Bill proposed as new exam rule frustrates physicians

Bill proposed as new exam rule frustrates physicians

HONOLULU (AP) - Lawmakers are pursuing a bill aimed at the state's largest health insurer's new imaging exam rule that is frustrating physicians.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Arizona-based National Imaging Associates Inc. has been deciding MRI and other imaging exam requests by all physicians in the Hawaii Medical Service Association network since Dec. 1.

Hawaii Medical Association president Dr. Scott McCaffrey told a Senate committee Thursday that nothing should keep physicians from early and accurate diagnoses.

The bill was introduced after a Star-Advertiser report on complaints that the policy impedes tests and impacts patients. It seeks to ban requirements that delay medical services and make insurers liable for civil damages resulting from pre-authorization waits.

HMSA chief medical officer Dr. Mark Mugiishi says advanced imaging is over utilized and needs to be addressed.

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