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REGULATORS SCRUTINIZE STATE FARM


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Posted by tonyb on August 07, 2000 at 03:48:13:


REGULATORS SCRUTINIZE STATE FARM

By Chris O'Malley

State insurance regulators will investigate whether the largest auto insurer in Indiana unfairly denies or limits medical
claims of crash victims.

At issue is the relationship between State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co. and firms it hires to review the cost and
necessity of medical treatments.

Critics say some of the so-called "utilization review'' firms hired by State Farm are inclined to side with the insurer.

Indiana is among a handful of states looking into the industry practice of outside reviews.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners launched an examination after a July 25 Dateline NBC report on
review companies State Farm had used.

That report "is only the tip of the iceberg,'' said Jeffrey A. Cooke, a Lafayette attorney battling State Farm on behalf of an
Indiana woman whose medical claims were denied after a review by a Texas firm hired by State Farm.

One of the allegations reported by Dateline was that employees of a firm State Farm used had no medical experience and
thus were unqualified to review claims.

Full story at Indianapolis Star News http://www.starnews.com/news/articles/0805_INSURANCE.html

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