Navigation Links
PacifiCare Capitulates to Latest Patient Revolt
Date:3/25/2008

Insurer authorizes cancer treatment for 17-year-old Nick Colombo, following online activism and in face of protest at office by friends, family, nurses

CYPRESS, Calif., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- In the face of a national campaign on behalf of Nick Colombo, insurance giant PacifiCare has reversed its decisions and agreed to critically needed cancer treatments for the 17-year-old from Placentia, Calif. The decision came after the company was overwhelmed by calls organized by Nick's friends and family, along with RNs from the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, and netroots activists.

Over 100 of Nick's classmates, friends of the family with their young children, and nurses protested in front of the insurance company headquarters this morning to demand that the approval be put in writing, which a PacifiCare representative, surrounded by T.V. cameras, and promised to do.

"I am extremely happy about PacifiCare's reversal," said Ricky Colombo, Nick's 19-year old brother. "The goal was to get treatment for Nick, and CNA/NNOC and other allies helped us with that. We decided to go through with the rally in order to get their decision on the record and make sure they back up their words -- and also because there are thousands of others in similar situations who can't get the care they need. We feel blessed to have this community supporting our family."

This is the latest example of a "patient revolt," where friends, family, and healthcare activists demand treatments denied by for-profit insurance corporations. In this case, Nick's physicians pleaded with PacifiCare to approve a cancer treatment, only to be overruled by an insurance company medical reviewer. PacifiCare is owned by United Health, the nation's largest health insurer, and just last year was fined $3.5 million by the state of California for wrongly denying 133,000 cases in a two-year period.

Inspired by the pleas of Nick's 19-year-old brother Ricky -- A national web of friends and family of Nick -- CNA/NNOC registered nurses, doctors, healthcare advocates, and netroot supporters pitched in on a national day of action Monday on Nick's behalf. Hundreds of phone callers clogged the lines of PacifiCare and United Healthcare offices around the country yesterday, at times shutting down the phone system, and leading a spokesman to complain about being "overwhelmed" by healthcare activists.

After the state refused to step in last week, Nick's brother Ricky took matters into his own hands, began organizing the protests, and asked for assistance in the patient stories section of the Guaranteed Healthcare, a website maintained by CNA/NNOC to document the stories of real people harmed by health insurance companies. Read his full story here: http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org/your_story/save-my-brother-nick-pacific are .

The netroots protest and calls were organized by Eve Gittelson, an influential health policy blogger who writes on Daily Kos as nyceve, and many of the calls were the product of work by Ricky Colombo in his own community.

"This is an incredible turnaround generated by a massive outpouring around the country that proves that an enraged public can make a difference and achieve results," said Malinda Markowitz RN, who works in a surgical orthopedic unit at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose, and is member of the CNA/NNOC Council of Presidents. "PacifiCare had to back down in the face of a mobilized network of patient advocates and healthcare activists who would not take no for an answer."

"Nick is now seriously ill and still has significant hurdles in his fight for her life, but thankfully our combined voices and protests have finally given him and his family hope," said Geri Jenkins, RN, a member of the CNA/NNOC Council of Presidents who works in a transplant unit at the University of California San Diego Medical Center. "However, it is deplorable and appalling that PacifiCare needed to have hundreds of people pounding on their doors and besieging them with calls to take the humanitarian step they should have done long before today," said Jenkins.

Nick's father, Rick Colombo, expressed his profound thanks to CNA/NNOC and all who helped organize the protests for his son. "I am touched that Ricky has the love he has for his brother, that he wants to do what he can to get Nick the best treatment possible. Getting PacifiCare to reverse its decision, and doing whatever it takes to get Nick the care he deserves -- there are no words to express how that feels. I am thankful they've reversed the decision; we don't want to look back we just want to move forward."

"Every politician who thinks the answer to our healthcare crisis is more insurance should stop and think about Nick Colombo," said DeMoro. "Insurance is not care. Paying for insurance coverage is not the same as assuring you will receive appropriate care, even when recommended by a physician as it was for Nick. Insurance corporations profit by denying care to the sick, and that is no way to run a humane healthcare system."

DeMoro said that CNA/NNOC will continue to encourage patient protests and publicize stories about insurance companies' denial of care, as it has all year through its http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org website, while pressing for real healthcare reform "that takes medical decisions out of the hands of insurers and places them where they belong, in the hands of healthcare professionals and their families."

CNA/NNOC is the nation's largest and fastest-growing union of direct-care RNs, with some 75,000 members in all 50 states.


'/>"/>
SOURCE California Nurses Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. Renovo Announces Results of Latest Phase 2 Studies of JUVISTA(R) (Human Recombinant TGFbeta3)
2. 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology Will Feature the Latest Research in Blood Diseases
3. Digital Healthcare Announces Cincinnati Eye Institute is Latest Retasure Reading Center
4. UD researchers race ahead with latest spintronics achievement
5. Varian Medical Systems Exhibits Latest Technologies and Products Designed to Improve Speed and Precision of Radiotherapy at ESTRO 2007
6. Schiller AG Adopts Masimo Rainbow SET as Their Technology Platform of Choice for Patient Monitoring Devices Worldwide
7. Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs) Improve Cancer Treatment -- Experts Agree
8. Baxter Announces FDA Approval of ARTISS Slow-Setting Fibrin Sealant in Treatment of Burn Patients
9. AstraZenecas Zactima to Earn Almost Five Percent Patient Share in the Treatment of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer by 2016
10. LUMEDX Updates Real-Time Patient and Resource Scheduler for Healthcare Systems
11. Genzyme Withdraws Bioenvisions European Filing of Evoltra(R) in Elderly AML Patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016 ... agreement with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve ... of the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide ... education and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes ... partner with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university ... to harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning ... New York City . ... showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the ... MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and design, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking ... Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. ... Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated ... the medical community, has closed its Series A funding ... . "We have received a commitment from ... we need to meet our current goals," stated ... the runway to complete validation on the current projects ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely ... pulse and body mass index, and, when they opt ... and convenient visit to a local retail location at ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... , March 29, 2016 ... "Company") LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to ... ink used in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring ... of originally created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will ... analysis of the DNA. Bill Bollander ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):