STAMFORD, Conn. -- GTE Corp. today said it will voluntarily adopt the consumer bill of rights recommended by President Clinton's health care advisory commission. The company said it was directing its health plan partners and providers to begin implementing the presidential recommendations for GTE employees.
These steps will give GTE employees even greater control of their own health care, said J. Randall MacDonald, GTE executive vice president - human resources and administration. GTE is moving immediately to implement the panel's recommendations. We do not believe legislation is necessary to act, MacDonald added. These are broad-based and visionary steps that can be quickly implemented by voluntary action.
MacDonald, a member of the presidential commission, noted that GTE's employees, retirees and their families already benefit from an outstanding health-care program, but that the company is always on the look out for quality improvements. He said his work with the panel helped him identify a number of practical quality enhancements.
The company's announcement coincided with the formal release in Washington of the advisory commission report.
Key recommendations included:
- Right to be informed about health care plan quality;
- Right to choose the right doctor for the right type of care;
- Right to medical services in an emergency;
- Right to know all medical options no matter how much they cost;
- Right to respectful care and equal treatment by any health-care provider;
- Right to know your medical records are confidential and only used for legitimate purposes;
- Right to express your concerns about the quality of care you receive and to take action when that care is inadequate;
- Consumers share responsibility to lead healthy lifestyles and to stay informed about their medical needs.
With revenues of more than $21 billion in 1996, GTE is one of the largest publicly held telecommunications companies in the world. In the United States, GTE offers local and wireless service in 29 states and long-distance service in all 50 states. GTE was the first among its peers to offer one-stop shopping for local, long-distance and Internet access services. Outside the United States, where GTE has operated for more than 40 years, the company serves approximately 7 million customers. GTE is also a leader in government and defense communications systems and equipment, directories and telecommunications-based information services, and aircraft-passenger telecommunications.
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