Terry in Greensburg, Pennsylvania
Originally uploaded by walk4healthcare
Terry’s here in Greensburg visiting from Philadelphia. She shared with me the story of her mother’s untimely death, which resulted, in her estimation, from a nightmarish confluence of administrative barriers and inhumane insurance policies.
The story goes as follows. Her mother underwent a liver biopsy. This was on a Friday. As Terry explained to me, “She was done as an outpatient, but even though the surgeon said it was complicated, with ‘bleeders,’ she was not permitted by her insurance to stay overnight.” She returned home for the weekend. On Sunday, she went to the emergency room with escalating pain but was sent home again being told it was a ‘gallbladder’ problem. The pain still unbearable, she returned to the ER within three hours. “From what we learned,” Terry said, “there was a blood clot pressing on the bile duct.” She progressed rapidly downhill from there ending up three-and-a-half weeks in the ICU (battling sepsis). Six weeks after the biopsy she died.
Terry finished the story. “If only the insurance had been more flexible, had considered true medical necessity, in observing my mother the first night after her procedure, perhaps she would still be with us now.”