It’s a familiar story. A patient faces a serious medical condition. There’s a new prescription drug that may give the patient a shot at life. The heartless insurance company refuses to pay for the drug, giving the patient a choice between near-certain death and huge medical bills.

That situation is playing out in Colorado, with one interesting difference: The insurance “company” is Medicare. More specifically, a contractor that Medicare uses in that state to process claims.

The good news, such as it is, is that the patient is able to travel to California, where the Medicare administrator does cover prescriptions for Avastin, a drug to treat ovarian cancer.

(Cross-posted from State House Call.)


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