We have seen this done in the movie "Sicko" but others are doing the same or similar with newspaper press coverage in areas where medical care is not taking care of the problems.  Once press coverage is attained, it appears more and more of these issues get resolved immediately.  There are the appeals processes in place and we have included some of those in prior posts here as well, but again depending on the individual patient and health care situation, it appears going for the immediate "press" coverage seems to be a solution that more folks are opting for as we see more of these types of stories emerging almost daily and perhaps rightly so.  BD

Two years ago, Anthony and Maria Falzone moved here from Staten Island, from a cramped townhouse in a noisy neighborhood to a spacious home at the end of a quiet street. They invested everything they had in their new place, and then some. Now they live from paycheck to paycheck.

He is agitated. He tries to keep his voice down as best he can. His daughter is sitting on the sofa in the next room. She can hear the conversation. She doesn't understand everything her parents are talking about, but she knows it's about her, and she knows they're upset.

Now there is a sadness in the little girl's eyes that doesn't belong there. But it is there for a reason.Over the past six months, Nicolette has been shuttled back and forth between hospitals from Philadelphia to New York. Ever since they found a hard mass on her bottom in late January, she has been subjected to a series of long ambulance rides and MRI tests, PET scans and CAT scans. She has had biopsies. She has had complications, profuse bleeding. She has been diagnosed and re-diagnosed. 

Meanwhile, her parents have been put through hell, first by a doctor who blew the diagnosis and was evidently too arrogant to admit his mistake, then by a health insurance company that was always more than happy to cash the hefty check the family sent in every month, without fail.

"If I'd found him that day, I would've been arrested," Anthony said, referring to the doctor who made the initial diagnosis and stuck to it.  The doctor at Sloan, a world-renowned pediatric surgeon, immediately identified the problem as a rare malignant tumor that can be removed surgically.

Sorry, out of network, request denied. Go back to the hospital where the treatment originated, the hospital that's in the network.  Desperate, the Falzones took their case to the media. A columnist on Staten Island, a good friend of mine named Cormac Gordon, wrote a strong piece and the paper played it across the top of the front page.  The very next day, the insurance company calls and tells Maria Falzone they can go ahead and have the surgery done at Sloan Kettering.

APP.COM - Poster child for rotten health care system | Asbury Park Press Online


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