The state filed suit against Carle and Christie clinics, Thursday, saying they refused care for thousands of medicaid patients to scam the state out of money. Now, some patients hope the lawsuit will change what they call a health care crisis. It's not just patients on medicaid who are worried.
For example, Rron Eaker knows what it's like to be denied care. "When I call to make an appointment, I'm told that I'm a person of non-service. When I ask to speak with my doctor on telephone, the physician apologized," says Eaker.
He says Carle Clinic won't see him because he racked up too much debt, after suffering three heart attacks. He joined the health care group, to see what his options are and to help others in similar situations.
Claudia Lennhoff, Health Care Consumers, says people experiencing problems are the real experts because they've lived the experiences. "They know what happened to them and they know what's wrong," says Lennhoff.
The group had a hand in starting the Attorney General's investigation into Christie and Carle clinics. One medicaid patient hopes it's news that will encourage others to reach out for help. Robert West says, "make contact with Health Care Consumers and they can tell you how to go about, where to go about and who to talk to."
Violet Wheat is one of those patients seeking help. She can't afford the minimum 75-dollar payment right now and she's worried she'll be turned away soon. "I've told them, you deny me, I'm a type two diabetic. If for some reason it would develop into heart problems, I'm gonna have to go to the emergency room," says Wheat. It's something she, and others, don't want to worry about. So they're hoping their stories will help shed light on the problems with the current healthcare system and create change.
The Attorney General's Office says it's starting the push for change with its lawsuit. Carle and Christie clinics deny they tried to fix the system to squeeze more money out of the state. And they say they'll prove it in court.