Friday, February 4, 2011

Shriner's Hospital for Children

We are recovering from week one of Cast #7.  A quick update to William's cast day: Chad and I made the decision to keep William out of cast for a very short break.  We were growing tired of having him out only to face the heartbreak of watching his little spine shift back to where we were before.  He came out of cast Thursday evening before a Monday morning cast day.  Well we are very excited to report after 5 casts of being stuck at 40 degrees we saw movement in the right direction...he is currently sitting at 25 degrees out of cast!  The only downside to this news is the advice of our surgeon that he really wants the 7 days out next time.  He feels in all honesty it will be the only way to gauge what his spine is going to do on its own devices.  I am taking my tiny miracle in stride and knowing if only for one cast...we made progress. 

I want to take some time to share a little about Shriners Hospital for Children across the country.  Shriners are one of very few NO FEE hospitals still remaining.  Although there are wonderful non-profit Children's Hospitals in our region and across the country, families with incomes above poverty level are responsible at these centers for their out of pocket portion of care.  We have been casting for a year and a half and our insurance, a major carrier, deems his procedure as a non-covered procedure.  This would mean our family would be responsible for $134, 232.00 for the 7 casts we have been fortunate enough to have on our sweet little guy.  Needless to say at many income levels this would mean bankruptcy for many families.  Our total cost so far of William's care has been $7000.00 to Deaconess Hospital for an MRI, close to $1000.00 to Radiology Associates for bad reads on x-rays, $900 to Tri-state Anesthesiologists & $0 to Shriners Hospital for Children. 

In an effort to avoid closing hospitals nationwide Shriners is trying to adapt and build a insurance billing department to claim some form of repayment for services from companies that will be willing to participate in their members care.  Our insurance is not one of those.  Shriners is making it clear to families, they are not responsible for any portion of the bill that is not covered by insurance.  They have gone further to say YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A BILL EVER FROM SHRINER'S HOSPITAL.  I felt after talking with the nurses at Shriners this week this should be shouted from the roof tops! 

I was having a conversation with one of our Shriners friends and I said what is wrong with people like Oprah for not reporting on such a miracle in her own city.  She said you know that is all it would take is for one very prominent person to tell these stories.  She went on to say St. Judes is a similar hospital in terms of no child is turned away for their families inability to pay, she said they have the Thomas', John Goodman, Sarah Jessica Parker as well as a dozen other celebrities singing their story...We just need one. 

I am no celebrity, but I am going to sing their song and encourage everyone who reads this to tell someone else and tell them to tell someone else.  We need a movement to save our centers.  In the tri-state alone, kids are being cared for at Shriners Hospital's in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Lexington and Chicago.  Lucky Cast Kids are being casted at Shriners Hospital's in Chicago, St. Louis, Lexington, Greenville, Portland, Philly, Erie, and Salt Lake no cost to their families.  Let's spread the good news. 

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