Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Helene Jorgensen, Author of "Sick and Tired" to speak in DC


National Capital Lyme

& Tick-Borne Disease Association

Announces its February Speaker 
Helene Jorgensen
 Helene Jorgensen (Ph.D. American University, Economics; M.S., George Mason University, Environmental Science and Policy) studies health care, labor markets, and employment benefits. Her forthcoming book, Sick and Tired: How the U.S. Health Care System Fails Its Patients (Polipoint Press, February 2010), tells the story of her own battle with Lyme disease and examines the institutional failures of the health care system.
 Sunday, February 7, 2010

Presentation & Book Signing: 2 - 4 PM

  Ernst Auditorium
Sibley Memorial Hospital
5255 Loughboro Rd., N.W., Washington, DC 20016
Helene Jorgensen spent many sleepless nights worrying about her growing pile of medical bills. Since being diagnosed with neurological Lyme disease in 2003, her good-on-paper health insurance repeatedly denied claims. She got stuck with paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket, because of quantity limits on prescription drugs and out-of-network care. At the same time, she had to fight for continued treatment for her Lyme disease. 
Sick, sleep deprived and frustrated, Jorgensen set out to uncover why the health care system was failing her and so many other patients. What she learned surprised her and compelled her to write the book: Sick and Tired: How the U.S. Health Care System Fails Its Patients (Polipoint Press, February 2010).

In Sick and Tired, Jorgensen combines her own experiences as a patient, with her background as an economist, to discuss the role of insurance companies in determining care. She examines the incentive structures of health care providers. She exposes pharmaceutical companies influence over prescription patterns, and the deceptive billing practices by laboratories, such as Quest Diagnostics. Based on the lessons she learned, Jorgensen offers practical advice to help patients reduce their health care costs and demand better care.

This education, discussion and support group is sponsored by the National Capital Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Association for patients, their family members and friends.

 Attendees may be chemically sensitive: No scented products, please.  For information and directions. See www.natcaplyme.org  or call (703) 821-8833

National Capital Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Association
Phone & fax: 703-821-8833

 Any information provided is for the reader's own evaluation and is not offered as and should not be considered medical advice.  A licensed physician should always be consulted when considering medical decisions and nothing herein may be used in place of advice from your personal physician or other healthcare professional.  Links to other sites are provided for ease of research only. Information on those sites is the product of the website author and represents the opinion of those who publish the sites and does not necessarily reflect the opinion or judgment of the National Capital Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Association.

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There's the problem: "her good-on-paper health insurance".  A lot of us had what we thought was good health insurance.  Part of the problem, though, is finding a doctor who both knows about CFS *and* takes your insurance.  And part of the problem -- perhaps bigger now than it used to be -- is whether the insurance is going to pay for what it's supposed to.
My insurance told one of my doctors that the PPO1000 policy would cover his treatment, about $3000 worth, and I'd only have to pay the co-pay.  When he submitted the bill, he was informed they would *not* cover the treatment.  Apparently because I'm not just any PPO1000 member -- I'm one who's had my policy gutted so it only covers hospitalization, and no longer all the other things that it says in the sales brochure.
I've had other things rejected for "pre-existing condition", even though I have never been uninsured since getting CFS, and had been with the same company continuously for 10 years at the time.  Most pre-existing limitations are for the first two years of the policy, and I was well beyond that.

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