One Family's Fight Against AvMed Continues
Their 13-year-old daughter, Mariah, has congenital scoliosis. They have had to pay more than $12,000 out of pocket for her cranial-sacrum therapy, the only alternative to surgery that has worked.
AvMed refuses to pay for it calling the less expensive therapy "experimental and still under investigation." Wednesday's conference call is the Hamilton's chance to present their case, but they wouldn't get their chance after all.
The family wanted the meeting open to the public, but the Agency for Health Care Administration shut the meeting down, citing a Florida statute. The guidelines to the meeting sent to the Hamiltons beforehand say otherwise.
"It said you can have whoever you wanted could participate," said Chad Hamilton, Mariah's father.
"They're telling us they closed it because we're talking about Mariah and her medical history but we're the parents, we're consenting," said Shana Hamilton, Mariah's mother.
Agreeing with the overseeing panel, AvMed is not relenting, saying it must be closed due to HIPAA laws. TV20 left, but that wasn't enough. They cancelled the hearing.
Chad Hamiltion, a psychological specialist with the Department of Corrections, says as parents they should have the right to tell their story.
"They didn't want the media to be present, so the media excused themselves," said Chad Hamilton. "They didn't want us to tape record the session so we turned it off."
For now, their voice is silenced as they wait for a new hearing.
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