Headlines On Deadline
MANAGED CARE May 2004. ©MediMedia USA
Mexican immigrants are getting a chance to obtain benefits thanks to a program by Blue Cross of California that allows aliens to apply for health insurance by using their identification cards. "We have a health care crisis because there's too many uninsured using the system," says Michael Chee, a Blue Cross spokesman. "We would rather have them insured and paying into the system than draining the system." California has long been dealing with the problem of the uninsured.... Medical errors that stem from illegible handwritten prescriptions would be drastically reduced by a nationwide e-mail prescription system, according to a report by a company called eHealth Initiative. It argues that such a system would save the nation about $29 billion annually.... It could have been a contender, but instead it's just another merger that didn't quite come off. WellChoice's bid for Oxford Health Plans collapsed April 22. If the merger had happened, it would have created one of the biggest MCOs in the Northeast. Experts speculate that WellChoice may itself become object of an acquisition attempt.... Though HMOs continue to see the highest year-to-year premium increases, the plans remain the best bargain of the major health insurance products offered, according to a new Towers Perrin survey. Of course, after five years of double-digit increases, no one is particularly eager to throw the word "bargain" about.