Congress is considering legislation that would end managed-care contracts that prevent health-care

Congress is considering legislation that would end managed-care contracts that prevent health-care providers, including dentists, from discussing treatment options with patients. Now, many HMOs and managed-care plans have "gag" orders that prohibit health-care providers who work for them from providing comprehensive information to their patients. The American Dental Association is calling on Congress to approve federal legislation to change that. It also is calling on state dental associations t

Congress is considering legislation that would end managed-care contracts that prevent health-care providers, including dentists, from discussing treatment options with patients. Now, many HMOs and managed-care plans have "gag" orders that prohibit health-care providers who work for them from providing comprehensive information to their patients. The American Dental Association is calling on Congress to approve federal legislation to change that. It also is calling on state dental associations to urge state legislatures to enact similar measures. "The ADA believes some recent developments in what now is called the health marketplace demonstrate the need to protect patients` rights to know about restrictions and limitations in their health plans," says ADA President Dr. William Ten Pas.

Judi Hasson

Washington Correspondent

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