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THURSDAY UPDATE: Medical care refused to terminally ill resident
A 28-year-old Paradise resident is fighting for her life after Stanford Medical Center has not come to a financial agreement with California Health and Wellness's insurance to see her for her disease of Achalasia.
When Tiffany St. Cyr was diagnosed with Achalasia in June of this year, she weighed 143 pounds. Since then, she hasn't been able to eat a solid meal since August and currently weighs 105 pounds.
"Achalasia is a rare disorder that makes it difficult for food and liquid to pass into your stomach," according to the Mayo Clinic website.
To treat such a rare disease, St. Cyr's local GI doctor, Dr. Hack, recommended she go to the specialist at Stanford Medical Center to undergo surgery.
"There (are) no doctors up here that can help me since it is such a rare condition, I have to see a specialist," she said.
Prior to being switched over to California Health and Wellness, she was covered by MediCal. If she still had MediCal, she said that she would have been able to receive treatment at Stanford and she wouldn't have to deal with these problems.
"Stanford told me that if I would have still had MediCal, I would have been down there three weeks ago," she said.
Because of laws that were passed people who were covered by no share cost MediCal were required to have a health care plan. The two options that were offered were Anthem Blue Cross or California Health and Wellness Plan. The choice had to be made by Nov. 1. She chose California Health and Wellness.
She had a consultation scheduled for this Thursday at 2 p.m., but recently discovered if she continues through with the appointment she will have to pay for it herself, because California Health and Wellness could not come to an agreement with Stanford on the payment. The consultation costs $800 for a 15 minute appointment, St. Cyr said.
"I had a feeling that something wasn't right because Stanford never called to confirm," she said, adding that she decided to call Stanford and confirm. "They said, 'No we don't, we couldn't come to a financial agreement. Unless you want to pay the $800, then you do not have an appointment.'"
A representative from California Health and Wellness, Deanne Lane, could not confirm or deny whether the two sides could come to a financial agreement. The only comment she could say was that the "member's consultation is still scheduled."
St. Cyr said that she has not canceled the appointment yet, but will not be able to go because she is not financially able to pay.
It took four weeks to make the appointment for St. Cyr at Stanford, and in that time she lost about 10 pounds.
Now California Health and Wellness is working on making her an appointment at UC Davis Medical Center, St. Cyr said. She later informed The Post that a consultation has been scheduled with UC Davis on Friday at 11 a.m.
"I personally called every hospital from Redding Mercy Medical Center to San Francisco, and nobody at this time is currently dealing with California Health and Wellness," she said.
Now, you can say that St. Cyr should have been a smarter shopper. But what kind of barbaric system forces a critically ill citizen to be a smart shopper -- by taking away an insurance plan that was already working for them?