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Buyer beware of Harvard Pilgrim

August 20. 2017 11:16PM

To the Editor: As part of their cost-cutting measures, I’m a number in the eyes of Harvard Pilgrim. I’m not alone, and it’s wrong.

My doctor informs me it’s time for a colonoscopy and three additional related procedures. Screening for colon cancer is important! I’ve had colonoscopies before. They were pleasant experiences, asleep under the watchful eye of an experienced anesthesiologist. They administered propofol, an opioid-free anesthetic, made sure I was comfortable and sleeping throughout.

Harvard Pilgrim tells me they don’t cover anesthesiologists and propofol. They cover conscious sedation only, which includes fentanyl. What? Not being a pain featherweight, the thought of not having an anesthesiologist, and what I consider appropriate medication concerned me, so I cancelled my colonoscopy.

This is unacceptable. Patients on all other medical insurance platforms are entitled to an anesthesiologist and propofol. While paying my premiums, copays and deductibles, I’m eligible only for sedation through Harvard Pilgrim. Harvard Pilgrim is the only New Hampshire insurer doing this.

We subscribers are second-class citizens, a cost number to Harvard Pilgrim; not people! They’re forcing all “healthy” patients to receive fentanyl for this procedure. New Hampshire has an opioid crisis. Our citizens are dying from fentanyl. New Hampshire is striving to reduce opioid use. Our elected officials, drug czar and insurance commissioner need to address this issue and protect our citizens!

Don’t let Harvard Pilgrim be the leader in reducing quality of care and encouraging opioids in New Hampshire. Contact your representative today.



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