June 5, 1985 |
Unocal, fresh from its battle with Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens Jr., on Tuesday sued four insurance companies for allegedly canceling liability insurance policies on Unocal's directors the day after Pickens disclosed his 7.9% interest in the Los Angeles-based oil company. In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Unocal claims that the insurance companies' actions were illegal and fraudulent.
October 16, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - State pharmacy regulators have opened an investigation into reports that CVS Caremark Corp. refilled prescriptions and billed insurance companies without patients' consent. Virginia Herold, executive officer of the California Board of Pharmacy, said Tuesday that investigators were probing complaints about the refill practices of the country's largest drugstore chain after Walgreen Co. Herold said the complaints concerning "CVS and refills" were similar to allegations raised in four Los Angeles Times reports published in the last three months.
December 19, 2011 |
I just received a letter from my cardiologist's medical group saying they will be charging a $350 annual fee for administrative costs. This is the first time I've seen a medical group charging an annual fee to its patients. Is this what the bad economy has come to? The fee appears exorbitant and discriminatory against less wealthy individuals. Though charging for administrative services isn't yet widely common, the practice is growing, says James Doherty, an attorney who works with physician practices in Columbia, Md. There are a variety of reasons why, adds Dr. Glen Stream, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians: the bad economy, a downward trend in physician reimbursement and a growing list of administrative tasks heaped onto physician practices by insurance companies.
September 8, 2012 |
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is changing the way insurers do business. A few years from now, you may see your health plan in a different light. You might even decide you like it - even if it's not that much more affordable. But it's not all good news: Future employers are also expected to shift more costs to employees, and consumers will generally take on more of their healthcare expenses. "A greater role in cost sharing is really forcing consumers to take a hard look at the care they access," said Robin Gelburd, president of Fair Health, a New York City nonprofit that provides healthcare cost information.
December 5, 2012 |
Consumers saved nearly $1.5 billion in 2011 as a result of rules in President Obama's healthcare law that limit what insurance companies can spend on expenses unrelated to medical care, including profit, a new analysis shows. Much of those savings -- an estimated $1.1 billion -- came in rebates to consumers required because insurers had exceeded the required limits. The study by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund also suggests that the Affordable Care Act forced insurers to become more efficient by limiting their administrative expenses, a key goal of the 2010 law. In some cases, insurers passed savings on to consumers in the form of lower premiums and higher spending on medical care, the researchers found.
September 30, 2011
State law requires insurers to include coverage for autism in comprehensive healthcare policies. Now, lawmakers want to go a step further, requiring coverage of a particular autism treatment: applied behavioral analysis. Insurers are resisting. They don't question the effectiveness of the therapy; they just say it doesn't fit the definition of "medical" treatment. Their position reflects how crucial parts of the healthcare system are wedded to the status quo, regardless of what's best for patients.