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December 15, 2010 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has ratcheted up the pressure in a long-running dispute with Cypress-based PacifiCare. Poizner has ordered the health insurer not to pay $120 million in dividends to two subsidiaries of its parent company, saying the money may be needed to cover possible penalties in an administrative case brought by the Department of Insurance. The department has accused PacifiCare of violating state law nearly 1 million times from 2006 to 2008 by mismanaging medical records, losing patient documents and failing to pay doctors what they were owed.
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BUSINESS
January 27, 2011 | By Stephen Ceasar and Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
Three of California's largest health insurers have agreed to delay for 60 days planned rate hikes for thousands of customers after state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones asked for time to review the increases. Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross and PacifiCare agreed to delay the increases for people with individual policies. Unaffected are workers insured through their employers. None of the three insurers had any immediate comment. The announcement Thursday was in contrast to a decision Jan. 15 by Blue Shield of California to defy the commissioner and go ahead with increases that could total up to 59%. As for Blue Shield, the San Francisco-based nonprofit, Jones said its policyholders "will not have the benefit of this additional review period to ensure compliance with the law, but I will do what is within my power to determine whether Blue Shield's proposed rates are in compliance with the law and to enforce that law. " The company is moving ahead with rate increases for the third time since October.
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BUSINESS
September 7, 2010 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
California regulators are seeking fines of up to $9.9 billion from health insurer PacifiCare over allegations that it repeatedly mismanaged medical claims, lost thousands of patient documents, failed to pay doctors what they were owed and ignored calls to fix the problems. In court filings and other documents, the California Department of Insurance says PacifiCare violated state law nearly 1 million times from 2006 to 2008 after it was purchased by UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation's largest health insurance company by revenue.
BUSINESS
January 12, 2011 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
California's new insurance commissioner has expanded his inquiry into rate hikes by major insurers, calling on them to delay pending increases for 60 days while he examines paperwork submitted to his office. Commissioner Dave Jones had already urged Blue Shield of California to refrain from raising rates for a third time in five months. The increases would drive up consumers' bills as much as 59% cumulatively. On Tuesday, Jones notified Aetna Inc., Anthem Blue Cross and PacifiCare that he also was focusing on them.
BUSINESS
August 7, 2005
PacifiCare exhibits all that is wrong with our healthcare system (PacifiCare Posts 20% Profit Rise for 2nd Quarter," July 29). Even though it successfully cut medical costs, it raised its premiums at more than double the rate of inflation. By doing this, its profit grew an obscene 20% over its already fat profit in the previous year. Meanwhile, its chief executive, Howard Phanstiel, stands to reap a $190-million windfall from the sale of the company to UnitedHealth Group. I do not doubt that the new owners will raise premiums even more to cover the costs of the sale.
BUSINESS
October 3, 1996 | BARBARA MARSH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.'s restitution for discouraging doctors last year from vaccinating babies for chickenpox amounts so far to a mere $280. The Cypress-based health maintenance organization says it has received only seven valid claims from doctors seeking reimbursements for shots given either last year or during a makeup period this year that ended Monday.
BUSINESS
July 9, 2000
On one day we learn that Jeffrey Barbakow of Tenet Healthcare makes $22.5 million a year and Leonard Schaeffer of Wellpoint Health Networks makes $16.7 million a year. The next day we see that PacifiCare is cutting Medicare patients because "federal reimbursement . . . does not produce substantial income" ["PacifiCare to Cut Loose 26,600 Medicare Patients," July 6]. How substantial an income do these companies want? Why do we continue to pad the pockets of these companies when they don't improve care or reduce costs?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 1997 | J.J. POPE
UC Irvine's College of Medicine has received a $700,000 grant from PacifiCare of California to create courses geared toward managed health care. Officials said the courses will teach future physicians administrative, business, technology and managed care skills in addition to medical training. "It's vital that doctors in training learn the realities of practicing in the health care delivery systems of the future," Ira Lott, UCI's chair of pediatrics, said.
BUSINESS
June 9, 1991
The high salaries and benefits of the private sector executives detailed in the article, "Sky Is No Limit for Executive Pay" (May 26), are obscene when compared to their contributions to society--particularly in view of the hardships experienced by low-income workers in today's economy. Most notable are the payments, amounting to $2.4 million, made to five executives of Pacificare, the health-care organization. These overpaid individuals and their company profit at a time when poor people's lives are sacrificed because they do not have money to pay surgeons' fees; our high infant mortality rate (mainly due to lack of prenatal care)
BUSINESS
January 23, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported slightly higher fourth-quarter earnings but said an important profitability gauge for its commercial business worsened more than analysts expected in the fourth quarter. The company, which is trying to overcome past service problems, also projected a steeper enrollment decline for some of its commercial plans in the current quarter. Fourth-quarter net income at UnitedHealth increased to $1.22 billion, or 92 cents a share, from $1.18 billion, or 84 cents, a year earlier.
BUSINESS
December 15, 2010 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has ratcheted up the pressure in a long-running dispute with Cypress-based PacifiCare. Poizner has ordered the health insurer not to pay $120 million in dividends to two subsidiaries of its parent company, saying the money may be needed to cover possible penalties in an administrative case brought by the Department of Insurance. The department has accused PacifiCare of violating state law nearly 1 million times from 2006 to 2008 by mismanaging medical records, losing patient documents and failing to pay doctors what they were owed.
BUSINESS
September 7, 2010 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
California regulators are seeking fines of up to $9.9 billion from health insurer PacifiCare over allegations that it repeatedly mismanaged medical claims, lost thousands of patient documents, failed to pay doctors what they were owed and ignored calls to fix the problems. In court filings and other documents, the California Department of Insurance says PacifiCare violated state law nearly 1 million times from 2006 to 2008 after it was purchased by UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation's largest health insurance company by revenue.
BUSINESS
February 25, 2010 | By Duke Helfand and Marc Lifsher
The California state attorney general's office said Thursday that it had subpoenaed financial records of California's seven largest health insurance companies as part of an investigation into whether they illegally raised customer premiums and denied payment of legitimate claims. Prosecutors said they sought documents from Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna Health, Blue Shield of California, Cigna, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente and PacifiCare. The subpoenas -- of financial records and other documents -- cover health plans that reimburse doctors and hospitals for their services.
BUSINESS
February 3, 2008
It's about time someone took notice of UnitedHealth/PacifiCare's mishandling of claims ("Health plan faces fines of $1.33 billion," Jan. 29). As a result of the acquisition two years ago, executives pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars while the claims department underwent layoffs. I've come to the realization that our obesity epidemic began right here in the boardrooms of UnitedHealth/PacifiCare. The fat cats keep getting fatter, just like our premiums. UnitedHealth/PacifiCare should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Sergio Gonzalez Cypress UnitedHealth Chief Executive William McGuire made the unsubstantiated claim in 2005 that the acquisition of PacifiCare would benefit every participant in the system and result in greater efficiency and lower healthcare costs.
BUSINESS
January 29, 2008 | Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer
California regulators are expected to announce today that they are seeking as much as $1.33 billion in penalties from Cypress-based PacifiCare as a result of widespread problems stemming from its takeover two years ago by healthcare giant UnitedHealth Group Inc. In an investigation prompted by widespread complaints, the state Department of Insurance uncovered 133,000 alleged violations of state laws and regulations regarding payments for medical care.
BUSINESS
January 23, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported slightly higher fourth-quarter earnings but said an important profitability gauge for its commercial business worsened more than analysts expected in the fourth quarter. The company, which is trying to overcome past service problems, also projected a steeper enrollment decline for some of its commercial plans in the current quarter. Fourth-quarter net income at UnitedHealth increased to $1.22 billion, or 92 cents a share, from $1.18 billion, or 84 cents, a year earlier.
BUSINESS
February 3, 2008
It's about time someone took notice of UnitedHealth/PacifiCare's mishandling of claims ("Health plan faces fines of $1.33 billion," Jan. 29). As a result of the acquisition two years ago, executives pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars while the claims department underwent layoffs. I've come to the realization that our obesity epidemic began right here in the boardrooms of UnitedHealth/PacifiCare. The fat cats keep getting fatter, just like our premiums. UnitedHealth/PacifiCare should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Sergio Gonzalez Cypress UnitedHealth Chief Executive William McGuire made the unsubstantiated claim in 2005 that the acquisition of PacifiCare would benefit every participant in the system and result in greater efficiency and lower healthcare costs.
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.
BUSINESS
July 20, 2006 | From Reuters
UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings Wednesday as the insurer benefited from its acquisition of PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. and a strong performance by its new Medicare prescription drug business. The Minneapolis-based company declined to discuss inquiries into its stock option practices, which have hurt its shares, beyond saying that a panel of its board members was reviewing the issue.
BUSINESS
April 1, 2006 | Daniel Yi
Cypress-based PacifiCare Health Systems, a division of UnitedHealth Group Inc., has announced that it will lay off 482 employees in Orange County by September. The cutbacks, most of them in customer service, come after the elimination of 59 jobs earlier this year. UnitedHealth, the country's second-largest health insurer, bought PacifiCare in December. The Minnetonka, Minn., company has 7,000 employees in California.
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