By Consumers For Quality Care, on December 18, 2019
Earlier this year, Denver nurse Hollie D’Arcey was diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer, stage II non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As KMGH reports, ever since her diagnosis, she has been in a struggle with her insurer over covering a treatment that could save her life.
D’Arcey is fighting with her insurance company to get a specific type of treatment covered — one that was recommended by her doctors. She works full-time as a nurse but says fighting with her insurance has turned into her other full-time job.
After D’Arcey was diagnosed, she got several opinions on what her best treatment options would be. After doing some research on her own, she found something called proton beam therapy. The innovative therapy allows for great accuracy in targeting tumors for radiation. D’Arcey’s insurance agreed to cover an out-of-state consultation to a specialist who recommended the proton beam therapy. What D’Arcey didn’t expect was that despite agreeing to cover her consultation, her insurance refused to cover the treatment that was ultimately recommended.
“Why did you waste everyone’s time and money for me to go and have this consult, to be with this expert radiation oncologist who had the best treatment available for my specific cancer and then say we’re not going to pay for it?” asked D’Arcey.
Shortly after that visit, she received the first of three denials for proton beam therapy. Denver7 interviewed D’Arcey in October after the latest denial and she says not much has changed since then.
While she fights her insurance company, D’Arcey has enlisted the help of local lawmakers to try and get her insurance to change course.
“When a doctor, your doctor, is saying, ‘This is the treatment that I recommend,’ and then your insurance company goes, ‘No,’ we need to understand exactly why,” said Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont.