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Holding Health Insurers Accountable

News Story
12/18/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
Consumer Watchdog has raised concerns over a California HIE and potential patient privacy concerns. When implementing a new electronic health record (EHR), patient privacy and security issues should be a top priority for healthcare organizations. For example, individuals want to know that their protected health information (PHI) is secure, and...
News Story
12/18/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
It didn’t take the spectacular hacking of Sony computers for consumers to be aware that their privacy is at risk every time someone new gets some of their data. Hackers attack everywhere—financial institutions, retailers, government, universities, medical institutions—and security precautions don’t seem up to the task. On...
News Story
12/17/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
A prominent consumer group is calling on customers of two leading health insurers to boycott a vast new database of patient medical records until privacy concerns are addressed. At issue is the California Integrated Data Exchange, or Cal Index, backed by $80 million from Anthem Inc. and Blue Shield of California. In recent weeks, the two insurance...
News Release
12/16/2014
Posted by John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog today urged consumers to opt out of the new electronic health information exchange, Cal INDEX, that is being set up by Blue Cross and Blue Shield until key questions about patient privacy are answered. The nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group added that the best way to protect privacy when sharing...
Video
12/15/2014
Posted by Consumer Watchdog Admin
Jerry Flanagan, lead attorney for the Consumer Watchdog group in California, says hundreds of thousands of people lost their doctors when insurers sold narrow networks without notice. "Consumers here were told that networks are going to be the same as they were before Obamacare ... and those are flat out lies," Flanagan said. Kevin...
News Story
12/11/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
If an avalanche of citizen initiatives morphs the 2016 ballot pamphlet into an encyclopedia-size volume, blame it on California’s growing legion of nonvoters. November’s record-low turnout means it will be easier than ever to qualify a voter initiative for the ballot, and plenty of groups pushing a cause will probably take advantage....
News Release
11/19/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
Santa Monica, CA - Two state audits released yesterday confirm a central allegation of twin class action lawsuits brought by Consumer Watchdog against Blue Shield and Blue Cross for dramatically misrepresenting the number of doctors available to consumers under new Obamacare health plans. "Hundreds of thousands of consumers have been misled...
News Story
11/19/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California violated state law by misleading consumers about the size of their provider networks, according to a report by the state Department of Managed Health Care, the San Jose Mercury News reports (Seipel, San Jose Mercury News, 11/18). Background Complaints of narrow networks have led to lawsuits filed...
News Story
11/17/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
The $100 million spent by insurance companies against two pro-consumer initiatives, coupled with an historically low voter turnout, was a recipe for consumers to lose on Election Day. Total spending for and against California Propositions 45 and 46 outpaced even the most expensive U.S. Senate race in the nation - North Carolina's - where the...
News Release
11/13/2014
Posted by Jerry Flanagan
Santa Monica, CA – Beginning on Saturday consumers may enroll in new health coverage or switch plans for 2015. Consumers should be cautious when choosing coverage because health insurers continue to throw up roadblocks to quality care, said Consumer Watchdog.   “Federal health reform has dramatically improved the health care...