Tuesday, September 9, 2008

West Virginia Fails Citizens

Tuesday's Tirade
Collusion of the West Virginia Human Rights Commission

“I've fought corruption, and it didn't matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. They violated their public trust and had to be held accountable.” ~John McCain, Republican National Convention

Sadly, there is much depth and breadth to the corruption in health care in West Virginia and elsewhere. Depravity of public officials who have been entrusted to serve the public interest. The corrupt acts and moral perversion of ordinary, otherwise good people.

Every day, like a storm surge striking a beach, quality health care is eroded. Our basic freedoms diminished.

From the very beginning I just wanted one person to really listen to how ruthlessly my HMO, Carelink Health Plans, Inc. of West Virginia, treated me. I just wanted one person to thoroughly investigate Carelink's business practices.

Let’s get real now and face the cold, hard facts: We are facing one of the worst health care crises our country has ever experienced and West Virginia officials are working in secret to deny consumers the benefits to which they are entitled by law.

Did I get anywhere? Yes, I did. For while state officials were wrongly denying me access to my basic rights, I was busily taking notes. Thorough, incriminating notes. I was collecting certified mail receipts and e-mails that today provide a rich account of wide-spread collusion. I was talking to one official after another and hearing conflicting stories. Shocking stories.

Let me now introduce you to the West Virginia Human Rights Division. No pride here. Only disdain.

It was summer 2006 when I began a series of telephone exchanges with James Slack, Intake Officer for the commission. For almost two months I regularly communicated with Slack about my formal complaint against Carelink Health Plans, Inc. of West Virginia, filed at the West Virginia Human Rights Commission on August 22, 2006, for failure to grant public accommodation to someone with a disability.

As with any of my formal claims that have been processed to date, I attached volumes of records that would prove criminal behavior. By certified mail. I have over seven pages of typed notes about the issues. There was never anything to suggest that Slack and I were not on track to have this complaint filed in this agency and prosecuted. That was until October 15, 2006.

James Slack placed a phone call that day. Oddly it was not to me. It was to my attorney, Mr. Paul Tucker of Bachmann, Hess, Bachmann and Garden of Wheeling, West Virginia. Tucker represents me in my civil lawsuit against Carelink and former Carelink CEO Patrick W. Dowd. Here are my notes about the conversation:

Paul has spoken with James Slack on several different times, receiving conflicting info. Slack does not remember me. Paul was told that I never filed a formal complaint. There is nothing entered into the system. They are sending out a no cause letter.

The almighty dollar has a grasp on our state leaders. Some might say that that’s the way it always has been and that's the way it always will be. I dare you to excuse this evil to Sarah Palin or John McCain. Or Barack Obama. Joe Biden. Don’t dare challenge their principles, as you will likely find them showing up in Charleston, our state capitol, demanding to speak with Governor Joe Manchin.

John McCain believes that “In America, we change things that need to be changed.” Barrack Obama promises to make sure insurance companies "stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most." It's our time folks.

There are powerful, corrupt forces in my state and, likely, within the very regulatory agencies that are entrusted to regulate health plans in our country. We plan to win that battle. It's a noble cause, our finest hour.

For more details and documents that support the allegations of today's tirade, visit http://www.myfatherslegacy.blogspot.com/.

Tuesday's Tale
And yet another Coventry Bad Guy story

My personal thoughts and convictions:

I have suffered through the lengthy process of Coventry's schemes. I have experienced two different Carelink doctors', "so called experts," rejecting my specialist's request for medically necessary surgery. Almost two years later, Carelink was finally forced to authorize the surgery. Not without a lengthy fight that cost me valuable time and adversely affected my health.

Well, I have lived through the "excellent" health care plan of a Coventry subsidiary. It is at best a very unpleasant, humiliating and intimidating experience. Some doctors testify that cases like mine and Tracy Pierce (see below) repeat a scenario that happens all too often -- patients are denied critical medical care because health insurance companies care only about profits.

Once again an opportunity to broadcast the 2004 obscene salary package of Coventry CEO, Dale B. Wolfe. $32 million dollars. An irony lies with Mr. Wolfe's family name.

Pay attention now. This is life and death stuff.

Dying Of Cancer

Tracy Pierce, 37, of Shawnee, is dying of cancer and isn't expected to live another year. He said his insurance company, First Health-Coventry, is doing nothing to stop it.

"I have no treatment -- three months have gone by and I'm getting no treatment," Pierce said.

Every time his doctor attempts to treat him, the claim is rejected. Pierce's wife, Julie, is a health care professional and cannot believe what's happening.

"Everything the doctor prescribes -- they've shot down," Julie Pierce said.

The family's doctor has written letters to First Health-Coventry, asking the company to approve payment for two drugs for Tracy: Tarceva and Avastin. Clinical studies showed that the drugs stop renal cell cancer in 70 percent of cases.

The insurance company rejected the claim, saying the drugs were not a medical necessity.

A life-saving bone marrow transplant was also rejected by First Health-Coventry, even though a donor match was found. "(Tracy's) youngest brother came back from college, got tested, and he was a perfect match. They submitted it to (the insurance company) -- they denied it," Julie Pierce said.

The insurance company said the transplant was experimental and could not be covered.

The alarms continue to be sound here. When will we begin to listen? Really listen? Tomorrow's Tracey Pierces desperately need us.

No comments: