Woman With Leukemia Denied By Indian River Medical Center

Indian River Medical Center denies Sebastian woman with leukemia.
Indian River Medical Center denies Sebastian woman with leukemia.

SEBASTIAN, Florida – A Sebastian woman diagnosed with leukemia has been denied coverage by Indian River Medical Center, although she has a signed letter of approval.

Lorrie Lynn McMillan, 48, says she is going through a life threatening situation and was referred to an oncologist for treatment.

“I’m having a breakdown, been on the phone with Mayo (Clinic) in Jacksonville, Moffatt in Tampa, Shands in Gainesville,” McMillan said. “I’ll need tests done before any help may be available.”

“I have applied for indigent care through the health department,” said McMillan. “I received an approval letter and went to see the oncologist they referred me to.”

The oncologist ordered a series of additional tests for her but would not perform them in his office. Instead, he referred McMillan back to the hospital.

The approval was then suddenly taken away because McMillan stays with someone who has an income. They are not married, and he doesn’t claim her on his taxes.

McMillan said she was denied by the Indian River County Hospital District because of the eligibility requirements. She lives with someone who has an income, even though that person is not financially responsible for her.

“Basically, my life is in the hands of Board Members for the district who have bits and pieces of information about my situation,” she says. “If I were completely homeless and lived in a shelter I would qualify for services.” Some of those services would include transportation to and from appointments, help with food to eat, medical expenses, and room and board. But she’s not asking for any of that. Just health care like they say we are all afforded.

McMillan feels discriminated against because she’s not on welfare, is educated, and does not fit the profile of someone who is indigent.

“I also would like to know exactly who is looking at my medical records to make this determination,” McMillan asked.

She was accepted and met the eligibility guidelines for her most recent IRMC visit on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. The specialized tests ordered for her treatment have been ordered for two weeks, but cannot be done because the hospital claims the person she’s living with makes too much money.

McMillan was told Monday that her appeal case wouldn’t be looked into until next week, and that’s a big “maybe.”

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking, and this life-threatening situation is becoming more serious by the day.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges grew up in Jupiter, Florida where he began his career in radio and TV broadcasting for over 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies in Atlanta before moving to Indian River County in 2002. He returned to the news sector in 2005 as a writer. Andy joined Sebastian Daily in 2016 as our editor in chief.