CALIF: Doctor who was strong patient advocate sues insurance company

The human touch is essential in establishing a doctor-patient relationship, according to Dr. Abraham Verghese, best known for writing “Cutting for Stone,” a novel that has sold more than a million copies. Dr. Verghese is the keynote speaker at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine s 5th Annual Medical-Spirituality Conference on April 11 at the Sinclair Community College David H. Ponitz Center.

By Clark Howard

APRIL 11, 2013 — A Los Angeles doctor who sued an insurance company for not approving needed services for patients has won in court.

Dr. Jeff Nordella alleges he was banned by Anthem Blue Cross when he applied to be a preferred provider because he was a nuisance for prior insurers.

What did he do? He would go to bat for patients when they were denied a claim, according to The Los Angeles Times.

An L.A. jury awarded Nordella $3.8 million. And that’s only the beginning, just for his loss of income. Now they’ll go on to the punitive damage phase!

The reality is during the 1990s, we tried an experiment with restricted health care, where you were told you couldn’t see certain doctors, get certain prescriptions, go to certain facilities, etc. It led to a public uprising to a point that the HMO model basically blew apart.

My solution is to not have health care through employers. I prefer a system where you shop for it on the free market like you would auto insurance or home insurance. If you’re low income, you would get a voucher to pay for the insurance. But you would have to make a decision on what level of care you want.

We’ve got to let the free market rule by getting decision making back into your hands, not government and not big employers.


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