California balance billing ban challenged in court

California physicians were already up in arms about the new ban on balance billing before it even went into effect. So it's little wonder that they have wasted no time in challenging the ban in court.

Doctors in California feel they shouldn't be punished for the HMO's stinginess, and wonder why the DMHC doesn't go after the HMOs and make them pay more, rather than prohibiting doctors from balance billing to try to make ends meet.

As Francisco J. Silva, the general counsel to the California Medical Association, points out, the job of regulators is to protect Californians from HMO's tendencies to underpay. What the CMA is objecting to (and trying to fight) is how the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) goes about that. The DMHC, for its part, says it is confident that its regulations will withstand these challenges.

To learn more about the dispute:
- read this AMNews piece