Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

28 May 2009

Another health-insurance nightmare

Absolutely troubling column by Dave Davies in the Daily News today. Former Inky columnist Steve Lopez's son Andrew got jumped in Germantown. That wasn't the worst part. The fact that the insurance company (and the cops) didn't seem to give two sh*ts was.
Doctors at Chestnut Hill Hospital told Andrew the blow had crushed several bones in the left side of his face, and he'd need a facial surgeon. They recommended Temple University Health Systems and gave his mother, Kathy, a phone number.
There was one little hitch. Though Andrew had recently earned a master's in library science, he was looking for work and thus without health insurance.
Kathy Lopez spent the next day in a series of phone calls and visits far too numerous to detail here, but the bottom line of this disgraceful story is that when Temple heard Andrew had no health insurance, they refused to schedule his surgery.
One Temple rep even told Kathy on the phone it was irresponsible for Chestnut Hill Hospital to send her son to Temple without insurance.
"I was absolutely shocked when he said there's nothing we can do for you," Kathy Lopez told me. "I just couldn't believe it."
Temple spokeswoman Rebecca Harmon said privacy rules prevent her from discussing specific cases.

Side note to Temple spokeswoman Rebecca Harmon: I've found that privacy rules DON'T prevent hospitals from discussing specific cases when I signed a simple piece of paper allowing them to talk to me for stories about my hit-and-run. Even after I questioned my insurance company's humanity.
You might want to have a better "protect-ourselves-PR-wise" line next time.
And best of luck recovering Andrew. If they screw you over on outpatient-therapy like they did me, get in touch.


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