Regence BCBS of Oregon: Let Tabitha Andrews Orth Live & provide lifesaving treatment IVIG

This petition made change with 92 supporters! petition
Title: Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon
Let Tabitha Andrews Orth Live. Provide lifesaving IVIG
 Jared L. Short President, Regence Insurance Holding Corporation

Tabitha Orth of Beaverton, Oregon has just had her life expectancy shortened, thanks to Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon denying her claim for IVIG.  IVIG is a lifesaving treatment for someone with Tabitha’s disease, a variant of Autoimmune Encephalopathy and Ideopathic Progressive Polyneuropathy, also known as Progressive Polyneuropathy.

Upon receiving the denial, my Neurologist told me and Jim, my husband of 27 years, “Your life expectancy will be cut short. You could have Status epilepticus at any time and expire." (brain seizures). My Neurologist, in my appeal  which included the medical research proving the safety and efficacy of IVIG,  made it clear that denying IVIG will cause brain damage and even death.

If BCBS is knowingly going to make a decision that will cause this outcome, it is my opinion, they need to accept the responsibility to care for that individual for a lifetime.

Medicare covers IVIG for this condition. BCBS in it's medicine Policy lists specific indications for which IVIG is considered medically necessary, which include the treatment of autoimmune encephalitis, i.e. Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (All variants are equal in treatment, research, case study, safety and efficacy.)  On page 14 the policy references Autoimmune Disorders, stating, "IVIG has been studied and found to be useful in a variety of autoimmune disorders. However, given the rarity of many of these disorders, the evidence for safety and efficacy in SOME diagnoses is insufficient at this time."

Autoimmune encephalitis is a somewhat rare but treatable disease in which the antibodies turn against the brain to destroy the brain. For most, it is a Lifelong disease. Antibodies form in the blood and travel to the brain where they change form into a protein and attack the neurons. This attack causes the brain to swell. The brain continues to swell as the antibodies circulate in the blood causing perivascular disease damage and rupture the very tiny vessels in the brain.

In my appeal to save my life, we submitted 885 pages. 2,500 valid research studies from the traditional medical field (PubMed) proving safety and efficacy for IVIG and the basis for Medicare covering this treatment. Additionally, over 1,000 studies, research, case studies, from top researchers and medical entities around the world showing that IVIG is a proven and first line therapy for my AE and standard protocol of treatment. 

BCBS is supposed to provide a peer review, a medical doctor comparable to my Neurologist.  Who denied my lifesaving treatment and found it to be 'investigational'?  Not a member of the American Medical Association.  BCBS hired a doctor who practices holistic and alternative medicine. A "Board Certified Neurologist", but certified through the American Osteopathic Association, one who does not practice traditional medicine where you diagnose and treat an illness. This doctor denied my claim for lifesaving IVIG, by referencing a French advisory structure, Comité d´Evaluation et de Diffusion des Innovations Technologiques.  (CEDIT), not recognized as a medical authority in traditional medicine or by the AMA.

BCBS has used bad faith by deliberately deceiving it's customers that it is conducting a fair peer review of medical treatment.  When I spoke with The US Department of Labor, The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the advocate attorney informed me that BCBS was not doing anything illegal, but in her opinion, "it was morally wrong".

I am a 57 year old wife and Mother.  I have a 24 year old son with autism who operates at a 4 year old level and desperately needs him Mom.  I have a loving a devoted husband who does not deserve to watch me die because I have been denied a proven lifesaving treatment.  I have a right to live.  I ask that you support me in that effort and sign this petition.

If BCBS denies my appeal, it will not be based on facts. I believe it's all about money.

BCBS is currently being investigated nation wide for it's Non Profit tax exempt status. Obscenely huge severance packages,criticism over its rate hikes, executive pay and billions in financial reserves have all lead up to the investigation. The California Franchise Tax Board pulled the tax exemption of Blue Shield of California last August.

If you, a family member or friend have BCBS insurance in Idaho, Oregon, Utah, or Washington State,  and you have a life threatening illness or need a life saving treatment, you are directly affected by the same strategies that threatened my life saving treatment.  Jared L. Short,President, Regence Insurance Holding Corporation is your decision maker.

Sign this petition and share it, tweet it, help make it go viral.

People with a life threatening illness who have BCBS health insurance deserve a chance to live and receive their life saving treatment.

Please send this to Cancer Societies, Heart Disease societies, Kidney disease Societies, Brain disease Societies and support groups nation wide and especially in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Let your voice be heard!


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