Friday, May 9, 2008

BCBSNC 'Government Affairs' employees work to deny authorization for citizens of western NC, a company SUPPOSEDLY overviewed by NC State Legislature

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD: Licensed Psychologist, Asheville, NC
cell: 404 964 5338 e mail:

May 9, 2008

RE: No screening colonoscopies in western NC & no response from BCBSNC

Dear 'Government Affairs' employees of BCBSNC:

Katie, you stated in an e mail today: "I spoke with you yesterday and put you in touch with Nell Boone. She and I work in the same department. She is very good at handling customer inquires and will assist you as much as she can. "

I talked w/ Nell Boone yesterday and she stated she would be back in touch w/ me re: when I could expect an answer to 'where are the screening colonoscopies in western NC.'

What do leading experts in the US state re: the screening of CRC (colorectal cancer):

Screening and Surveillance for the Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer and Adenomatous Polyps, 2008

A Joint Guideline from the American Cancer Society, the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology*, the American Cancer Society

1. In the United States, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer diagnosed among men and women and the second leading cause of death from cancer.

2. Five-year survival is 90% if the disease is diagnosed while still localized (ie, confined to the wall of the bowel), but only 68% for regional disease (ie, disease with lymph node involvement), and only 10% if distant metastases are present

"It is the strong opinion of this expert panel that colon cancer prevention should
be the primary goal of CRC (colorectal cancer) screening."

This passing me from one person to the next----which has been occurring since September, 2007, when I first began to investigate why there were no screening colonoscopies in western NC------will not work.

My family, like many other families, pays a great deal of money in order to have a BCBSNC health insurance policy----over $600/ mo / 3 family members. It is a PPO. It is a high end policy.

And it is not possible to obtain a screening colonoscopies ANYWHERE in western NC except for one gastroenterologist in Boone and one in Charlotte.

The agenda of BCBSNC is to CONFUSE the issue with mumbo-jumbo about 'office based colonoscopies' vs 'clinic based colonoscopies'

BCBSNC will not pay for 'clinic-based' colonoscopies

BCBSNC will pay for 'office-based' colonoscopies

However, no gastroenterologist does any office based screening

colonoscopies in western NC.

Why would that be? Because to do office based screening colonoscopies is not appropriate medical procedure.

No, you didn't speak w/ me yesterday. I got an e mail from you and Kathryn Millican that does not open.

You are utilizing a program entitled 'Tumbleweed' which is not interfacing w/ my Windows system----or most anyone else's system.

Yesterday at 11:21 a.m., Angela Walker called me to give some info re: 'why there are so few office based screening colonoscopies in western NC.'

She can save her breath: I have already spoken to BCBSNC supervisors a couple of months ago and they tried to paint a picture of poor pitiful company that couldn't get any gastroenterology providers to sign on.

On my cell phone she called from 919 489 7431. That number, when you speak her name into the system, does not recognize her. So I got some nurse who had no idea what I was talking about.

Then I called the number she left me (I listed to it x2 and this is the number): 919 765 0634.

That number is not functional.

You, Katie and Kathryn, both sent me identical e mails which went nowhere when I opened the message. This is what I got when I opened up your message:

FROM: Kathryn Millican SUBJECT: Re: Fw: BCBSNC: no screening colonoscopies in western NC

VIEW MESSAGE Note: This message will be available online until 06/13/2008.

Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage Most likely causes:
You are not connected to the Internet.
The website is encountering problems.
There might be a typing error in the address.
What you can try: Diagnose Connection Problems

This is a public health issue, this lack of screening of colonoscopies in western NC.

I am waiting for an answer to this and that answer will include screening colonoscopies in western NC. If the NC State Legislature is supposed to be overseeing BCBSNC in some manner, on the basis of all of the non-action about this public health issue which endangers the lives of thousands of NC citizens-----I'd have to suggest that they beef up what they are doing.

Please feel free to forward this e mail to any salient party.

Marsha V. Hammond, PhDcc: health committee, NC state legislature, western nc health reporters

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