An undercover investigation of 22 New York health plans gave 11 a failing F grade for compliance with the information disclosure requirements of the state's managed-care consumer bill of rights. Seven plans received a D, three a C and one a B in the sting operation by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Posing as prospective enrollees, Spitzer's staff sent five letters to each of 22 health plans asking for information on the standards used to determine if a treatment for five different conditions was covered. The health plans were graded based on the number of satisfactory responses; four to five satisfactory responses -- achieved by none of the plans surveyed -- constituted an A. Of the 110 letters sent, 26% drew no response at all from the health plans. Spitzer said his office is working with the plans to ensure compliance with the disclosure requirements, and he is proposing legislation to establish penalties for noncompliance. Read Spitzer's report. -- by Cinda Becker
N.Y. says plans aren't meeting patients' rights law
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