Bill Bars HMOs From Insisting On Dispute Resolution

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Associated Presss

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Health maintenance organization patients could not be forced to take their disputes to arbitration instead of court under a bill that has passed its first test in the Assembly.

The bill by Assemblywoman Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, was sent to the Assembly floor Tuesday by the Judiciary Committee.

The measure would prevent HMOs from requiring prospective patients to agree to take any disputes over care to binding arbitration instead of court.

“Patients should not have to choose between the right to trial or the right to health care,” said one bill supporter, Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.

The bill is AB1751.

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