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July 6, 2000

US West Retirees to Challenge Arizona Commission Decision on Employee Benefits Provisions
Excerpt: "US West retirees say they will challenge a decision by the Arizona Corporation Commission on Wednesday that [allegedly] watered down earlier approved protections for their health and pension benefits." (Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News)

Illinois Supreme Court Finds HMO Liable for Institutional Negligence
Excerpt: "The Illinois Supreme Court on May 18 handed down what many see as a landmark decision on managed care liability. The case, Sheila Jones et al. v. Chicago HMO, stands for the proposition that a cause of action can be asserted against an HMO for institutional negligence." (American Medical News)

New DOL Guidance on Form M-1 Filings
Excerpt: "In its new guidance, DOL identifies three examples of arrangements that would be eligible for a good faith safe harbor for not filing a Form M-1 in the year 2000. The safe harbor arrangements generally relate to situations in which an employer may be involved in a joint venture, merger, or acquisition." (The Segal Company)

Many Businesses Take Unusual Steps In Bid To Foster Teamwork Among Employees
Excerpt: "On many a Chicago day, you'll find scores of businesspeople competing in blindfolded Velcro obstacle courses and scavenger hunts. Others can be spotted battling against one another to decide who can most quickly assemble a wooden, three-dimensional puzzle." (Chicago Tribune)

HARP Listing of Health Care Consumer Advocates (Other Than Attorneys)
Excerpt: "What is a Consumer Advocate? We use the term to refer to a person or organization, not a lawyer, who attempts to intervene with insurers, managed care organizations, and providers on behalf of patients. They don't bring lawsuits, or threaten legal action, but use mediation, negotiation, and 'jawboning'. Many charge a fee for their services." (Health Administration Responsibility Project)

Genetic Ethics
Excerpt: "I think one of the most serious questions we face is, this information right now, there's no way to protect it that we have yet from insurance companies, and you're not going to get a job, if you go to your employer and they find out you're predisposed, let's say, to a certain cancer, and the insurance company says, 'we're not going to cover this person,' then you still would be deprived of that employment." (NewsHour With Jim Lehrer, from PBS)

Some Doctors Say Healthcare System Is Under Attack By Big Business
Excerpt: "Some independent physicians in Northwest Arkansas, and doctors all over the nation, say [doctor-patient] trust is under attack from a health-care system that's evolved toward greater corporate control over the medical decisions of doctors and patients." (Arkansas Online)

Opinion: Bill Allowing Doctors to Unionize is an Assault on Health Plan Coverage
Excerpt: "Maybe they figured nobody would be watching. But in the wee morning hours last Friday, just before leaving on their Fourth of July vacation, the U.S. House passed a bill that could have a dire impact on the affordability of health insurance." (Chicago Tribune)

Missouri Law Gives Citizens Recourse When Denied Health Insurance Payments
Excerpt: "A Missouri law [in 1997] changed the way health maintenance organizations, or HMOs, work in emergency and other situations. Lead supporters of the reform say that's part of what makes it the perfect stump for President Bill Clinton and his favored patients' bill of rights." (Knight-Ridder / Tribune)

Massachusetts’ Advocates, Lawmakers Push Plans for Patients' Rights
Excerpt: "Efforts to revamp Massachusetts' troubled health care system without a divisive referendum campaign are intensifying as a coalition of consumers and doctors prepares to submit the signatures necessary to put a patients' bill of rights and other reforms on the November ballot." (Boston Globe)

New California Department of Managed Care To Open
Excerpt: "The new department, charged with the protection and education of 23.5 million Californians covered by 56 health maintenance organizations, opens on the heels of allegations that [California] insurance chief Chuck Quackenbush used millions of dollars from insurance settlements to further his own political career." (Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights)


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