May312013

DMHC Enforcement Chief Exits Post

Posted by Kassy Perry

Move is Made After Actions, Fines Drop Dramatically

By Payers and Providers Staff

The Department of Managed Health Care’s chief enforcement officer has stepped down. A DMHC spokesperson confirmed last week that Anthony B. Manzanetti is no longer serving as the agency’s chief counsel and deputy director. That individual plays a pivotal role in policing the state’s health plans, medical groups, insurance agents and other entities, meting out fines and seeking corrective actions for regulatory and legal violations.

The DMHC would not comment further about his status. Manzanetti’s LinkedIn profile states he is now employed as a staff attorney with the DMHC’s help center, which provides assistance to consumers.

Manzanetti, a resident of Sacramento, did not respond to a voice mail message seeking comment.The departure of the 58-year-old Manzanetti came just weeks after he was criticized in a state Senate hearing by a Torrance-based advocacy group, Our Salud, for what it perceived to be lax enforcement practices by the DMHC under its current director, Brent A. Barnhart, who was appointed to the job in August 2011. He named Manzanetti chief counsel in December of that year.

In 2012, the first full year of Manzanetti’s tenure under Barnhart, the number of enforcement actions plunged from more than 500 to 90, while fines dropped to $451,000 from just under $3 million. During that hearing, and Our Salud advocate also blasted Manzanetti for holding down outside work as a part-time faculty member at a Sacramento-area college and for running his own consulting firm for local governments, Leadership Logistix. The advocate suggested he focus on his main job.

The DMHC said a replacement for Manzanetti has not been formally announced. Sources say it is Carol L. Ventura, the agency’s assistant chief counsel.

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