AMA Intensifies Fight for Patients' Rights With Ads, State Visits, and Testimony Before Congress

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Medical Association

    WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- The American
 Medical Association (AMA) told Congress today that HMOs, like every other
 entity in our society, must be held accountable for harm they do to patients.
 "It simply isn't fair to grant a shield of immunity to health plans -- a
 shield not given to any other person or business entity," AMA President-elect
 Richard F. Corlin, MD, testified today before the Ways and Means Health
 Subcommittee.
     "There is no sound policy reason why we should leave injured patients with
 no real legal remedy when they have been injured by a negligent health plan,"
 Dr. Corlin said.  "This is truly an issue of fundamental fairness."
     The vast majority of Americans agree.  A recent Kaiser/Harvard poll found
 that 75 percent of Americans support patient protections, including the right
 to sue health plans.  Poll numbers change slightly from month to month, but
 the basic sentiment never changes:  Americans want a patients' bill of rights,
 including the right to hold HMOs accountable for harm.
     Numerous federal judges have called on Congress to fix the problem.  Dr.
 Corlin quoted one federal judge who had to throw out a case against a health
 plan, saying:  "The tragic events set forth in (this woman's) complaint cry
 out for relief ... Nevertheless, this court has no choice but to ... slam the
 courthouse doors in her face and leave her without any remedy."
     Today's testimony is part of a wider AMA campaign.  The AMA is running
 issue ads titled, "Don't Let Big Insurance Ambush Patients' Rights."  The ads
 state that the train carrying real patients' rights has already left the
 station, and they include an 800-number so voters can call to tell their U.S.
 Senators to "keep the patients' rights train on track."
     The AMA's "National House Call" grassroots campaign is also on the road
 again, taking AMA leaders to key states to join with local physicians and
 mobilize grassroots support to pass a strong patients' bill of rights now.
 The campaign was in Louisiana during congressional spring recess and is
 heading to states from coast to coast in the weeks ahead.
 
     For more information, interview or testimony, please call:  Brenda L.
 Craine, AMA Media, Washington, 202-789-7447.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X81775188
 
 

SOURCE American Medical Association
    WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- The American
 Medical Association (AMA) told Congress today that HMOs, like every other
 entity in our society, must be held accountable for harm they do to patients.
 "It simply isn't fair to grant a shield of immunity to health plans -- a
 shield not given to any other person or business entity," AMA President-elect
 Richard F. Corlin, MD, testified today before the Ways and Means Health
 Subcommittee.
     "There is no sound policy reason why we should leave injured patients with
 no real legal remedy when they have been injured by a negligent health plan,"
 Dr. Corlin said.  "This is truly an issue of fundamental fairness."
     The vast majority of Americans agree.  A recent Kaiser/Harvard poll found
 that 75 percent of Americans support patient protections, including the right
 to sue health plans.  Poll numbers change slightly from month to month, but
 the basic sentiment never changes:  Americans want a patients' bill of rights,
 including the right to hold HMOs accountable for harm.
     Numerous federal judges have called on Congress to fix the problem.  Dr.
 Corlin quoted one federal judge who had to throw out a case against a health
 plan, saying:  "The tragic events set forth in (this woman's) complaint cry
 out for relief ... Nevertheless, this court has no choice but to ... slam the
 courthouse doors in her face and leave her without any remedy."
     Today's testimony is part of a wider AMA campaign.  The AMA is running
 issue ads titled, "Don't Let Big Insurance Ambush Patients' Rights."  The ads
 state that the train carrying real patients' rights has already left the
 station, and they include an 800-number so voters can call to tell their U.S.
 Senators to "keep the patients' rights train on track."
     The AMA's "National House Call" grassroots campaign is also on the road
 again, taking AMA leaders to key states to join with local physicians and
 mobilize grassroots support to pass a strong patients' bill of rights now.
 The campaign was in Louisiana during congressional spring recess and is
 heading to states from coast to coast in the weeks ahead.
 
     For more information, interview or testimony, please call:  Brenda L.
 Craine, AMA Media, Washington, 202-789-7447.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X81775188
 
 SOURCE  American Medical Association