2003-06-27 / Community

Increases HMO Accountability

Increases HMO Accountability

Assemblywoman Michele Titus announced recent Assembly passage of legislation she sponsored that holds health maintenance organizations (HMO’s) and insurance companies accountable for denying or withholding necessary patient care.

"Patients should feel confident that important decisions affecting their health and well-being are made by doctors – not HMO bureaucrats," Titus said. "This legislation will help ensure HMO’s put patient care above profits."

Titus’ legislation holds insurance companies and HMO’s liable for denying or withholding treatment (A.5733). The measure also prohibits insurers from retaliating against health care providers who criticize them for delays or refusals to cover treatment.

"For far too long, health care organizations have played both judge and jury with human lives – failing to acknowledge that when they deny a claim, a patient has no where else to turn for help," Titus said. "It’s time these providers realized that there’s more than just money at stake. Their decisions can mean the difference between good health and illness – or even death."

In addition to this vital legislation, Titus continued her efforts to ensure New York’s families are receiving quality, affordable health care by enacting a fair, responsible budget. The Legislature fought the governor’s devastating cut to New York’s fragile health care system, and was successful in restoring $1.2 billion in funds for Medicaid, public health, and Health Care Reform Act programs.

"New York can’t afford to sacrifice the quality of health care available for our families," Titus said. "I will continue fighting to ensure our families get the care and respect they deserve, and support legislation that ensures health care providers make first-class patient care a priority."

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