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View Full Version : Dr. Boachie Nominated for CNN Heroes Tribute



susannajon
10-18-2007, 04:40 PM
Hello all,

I nominated my daughter's surgeon, Dr. Boachie at HSS, for this special on CNN, and I just heard back from the producers that he's been selected as a possible finalist! The producer asked me if I knew of any other people who would be willing to speak to CNN about their experiences with Dr. Boachie. It could be patients, nurses, parents, anyone. I know he's made a difference in so many lives. If you want to help get him on the show, please send me a PM with your email address and or phone number, and I will pass it on to the producer. She asked that I try to get her some other names within 72 hours.

Thanks for your help!

susannajon
10-18-2007, 04:43 PM
P.S. Forgot to include the link to the show:

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2007/cnn.heroes/

Shari
10-19-2007, 01:43 AM
From all that I have heard about this incrediable Doctor, I wish I was someone that could give first hand knowledge of his successes regarding his commitment to those of us with scoliosis!!!

There are serveral people on this forum that he has helped, and I respect their opinions and surgical outcomes!!! Also his commitment to helping the less fortunate people around the world!!!

What a difference he has made in our world!!!

He gets my vote,
Shari

trulyaries
10-19-2007, 09:32 AM
If you can, please keep us posted and let us know when his profile will appear. Thanks!

susannajon
10-19-2007, 06:58 PM
Hi,

I will certainly try to keep you guys in the loop. I just need to hear from other Boachie patients. I know you are out there! CNN doesn't need you to be on the show, they just need to talk to you and hear why our wonderful Dr. Boachie deserves to be on the show. Thanks to those of you who have PM'd.

xoxo

Susanna

spine'[chicka]
01-27-2008, 04:05 PM
Hi, my doctor is Dr. Boachie, and I was wondering --- did he win? Or get in one of the top spots?

Thanks!

txmarinemom
01-27-2008, 04:10 PM
I'm sure this is going to go over like a lead balloon, but I take issue with a surgeon (operating in the U.S.) who doesn't take insurance - yet performs surgeries in another country gratis.

Correct me if I'm wrong on the facts. (not questioning his talents ... just the distribution of talents - and the out of pocket cost)

(and, Singer, this is EXACTLY why I didn't respond to your post on my "freecycle your post surgery crap" thread ... I will NEVER send *sh** abroad with a surgeon who doesn't work within the system HERE)

LindaRacine
01-27-2008, 07:01 PM
Hi...

Dr. Boachie is Ghanian, and I believe he practices in the U.S. so that he can help people in his native country. Without Dr. Boachie, Ghanian citizens would have no option for treatment. Those of us lucky enough to live in the U.S. and have health insurance, usually have plenty of options.

I can almost guarantee that if you knew Dr. Boachie, you wouldn't fault him for trying to do what he can to help his native country. He's got about the most pure heart of anyone I've ever had the privilege to know.

Regards,
Linda

txmarinemom
01-27-2008, 08:16 PM
Linda, did I state the facts incorrectly? No conjecture, please.

I was REALLY hoping someone would step in and tell me "Pam, you are SO full of sh**".

And there are *plenty* of people here - they're referred to as the working poor - who have little or no options for treatment. They have no liquid assets, just insurance ... if *that*.

Again, I take issue with a surgeon - no matter how talented or "pure of heart" - who butters his bread HERE (on private pay patients) so he can operate elsewhere.

LindaRacine
01-27-2008, 09:06 PM
Yes, you are correct. Dr. Boachie does not accept insurance reimbursement, and spends a lot of time in Ghana and Barbados, performing scoliosis surgeries gratis. Note, just because he does not accept insurance reimbursement, does not mean patients have to pay for their own surgeries. Insurance companies provide "out of network" reimbursement, so patients only have to pay the difference.

suzyjay
01-27-2008, 09:50 PM
Txmarinemom

I agree with you. I am sure Dr. Boachie is a great doctor but I am reading all of these great things about him and always thought. What about the people here, in this country, that gave him his opportunity? When people are allowed to enter and live in this country, they get a lot of American government assistance, American taxpayers foot the bill for all the free things, like free or very low cost educations, food stamps credits and discounted child care and much more) they should show their appreciation here. People shouldn’t have to mortgage their house to pay a doctors bill. There are many people in American sick and suffering without proper medical care. Doctors living and educated in American are going out of the country to treat people. They don’t need to travel to help people there plenty of people here.
Sue

txmarinemom
01-27-2008, 10:59 PM
... Note, just because he does not accept insurance reimbursement, does not mean patients have to pay for their own surgeries. Insurance companies provide "out of network" reimbursement, so patients only have to pay the difference.

Really.

I suppose that's why if you search these forums (in advanced mode) with (no quotes) "Boachie insurance" you'll find several stories of how poorly his American patients (with insurance) are treated by his staff ...

bsprings
01-28-2008, 05:26 AM
I had surgery with Dr. Boachie a year ago and my insurance paid 100%!! I went into it not knowing how much I would owe, and it turned out I didn't owe a penny. Dr. Boachie is extremely compassionate and caring-I don't fault him for his stance on insurance. I just encourage people to proceed with their out of network insurance coverage-it is worth the "risk", believe me. I had a tremendous outcome to the surgery and would feel like it was worth it if I had to make payments to him for the rest of my life.

Singer
01-28-2008, 07:07 AM
For the record, he also completely wrote off the balance of my out-of-pocket surgery expenses when I requested that they be reduced.

mariaf
01-28-2008, 08:35 AM
Just to put my two cents in -

We live in NY and when my infant son was first diagnosed with scoliosis back in 2000, Boachie's office was one of the first I called (based on reputation - we later decided not to go with him because his practice seemed more focused on teens and adults, revisions, etc.)

Anyway, when I called to make the appt. (which we never kept), his receptionist said curtly and as if she was trying to discourage me "oh, well it's $600 for a consultation with him and you'll have to pay out of pocket because he won't take insurance".

Nice. Very nice.

What if I didn't HAVE $600?? I live in this country (where he makes a nice living by the way) so I'm outta luck?

After dealing with Shriners these past four years, Boachie's policy makes me even more disgusted. If Boachie is a hero, then what is somebody like Dr. Betz who asks for NOTHING for his services??? Not from ANY of his patients - regardless of where they live, if they have insurance, etc.

In addition, and much more disturbing, was a thread on here a few years ago about a child who was in traction in preparation for surgery with Boachie, and his office threatened to cancel the surgery if the mom didn't obtain in writing from their insurance company the dollar amount that would be paid to Boachie. The mom was able to get a "percent" but that wasn't good enough. They wanted a dollar amount. The desparate mother retorted that she would sell her house if there was any shortage on what her insurance paid. To which the lady from Boachie's office replied "yeah, everybody says that". Gee, she must have spoken to the same gal I did.

Sorry, but based on the above, how could I POSSIBLY support his nomination as a hero?

susannajon
01-28-2008, 08:55 AM
First, I was remiss in updating people on the "CNN Heroes" show. Dr. Boachie was eliminated because he invented a brand of spinal instrumentation that is sold by Depuy Spine, a divisin of J&J, one of the show's sponsors. Because of his connection to J&J, he was not eligible. This makes him no less a hero in my book.

I am trying not to be nasty to those who disparage Dr. Boachie without knowing him or having a personal experience, although it does make my blood boil. Dr. Boachie DOES AND WILL work with your insurance company if you are able to go "out of network" or negotiate approval with your insurance company for an exception. He simply chooses not to be an "in network" provider and put up with the ridiculous restrictions the insurance companies impose on doctors. If you are completely uninsured, and are not eligible for any government program, then yes, like millions of other Americans, Dr. Boachie may not be an option for you. Don't blame the doctor. The uninsured in America is a national problem, and if this makes you angry, I encourage you to speak with your vote this year.

His staff receives thousands of calls from people who are looking for help. They are overworked and overwhelmed some days. I am not saying that this 100% excuses them being short with people. I am just suggesting that you need to have a little bit thicker skin. You will need to do some work to negotiate with your insurance company and demand what you need. Anyone who has actually had surgery will tell you, Dr. Boachie is an angel walking the Earth. In my case (and we are typical middle class people, not rich, not poor), Dr. Boachie wrote off thousands of dollars that the insurance company did not pay. The only out-of-pocket expenses we had to cover were related to the hospital and the anesthesiologist.

Singer
01-28-2008, 09:00 AM
I would hope that people having these types of experiences with Boachie's staff write letters of official complaint about it. I just can't imagine him being okay with this kind of treatment if he is or was made fully aware of it. It puzzles me because truly, my experience was nothing like this.

The good thing about scoliosis treatment today is that there ARE choices out there among several excellent surgeons who DO take insurance (especially on the east coast), and of course I would agree that for kids, it doesn't get any better than Shriner's.

susannajon
01-28-2008, 09:13 AM
Just a brief post-note: For anyone in the Philadelphia area, the Shriners Hospital is an excellent resource, regardless of your circumstances. Shriners is funded by individual donations, therefore Dr. Betz and his staff never have to worry about insurance companies. Shriners treats any child 18 or younger free of charge. Dr. Betz is an outstanding surgeon and a nationally recognized expert in the field.

Maria, I am so sorry you experienced this with Boachie's staff, but am glad you found Dr. Betz. I have no doubt you were in very good hands at Shriners.

mariaf
01-28-2008, 09:25 AM
I am trying not to be nasty to those who disparage Dr. Boachie without knowing him or having a personal experience, although it does make my blood boil.

Susanna,

How could you say that I have no personal experience? That's precisely what I wrote about - MY experience with Boachie's staff.

(The other case I referred to was not made up - it was posted right here on this forum - and I recall how my heart went out to that mom. It just stuck with me.)

I'm not saying that Boachie should give his services away - most doctors do not perform their services for free in the U.S. - but I, for one, do not consider him a hero.

You, of course, are entitled to a different opinion and I respect it.

By the way, I do have a thick skin – but the treatment I referred to by Boachie's staff is not, in my opinion, just "short" or "curt" it was plain wrong.

Shriners, too, deals with a huge number of calls and inquiries - and nobody, to my knowledge, has ever been treated like that. Maybe I have just been spoiled these past few years by the wonderful treatment we have received at Shriners.

I am truly happy for those of you who have been helped by Dr. Boachie.

Regards,

mariaf
01-28-2008, 09:32 AM
Hi...

Dr. Boachie is Ghanian, and I believe he practices in the U.S. so that he can help people in his native country. Without Dr. Boachie, Ghanian citizens would have no option for treatment. Those of us lucky enough to live in the U.S. and have health insurance, usually have plenty of options.



Linda,

I hear what you are saying but isn't that precisely what some of us are taking exception to?? - the fact that his concern seems to be lopsidedly for the people of his native country vs. those in the U.S.

I agree that those of us lucky enough to have insurance are very fortunate. However, there have been a few times in my life (thankfully, short-lived) where I was without insurance. What about all the thousands of folks here that don't have insurance - are they less deserving that those in Ghana in his eyes?

I'm not looking to argue with anyone - truly - I'm just trying to shed light on why some of us feel the way we do so that others can understand.

Regards,

susannajon
01-28-2008, 10:53 AM
I applaud the passion (and compassion) of all of you moms and patients out there. We all care deeply and have strong feelings about these issues. No doubt, there are those who had a bad experience with Boachie's staff when calling, and also those of us who went ahead with Boachie and had an amazing outcome. All of us have a right to our feelings, and it sounds like we'll have to "agree to disagree" on the issue of Dr. Boachie.

I think we can all agree that the issue of the uninsured in America is a national disgrace. There are millions of working people in this country who can not afford even basic healthcare for themselves and their families, much less complex care like scoliosis surgery. The issue also drives thousands of doctors out of the business of medicine every year, because they become frustrated and disillusioned. We as a society need to find a better way.

I encourage everyone not to ever lose your passion! Please take it with you to the voting booth this year!

spine'[chicka]
01-28-2008, 11:27 AM
I'm sorry, but Dr. Boachie is a true hero, I have him and so did my father, 11 years ago. My dad had such bad scoliosis, had a 12 & a half hour surgery and Dr. Boachie is always the kindest man to my family and I. I don't believe that he and his staff treat ANYONE poorly. The lady at the reception desk is the sweetest woman, and I think that he and his staff are all the most wonderful people. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and this is just my point of view.

spine'[chicka]
01-28-2008, 11:31 AM
Anyway, before we got way off topic, I asked if Dr. Boachie got into one of the finalists spots for 2007 CNN Hero. Did he????

susannajon
01-28-2008, 11:42 AM
Sorry, my answer did get a bit buried. As far as the "CNN Heroes" show, Dr. Boachie did not make the final cut. He was eliminated because he was one of the doctors who developed a brand of spinal instrumentation that is sold by Depuy Spine, a divisin of J&J, one of the show's sponsors. Because of his connection to J&J, he was not eligible for the award. Regardless, he will always be a hero in my book.

spine'[chicka]
01-28-2008, 11:44 AM
That's too bad. Same here, he's always going to be a hero to me and my family, and the hundreds of thousands of patients he's helped. :)

dalmatica
01-28-2008, 06:33 PM
Everyone at his office were wonderful to us EXCEPT that rude, rude, rude, insurance woman. I have never been treated like she treated my family and I.

Lesly
01-30-2008, 07:59 AM
For the record, anyone who says that Dr. Boachie does not accept insurance, period, is wrong. So before you start saying horrible things about him, continue your research!
He works with our insurance companies all of the time. I didn't pay him anything for my surgery... Part of hospital stay and anesthesia are what I was responsible for... which is completely seperate from Dr. Boachie.
He truly is one of the kindest, most genuine men I've ever had the privilege of knowing.

mariaf
01-30-2008, 08:10 AM
For the record, anyone who says that Dr. Boachie does not accept insurance, period, is wrong. So before you start saying horrible things about him, continue your research!
He works with our insurance companies all of the time. I didn't pay him anything for my surgery... Part of hospital stay and anesthesia are what I was responsible for... which is completely seperate from Dr. Boachie.
He truly is one of the kindest, most genuine men I've ever had the privilege of knowing.

Hi Lesly,

Just to clarify, the words "he doesn't take insurance" (which referred to the initial consult I was seeking with Boachie) did not come from ME, they came from Boachie's employee. I only heard them with my own ears. Whether or not policy has changed since 2000 or whether he just didn't take insurance for the initial consult, I have no idea, but that's what I was told.

Please search this forum and you will find a few stories that depict a different scenario from what you describe (I referred to one above that particularly stuck in my mind - please look for that mom's posts).

If you are going to say that a lot of what came from his office was from his staff or insurance person and not from him personally, you would be correct - but isn't a doctor responsible for the actions of their closest staff members and their office policies? I know my son's ortho takes responsibility for those things.

Speaking for myself, I said that I do not consider him a hero. That's not saying something horrible about him - there are a lot of people I don't think deserve the title "hero". Perhaps in his native country he would be considered a hero because he takes no money for the surgeries he performs there, but speaking as a U.S. citizen, I consider him another talented surgeon and probably a decent enough guy....just by no means a hero in my book.