Morning Consult: It seems like an easy question: Do you want your doctor to provide the best medical care for you? It should be that easy, but apparently, it’s not.
As a longtime advocate for cancer patients, I have often helped them battle insurance industry bureaucracy for the treatments and coverage they needed. I always asked one simple question of the insurance executive or medical director: “If this was your mother, your son, your best friend — wouldn’t you want them to have the very best treatment?”
I always felt it was important to put a face in the conversation, which otherwise could easily get bogged down by sterile discussion about insurance policy design and coverage. Often, that question went unanswered, and it was clear the patient’s care was not the priority.
When I recently read the stunning admission by a former medical director of Aetna, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, that he never reviewed a patient’s medical records when deciding whether to approve or deny claims, I can’t say I was surprised.
In fact, I’m surprised it took so long for such an egregious act to be exposed and for a light to shine on health insurers and their process for determining what is best for patients.