Rules for claims appeals on hold; California may increase insurers' required coverage;

> The Obama administration is delaying until January its enforcement of some new rules designed to protect patients who appeal insurers' decisions to deny or reduce healthcare benefits, reports Kaiser Health News. Among the rules now on hold are: a reduction in the amount of time insurers can review a denial of coverage in urgent cases, from no more than 72 hours to 24 hours; a requirement that insurers provide information about the denial and how to appeal in appropriate language for non-English speaking beneficiaries; and a requirement that insurers provide consumers with diagnostic codes and what treatment isn't covered and why. Article

> Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island filed a suit against Landmark Medical Center, seeking to end its contracts and collect the $3.5 million it is owed from the financially ailing hospital, reports the Providence Journal. Landmark owes $488,397 for employees' medical claims this year as well as $3 million in debt from before the hospital came under court supervision in June 2008. Article

> The California state legislature is considering a crop of 15 bills that would increase what health insurers have to cover, including acupuncture to maternity care to autism treatments, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. However, if California forces its health insurers to cover more than the federal government requires, it will be on the hook for the extra costs in subsidized policies. Article

> Oregon health insurers saw their profits rise in 2010 even as they covered fewer people, reports Becker’s Hospital Review. The state's eight largest insurers last year covered 14 percent fewer people than in 2009 but their income more than doubled and their average profit margin rose from 1 percent to 3 percent. Article

And Finally... A car crash can stop your choking. Article

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