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Old 10-02-2010, 12:16 AM   #1
Jackie07
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Free legal resources for cancer patients - CLRC

Not sure where to put this one - Joe had mentioned about CLRC and Ms. Joanna Morales before (information on CLRC can be found by clicking on the DRLC logo to the left side of the 'Her2 Support Group Forums') - I just read the following posting from my brain tumor support group site www.braintumor.org and thought I'd share it with everyone here:


Q & A: Interview with Joanna Morales, Cancer Legal Resource Center
Posted by: Patient Services Team on September 29, 2010 at 12:05PM UEDT

Tell us about CLRC and how brain tumor patients and their families can benefit from your services?

The Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC), a national, joint program of the Disability Rights Legal Center and Loyola Law School, provides free information and resources on cancer-related legal issues, including employment and taking time off work, insurance options and navigation, access to care and government benefits, and estate planning. The CLRC provides a toll-free, nationwide Telephone Assistance Line (866-THE-CLRC), hosts an educational website at www.CancerLegalResourceCenter.org, and conducts free educational seminars and conferences throughout the country. Our goal is to educate people about their rights and options, giving them the tools to navigate through cancer-related legal issues.


Many brain tumor patients who are working often have to take time off for their MRI appointments or other follow-up care. What should patients know about their rights as employees? Is this different for caregivers?Different federal and state laws offer protections to employees and their caregivers. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides 12 weeks (within a 12 month period) of job protected and health insurance protected time off to employees who are unable to work due to a serious medical condition or who need to take time off to care for their spouse, child, or parent. Some states have similar statutes that also extend this protection to domestic partners. The leave time allowed under the FMLA is a total of twelve weeks, so it does not have to be used in a twelve-week block of time. Leave can be taken in intervals. For example, you can take a few weeks off, then return to work, then take off every Friday for follow-up visits to your doctor. In order to qualify for FMLA protections, the employer must have 50 or more employees at your worksite or within a 75 mile radius of your worksite, and the employee must have worked for the employer for a minimum of 12 months and at least 1250 hours within those 12 months.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may also provide some protections for employees with cancer and their caregivers. Under the ADA, eligible employees and caregivers are protected against discrimination in the workplace. In order to be eligible to receive the ADA’s protections, an employee must be able to perform the essential functions of the job and must have a disability under the ADA’s standards. The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Major life activities can include walking, talking, sleeping, thinking, communication, concentrating, or operation of a major bodily function. Caregivers are also protected against discrimination in the workplace for “associating with” a person with disability.

In addition to protection against discrimination, individuals with disabilities under the ADA are also entitled to reasonable accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are things that can help an employee continue to work, such as telecommuting, changing work schedules, longer or more frequent rest breaks, or changing the physical environment of a person’s workplace. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to eligible employees, as long as the accommodation does not pose an undue hardship on the employer. Employees typically make the request for a reasonable accommodation and the employer and the employee are supposed to engage in a conversation about what types of accommodations would be appropriate.

So, for example, if an employee is requesting time off work for MRI appointments, perhaps only requiring a longer lunch period, or working longer hours on other days during the week, this may be considered a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. For more information about the federal and state laws that protect the rights on employees with cancer, please contact the CLRC at 866-843-2572.

The cost of health care is a burden for many families. They can often fall behind in bill payments and can be consumed by credit card debt. What do families need to know about their rights regarding medical debt?
Medical debt is a serious issue, as over 60% of all bankruptcies in the United States are caused by medical debt and a large majority of those filing bankruptcy actually had health insurance.

The first step is trying to avoid medical debt. Patients should always review their medical bills for a number of reasons:
1) You want to make sure the bill is accurate (typos, incorrect dates, etc.).
2) You can request an itemized copy of the bill and compare it to the hospital’s standard charges to make sure you are not being overcharged.
3) If you are being denied coverage for a particular service, then you want to find out why, and see if you can appeal the decision through the insurance companies internal appeals process and/or your state’s external appeals process.

The second step is to try to manage medical debt. Once you know that a bill is accurate and you are responsible for the amount of the bill, you can usually negotiate a payment plan with a provider. That way, you can make smaller payments and the payment plan will not negatively affect your credit. Many people choose to pay their bills by credit card and then are unable to pay their credit cards bills and end up in serious medical debt. It is also common for people to take out a second mortgage to pay their medical bills. It is never a good idea to turn unsecured debt (credit cards, medical bills, etc.) into secured debt (mortgage, etc.), because then you are securing the debt with something that you can lose. If you can’t pay the second mortgage, you will lose your home.

It is important to try to keep your bills organized and never ignore a bill. Just because you haven’t heard from anyone about the bill doesn’t mean that it has gone away. Some hospitals also have patient advocates to help patients navigate through their medical bills and payment options.

Finally, it is a good idea to learn about your consumer rights before making any decisions with respect to medical bills or other financial decisions. If you are already in a situation where you have medical bills that have been sent to a collections agency, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers again harassing debt collectors.

For more information about federal and state laws that provide consumer protections related to medical bills, contact the CLRC at 866-843-2572.

Some brain tumor patients participate in clinical trials. Do health insurance companies cover the cost of care? What are the legal considerations?
A patient who is considering participating in a clinical trial should definitely check to see if their insurance company is going to cover the routine costs of care (office visits, lab tests, screening scans, etc.) while they are participating in the trial. Most companies or institutions sponsoring clinical trials will only cover the cost of the drug, procedure or product that is being tested. Many insurance companies will refuse to cover the routine costs, leaving patients to pay for those costs out-of-pocket.

Some states have laws that protect patients, requiring insurance companies to cover the routine costs of care while a patient is participating in a clinical trial. There are currently 23 states that require health insurance plans to cover the routine care costs of a clinical trial, including: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. However, each state’s law is different.

In addition, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka - health care reform), insurance companies will be required to cover routine care costs of clinical trial across the country. However, this provision of the Affordable Care Act will not go into effect until January 1, 2014. Until then, state protections are the only protections for people participating in a clinical trial.

For more information on your state’s regulation of health insurance coverage for clinical trials, please contact the CLRC or your state’s insurance agency.

Disclaimer
This publication is designed to provide general information on the topics presented. It is provided with the understanding that the author is not engaged in rendering any legal or professional services by its publication or distribution. Although these materials were reviewed by a professional, they should not be used as a substitute for professional services.

Tamar Sekayan, MSW
Associate Director of Patient Services
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Jackie07
http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/06/doctors-letter-patient-newly-diagnosed-cancer.html
http://www.asco.org/ASCOv2/MultiMedi...=114&trackID=2

NICU 4.4 LB
Erythema Nodosum 85
Life-long Central Neurocytoma 4x5x6.5 cm 23 hrs 62090 semi-coma 10 d PT OT ST 30 d
3 Infertility tmts 99 > 3 u. fibroids > Pills
CN 3 GKRS 52301
IDC 1.2 cm Her2 +++ ER 5% R. Lmptmy SLNB+1 71703 6 FEC 33 R Tamoxifen
Recc IIB 2.5 cm Bi-L Mast 61407 2/9 nds PET
6 TCH Cellulitis - Lymphedema - compression sleeve & glove
H w x 4 MUGA 51 D, J 49 M
Diastasis recti
Tamoxifen B. scan
Irrtbl bowel 1'09
Colonoscopy 313
BRCA1 V1247I
hptc hemangioma
Vertigo
GI - > yogurt
hysterectomy/oophorectomy 011410
Exemestane 25 mg tab 102912 ~ 101016 stopped due to r. hip/l.thigh pain after long walk
DEXA 1/13
1-2016 lesions in liver largest 9mm & 1.3 cm onco. says not cancer.
3-11 Appendectomy - visually O.K., a lot of puss. Final path result - not cancer.
Start Vitamin D3 and Calcium supplement (600mg x2)
10-10 Stopped Exemestane due to r. hip/l.thigh pain OKed by Onco 11-08-2016

"I WANT TO BE AN OUTRAGEOUS OLD WOMAN WHO NEVER GETS CALLED AN OLD LADY. I WANT TO GET SHARP EDGED & EARTH COLORED, TILL I FADE AWAY FROM PURE JOY." Irene from Tampa

Advocacy is a passion .. not a pastime - Joe

Last edited by Jackie07; 10-02-2010 at 12:30 AM..
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:52 PM   #2
Jackie07
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Re: Free legal resources for cancer patients - CLRC

Bumping this one up as it might benefit someone...
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Jackie07
http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/06/doctors-letter-patient-newly-diagnosed-cancer.html
http://www.asco.org/ASCOv2/MultiMedi...=114&trackID=2

NICU 4.4 LB
Erythema Nodosum 85
Life-long Central Neurocytoma 4x5x6.5 cm 23 hrs 62090 semi-coma 10 d PT OT ST 30 d
3 Infertility tmts 99 > 3 u. fibroids > Pills
CN 3 GKRS 52301
IDC 1.2 cm Her2 +++ ER 5% R. Lmptmy SLNB+1 71703 6 FEC 33 R Tamoxifen
Recc IIB 2.5 cm Bi-L Mast 61407 2/9 nds PET
6 TCH Cellulitis - Lymphedema - compression sleeve & glove
H w x 4 MUGA 51 D, J 49 M
Diastasis recti
Tamoxifen B. scan
Irrtbl bowel 1'09
Colonoscopy 313
BRCA1 V1247I
hptc hemangioma
Vertigo
GI - > yogurt
hysterectomy/oophorectomy 011410
Exemestane 25 mg tab 102912 ~ 101016 stopped due to r. hip/l.thigh pain after long walk
DEXA 1/13
1-2016 lesions in liver largest 9mm & 1.3 cm onco. says not cancer.
3-11 Appendectomy - visually O.K., a lot of puss. Final path result - not cancer.
Start Vitamin D3 and Calcium supplement (600mg x2)
10-10 Stopped Exemestane due to r. hip/l.thigh pain OKed by Onco 11-08-2016

"I WANT TO BE AN OUTRAGEOUS OLD WOMAN WHO NEVER GETS CALLED AN OLD LADY. I WANT TO GET SHARP EDGED & EARTH COLORED, TILL I FADE AWAY FROM PURE JOY." Irene from Tampa

Advocacy is a passion .. not a pastime - Joe
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
sdstarfish
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Re: Free legal resources for cancer patients - CLRC

Wow, I just saw this. I think I'll tweet it. Thanks!

Lisa
www.pinkkitchen.info
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Old 12-17-2011, 07:11 PM   #4
NEDenise
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Re: Free legal resources for cancer patients - CLRC

I'm bumping this one up!

I hope none of you need it...but sadly, I find I do.

Denise
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1/11-needle biopsy
2/11-Lumpectomy/axillary node dissection - Stage 3c, ER/PR-14/17 nodes
3/11 - Post-op staph infection,cellulitis, lymphedema,seroma,ARRRGH!
4/12/11-A/C x 4, then T/H x 4, H only,Q3 weeks
8/26/11 finished Taxol!!!
10/7/11 mastectomy/DIEP recon
11/11 radiation x28
1/12/12 1st CANCER-VERSARY!
1/12 Low EF/Herceptin "Holiday" :(
2/12 EF up - Back on Herceptin, heart meds
4/2/1212 surgery to repair separated incision from DIEP recon
6/8/12 Return to work :)
6/17/12 Fall, shatter wrist,surgery to repair/insert plate :(
7/10/12 last Herceptin
7/23/12 Brain Mets %$&#! 3cm and 1cm
8/10/12 Gamma knife surgery, LOTS of steroids;start H/Tykerb
8/23/12 Back to work
12/20/12 Injure back-3 weeks in wheel chair
1/12/13 2nd CANCER-VERSARY!
1/14/13 herniate disk in back - surgery to repair
1/27/13 Radiation necrosis - edema in brain - back on steroids - but not back to work - off balance, poor cordination in right arm
5/3/13 Start Avastin to shrink necrosis
5/10/13 begin weaning steroids
6/18/13 Brain MRI - Avastin seems to be working!
6/20/13 quarterly CT - chest, abdomen, pelvis - All Clear!
7/5/13 finally off steroids!!
7/7/13 joined the ranks of the CHEMO NINJAS I am now Tekuto Ki Ariku cancer assassin!
7/13/13 Symptoms return - back on steroids
7/26/13 Back on Avastin - try again!
8/26/13 Not ready to return to classroom yet :( But I CAN walk without holding onto things! :)
9/9/13 Brain MRI - fingers crossed
Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds you down or polishes you up is for you, and you alone, to decide. Cavett Robert
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:52 PM   #5
Jackie07
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Re: Free legal resources for cancer patients - CLRC

CLRC website (if you haven't checked out the ad on the main page): https://www.disabilityrightslegalcen...alresource.cfm
__________________
Jackie07
http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/06/doctors-letter-patient-newly-diagnosed-cancer.html
http://www.asco.org/ASCOv2/MultiMedi...=114&trackID=2

NICU 4.4 LB
Erythema Nodosum 85
Life-long Central Neurocytoma 4x5x6.5 cm 23 hrs 62090 semi-coma 10 d PT OT ST 30 d
3 Infertility tmts 99 > 3 u. fibroids > Pills
CN 3 GKRS 52301
IDC 1.2 cm Her2 +++ ER 5% R. Lmptmy SLNB+1 71703 6 FEC 33 R Tamoxifen
Recc IIB 2.5 cm Bi-L Mast 61407 2/9 nds PET
6 TCH Cellulitis - Lymphedema - compression sleeve & glove
H w x 4 MUGA 51 D, J 49 M
Diastasis recti
Tamoxifen B. scan
Irrtbl bowel 1'09
Colonoscopy 313
BRCA1 V1247I
hptc hemangioma
Vertigo
GI - > yogurt
hysterectomy/oophorectomy 011410
Exemestane 25 mg tab 102912 ~ 101016 stopped due to r. hip/l.thigh pain after long walk
DEXA 1/13
1-2016 lesions in liver largest 9mm & 1.3 cm onco. says not cancer.
3-11 Appendectomy - visually O.K., a lot of puss. Final path result - not cancer.
Start Vitamin D3 and Calcium supplement (600mg x2)
10-10 Stopped Exemestane due to r. hip/l.thigh pain OKed by Onco 11-08-2016

"I WANT TO BE AN OUTRAGEOUS OLD WOMAN WHO NEVER GETS CALLED AN OLD LADY. I WANT TO GET SHARP EDGED & EARTH COLORED, TILL I FADE AWAY FROM PURE JOY." Irene from Tampa

Advocacy is a passion .. not a pastime - Joe
Jackie07 is offline   Reply With Quote
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