Insurance with Aetna

Sep 8th, 2015
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  1. Sparring with Aetna
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  3. Colleen Huber, NMD
  4. Message 1 of 2 , Sep 4 6:35 AM
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  6. An Aetna employee sent a letter saying they won't cover IV nutrient infusion therapy anymore, that providers are supposed to figure that out before submitting, and they will demand lots of medical records before rejecting the claims, which may take months. So I wrote back, fyi, in case any of you can use any of the following arguments, in any context or venue:
  8. Sandra P. Miller
  9. Aetna
  10. 151 Farmington Avenue, RWA4
  11. Hartford, CT 06156-7626
  13. Dear Ms. Miller,
  15. I have received your letter dated August 24, 2015. This letter is to advise you of several items:
  17. 1) Federal and state law, as well as pertinent court cases have all determined that health insurance companies are responsible for determining the limits of their policy coverage. That is not the responsibility of either providers or of members. Aetna will continue to receive claims submitted on behalf of our patients with Aetna insurance, with appropriate CPT codes.
  18. 2) Aetna’s responsibility is to resolve a claim within 30 days from date of service. Your insured members, our patients, appreciate your ongoing prompt attention to that responsibility.
  19. 3) In accordance with our clinic’s policy on efficiency and paperwork reduction, you will not receive any medical records unless all of the following conditions are fulfilled: a) the patient has given specific permission for such release; b) your company has proven a specific need for a specific document; and c) no more than 30 days have passed from date of service until we receive your specific request.
  20. 4) IV nutrient infusion therapy for cancer has decades of established research verifying its efficacy, including from the National Institutes of Health, as briefly summarized on the attached page, which represents a small fraction of the available research in this field. Also, please Google “Defeating cancer requires more than one treatment method” for detailed reporting of our clinic’s results. If you allege that Aetna will no longer cover this treatment, after having covered it for years, then you risk your members adding Aetna to nationally distributed junk insurance advisory lists. Does the management of Aetna know that you are taking that risk? Rejecting members who have chosen IV nutrient infusion therapy for cancer is not a wise business decision, because our clinic’s results in cancer remission and survival are still the best of any clinic in the world that reports its results, and the Aetna members who have chosen this route survive to be able to continue paying health insurance premiums. Most of your competitors do cover these treatments. Shall your competitors enjoy that competitive advantage, and reap those benefits to Aetna’s detriment?
  23. Sincerely,
  26. Colleen Huber, NMD
  27. cc: all patients
  28. Mark T. Bertolini, CEO, Aetna
  32. Research has established that ascorbic acid taken orally cannot attain sufficiently high concentrations in the bloodstream to kill cancer cells.[i] [ii] However, intravenous use of ascorbic acid has been shown to rise to concentrations that have killed cancer cells in vivo [iii] [iv] [v] and in vitro.[vi] [vii] [viii] The ascorbic acid that we use is in much higher dose than would be tolerated orally, yet at a level where there is sufficient concentration of vitamin C in the bloodstream to create a substantial concentration of the products of vitamin C in the extracellular fluid.[ix] Intravenous doses of ascorbic acid have been found to produce from 25 to 70 times as much plasma concentration as may be attained by oral dosing.[x] Research has confirmed that Vitamin C in such high concentration kills cancer cells while leaving normal tissue unharmed.[xi] [xii] Indeed the cancer patients whom we treat do not have side effects from these treatments, with few exceptions. Three of the exceptions were allergies to specific B vitamins in three individuals. Two of the three went into remission after we had removed the offending agent early on.
  33. In addition to this directly and selectively cytotoxic effect on cancer cells, vitamin C has been shown to form collagen[xiii] and to inhibit hyaluronidase[xiv] leading to stronger membrane integrity and tensile strength[xv] of normal tissue, which inhibits invasion[xvi] and thus metastases.
  36. [i] Creagan E, Moertel C, O’Fallon J, et al. Failure of high-dose Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) therapy to benefit patients with advanced cancer. A controlled trial. New Engl J Med 1979 Sep 27. 301(13): 687-90.
  37. [ii] Moertel C, Fleming T, Creagan E., et al. High-dose vitamin C versus placebo in the treatment of patients with advanced cancer who have had no prior chemotherapy. A randomized double-blind comparison. New Engl J Med. 1985 Jan 17; 312(3): 137-41.
  38. [iii] Cameron E, Campbell A. The Orthomolecular treatment of cancer: II. Clinical trial of high-dose ascorbic acid supplements in advanced human cancer. Chem Biol Interact. 1974; 9: 285-315.
  39. [iv] Cameron E, Pauling L. Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 1976. 73. 3685-89.
  40. [v] Cameron E., Pauling L. Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: re-evaluation of prolongation of survival times in advanced human cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 1978 Sep; 75(9): 4538-42.
  41. [vi] Bram S, Froussard P, Guichard M, et al. Vitamin C preferential toxicity for malignant melanoma cells. Nature 1980 Apr 17; 284(57)::629-31.
  42. [vii] Leung P, Miyashita K, Young M, et al. Cytotoxic effect of ascorbate and its derivatives on cultured malignant and non-malignant cell lines. Anticancer Res. 1993 Mar-Apr; 13(2): 475-80.
  43. [viii] Sakagami H, Satoh K, Hakeda Y, et al. Apoptosis-inducing activity of vitamin C and vitamin K. Cell Mol. Biol 2000 Feb; 46(1): 129-43.
  44. [ix] Chen Q, Espey M, Krishna M, et al. Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2005 Sep; 102(38): 13604-09.
  45. [x] Padayatty S., Sun H, Wang Y, et al. Vitamin C pharmacokinetics: implications for oral and intravenous use. Ann Intern Med 2004 Apr 6;140(7): 533-37.
  46. [xi] Chen Q, Espey M, Krishna M, et al. Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2005 Sep. 102(38): 13604-09.
  47. [xii] Padayatty S, Riordan H, Hewitt S, et al. Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases. Canadian Med Assn J. 2006 Mar 28; 174(7): 937-42.
  48. [xiii] Akiyama M, Nakamura M. Bone regeneration and neovascularization processes in a pellet culture system for periosteal cells. Cell Transplant. 2009 Apr 15. pii: CT-1917. (Epub ahead of print).
  49. [xiv] Yogeeta S, Gnanapragasam A, Senthilkumar S, et al. Synergistic salubrious effect of ferulic acid and ascorbic acid on membrane-bound phosphatases and lysosomal hydrolases during experimental myocardial infarction in rats. Life Sci. 2006 Dec.23; 80(3): 258-63.
  50. [xv] Lin Y, Tan F, Marra K, et al. Synthesis and characterization of collagen/hyaluronan/chitosan composite sponges for potential biomedical applications. Acta Biomater. 2009 Apr 2. (Epub ahead of print).
  51. [xvi] Petrella B. Assessment of local proteolytic milieu as a factor in tumor invasiveness and metastasis formation: in vitro collagen degradation and invasion assays. Methods Mol Biol 2009; 511:75-84.
  54. Erin Holston Singh, N.D.
  55. Message 2 of 2 , Sep 4 7:18 AM
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  57. This rocks Dr. Huber. I am so grateful for your wonderfully aggressive and appropriate advocating for our profession and our therapies. Please keep us posted on the outcome of this!
  59. Erin Holston Singh, ND
  60. Cleveland, OH
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