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Insurer ordered to pay for woman's clinical trial


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#1 GocartMoz

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 03:37 PM

Insurer ordered to pay for woman's clinical trial. Hannah Coler, 21, suffers from diffuse scleroderma has been accepted into a clinical trial that her insurance company deemed as experimental and had refused coverage. This month, the Hampshire Superior Court granted a preliminary injunction ordering the insurer to pay Coler's costs. The appeal is still pending and the Coler family could still have to pay the costs if it loses, but the injunction makes this less likely. Nick Grabbe. Amherst Bulletin. 04/01/10.

This item was posted in the ISN Newsroom. Check the Newsroom every day for the latest scleroderma medical and support information.

This is a story I am personally gratified to report. Not long ago I posted a story concerning Hannah. I had attempted to assist her in obtaining insurance approval for entry into the SCOT clinical trial. Our appeals were denied. Hannah was lucky enough to thereafter secure the services of attorney Michael Ryan, in Massachusetts. He, along with his law partner, were able to secure the preliminary injunction referred to in the article, against her insurance carrier, compelling them to pay for her treatment. Though the order is preliminary in nature, it will allow Hannah to obtain the treatment her physicians have recommended. I am personally thrilled for the Coler family. Hannah is a very brave young woman, and with the support of her family, can now get the treatment her medical team has recommended. As far as I know, this is the first instance of a court ordering an insurance company to pay for a stem cell transplant to combat Scleroderma. Hopefully Hannah's refusal to accept her insurance company's decision will pave the way for more insurer's to approve this treatment.

#2 Sheryl

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:00 AM

David it was wonderful that you were able to help this young lady out so that she can have a better chance of recovery. Since you have been through this process you were the right choice to help this family get the coverage they needed. Good job, keep up all your great work.
Strength and Warmth,
Sheryl

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#3 GocartMoz

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 03:16 AM

Thank you Sheryl. However, the real credit needs to go to her attorneys in Massachusetts, Michael Ryan and Barbara Plante, and of course, Hannah and her family.

#4 janey

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 03:21 AM

Dave,
Thanks for providing a history of what this poor girl had to go through with the insurance company and of course, THANKS for YOUR efforts in helping her get to this point! Hopefully this will establish a precedent so that others can get the medical treatment they so desperately need.

THANKS to her attorneys and all the others that helped!!! Hopefully, we'll be able to track her progress.
Janey Willis
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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#5 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 09:05 AM

Hi Dave,

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of Hannah Coler. I'm glad that she has gotten at least a temporary injunction.

As it happens, she's not the first to have the court order to have the insurance company pay for a stem cell transplant for scleroderma. The very first such patient, Kathleen Wright Barlage, sued her insurance company in Minnesota in 1998 (and won) for this. Unfortunately she passed away a few years later. But her effort established a precedent, so other patients followed suit (pun intended) and in the beginning, suing insurance companies or fundraising was the only way to get a stem cell transplant for scleroderma.

Unfortunately, it seems like some things never change and that is also still necessary in some cases even today.
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
Founder and President
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.