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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 1999
Re HMO executive Sam Ho's defense of the quality of HMO care (letter, March 9): There is no advantage to doing more mammograms when patients are then denied needed treatment for breast cancer upon the excuse that it is "experimental." Two studies reporting outcomes that I am aware of make HMOs look awfully bad. A study by John E. Ware Jr., et al., in the Oct. 2, 1996, Journal of the American Medical Assn. showed that elderly HMO patients were twice as likely to suffer declining health as patients with conventional insurance.
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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.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 1998
Re "Measuring the HMOs," editorial, Oct. 3: In an attempt to set quality standards for itself, the health care industry created its own quality evaluation organization, the National Committee for Quality Assurance. With NCQA's very first survey, Blue Cross scored below standard. Blue Cross sued NCQA to prevent it from releasing this information to the public. Blue Cross insisted that it didn't want the results released, because the survey was flawed. I suspect the real reason was that they didn't want to lose market share.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 2000
Re "Health Care Woe: Break the Cycle," editorial, Dec. 3: Families USA and the Health Insurance Assn. of America proposed expanding Medicaid to cover all people under age 65 living at or below 133% of the federal poverty level (approximately $18,820 for a family of three). They proposed giving states the option, with financial inducements from the federal government, of expanding either Medicaid or the state Children's Health Insurance Program to cover adults with incomes between 133% and 200% of the federal poverty level.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 15, 1995
It is dismaying to see yet another unbalanced HMO-bashing piece ("Medicine From the Factory Line," Aug. 2) on your Commentary page. Once again, good old days fee-for-service medicine is presented as virtually perfect except that maybe it costs a little too much. One needs only to look through past issues of The Times or reports from the Medical Board of California to recognize the substantial amount of poor quality medical care that took place in the past. Much of that also occurred because of profit motivation and lack of appropriate peer review and supervision.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 2000
Re "Health Care Woe: Break the Cycle," editorial, Dec. 3: Families USA and the Health Insurance Assn. of America proposed expanding Medicaid to cover all people under age 65 living at or below 133% of the federal poverty level (approximately $18,820 for a family of three). They proposed giving states the option, with financial inducements from the federal government, of expanding either Medicaid or the state Children's Health Insurance Program to cover adults with incomes between 133% and 200% of the federal poverty level.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 1986
The letter objecting to HMOs is one of the more transparently self-serving missives yet appearing in your pages. If fee-for-service physicians feel threatened by HMO competition, it is not with "the loss of (their) freedom to practice quality medicine," but with the loss of their freedom to charge what they please, no matter what, in the expectation that insurance carriers will pay off. Fee-for-service physicians have engendered HMO competition through sheer greed. My group insurance permits me to choose my own physician for whom I have waited for up to three hours for minor problems that could easily have been handled by a physician's assistant certified at one-fifth the amount charged to my insurance carrier.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 1997
After years of silence, the public is finally awakening to the truth about managed care ("Survey Finds Wide Distrust of HMO Care," Nov. 6). What this survey reveals is what doctors and other health care providers have long known: HMOs, in their incessant quest for ever greater profits, have reduced the profession of medicine to little more than a service industry. The full implications for the nation of this transformation won't be fully felt for years to come. By then it will be too late to matter.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 1998
Re "Patient Who Had Stroke Sues Over HMO Care, July 17. This article described a lawsuit filed against an Oxnard managed care group and its director for failing to allow a requested brain scan of a patient to be performed. The patient subsequently suffered a stroke. The doctor had requested the scan based on his personal expertise and evaluation of the patient. Unfortunately, this happens far too often in our managed care environment. Recently I had the opportunity of seeing a patient who had obvious signs and symptoms of a severely herniated disc.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 11, 1999 | JAMIE COURT and FRANK SMITH, Jamie Court and Frank Smith are authors of "Making a Killing: HMOs and the Threat to Your Health" (Common Courage Press, 1999)
This week's extraordinary announcement by the UnitedHealth Group that it will let practicing physicians make medical necessity decisions is a tribute to the growing HMO accountability movement and the shift on Wall Street that it has provoked. Only Wall Street could force the nation's second-largest health insurer to heed patients' concerns about unnecessary intrusion by HMO bureaucrats and to admit that corporate bureaucrats cost more than they save.
OPINION
August 8, 1999
Re "HMOs Perform Best for the Healthy, Doctors Say," July 29: When a newspaper informs us that managed care, the dominant form of health care nationwide, "has evidently failed to win the confidence of doctors and the public," I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. All the insurance-company-owned politicians can do is argue over competing bills that beggingly attempt to give rights to HMO patients. If it's evident that the majority of doctors and patients don't want managed care, why do we have managed care?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 1999
Re HMO executive Sam Ho's defense of the quality of HMO care (letter, March 9): There is no advantage to doing more mammograms when patients are then denied needed treatment for breast cancer upon the excuse that it is "experimental." Two studies reporting outcomes that I am aware of make HMOs look awfully bad. A study by John E. Ware Jr., et al., in the Oct. 2, 1996, Journal of the American Medical Assn. showed that elderly HMO patients were twice as likely to suffer declining health as patients with conventional insurance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 1998
Re "Measuring the HMOs," editorial, Oct. 3: In an attempt to set quality standards for itself, the health care industry created its own quality evaluation organization, the National Committee for Quality Assurance. With NCQA's very first survey, Blue Cross scored below standard. Blue Cross sued NCQA to prevent it from releasing this information to the public. Blue Cross insisted that it didn't want the results released, because the survey was flawed. I suspect the real reason was that they didn't want to lose market share.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 1998
Re "Patient Who Had Stroke Sues Over HMO Care, July 17. This article described a lawsuit filed against an Oxnard managed care group and its director for failing to allow a requested brain scan of a patient to be performed. The patient subsequently suffered a stroke. The doctor had requested the scan based on his personal expertise and evaluation of the patient. Unfortunately, this happens far too often in our managed care environment. Recently I had the opportunity of seeing a patient who had obvious signs and symptoms of a severely herniated disc.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 1998
Caesar Julian Family doctor, HMO pioneer Simi Valley Julian, 68, founded one of Ventura County's first HMOs in the 1970s, then folded it in the early 1980s. "It didn't take long to see that it's almost a pyramid scheme. You bring them in under the guise of doing all these wonderful things, but ultimately the bubble will burst because you can't give all the things you promised for the price you quote. It has to tumble. There's no such thing as cut-rate high-quality care. "Now, I won't take HMOs.
NEWS
November 6, 1997 | DAVID R. OLMOS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
While HMOs are winning the battle in the marketplace, they are faltering badly in their attempts to gain the confidence of Americans fearful that managed care is eroding the quality of the nation's health care system, according to a national study released Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 1998 | FRED ALVAREZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a case that could test the extent of a managed-care group's liability for patient welfare, an Oxnard woman has sued the director of a large physicians association alleging that he denied her request for a brain scan just two weeks before she suffered a paralyzing stroke.
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