Fourteen years ago, when I was diagnosed with late-stage appendix cancer, rushed into surgery, and given months to live. The Chief Oncologist said, "There is no treatment for your disease. And, even if there were, they wouldn't pay for it."
I soon discovered that there was a tried and proven treatment for all cancers which have spread within the abdomen: cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). I wasn't about to die because my insurer didn't want to pay for it. And so, I became the Insurance Warrior.
Over the past fourteen years, I have written and won over 214 insurance appeals for all manner of lifesaving treatments -- from organ transplants to brain surgery. However, my home issue will always be -- cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC. In the process, I have accumulated file cabinets full of science, proof, information about appendix cancer, which is so often misdiagnosed, mistreated, and misunderstood.
Will HIPEC be denied?
Where does my insurer stand on HIPEC?
I've looked up the HIPEC coverage policies of all 33 Blue Cross Blue Shield companies, Aetna, Cigna and United Healthcare.
Click the link below, "HIPEC insurance coverage 2019."
Radiologists all over the United States consistently mis-read scans for appendix cancer. Women are misdiagnosed with ovarian cancer, men are misdiagnosed with hernias or gall bladder problems. We are told that there is "no evidence of disease" -- have a belly full of cancer.
When I was finally able to switch from my HMO and start with a new radiologist, I put together a package to teach them about my disease, and about how to read my scans. I enclosed the visit report with my expert surgeon and my operative report. I also included articles by Dr. Sugarbaker appendix cancer in general and about CT scans and appendix cancer, and an email which I received in 2006 from George -- a radiologist who had appendix cancer. The email from George is particularly interesting to radiologists, as he is one of them.
The new radiologists did a fairly good job of reading my scans. I have posted a copy of the package that I used to teach my radiologists, so that you can do the same.