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Carlsbad family gets $25,000 refund


Biller at hospital was persistent with insurer

By Elizabeth Fitzsimons
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
April 8, 2007

Elizabeth Shaw.jpgThe day they turned on her cochlear implant, Elizabeth’s eyes went wide, her eyebrows jumped and her 7-year-old face was alight.

“I hear that!” she said.

Elizabeth’s mother, Laura, tells this story. And though nearly two years have passed, she still gets chills when she remembers that moment.

How Elizabeth Shaw has changed since that day in August 2005. The second-grader now reads at her grade level, scores 90 and 100 percent on her spelling tests, and hears what her sisters and parents are saying. Elizabeth, 9, has blossomed.

That the implant, not covered by insurance, cost her parents $40,000 wasn’t easy to swallow. But Jon and Laura Shaw had been through so much. Since the premature birth of Elizabeth and her sisters, triplets who each have their own special needs, the Carlsbad couple have battled insurance companies, health care providers and school administrators.

This time, they saw no chance of winning. So the couple – he’s 53; she’s 49 – wrote a check to Rady Children’s Hospital for $30,000 and another for $10,000 to pay the anesthesiologist and surgeon. And then they moved on.

They didn’t know someone had taken up the fight for them until Jon Shaw answered the phone in January. It was Jamie Cha calling from the billing department at Children’s Hospital.Continue

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