From: Herbert Stein [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, September 28, 2013 8:48 AM
To: Amy Larrick (CMS/CM); Jonathan Blum, Deputy Administrator Director – CMS
Cc: Madam Secretary Kathleen Sebelius – HHS
Subject: VNS Therapy for Depression – GOOD NEWS
To all of Joyce’s fellow implant patients,
I’d like to share some very good news with y’all. I am tardy in my distribution of this news. To add to all my challenges my computer hard disk is malfunctioning so I’m limping along as best I can until I receive my new computer and get back up to speed.
In any event I wish to relate the following. Thursday, September 26, 2013, I spoke with Ms. Amy Larrick | Senior Advisor to the Principal Deputy Administrator | Centers for Medicare & Medicaid just before she was leaving on vacation. Our telephone conversation was “On the record” but I was asked to not record the conversation or to quote directly from what was stated. Once again, I shall honor that request. Therefore I shall share my understanding and interpretation of what was presented to me.
Mr. Jonathan Blum, Ms. Amy Larrick and others members of CMS, in my opinion, are understanding and compassionate of our Catch-22 situation and wish to genuinely help our unique patient population as best they can. Apparently there will not be any formal directive or document issued but in my opinion of more benefit is that there is an offer by CMS staff to assist directly, patients like my spouse Joyce and others, on a case by case basis to obtain Medicare/Medicaid or private health insurance coverage for the care or replacement or explanting of the prosthesis for those patients implanted on or before May 4, 2007.
I have been allowed to share the individual’s name and contact information at CMS:
Ms. Amy Larrick | Senior Advisor to the Principal Deputy Administrator | Centers for Medicare & Medicaid
Any implanted depression patient needing assistance must be prepared to supply the following information when contacting Ms. Amy Larrick:
Medicare number (from one’s Medicare Card)
I thanked her as I knew she personally was working on expediting Joyce’s needs through the bureaucratic system. At the same time I told her there were several others who were in dire straits and needed immediate assistance. Amy personally told me upon completion of our conversation she would also immediately contact several of the individuals who shared publicly with us all their serious circumstances. I must state that I did contact these individuals to see if in fact they were contacted. I wish to report that both Ms. Larrick and Mr. Blum have lived up to their words and commitments for which I am truly grateful.
To the physicians whom I blind copy in my many messages I would encourage y’all to pass along this information to the patients you attend to and to please spread the word.
I have some other thoughts which I wish to share Jonathan and Amy but for now the computer has gotten me this far and I did want to share what I consider “Good News”.
Joyce and Herbert Stein
1008 Trailmore Lane
Weston, FL 33326-2816
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