Friday, February 10, 2006

Doctors and Insurance Companies Suck

I know that after reading this, I'm supposed to hate insurance companies. And don't worry, I do.

When Flink talked to Tracy Pierce, his cancer was attacking his body. Despite being fully insured, every treatment his doctors sought for him was denied by his insurance provider. First-Health Coventry deemed the treatments were either not a medical necessity or experimental.

"I don't know what else to do but just wait," Tracy Pierce said last May.

As he waited, his doctors appealed again and again, including a 27-page appeal spelling out that Tracy Pierce would die without care. Coventry dismissed each request.


Even as he was dying, for more than a week, his insurance company denied him oral morphine, which had been prescribed to reduce his pain.

"That's unacceptable because in this day and age, no one should be in pain," Pierce said.

"I just hope we can get something done about it, that's all. We just have to get something done," Tracy Pierce said.

An hour and a half after Tracy Pierce talked to Flink, he took a nap and never woke up. His family calls his case death by denial.

"They just wrote a prescription for him to die," Julie Pierce said.

But why shouldn't I hate the doctors and hospitals who did nothing on their own dime to help the patient? It seems to me that they could have treated him while hospital administrators sought to recoup the costs from the insurance companies. Aren't the doctors just as complicit in this guy's death as the insurance company?

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