Cost-Cutting Essential to Managed Care continued...
Herdrich, who is no longer in an HMO, has a hard time believing that her case has come this far. "When I heard the U.S. Supreme Court would hear the case, my reaction was 'Oh, no.' It's overwhelming to realize a decision on my case could affect so many people."
Although she can't receive monetary damages from the HMO, pursuing the case is worth it, she says. "I've talked with a number of people who've had worse experiences with their HMOs, who've lost spouses or children. I'm thankful that I survived."
Loren Stein, a journalist based in Palo Alto, Calif., specializes in health and legal issues. Her work has appeared in California Lawyer, Hippocrates, L.A. Weekly, and The Christian Science Monitor, among other publications.