From: Joyce and Herbert Stein [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 1:00 PM
Subject: Favorable decision and document is forthcoming…
To all of Joyce’s fellow implant patients,
Jonathan Blum, Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center of Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is understanding and compassionate to our circumstances and cause.
While our conversation was on the record I was requested to not record the conversation. As I have been respectful of all the conversations I have had through the years both on and off the record and where I’ve been allowed to share or not share I shall honor Jonathan’s request.
I shall paraphrase what I took from the conversation.
There will be a document of sorts issued, hopefully by the end of the week, encompassing Medicare/Medicaid coverage for the implanted VNS Therapy depression patients on/or before May 7, 2007. This document will also be sent to the private Medicare/Medicaid carriers encouraging them to follow suit.
I did request a contact within government for those encountering any difficulty navigating the maize to accomplish our goals. I’ll have to wait and see as there are some internal mechanics within the agency that is still being worked on.
In my opinion, I did receive a very favorable response from Jonathan for which I truly thank him not only on behalf of Joyce but all of her fellow patients in desperate need of help at this time.
I truly hope I’ve brought some hope to you all. By nature and having the experiences and knowledge I’ve garnered all these years I do bring you this hope. At the same time and not to discourage anyone I am also reminded of baseball’s poet laureate Yogi Berra when he said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Or in my words, “it’s not done until it’s done” (i.e. Cyberonics reneging on their “Lifetime Reimbursement Guarantee”) I hope to see an important piece of paper in your hands shortly to help advocate for yourselves, if necessary, to obtain your replacements as soon as possible.
Once again Jonathan, I truly appreciate your understanding and compassionate efforts for this group of patients.
I would also like to acknowledge and thank all those medical professionals and others, unseen in my blind copies, who have supported, educated and encouraged my advocacy and crusade. Thank you Vivian and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
I now have to get Joyce spoofed, nails, hair etc. and I’ve got to pack. We shall be in New York for our eldest granddaughters Bat Mitzvah and I’ll formally be back at the computer late Tuesday evening, September 24, 2013. My phone is on 24/7 for anyone needing support.
I wish you all L’Shanah Tovah (A Good Year – Hebrew) wellness and all the good you’d wish for yourselves.
Joyce and Herbert Stein
1008 Trailmore Lane
Weston, FL 33326-2816