By David Contorno on Linkedin (Posted Saturday, 13 November 2022
Our 13 year old daughter, Hannah Contorno, who many of you met at our inaugural You Powered Synpoisum, was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder this week called Acute Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).
The reccomended treatment is an infusion of an IVIG. So, I was referred to a pediatric hematologist that is part of Atrium Health. Because we do not have traditional insurance, we present ourselves as cash pay, so I asked the price as I was arranging the scheduling. I was given an “estimate” (why an estimate? They know exactly how much and what needs to be done) of $13,000 but if I paid cash, I would get 50% off. My next question was “how much of that is the drug vs the charge for administration?” They told me it was $410 for the administration and the rest was the drug. I said great! I can get the drug for $2,300 so we will bring the drug in for you to infuse (a practice known as “white bagging”).
The very nice office manager said they don’t allow that. I asked why and she said it’s a safety and liability issue. They don’t know if it was kept temperature controlled etc. so I said “ok, that’s reasonable. I’ll call the manufacturer directly and have it shipped to you the same as you get it now”. She said she had been working for Atrium Health for 16 years and they never allowed that. I said “it sounds like you are just trying to make money on a drug you didn’t research, develop, do trials on, or get FDA approval on.” She was speechless. I even offered to double the administration fee. Still crickets.
Question for Eugene Woods, why should you contribute to the bankruptcy of America by marking up a drug you didn’t make, and refusing to allow us to bring it in more affordably so that we don’t have to suffer financial hardships while trying to obtain life saving medicine? You look to make profit above patients at every turn possible. As a non-profit, your mission is meant to be the opposite. Hope you sleep well in your mansion tonight. While thousands in the Carolina’s have to choose between care at your facilities and bankruptcy. You have us over a barrel and you know it. And use it. Everyday.