permanente will be assessed a record fine today for its haphazard investigations of questionable care, physician performance and patient complaints at its California hospitals, according to state HMO regulators. The California Department of Managed Health Care said it will levy a $3-million fine against Kaiser, the largest HMO in the state, with 29 medical centers and more than 6 million members.
BUSINESS
July 17, 2007 | Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer
State regulators Monday postponed a hearing originally set for this week on complaints against Blue Cross of California, because its parent company has requested a more detailed agenda. The hearing now is set for Aug. 7 in Los Angeles. The state Department of Managed Health Care, which oversees HMOs, said last week that it had received more than 1,600 complaints from policyholders and doctors in less than three years against Blue Cross, the state's largest health insurer.
BUSINESS
November 30, 2006 | Daniel Yi, Times Staff Writer
California consumers continue to pay lower premiums with health maintenance organizations than with other forms of health insurance. But the state's HMOs may be losing their ability to contain prices and are no longer much cheaper than their counterparts elsewhere in the country, according to a report released Wednesday.
BUSINESS
June 14, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Rate increases for health maintenance organizations are set to decline in 2007 for the fourth consecutive year, but still create challenges for employers, according to a report released Tuesday. Preliminary figures indicate that HMO rates will jump 11.7% next year, down from initial estimates of 12.4% in 2006 and 13.7% in 2005, said Hewitt Associates, a consulting firm based in Lincolnshire, Ill.
BUSINESS
September 14, 2005 | Debora Vrana, Times Staff Writer
California's 10 largest HMOs continue to have "critical shortfalls" and mediocre results in providing preventive care, although overall quality of care has improved and members are increasingly satisfied with their plans, said state officials who released an annual HMO "report card" Tuesday. The annual survey by the state Office of the Patient Advocate rated Kaiser Permanente's Southern California operation the highest, with 10 out of a possible 12 stars.
BUSINESS
June 10, 2005 | From Associated Press
As employees take on a greater share of healthcare costs, proposed rate increases at health maintenance organizations are at their lowest levels in more than five years. Hewitt Associates, which Thursday released a study analyzing HMO rate increases expected for 2006, said they were worrisome in spite of the decline.
BUSINESS
April 9, 2005 | Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer
HMOs, once the top choice for Americans who get healthcare as a job perk, are so last century. Tightly controlled health maintenance organizations have steadily lost ground over the last decade to preferred provider organizations, which offer greater choice of physicians and hospitals and direct access to specialists -- though at a higher price.
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