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CQC Shares Personal Stories of Illinoisans in #HealthCareFail Series

New Campaign Highlights Americans’ Frustrations with Health Care

Springfield, Illinois – Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) is highlighting the roadblocks Illinoisans are encountering in the health care system – from emergency room denials and surprise medical bills to difficulties at hospitals and at the pharmacy counter.

After a serious car accident, an Illinoisan man – Ashishkumar – had to undergo multiple surgeries, and as part of tracking his recovery, has to get regular MRIs. In the years since his accident, Ashishkumar recounted having to go through multiple rounds of appeals with his insurer in order to have the costs of these tests covered.

Another Illinoisan – Jane – expected to receive a medical bill when her 18-year-old son visited the emergency room, but was shocked to receive notice that her insurance denied coverage for the entire visit. She feels as though there should be more transparency within the health care system so that everyone can understand what is – and what isn’t – covered as part of their insurance.

The #HealthCareFail campaign spotlights the real life issues being experienced within the system and calls on policy makers to address these challenges. As part of this effort, CQC encourages consumers to share their own stories on social media through the use of hashtags like #insurancefail, #hospitalfail, #rxfail, and #medicalbillingfail.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Melinda from Illinois had to undergo multiple medical procedures such as biopsies, surgery, and radiation. She noted that while her surgeon and the hospital were “in-network” and those costs were covered, many of the specialists that she had to see were not, resulting in very high out-of-pocket costs, adding financial concerns to an already stressful situation for her and her loved ones.

Another Illinois consumer – Hellen – was experiencing foot pain and wanted to see a doctor to receive a diagnosis. However, after referencing her insurer’s online directory to find a nearby provider, she was continuously told that that the particular provider did not accept her insurance and that the online directory was outdated.

“Our health care system has made strides in recent years, with more Americans insured than ever before. But more must still be done. Illinoisans, including Ashishkumar, Jane, Melinda, and Hellen are continuing to experience challenges when they try to access the care they need,” said CQC board member Jim Manley. “Americans across the country are facing similar difficulties – from surprise costs and billing complexity to a lack of transparency, and more. The goal of the #HealthCareFail campaign is to spotlight these consumer issues for policy makers to take note and help inform solutions, particularly as health care continues to dominate the 2020 election cycle.”

CQC mapped the consumer stories collected as part of the #HealthCareFail campaign, revealing that too many Americans, no matter their ZIP code, still struggle as a result of the unpredictable costs and lack of transparency within the health care system.

The experiences of consumers like Ashishkumar, Jane, Melinda, and Hellen further support the findings of a recent Ipsos/CQC survey which showed that a majority of Americans – regardless of their income level, age, gender, race or political identification – are worried about the cost of health care. The survey also found that Americans overwhelmingly want lawmakers to take real steps to alleviate these concerns instead of paying lip service to the issue.

CQC launched the #HealthCareFail campaign earlier this year to mark its second anniversary. For a list of #HealthCareFail stories shared with CQC and other consumer stories from around the country, visit https://consumers4qualitycare.org/healthcarefail/

From commissioning research into Americans’ issues in the health care system and highlighting the costs in need of fixing as part of the Cut Consumer Costs campaign to fighting harmful Medicaid work requirements and working to defeat anti-consumer emergency room policies, CQC works with a coalition of 16 partner organizations to ensure that consumers are at the front and center of the health care debate.

ABOUT

Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) is a coalition of advocates and former policy makers working to provide a voice for patients in the health care debate as they demand better care. CQC is led by a board of directors that includes the Honorable Donna Christensen, physician and former Member of Congress; Jim Manley, former senior advisor to Senators Edward Kennedy and Harry Reid; and Jason Resendez, community advocate and Executive Director of the LatinosAgainstAlzheimer's Coalition.

To learn more about Consumers for Quality Care and the issues consumers are experiencing, visit www.consumers4qualitycare.org.


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