Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Human Cost of Our Insurance Industry

The family is suing:

Nataline had been battling leukemia and received a bone marrow transplant from her brother. She developed a complication that caused her liver to fail.

Doctors at UCLA determined she needed a transplant and sent a letter to Cigna Corp.’s Cigna HealthCare on Dec. 11. The Philadelphia-based health insurance company denied payment for the transplant, saying the procedure was experimental and outside the scope of coverage.

The insurer reversed the decision Thursday as about 150 teenagers and nurses rallied outside of its office. But Nataline died hours later.

That the doctor even needs to send a letter to the insurance company to ask is wrong - and yes, I know it's common.

It suggests that the priority is not health care but profits.

Again, I know this is not necessarily news. But it's still bullshit.


Anonymous said...

What a great phrase..."It is not necessarily news, but it's still bullshit." (just edited a tiny)

And that particular insurance company has a poor reputation, though guess it could have happened with many others.


A doc said...

What do you think socialized medicine will do? There has to be a line drawn somewhere, and someone else will be on the wrong side of the line. Sad, but true. We Americans are not very good at saying no thank you, I don't want that. "I know it is just a knee sprain, but I demand an MRI. Won't change anything, but I want it". Yes, the insurance company is trying to make money, and I hope they do, as I would like them to be around when MY daughter gets sick. The same system makes us do CPR and thousands of dollars worth of tests on a 95 year old nursinghome patient 'cause the family wants everything done. I'd rather see a system where EVERYONE gets basic care. Then we can worry about how many liver transplants we can afford for people who may not survive, even with the new organ.

Rant done.

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