Health Care
1:09 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Health groups sue Donelon over Isaac action

Two health care groups have filed a lawsuit against Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, over an insurance coverage change he made after Hurricane Isaac.

The lawsuit by the Louisiana State Medical Society and the Louisiana Hospital Association was filed in Baton Rouge district court late Monday, challenging an emergency rule Donelon issued on Sept. 4.

The emergency rule affected health insurance policies in 23 parishes.

It required that emergency out-of-network medical care be treated like an in-network claim, a move that eliminates higher charges for patients and sidesteps existing contracts between health providers and insurers.

The medical society says Donelon exceeded his authority, interfered with contractual arrangements and restricted the rights of doctors to bill patients for services.

The rule covered activity from Aug. 26 through Sept. 25.

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