On 9/11/2001, we filed a suit against the California Department of Managed health Care, on behalf of 9 plaintiffs, alleging that DMHC was not complying with the law which created it, and asking for a writ of mandate.
After 3 amended complaints and 2 trips to the appellate court, we finally lost that case on 5/14/2008, when the Calif. Supreme Court refused to review the decision of the 3d District Court of Appeals.
The appellate court upheld the lower court's demurrer holding in effect that:
2. A state agency is relieved of its responsibility to provide copies of personal information subject to the Information Practices Act for the sole reason that the legally untrained requester did not explicitly invoke the Information Practices Act by name or citation.
3.. HMO enrollees complaining to DMHC have no due process right to a fair adjudication.
4. State agency adjudications, routinely based on possibly false ex parte evidence, provide adequate due process to complainants systematically prevented from seeing and rebutting the ex parte evidence.
5. DMHC has the discretion to refuse to enforce the laws which require that HMOs send copies of IMR records to complainants.
6. An agency's unwritten de facto policy to refuse to enforce certain requirements of law a "standard of general application" does not trigger the requirements for formal rule-making under the Administrative Procedures Act.
7. A child/heir of a deceased enrollee who submits a grievance to DMHC on behalf of her deceased, is not empowered to execute a release of his medical records.
The decision was unpublished, except for item 7.
Since we remain convinced of the merit of our case, and for the benefit of those who follow, we have posted here some of the more critical documents from the mountain of paper generated during the 7 years of the litigation. For speed of access, we have converted them to HTML hwere possible.
If you would like for some of the other documents to be posted, please contact me at hsfrey at harp dot org.
Original Petition for Writ of Mandate, etc., 9/11/2001
Opening Brief for First Appeal, 7/30/02
Opening Brief for Second Appeal, 4/6/07
Second Appellate Decision, 2/29/08