Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Carelink Delays Yet Again

Tuesday's Tirade
The Extreme Test of Justice

A day can be an eternity when a person faces a hardship. It has been one thousand, four hundred and seventy-one days since I scheduled medically necessary surgery with Pittsburgh specialists Dr. Shelley McQuone and Dr. Bernard J. Costello. Despite receiving authorization for treatment, justice has eluded me for 1,471 days of my life. That is 35, 304 hours. 2,118, 240 seconds.

Waiting to hold former “darling of Wall Street” Coventry Health Care, Inc of Bethesda MD accountable for egregious deeds has been difficult to endure at times, for I live with what has been described as a major mental disorder, bipolar disorder.

Living with bipolar disorder at its best allows for creative genius to flow, but at its worse is not only insufferable for me but for those around me. And imagine the stressors associated with fighting a giant in the health care industry coupled with the normal daily stressors. Just imagine: 2, 118, 240 seconds of delays and, at times, intolerable, emotional pain.

While I have won my benefits from my former HMO via West Virginia Insurance Commission’s Final Order 06-AP-024, I am seeking damages as the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit against Carelink and former CEO Patrick Dowd. Carelink is a subsidiary of Coventry Health Care, Inc of Bethesda MD. I seek damages for alleged discrimination and intimidation by Carelink.

Now as the clock continues to slowly tick, I again wait by the phone for word of movement in my lawsuit. There has been yet another disturbing delay. My deposition will be have been postponed by sixty days.

For thirty days in late December 2008 and January, I lived with anticipating a very difficult, challenging deposition from Mr. Grant P. H Schuman, Carelink counsel, then scheduled for January 27, 2009. Although I should have anticipated possible trickery, I was not prepared to hear that Mr. Schuman was involved in a car accident on the day he drove to Wheeling for the deposition.

Mr. Schumann walked away from the accident. He hired a company to tow his car. Why has it taken Mr. Schuman sixty days to reschedule his deposition? 1,440 hours of my life this winter. Gone. Incredible but this stuff is fair game amongst many attorneys, I am told.

More shocking are the stories of the following human beings who also were denied urgent health care from Coventry. Just google and take notice.

Ivyl Garnes, cancer of the esophagus treatment approved and then denied, Coventry Health Care of IOWA

Julia Slaven, aggressive cancer, after public protest, Coventry’s experiemental treatment authorized, Coventry Health Care of Kansas

Mary Casey, breast cancer, Coventry Health Care of Kansas

Lisa Howard, treatment rejected although authorized initially for Mayo Clinic, Coventry of Iowa

Tracey Pierce, 37, denied life, 2006, First Health Coventry

Dale Fausset, denied life, 2008, Coventry Health Care of Nebraska

Nathan Crabtree, lengthy process of denial, denied life, First Health Coventry

Why is the upcoming trial against Carelink so important to me?

Because victories against health insurance companies are rare.

Because Carelink not only has been delinquent in their duties to me, they have despicably discriminated against me and intimidated me, a person with a mental illness. My lawsuit will raise awareness.

Because in the 1,714 days since I began this journey, I have discovered dark truths about the way Coventry does business and few really know the depth of the evil.

Because no one hears from those like Ivyl Garnes, Mary Casey, Julia Slaven, Tracey Pierce, Dale Fossett, Lisa Howard, and Nathan Crabtree because many elderly and mentally ill have no voice. I represent their only chance to be heard. And I take my role as advocate very seriously.

America hears daily about a health care crisis in our country, but there are few human faces upon which to gaze in the news. We cannot even begin to understand the plight of likely thousands of others mistreated by their health plans.

My lawsuit is a rare opportunity to reveal a lot more than discrimination and intimidation against a handicapped individual by a health care giant. Most importantly, I believe, it will be the beginning of a spotlight on the horror of how Carelink Health Plans, Inc. executes its business plan. Has there not always been a hidden agenda with Carelink?

While we wait for justice, ponder this loathsome reality: For every day I have suffered as I have waited for justice, former Coventry CEO Dale B. Wolf earned $21,753.00 a day as part of a salary package that was awarded him for one year.

I am angry. My anger fuels my passion.

Tuesday's Tale
Employees of Coventry Health Care Tell All

Coventry Health Care avoids publicity, preferring to operate in the dark. Their employees remain tight-lipped. But every now and then one discovers that the internet tells all.

Glassdoor.com is a website that records what employees are saying about their employers. While two people spoke a kind word about Coventry Health Care, Inc., more replies describe an intolerable workplace.

"Extreme salary disparities between people doing the same job. Concentra legacy nurses were promised by senior mgmt to be brought up to par with newly-hired Coventry nurses doing the same job, in 2007. Never happened. We are talking $7K - $15K difference here. There are few advancement opportunities unless you go back to school. So far, mgmt has not been flexible with student/worker schedules. There are no concrete guarantees from mgmt if you get a higher degree, your salary will go up to match that of the new hires."

“If you want to enter into the Business Analysis field, this might be your start!”

“If you enjoy being a Corporate slave this is the job for you.”

“As some one else mentioned - Coventry is soul-crushing.”

“Soul-crushing drudgery, Office politics, and Incompetent management ... every day is a real-life Dilbert cartoon.”

“Coventry is almost as bad as United Healthcare”

“Glad to be gone.”

“Great Place to be”

“Employer is okay but avoid the Medicaid related projects as they are low bid and you work a lot of overtime.”

Is this all about disgruntled employees? No. It describes badly managed care not only for the consumer but for employees.

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