They all desperately want the same wellness now!

From: Joyce and Herbert Stein [] Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2013 11:16 AM To: Jonathan Blum, Deputy Administrator Director – CMS; Madam Secretary Kathleen Sebelius – HHS

Subject: They all desperately want the same wellness now!

Dear Jonathan,

It is roughly 24 hours from our scheduled 2nd conference call.  I have copied and pasted below another communication I just received.

Like Julie, Amy, Joyce and others I too am filled with major anxiety and stress.

I cannot accept anything less from you or Madam Secretary Sebelius than a favorable decision for “Compassionate use” for all these implanted patients prior to your department’s former decision of May 7, 2007.  Anything less would be immoral, unconscionable, inhumane and reeking of total outright negligence.  This issue not only directly affects the patient but so too their families and friends.

I expect you to tell me that a “Decision Memo for VAGUS NERVE STIMULATION for Treatment of Resistant Depression (TRD)” is being issued immediately and in the “Decision Summary” it will state something to the effect that:

CMS has determined through it’s initial oversight that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that vagus nerve stimulation is reasonable and necessary for treatment of resistant depression for all those implanted patients wishing to continue the therapy who have been implanted on/or before May 7, 2007. Accordingly, we are issuing the following national coverage determination and/or “Compassionate use” determination:

Vagus nerve stimulation is covered for treatment resistant depression for all implanted patients having been initially implanted on/or before May 7, 2007.

Nothing less than some document of this nature can be humanely acceptable. 

Julie, Amy and Joyce, amongst others have now known and tasted wellness for years.  They all desperately want to retain that same wellness; now!

To Julie, please understand that Joyce’s neurosurgeon fully understands the nature of this whole situation.  He too is blind copied and receives the same communications from me.  While we do have a scheduled surgery date we have not yet heard anything from our insurance carrier or the hospital whether or not she will be accepted/rejected.  In essence I am pushing the issue for Joyce and all the other implanted patients who wish to continue the therapy.  Mr. Jonathan Blum’s signature or that of Madam Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would simply and quickly resolve our issue.



Joyce and Herbert Stein

1008 Trail more Lane

Weston, FL 33326-2816

(954) 349-8733


Julie Ottaviani

10:11 AM (September 15, 2013)





to me


Dear Herb, I write to you again with my thoughts because I have not slept at all this weekend waiting for the phone call from Jonathan Blum to yourself on Monday Sept. 16th 2013.  I feel that my very life is hanging by a thread at this time.  Unlike yourself and Joyce my doctor or myself cannot even get a surgeon or hospital to schedule my surgery.  I am desperate and sinking fast.  When I think back to the day my implant was originally put in at Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton Pa, by Dr. Michael Sunday, I become angry and sad.  Both the hospital and Dr. Sunday knew at the time there was no decision on payment and that I would try and help get payment if need be.  Before they wheeled me in for surgery I took Dr. Sunday’s hand and thanked him for giving me another chance at life by doing the surgery.  Now that I need a replacement and Medicare has decided the Implant is not covered.  Dr. Sunday flat out refused to see me for the replacement and so did Moses Taylor Hospital.  The people that I thought cared about my life only cared about profit.  If they really cared they would have me on a table right now doing the surgery without a decision.  That is why Jonathan Blum’s call is so important, because there is less compassion for mental health patients than any other patient.  If I had cancer would I be denied chemo, If I had diabetes would I be denied insulin, they’ll even pay for a heart transplant but not a tiny little metal round disc in my chest that cost’s quarter not even what a transplant costs to make me tax paying member of society again.  Pass compassionate use.  PLEASE Julie Ottaviani 11 Alexandria Drive Blakely, Pa 18447 570-604-3043 You have my permission to use this email and all it’s contents in any way you choose if it will help our cause.

Julie Ottaviani




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About vnstherapy

I'm a very, very long-time support person and health care and mental health advocate/activist for my spouse Joyce as well as to others. I'm also a retired business executive and former Board Member, President and facilitator of a local chapter of DBSA as well as a Florida State appointment as a Guardian Advocate. I do not endorse, promote or advertise for any therapy, product or company. I do share our personal experiences, my research and knowledge in the hope it might benefit someone or do I give advice as to what one should or shouldn't do. I extend my best wishes for wellness to one and all and all the good you’d wish for yourselves.
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