CQC Shares Personal Stories of Ohioans in #HealthCareFail Series
New Campaign Highlights Americans’ Frustrations with Health Care
Columbus, Ohio – Consumers for Quality Care (CQC) is highlighting the roadblocks Ohioans are encountering in the health care system – from emergency room denials and surprise medical bills to difficulties at hospitals and at the pharmacy counter.
Reid – an Ohio resident – was sent to the hospital after suffering from a medical emergency. After undergoing necessary surgery, he received a surprise bill for $17,000, as the plastic surgeon who operated on him at the in-network hospital was out-of-network, resulting in rounds of appeals for Reid and the bill ultimately being sent to a collection agency.
Another Ohioan – Charlotte – landed in the hospital after her health quickly began deteriorating, resulting in the diagnosis of an extremely rare cancer that was attacking her nerve endings. After receiving a prescription from her oncologist, Charlotte was informed that her insurer was declining to pay for the medicine, saying the treatment was an “off-label” use; unfortunately, due to the rarity of Charlotte’s condition, there are no FDA-approved drugs to treat it. Thanks to appeals from her oncologist and intervention from Sen. Sherrod Brown, Charlotte’s prescription was eventually approved, but she noted her frustration, stating, “[They are] an insurance company. They’re not doctors.”
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.
“Our health care system has made strides in recent years, with more Americans insured than ever before. But more must still be done. Ohioans, including Reid and Charlotte 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 Reid and Charlotte 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.
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.