“Patient protection” legislation is headed to Governor Vilsack’s desk forhis approval. The measure takes several steps to help patients battle theirH-M-O or insurance company over “medically-necessary” treatment. It alsoprohibits insurance company “gag rules” which prevent doctors fromdiscussing all treatment options with their patients. Representative BradHansen, a republican from Carter Lake, is the bill’s floor manager. He saysit is designed that Iowans will get coverage and provide an avenue of appealfor denial of coverage.A state review board is established to evaluate patients’ complaints, forexample, when they are denied insurance benefits for an emergency roomvisit.Representative Bill Witt, a democrat from Waterloo, says the insuranceindustry had too great a hand in crafting the legislation. He sayslegislators are letting the foxes build the chicken koop.Representative Hansen says today, insurance companies themselves decidewhether a patient’s complaints are valid. When the bill becomes law, anindependent review board will make those decisions.
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