CIGNA Should have listened to her Doctors and Approved the transplant a week ago.
By: Hilda
May 8, 2015
 GLENDALE, Calif., Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Nurses
 Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today blasted insurance
 giant CIGNA for failing to approve a liver transplant one week earlier for
 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan, who tragically died last night just hours
 after CIGNA relented and agreed to the procedure following a massive
 national outcry.
     On Dec. 11, four leading physicians, including the surgical director of
 the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program at UCLA, wrote to CIGNA urging the
 company to reverse its denial. The physicians said that Nataline "currently
 meets criteria to be listed as Status 1A" for a transplant. They also
 challenged CIGNA's denial which the company said occurred because their
 benefit plan "does not cover experimental, investigational and unproven
 services," to which the doctors replied, "Nataline's case is in fact none
 of the above."
     "So what happened between December 11, when CIGNA denied the
 transplant, and December 19 when they approved? A huge outpouring of
 protest and CIGNA's public humiliation. Why didn't they just listen to the
 medical professionals at the bedside in the first place?" asked Geri
 Jenkins, RN, a member of the CNA/NNOC Council of Presidents who works in a
 transplant unit at the University of California San Diego Medical Center.
     On Thursday, CIGNA was bombarded with phone calls to its offices across
 the country while a rally sponsored by CNA/NNOC, with the substantial help
 of the local Armenian community, drew 150 people to the Glendale offices of
 CIGNA -- all of which produced the turnaround by CIGNA to finally reverse
 its prior denial of care.
     CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro called the final outcome "a
 horrific tragedy that demonstrates what is so fundamentally wrong with our
 health care system today. Insurance companies have a stranglehold on our
 health. Their first priority is to make profits for their shareholders --
 and the way they do that is by denying care."
     "It is simply not possible to organize major protests every time a
 multi-billion corporation like CIGNA denies care that has been recommended
 by a physician," DeMoro said. "Having insurance is not the same as
 receiving needed care. We need a fundamental change in our healthcare
 system that takes control away from the insurance giants and places it
 where it belongs -- in the hands of the medical professionals, the
 patients, and their families."

SOURCE California Nurses Association