SHOCKING INFO ABOUT CANCER TREATMENT CENTERS OF AMERICA

FELLOW MEMBERS,

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT I CALLED TODAY TO OBTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT BECOMING A CTA PATIENT. I WAS TOLD THAT THEY ARE A PRIVATE HOSPITAL AND HAVE LIMITED AVAILABILITY FOR ALL MEDICARE PATIENTS !!!!

I WAS IN SHOCK. I HAVE MEDICARE AS MY PRIMARY INSURANCE, DUE TO DISABILITY AND BLUE CROSS FROM WORK SECONDARY. I WAS TOLD TODAY, BY CTA, DUE TO THE FACT THAT I HAD MEDICARE PRIMARY, I COULD NOT BE SEEN FOR AT LEAST SIX WEEKS.

IF I HAD COMMERCIAL INSURANCE PRIMARY, THEN I COULD HAVE BEEN SEEN WITHIN A WEEK. CTA HOWEVER, OFFERED TO RECOMMEND OTHER PLACES TO BE TREATED. HOW KIND......... THIS FACT SHOULD BE ADDED TO THEIR 20 COMMERCIALS PER DAY ON TELEVISION. ADDITIONALLY, CTA TOLD ME THAT MAYO CLINC NO LONGER ACCEPTS MEDICARE PATIENTS AT ALL ---DUE TO THE LOW AMOUNT OF REIMBURSEMENTS FOR SERVICES. THIS HAS BEEN IN THE NEWS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY RECENTLY....I CHECKED THIS OUT ON THE INTERNET AND THIS IS TRUE!

THIS INFORMATION WAS SHOCKING TO ME ! HOWEVER, IT IS A FACT THAT ANY PRIVATE HOSPITALS CAN "CHERRY PICK " THEIR PATIENTS BY INSURANCE COVERAGE QUOTAS....... ALSO, I WAS TOLD THAT FOR OVARIAN CANCER, THE CENTER IN ILLINOIS WAS THE BEST CTA CENTER TO BE TREATED. PHILDA. PA DOES NOT HAVE GYN/ONCOLOGY SURGEONS. HOWEVER, IF YOU HAVE COLON CANCER, ALL 4 CENTERS ARE EQUAL. LIVER CANCER IS CENTERED AROUND ARIZONA.

THE FINAL ADVICE FROM THE CTA REPRESENTATIVE WAS, IF I NEEDED SURGERY RIGHT AWAY, GO TO ANOTHER FACILITY FOR SURGERY AND GET ON THE MEDICARE APPOINTMENT WAITING LIST FOR THE CTA TREATMENT CENTER IN ILLINOIS, WHERE THE BEST GYN CARE IS AVAILABLE OF THEIR CENTERS.

SO MY FRIENDS, I WONDER AS A MEDICARE PATIENT -- IF YOU GET THE LESSOR OF THE TREATMENTS THAT CTA HAS AVAILABLE, DUE TO THE AMOUNT THAT MEDICARE WILL REIMBURSE THEM. IF YOU THINK THAT CTA AND MAYO CLINIC MEDICARE POLICIES ARE BAD, CAN YOU IMAGING WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THE MEDICAL INSURANCE BILL PASSES === TO THOSE OF US ON MEDICARE??

I AM PAYING OVER $ 700.00 PER MONTH TO KEEP MY BLUE CROSS AS ONLY A SECONDARY INSURANCE FROM WORK. HOWEVER, AFTER LEARNING WHAT I DID TODAY ABOUT MEDICARE, PERHAPS I SHOULD MAKE BLUE CROSS MY PRIMARY INSURANCE AND PAY A HIGHER PREMIUM TO GAIN ACCESS TO BETTER CARE???

THE CTA REPRESENTATIVE ALSO TOLD ME THAT PEOPLE WHO COME TO THEIR CENTER FROM A HMO, END UP PAYING EXTREME AMOUNTS OUT OF POCKET DUE TO THE FACT THEY ARE OUT OF NETWORK. THANK GOD, I DO NOT HAVE A HMO SECONDARY.

JUST WANTED TO PASS THIS INFORMATION ON TO ANY MEDICARE OVCA PATIENTS CONSIDERING GOING TO CTA. IF YOU HAVE AT LEAST 6 TO 8 WEEKS TO WAIT FOR AN APPOINTMENT, YOU MAY BE OK.....HOWEVER, AGAIN, EVEN IF YOU WAIT FOR THE APPOINTMENT, I WONDER ABOUT THE CARE YOU WILL RECEIVE AND THE TREATMENTS THAT WILL BE OFFERED, DUE TO THE FACT YOU ARE A MEDICARE PATIENT...

THEY ARE PROVIDING FALSE ADVERTISEMENT AND NEED TO ADD THE INSURANCE REQUIREMENT TO THEIR WONDERFUL HOPEFUL ADS....

THE BEST AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL,

Jane

PS: I USE CAPS DUE TO MY EYES, NOT SHOUTING...

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It's all about the MONEY!!

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The same thing happened to my mother, they wouldn't take her because of her insurance, they said she would have owed alot of money, this is a place that like everything else is all about money, if you have the money you would be seen, if not than I am sorry, they are so cold but that is kind of what they said to us.

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They are a private network, of course they make decisions on money. They have to support themselves and stay in business.

I think, last time I read, it is the Arizona Mayo that is turning down medicare.

This is all about the already passed docking of doc fees by 25 percent Feb 1. It is usually fixed every year but not this year yet. So already poor reimbursement is now 25 percent less.

And I think you can't make a secondary insurance primary once you are on medicare,,I could be wrong but you have to enroll in medicare and it is primary,,I am not very sure about this.

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I have never called any doctor that the first question they ask is not what is wrong with you but who is your insurance carrier. Unfortunately as we're getting to that age Medicare is what we're stuck with... until things get worse and they start evaluating our value to society based on the cost of our medical care. They'll look at the statistics and say she's likely to die anyway so let's not waste the money.

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Awful! And just because CTA has ads all over the TV does NOT mean they are any better than anyone else. They make it sound like they are waiting for you with open arms, when no one else can help. Baloney! There are wonderful cancer centers/hospitals all over the country that take Medicare and private insurance.

Re your insurance, you might consider checking with Blue Cross about their Medicare-HMO plans. My mother has Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medi-Blue HMO and she pays no monthly premium and it's been fine for the past 4 years. Granted, she has no serious illness, but the coverage is good and since you already have Blue Cross they'll probably be willing to work with you. If you do that, Medicare would no longer be your primary coverage.

I just went on Medicare a few months ago and have a private insurer from work for my secondary coverage. So far, I've had no problems and they've both picked up some big bills from when I was on Avastin at the end of '09.

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This is why I turned down medicare while my husband has insurance from work. They said I can opt into it at any time without penalty because I'm an ovca patient. I also have read from some of our sisters here who are in Canada and other countries who have the government health care like they're trying to pass here, and know that we would all be on waiting lists for doctor visits and surgeries if it passes. Not good when you're trying to be diagnosed for ovca when time is of the essence! Not everyone realizes this unless it's people like us with life threatening diseases. Just another added aggravation and worry for our sisters. Sorry you have to go through this on top of everything else.

Blessings and hugs!!

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For those of you who still believe government health care is a bad thing, all I can tell you is my wife is Swiss. We decided to have her disease treated there (excellent cancer centers, exceptional mandatory health insurance that is affordable). We could not afford health care in the US (both freelancers).
She's been able to get the best oncologists, surgeons, private hospital rooms, homeopathic treatment, alternative treatment, etc etc. During this time I moved to Switzerland as well. i am now covered with Swiss health insurance (you MUST have it if you choose to live there).
Horror stories like the one expressed in this thread are all too typical in the US. In Switzerland they do not exist. In the last 3 years, we've spent possibly a total of 2 or 3 hours dealing with insurance matters, the rest of the time we've been LIVING LIFE.

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I have had nothing but problems with my insurance, 1st blue cross, then cobra, next the states health risk pool and now medicare, I have bills out the yin yang and as nine lives states I too pay well over 700 a month for insurance! yet so much is not covered. Recently it just took me over a week to get a presciption covered that had been prescribed to me many times before. I feel like I've worked hard my entire life to be cast aside, all over money and greed. It is so sad and adds untold stress to my already overburdened existence. God help us all, this is so scary.

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I'd have to agree with Favorite Aunt. Just because they wrap it up in a pretty bow for TV advertisement doesn't mean they are the best care available. Sure they might look into your nutritional information and give you some other alternative treatments along the way but it has been proven that the very best outcomes for ovarian cancer is to be treated by a good gyn/oncologist in a high volume care center. I couldn't be happier than with the care I received by going to the nearest NCI comprehensive care center.

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You know this really stinks! I had a unpleasant experience with this place too. I went there only for a 2nd opinion. They accepted me with OPEN arms because at the time I did have great insurance. ONLY they said it was approved and it never was ! Someone there screwed up and my insurance was saying that it was "out of area", so that place started hounding me to pay it. Even though it was THEIR screw up ! Eventually once I wrote my insurance a letter, they did pay it. Thank goodness. But it was a waste of time because this place wanted me there badly - and talked me in to coming, but then sent me right back home and said - just do what your doctor says to do. $5000.00 later !

They give a bunch of hype on their commercials, but don't accept everyone one due to paperwork ? I'm sorry but I don't think this is right. Private or not.

I guess I'm more concerned now because my medicare insurance picks up in July and I only took it because my husband's insurance has a CAP on it of a million dollars life-time and I was worried that if I kept using it, it might CAP out. But now I'm not sure if made the right choice by accepting it ? I may have to check on this. Plus I don't want to have trouble getting the medical care I may need !

Thanks for posting this, so we are more aware.

Deb

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I live in France and had wonderful care... Never had to wait for anything, could see the doctors of my choice, and was given all the tests (scans, etc.) in no time. I had a private hospital room, and the only bill I saw (and had to pay) were the phone and television bills. I don't know where those horror stories come from, and maybe they are true in some countries, but not in France. The only problem here is that you'd better not fall sick in August, when everyone is on vacation. But other than that, nothing to complain about, really...

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I just received my medicare card in the mail yesterday--It will be effective June 1st--But I am scared to keep it as my primary insurance since I am on my husbands plan at work--am afraid if I call them now to ask they will cancel me since I have ovarian cancer for over 2 years--I did not apply for the card it was just sent to me--I guess because I will be out on disability for 2 years in June--I have been told some doctors wont take on new patients if they have medicare. Cancer is bad by itself without the headaches of paying for our care.

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I started Medicare Sept. 2009 with a Blue Cross Blue Sheild Supplement which cost me $260 per month plus Medicare Part D of $54 per month. I have not had a problem yet, but there is still work to be done about Healthcare in the USA. Since I'm younger than the over 65 population, picking a supplement or medicare insurance is a nightmare! No wonder they are all confused.

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godshome,

I called my local SS office after getting a notification that they were going to automatically put me on medicare. She told me I don't have to take it and she would cancel it for the time being. She said even though other disability cases have to go on it right away or get penalized for waiting to enroll, ovca patients will not get penalized if they wait. Being penalized means you would pay more each month for the premium when you do eventually enroll for medicare. So, I decided not to go on it yet as my husband has Blue Cross at work. Hope this helps :)

Blessings and hugs!!

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I also have never called for an appointment and not had the first question asked be related to my coverage. Even my pediatricians office, which I have been bringing my children to for a total of 31 years now!
I know someone who just returned from living in Norway for 2 years and only raved about their national care. I also had a friend who lived in Holland - same thing. France is known to have if not the best, then one of the best national care systems in the world. Hard to knock if we haven't tried it.

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There are so many horror stories about the proposed health insurance act that unfortunately it will probably never get passed -- just like all the attempts by previous administrations. Those who don't want this (insurance companies among the top contenders) spread misinformation so that they can continue to rake in billions and make their own rules.

I watched one of those so-called "town hall" meetings a while ago. An elderly man stepped up to the mike to demand that his medicare not be touched because he deserved it. Then a young woman followed him, and asked him "Don't my children and I deserve health care? Right now, we have nothing."

The proposals aren't perfect, and do need tweaking, but if everyone worked together it can be done and it will be far better than what we have now for people who do not have great insurance plans and pay through the nose for them or who have no insurance at all. We are the only industrial nation on earth not to guarantee quality healthcare for all our citizens. People should not die of treatable illnesses because they can't afford health insurance.

The posts by our Swiss and French colleagues tell the story better than I can. And, according to the latest poll, almost 70% of Canadians with serious and/or chronic illnesses are satisfied with their access to doctors. And they get care for free!

We need to smarten up and not rely on those with agendas to make our decisions for us.

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I have medicare from disability and blue cross from my husbands work. the hospital told me to make blue cross my primary insurance and I did. I do worry when my husband retires what we will do. We need government health care in the US.

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Ever notice the tiny little words "do not expect these results" at the top of the screen during those commercials?
I think you can still get great care at other places despite your medical coverage. There are protocols that are followed for all types of cancer treatment so that it's standardized. I guess it's the demeanor of the physician delivering it that makes all the difference.

Best of luck!

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I have Medicare and Medex (Blue Cross Blue Shield) and have not had any problems.

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Wow, Drummedup: we always read about health care and insurance in other countries and now we see just how bad we have it.

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