When this consumer affairs column was born, it had a simple mandate: to help consumers who believed they were being wronged by a company or government agency. We would step in when consumers couldn't resolve an issue despite their own attempts, and we would cut through the red tape and encourage organizations to do the right thing. It's a rewarding column to write, actually helping real people with real problems, but it's also incredibly frustrating to see issues come across our desk that should have been corrected without outside intervention. Here's one of those cases. We received an email from a consumer who had a very simple billing issue after a hospital visit. She had figured out the solution to the problem, but for more than six months, no one would help her solve it. We stepped in, and in a couple of days, the billing issue was resolved. Why was this so hard to fix without a nudge from the media? Unfortunately, we don't have an answer. Here's what happened. JoAnn Corry of … [Read more...] about ER patient keeps getting bills for covered treatment. Why was this so hard to fix?
Insurance disputes ombudsman
opinion Letters to the editor The Register Published 2:37 PM EDT Oct 4, 2018 HOW TO SUBMIT A LETTER TO THE EDITOR We need Hubbell's steady gaze on Iowa One quote stuck out for me in Kevin Hardy’s piece in the Des Moines Register last week about Fred Hubbell [Fred Hubbell, scion of Iowa royalty, puts policy over personality in his race for Iowa governor]. Janet Altes was quoted as saying, "You can tell by the way he looks at you and what he says that he means business,” and that struck a chord. I have had brief encounters with Hubbell over the past 15 years or so. I was surprised to see him at a Democratic caucus gathering in the mid-80s. More recently, I have worked with him and his wife, Charlotte Hubbell, on public health matters. I feel like we know each other pretty well. However, there have been times when I have been taken aback by his steady gaze and tough questions on tough issues. This is a serious man. This is an adult who is his own person. … [Read more...] about Letters: We need Hubbell’s steady gaze on Iowa
By Jackie Crosby Star Tribune June 2, 2018 — 7:58pm AGING PARENTS, STRESSED FAMILIES The 2030 problem Demographic triple threat spells trouble Career-care struggle Holding onto a job while caregiving More on this story See their stories Watch caregivers describe their lives Resources, policy Where the laws stand and how to find help Getting through itHelpers offer survival tips, strategies About the series Why we're writing about caregiving For Erin Jakupciak and her two sisters, the path began as it does for so many — with worried conversations, uncertainty and a low rumble of doom. Their mother, Nancy Kreibich, was strong-willed and independent. When her daughters first noticed her faltering memory, she turned angry and defensive. She stormed out of the doctor’s office to avoid taking cognitive tests and for nearly a year refused to let anyone through her front door. But soon it became clear to the sisters that their … [Read more...] about ‘Invisible workforce’ of caregivers is wearing out as boomers age
Ryan Mills and Melanie Payne Naples Published 3:22 p.m. UTC Jun 1, 2018 They told Billy Seigler he’d never walk again. Not because of his broken pelvis or busted right leg, but because his nursing home refused to provide the therapy he so desperately needed. Seigler relied on Governors Creek Health and Rehabilitation in Green Cove Springs to help him return to the independent life he lived before a 2010 attack and attempted robbery. Each time Seigler pleaded for physical therapy, the nursing home's rehabilitation director told the 45-year-old his government benefits didn't pay for it. But that was a lie. The state paid the Jacksonville-area nursing home a flat rate to provide Seigler care, including his needed therapy. But Governors Creek routinely denied treatment and services to patients like Seigler, according to a 2011 federal whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former nurse. "I think it's all about … [Read more...] about Neglected: Florida’s largest nursing home chain survives despite legacy of poor patient care
WORCESTER -- The victim of a 2013 shakedown by a quintet of mobsters struggling to gain footing in the Genovese crime family had the final say Friday in a long-running federal investigation. Or, to be more precise, U.S. District Judge Timothy Hillman had the last say when he sentenced Francesco "Frank" Depergola to 38 months in prison. But tow company owner Craig "C.J." Morel had quite a bit to say about it. Depergola, 61, of Springfield, was the last defendant to be sentenced in an extortion case focused primarily on a scheme to extort Morel that began on Sept. 30, 2013, with a slap in the face and a threat to kill Morel if he didn't comply. Depergola's co-defendants Ralph Santaniello and Giovanni "Johnny Cal" Calabrese arrived at Morel's remote plot of land in Hampden that day initially demanding $50,000 in "back taxes" and $4,000 monthly going forward in "tribute" for a new mob regime. The new Springfield Crew caught wind that Morel once upon a time paid local mafia capo Adolfo "Big … [Read more...] about Mob extortion target: ‘Am I going to be the next murder victim?’