Demand Change, Urge Officials to Compel Insurance Companies to Put Patients First

Every day in California, thousands of people are stuck in hospitals, abandoned by insurance companies that deny care directed by doctors and other clinicians. When these decisions are appealed, nearly two-thirds are overturned.

Annually, hospitals provide 1 million days of unnecessary inpatient care, and 7.5 million hours of unnecessary emergency department care, due to the barriers imposed by insurance companies. That's the equivalent of $3.5 billion in health care resources — every year — that should go toward better care for patients instead of insurance company bottom lines.

Despite warnings for years that insurance company practices are a threat to patients, limited action has been taken.

The lives and well-being of Californians are at stake. California must hold insurance companies accountable for making sure patients have access to the care they need, when they need it.

Sign this petition to help compel insurance companies to put patients first.

Dear California Health Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly,

Please take whatever steps are necessary to compel insurance companies operating in California to put patients over their bottom lines.

Insurance companies are required to provide adequate networks of care for the patients with whose lives they are entrusted. They are required to minimize barriers to care. They are required to ensure that providers have the resources they need to deliver that care.

I'm concerned that too many insurance companies do the opposite: limit networks of care to the bare minimum; play games with payments to providers; and create massive hurdles for patients through unnecessary prior authorization requests and denials of care recommended by clinicians.

On any given day across the state, some 4,500 patients are needlessly stranded in hospitals because of insurance company delays and denials.

This at a time when the six largest insurance companies in the nation recorded an eye-popping $47 billion in profits in 2023.

Our families, neighbors, and communities can't wait any longer. State regulators need to act immediately so that insurance companies hold up their end of the health care system and put patients' needs over their financial gains. I urge you to take any steps within your authority to address this growing crisis.


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