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DEAR AETNA,
April 15, 2017, 12:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

 

One of my dearest friends received this letter in the mail from you today.

“We found a way that you may be able to improve your health! You may want to share this letter with your doctor”

Huh. That doesn’t sound right, does it? How did an insurance company find a way to improve her health without a doctor?

Oh, they just go through all of the data from your prescriptions, doctor’s visits, and lab results and then draw an algorithm based on that information.

What did my friend’s insurance company have to say about her health?

That she MIGHT have bipolar disorder. That she is taking an antidepressant but if she is bipolar she should also be taking a mood stabilizer with that antidepressant or it won’t work because they know that she has bipolar disorder and they also know how to treat her as an individual patient.

They then urge her to talk to her doctor about the medication routine she has been on.

A PRINTED OUT PIECE OF PAPER FROM AN INSURANCE OFFICE IS TELLING MY FRIEND THAT SHE MIGHT HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER AND THAT SHE IS TAKING THE WRONG MEDICATIONS.

You know what my friend’s PSYCHIATRIST says? She takes an antidepressant because she suffers from postpartum depression. She takes an anti-anxiety medication because she has anxiety.

She has been screened for bipolar disorder several times. She does not have it.

So, let’s review because there’s a lot here:

You are sending out pieces of paper that are not based on actual medical opinions telling people that they are suffering from a mental disorder that they are not and then trying to get them so paranoid that they march into their actual doctor’s offices and demand yet another medication to pay for –through your insurance–that will not help them at all.

I DO suffer from bipolar disorder. I take a lot of medication every day including an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer. Do you know which is the most expensive out of all of my medications? My mood stabilizer.

I’ll just say that.

Also–if a person is not confirmed in your DATA to have bipolar disorder and is not taking the medication for bipolar disorder but medication for another disorder…is it possible that she is taking the medication for something else? Major depression disorder? Manic depression disorder? POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION? Does your data show that she has a history of PPD? That her youngest child is still young enough that it still plagues her? Do you know anything about how this disorder works? Does your data show the hospital stays she endured battling this disorder? The therapy she went through? How about all of the self help books and holistic attempts to make herself feel more like a worthy mother?

No. I’m sure it doesn’t.

It seems to me, Aetna, that you pulled random bits of information about my friend and decided whether she could possibly maybe have bipolar disorder.

Do you know how many people suffer silently because they are misdiagnosed with mental disorders? How many people go through their lives thinking that no medication will ever help them only because they have been taking the wrong ones? Do you know how many people succumb to their disorders because of this?

No. I’m sure you don’t.

I wonder how many of these letters went out in the mail, with no confidentiality warning on the envelope and so blatantly breaking down a person’s mental health with bullet points on the back. This isn’t information everyone wants to share in their own household. Some may be keeping their struggles to themselves, from their children. Some may not live in a safe environment for this information to become known. Did that thought ever pop up in your minds over there on Aetna Drive?

No. I’m sure it didn’t.

 

I hope that every single person who received a letter like this is just as enraged. This is a personal violation and an abuse of power.  No one is going to make an appointment with their psychiatrists and say “Well, Aetna thought maybe I’m bipolar”. No psychiatrist is going to take that seriously and honestly you’re going to step on a lot of their toes by trying to micromanage their patients in this manner.

Didn’t think about that either, did you?

Get out of our medical files and leave our bodies alone.

Do your damn job.

 

Sincerely,

Someone who does take a mood stabilizer and you better be glad I do

 

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1 Comment so far
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Wow. That is hugely effed up.

Comment by Ruth




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