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HEALTH
December 19, 2011 | By Lisa Zamosky, Special to the Los Angeles Times
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.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO - A protracted political battle over California's medical malpractice law may be coming to a new front: the voting booth. For decades, trial lawyers and consumer groups have railed against limits on certain damages in malpractice cases, arguing that such restrictions deny victims fair compensation for grisly medical mistakes. Insurance companies, doctors and other healthcare providers have been equally vigorous in defending the law, saying it is crucial to controlling costs and maintaining the availability of care.
HEALTH
August 23, 2013 | By Karen Ravn
Victoria Barzilai opened her mouth wide so the doctor could look at her sore throat. Not exactly a remarkable event, except that Barzilai was at home and the doctor was hundreds of miles away. Feeling too sick to drag herself to the school health center, the third-year UC Davis student had opted for a cyber-doctor visit, the 21st century version of a house call. A number of websites offer face-to-face consultations of the virtual kind to anyone with a credit card and access to a webcam-equipped computer.
OPINION
February 9, 2014 | By Jonathan Gruber
The recent Congressional Budget Office report on healthcare reform has lots of good news. Insurance premiums are lower than anticipated, the Affordable Care Act will cost $9 billion less than previously estimated and the provision designed to buffer insurance companies from risk will actually raise revenue, not function as any sort of federal government bailout. But the good news has not gotten much attention because the CBO also projected that, within the next several years, healthcare reform may reduce employment and worker hours by the equivalent of about 2 million full-time positions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 1990
The supporters of Proposition 103 were foolish to believe that any action short of recalling insurance commissioner Roxani Gillespie would provide relief from rising insurance companies. Her lame-duck actions reveal that the system doesn't have checks and balances, rather it favors the checks that don't bounce and large insurance companies' account balances. J. BRIAN AMSTER, Newport Beach
BUSINESS
August 16, 2013 | By Lisa Zamosky
When David Brutman received a $3,000 bill for his wife's colonoscopy, he was angry and confused. He thought the cost would all be covered because under the Affordable Care Act most insurers must cover the full cost of preventive care such as check-ups, vaccinations and screenings. It seemed straightforward enough, yet Brutman, a 41-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur, learned the hard way that the lines are easily blurred when it comes to determining whether services are considered preventive care or treatments that require payment.
NEWS
July 18, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey
President Obama, facing a new Republican push to dismantle his healthcare law, redoubled his efforts to sell his signature achievement Thursday at a White House event with Americans who have benefited from the law. The president pledged to “blow through” GOP attacks on the law and continue working to implement it. Obama touted recent news from New York, California, Oregon and other states that have reported that insurance companies will...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2013 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
When the casket that was supposed to hold the earthly remains of Jim Davis was finally lowered into the ground, the only thing missing was the late Mr. Davis. The coffin had been weighed down to simulate the approximate heft of a corpse. And Jim Davis was not inside the box. Federal prosecutors said the phony funeral was among the inventive tricks that Jean Crump - a onetime Long Beach mortician - used to loot insurance companies out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. On Tuesday, she was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.
BUSINESS
July 13, 1991 | Associated Press
New York state is investigating auto insurance companies for failing to give required discounts to consumers who have safety and anti-theft devices on their cars, officials said Friday. Attorney General Robert Abrams said car owners have been cheated out of as much as $30 million in New York--and more nationally--by insurance companies that advertise discounts and then don't give them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 1988
Isn't it time for our government to start an InsureCare program so that, in addition to health care, people can buy automobile, household and other insurance at a reasonable, affordable price? If the government made only half the profit made by the insurance companies, it would go a long way toward paying off the deficit. So let the insurance companies in the private sector move to Siberia! MONROE RUBINGER Beverly Hills
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