In February, I became an Ambassador of the Chronic Disease Coalition representing the Guillain Barre/CIDP community. I will be leveraging my experience as a healthcare executive and learnings as a patient to continue my passion for ensuring patients receive the best care possible. Although my role in healthcare has evolved, this passion has remained strong since the day a 17 year old hospital admit clerk/PBX operator decided she would pursue a hospital administration career path.
My GBS journey was spotlighted in February and the stories of others will continue to be added. Our stories reflect shared experiences and individual struggles. They are important because they add faces to data and "policy"; reflecting imperfections and opportunities for improvement in the healthcare delivery system and beyond.
One shared experience is reflected in California's new Senate Bill 1156. This legislation, if passed, would force those who receive charitable assistance with premiums and their share of cost, on to public programs already that are already struggling with access issues. Chronic disease is disruptive enough, don't add to this burden buy prohibiting the support of patient healthcare costs from non-profit charitable organizations. Patients who are paying their share of cost and premiums should be allowed to remain on their existing insurance plans, so they continue to have access to the care team that knows them best. It doesn't, and shouldn't, matter if charitable organizations, churches, or their mother helps them with these costs. Vote no on these bills in California and in every other state.
Having said this, there is a difference between charitable organizations being allowed to help patients remain on their existing private plans, and public plans who may also be non-profits, cost shifting and paying for private insurance premiums to avoid the actual cost of care. The latter presents a conflict of interest and should be prohibited. The reason is this wrongly shifts the burden of costs to other private insurance plan members and away from the MediCal and other public plans who are responsible.