Our SALUD Advocates Applaud Departure of DMHC Chief of Enforcement

Posted by Kassy Perry

Healthcare Watchdog Encourages New Enforcement Chief to Better Regulate Health Plan Licensure

THE FOLLOWING IS A STATEMENT BY OUR SALUD ADVOCATE ELBA ROMO UPON LEARNING THAT THE CHIEF OF ENFORCEMENT FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF MANAGED HEALTH CARE (DMHC) HAS BEEN REPLACED: “As an advocate for quality health care, Our SALUD is pleased to hear that Anthony Manzanetti is no longer serving as the DMHC’s deputy director for the Office of Enforcement. We hope that his replacement better upholds the Department’s mission to ensure aggressive enforcement and the necessary regulatory oversight to ensure that all Californians receive quality health care access.

“For the last decade the DMHC has failed to provide the necessary oversight to keep California patients out of harm’s way. This includes the Department’s lack of enforcement of Torrance-based HealthCare Partners (HCP), the medical group subsidiary of DaVita-HealthCare Partners. HCP is the country’s largest medical group, and have for more than ten years been allowed to deliver patient care without the legal state licensing requirements set forth by the Knox-Keene Act.

“Our SALUD raised these allegations to the DMHC on a number of occasions, most recently at a state Senate hearing in which we criticized Manzanetti for the lack of enforcement during his tenure at the Department. Enforcement fines by the DMHC plunged almost 85% in 2012 by more than $2 million.

“Because of Our SALUD’s continued pressure and allegations that DaVita-HealthCare Partners has been operating as a health plan without a license, the DMHC met with HCP about applying for a Knox-Keene Act license. HCP applied for a Knox-Keene Act license on April 25 and the application is pending review. The DMHC has stated it will review our allegations that the medical group has been operating as a plan without a license. We hope that upon confirming these allegations we hold to be true, that the DMHC fines HCP for its unlawful actions and denies the application for a Knox-Keene Act license. HCP has for too long jeopardized the lives of nearly a million California patients.”

About Our SALUD

Our SALUD (Somos Aliados Latinos Unidos por la Dignidad – Latino Allies United for Dignity), is a grassroots coalition and healthcare watchdog representing civic, community and business leaders from the Southern California Latino communities. We believe that our low-income, minority communities deserve quality healthcare access equal to other communities. We believe our communities are not unlike other communities in California that are yearning for best practices and quality health care. With the new Affordable Care Act, we believe legislators should practice transparency and good government in implementing new health care delivery models, which should include exceptional, free of conflict-of-interest, community-patient focused decision makers at every level. For more information visit www.oursaludnow.org

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