The U.S. leads the pack in the percentage of older adults who have trouble paying their medical bills.
Jury selection began on February 22, in a Los Angeles Superior Court case involving a claim that giant healthcare insurer Anthem Blue Cross excludes primary care doctors from its Preferred Provider Network who advocate for patient care, resulting in less access to health care for its members.
According to a release, Dr. Nordella, an ardent patient advocate, claims in the lawsuit that Anthem Blue Cross, a for-profit health insurer in California, puts profits before patients by unlawfully excluding qualified doctors from its Preferred Provider Network. Because there is a shortage of primary care physicians in California, and LA County, Blue Cross' exclusion of primary care doctors (such as Dr. Nordella) restricts its plan members' access to healthcare, according to the lawsuit.
Opening statements began on February 26, in the Los Angeles Superior Court, Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Department 71, Room 729, 111 North Hill Street, LA 90012.
The lawsuit, filed on August 24, 2010, alleges that Anthem Blue Cross excluded Dr. Nordella a primary care doctor - from its provider network even though he meets the company's eligibility criteria, was a Participating Provider for Anthem Blue Cross for over ten years, and accepts the terms of its contract.
Dr. Nordella, a primary care doctor for 22 years, is the medical director of Porter Ranch Quality Care in California, which serves patients in the communities of Porter Ranch and Northridge. His patients represent the rich diversity of the region and the most fragile populations. Sixty-eight (68) percent of the population is minority, 30 percent are children and 23 percent are the elderly.
"By unlawfully excluding Dr. Nordella, a primary care doctor, from its Preferred Provider Network, Anthem Blue Cross is limiting patients' access to health care," said attorney Theresa Barta.
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