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Film “A Narrow Catch” - Limiting Patients’ Access to Care

Posted by andreahgreif in The LLS Blog, 24 July 2014 · 392 views

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Narrow networks, in which health insurance companies limit which doctors and hospitals are included in their networks as a measure to save costs, can have dramatically detrimental impacts on patients’ care, particularly patients who are diagnosed with cancer and require very specialized therapy.

Christopher R. Cogle, M.D., at University of Florida (UF) Health, Gainesville, and a long-time recipient of LLS funding support, recently produced a 3-minute documentary film, along with filmmaker, Jordana Goldmann, M.A., focusing on the impact of narrow networks on one patient and his family, to illustrate the danger this policy can pose.

Daniel Cain was diagnosed in 2013 with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a fast-advancing blood cancer that requires treatment immediately upon diagnosis. Cain was diagnosed in Jacksonville, Florida but the hospital referred him to Gainesville and into Dr. Cogle’s care, as that institution was more equipped to address his acute needs. But the insurance company would not cover Cain’s care because UF Health was out-of-network. A two-week period ensued during which Cain’s care was delayed, putting his life in jeopardy. After much back and forth, the insurance company approved the family’s and Dr. Cogle’s appeal for coverage and Mr. Cain went on to receive an allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant, which to date, appears to have been successful.

LLS is committed to ensuring access to care for blood cancer patients, and we are sharing this film to bring home the point of how critically important it is that consumers understand their insurance company’s coverage network before they sign up, and understand how to appeal when essential coverage is denied due to narrow networks. Patients and caregivers should contact LLS’s Information Resource Center if they have any questions or concerns about their access to care: 1-800-955-4572.

The 3-minute film can be viewed here.

An extended, 10-minute version of the documentary can be viewed here.

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