That truism can apply to so many corporate decisions, can't it? But when it comes to treating eating disorders, the truism becomes both literal and deadly.
Take the case of this Connecticut family, fighting for their insurance company to do the right thing and cover treatment of their 17-year-old daughter's anorexia. While insurance covered her previous treatment, her last admission was kicked out because of a treatment delay that triggered a "within 3 days" rule.
In fact, treatment delays are common and are usually--as in this case--the result of a shortage of beds or space in treatment programs. There's nothing a family can do to prevent them. To have coverage denied because of such a delay--a delay that can be lethal to the adolescent being treated--is both cruel and immoral.
Readers of this blog know how I feel about the health insurance industry: Any industry that profits from people's pain and suffering should be abolished. Until that day, the industry should be held accountable for decisions like this one, which risk lives and add suffering for families already dealing with the torments of an eating disorder.
The girl in question said it best: "If someone needs help, give it to them. Because people don't ask for help if they don't need it. Trust me."
This is especially poignant given the fact that so many people with anorexia cannot recognize that they're ill or ask for help.
Our former insurance company denied coverage for much of my daughter's treatment because we live in a state without mental health parity. (One more reason why I can't wait to move back to New York.) As we know, there are people whose entire work life consists of looking for reasons to deny people coverage. How do they sleep at night?
I hope folks from the company in question read this. And I hope they do the right thing. For once.