Next round of letters to UnitedHealthcare – Continued fight for coverage. #twinslife
Here is my letter to UnitedHealthcare. It is real, it is raw, and it is straight forward.
There are so many families who find themselves in the NICU facing the daunting expenses after an emergency birth. Many are shipped to other healthcare systems during this emergency to receive top-notch care, yet fight the red tape of coverage inside their policies. Many times, their policy contracts are hard to discern when faced with emergency care and split second decisions. We were faced with all the above and continue to advocate for UnitedHealthcare to consider the NICU providers at Greenville Health System as in-network. I continue to write, ask, beg, and hope.
Here is my letter…our advocacy! Please share! Please let others know, they are not alone in this fight for coverage.
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing on behalf of my family sharing the details surrounding our stay at Greenville Health System’s NICU during and after the birth of our twin boys George and Henry. What I am about to share is our story detailing how so many things happened not only unexpectedly, but completely out of our control. There is also another underlying context, the care provided by all the physicians, hospitals, staff, nurses, and so many countless others ensured our family had access to the best quality care in South Carolina.
My wife Sarah Weathers Rettew was 32 weeks pregnant when she visited her OB Dr. Henry Hearn of AnMed Health’s OB-GYN Associates and Greenville Health System’s Maternal Fetal Medicine on June 8, 2017 where it was confirmed she had a complete plecental previa requiring a caesarean section, scheduled for 36 weeks. She was put on bedrest and we began praying we would make it to 36 weeks, we wanted our two boys to develop as much as possible before they were born.
Dr. Henry Hearn was our preferred, in-network provider along with AnMed Health’s Women and Children’s Hospital in Anderson, SC was our preferred in-network facility where we had planned for the twins to be born. We were scheduled to have the caesarean section the week of July 4th, 2017.
Three days later on Saturday, June 10th at 3:30am, we were woken by lots of blood and a huge blood clot in our bed. We called Dr. Henry Hearn on his cell phone immediately and he instructed us to go directly to Greenville Health System since the twins (George and Henry) were 32 weeks 5 days. He told us since the twins were less that 34 weeks, we had to take Sarah to the closest hospital with a level one NICU, this was Greenville Memorial Hospital in Greenville, SC; 30 minutes away.
He explained AnMed Health could not provide the care needed if the twins were born prematurely before 34 weeks. He said Greenville Health System’s Greenville Memorial Hospital and Children’s Hospital was the best and closest provider for both Sarah’ caesarean section and our premature twins.
Sarah spent fifteen minutes on the phone begging Dr. Henry Hearn allow us to come to AnMed Health to have the twins delivered; Dr. Henry Hearn explained to Sarah on the phone that it would be irresponsible of him as a physician not to send us directly to Greenville Memorial Hospital in Greenville, SC. He was concerned Sarah was bleeding and that the boys might be born soon.
We had no choice, we had no time to spare, we had no opportunity at 3:30am to research whether Greenville Health System, Greenville Memorial Hospital, Greenville Health System’s Children’s Hospital, and the physicians contracted to provide care in the NICU were considered in-network. We were told it was in the best interest of Sarah’s health and the health of our twins to go where the best medical staff, technology, and the best care was available.
We immediately jumped in the car, passing AnMed Health Women and Children’s Hospital and drove 30 minutes to Greenville Memorial Hospital in Greenville, SC. We arrived at Greenville Memorial Hospital around 4:45 am where a team of doctors were waiting for us in their OB Triage area. By 7:10 am, Sarah was taken to surgery for a caesarean section and both George Landrum Rettew and Henry Joseph Rettew were immediately delivered around 7:20am and put directly into the Level One NICU of Greenville Health System’s Children’s Hospital. George and Henry spent the next 28 days in Greenville Health System’s Children’s Hospital because they were born premature at 32 weeks five days. George was born at 3 pounds 13 ounces and Henry was born 5 pounds 3 ounces; both put on CPAP breathing machines along with a host of other machines to help them grow and develop. We woke up to an unbelievable emergency and found ourselves in another hospital over 30 minutes form our house with a five year old at home. We spent the next 28 days piecing our lives back together with two children in the NICU and a five year old at home. We were supposed to deliver at a hospital five minutes from our house, now we were in a hospital we did not choose because the level of care was necessary.
We are requesting for insurance claims related to the birth and care of George Landrum Rettew and Henry Joseph Rettew while at Greenville Health System’s Greenville Memorial Hospital and Children’s Hospital, along with the caesarean section surgery of Sarah Weathers Rettew be covered under our current insurance policy.
This was an emergency, and unplanned birth of twin boys who were being carried by my wife who was considered high risk since she is 39 years of age. Our in-network provider sent us to another facility to be cared for by out-of-network providers because this level of expertise and care was not available at our preferred in-network hospital. I am 43 years old and the only financial provider of the family. We are now a family of five and the full cost of these services without insurance coverage would be devastating to our family. I honestly do not know how we could pay for these hospital bills. It is my hope that United Health Care would graciously consider negotiating these charges and cover these services under our current insurance policy.
To read related blog posts about this issue, here are the links:
[Blog Post] This freaking sucks: fighting for in-network insurance coverage! – August 6, 2017
[Blog Post] One the scariest moments I have faced as a father and a husband! – August 12, 2017