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Offline VONSTEPHANSON III

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« on: December 19, 2010, 12:23 »
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Offline ethercat

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2010, 15:41 »
Eek!  That's not much time!

My first thought would be to ask the facility where your son went after Narconon if they will write one, but I know some people consider it unprofessional to criticize others in their field - and in some professions, it's even considered unethical (doctors and lawyers come to mind), so they might not be willing to do that.  Still, it's worth a try.

In lieu of that, my next suggestion would be to try to contact some of the people listed on these sites (search for them on the web), and ask if they will write a letter for you:
http://www.xenu.net/archive/oca/narconon/sources.html
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Narconon/sources/critical.htm
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Stop-Narconon/Documents/
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Offline ethercat

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2010, 15:53 »
  I have enclosed statements from the letter of denial from my private health insurance co. Maybe this will suffice.
  "Following a review of the information available, our physician advisor(s) determined that we are not able to authorize payment for services provided by Narconon of southern California, because according to Regence Medical Policy, Behavioral Health: Substance Related Disorders, Treatment of Adults, and review of the medical record submitted by Narconon of southern California, it was determined the treatment delivered fails to meet our intensity of service requirements. There does not appear to be a clear and structured therapy process orienting the member (my son) to recovery resources. authorization is denied based on the premise of the program (Narconon) being non-standard rather than representing accepted and proven methods of treatment".

You were posting this while I was researching my response to the beginning of your post.     cU#__

That sounds like good enough for me, but you might want to ask the other center if they will speak up for you too, just in case.  (I'm not a hard-nosed credit agency, so I don't know if it's good enough for them.)
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Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2011, 01:36 »
Can we get an update on this VonStephanson III? Glad you posted here about this. I replied to your email but I was in alot of pain from surgery at the time. I believe I gave you some references but I hope I wasn't a 'Debbie Downer' in my reply -- It's just hard to get what you needed in such a short amount of time.
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline VONSTEPHANSON III

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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2011, 01:02 »
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Offline mefree

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2011, 09:39 »
Quote
I think it would be advantageous at some point to gather names of individuals who would be willing to fight in court under class action. It's just a matter of time before enough people get burned, then realize it and will be willing to something about it. Narconon is akin to someone setting up a multi-cazillion dollar black majic business right down the street from MD Anderson to cure cancer! If you can sell it they will come! I'm not finished yet.

Thanks for the update VS.

It is just a matter of time before a class action suit is filed against Narconon. I am convinced of this mostly because of the deceptive way they operate and the countless victims who continue to speak out about the harms done to them as patients of Narconon.

Their junk science approach to detox and unflinching dishonesty will be their end.
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline ethercat

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2011, 12:33 »
No "Debbie Downer" here, I feel honored to be in good company from all those who are willing to help. The latest update is........I haven't heard a thing from Amex or Visa. This could be a good thing, rather than have a quick answer back in NN's favor. Best case would be if one or both decide that NN acted in breach of contract or failed to somehow provide services I paid for. This would help set groundwork for a class action suit. Wouldn't that be just wonderful? Once again NN continues to hurt the very people they claim to help and victimize even the ones who don't have the knowledge to know the difference! I think it would be advantageous at some point to gather names of individuals who would be willing to fight in court under class action. It's just a matter of time before enough people get burned, then realize it and will be willing to something about it. Narconon is akin to someone setting up a multi-cazillion dollar black majic business right down the street from MD Anderson to cure cancer! If you can sell it they will come! I'm not finished yet.

It's good to hear from you!  I hope your holidays were good.

I'm not positive since I've never had a merchant account with a credit card company, but I've been told that if there are enough "chargebacks" from one vendor, the vendor's account will get yanked.  That would be awesome, since very few people have $20-30,000 cash laying around.

If nothing else, the delay from your CC agencies seems to indicate they're at least thinking about it.   :yes:)

LOL at your comparison of Narconon and MD Anderson!
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Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2011, 12:34 »
Hi, VonStephansonIII!

The delay is most likely due to Narconon being sent and asked to respond to what you submitted last.
After they receive that, they ask questions to clarify...sometimes to consumer, sometimes to merchant. Do ask the to fax you any responses they have received so you can point-by-point respond. Usually they say bad things about the student that lead to the problems( which I believe is a violation of HIPAA law without permission)
http://law.justia.com/california/codes/2009/hsc/11842-11845.5.html

Were you able to get anything in writing about Narconon?
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline VONSTEPHANSON III

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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 20:40 »
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Offline ethercat

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2011, 21:05 »
Yes, I just received a clarification from my private health insurance on why they denied coverage. I think they too are partially responsible due to the fact it took them 50 days to contact me on pre-authorization. In other words I was to pay up front for services at any treatment center regardless of whether the center was a preferred provider or not and then they would refund me for the percentage paid.

I suppose you were told by Narconon that your insurance would cover the treatment?

Quote
Anyway, here's my insurance companies response and why they denied coverage for Narconon. Everyone in the country needs to read this before they send someone there. Bear in mind, these are statements made by professionals in the industry that make decisions based on sound health care standards. I seriously doubt there is much difference from private insurance co. to the next in required criteria. I would suspect there are many individuals out there that have been burned in the same way as I and end up flipping the bill. But in reality, I know there are as many being burned who don't even know it, and just go on there merry way thinking their kid is "cured" and are happy to pay out of their own ignorance.

You are laying groundwork for anyone who does their research before choosing Narconon, and that is commendable.  Thank you for keeping us posted on the progress.

I'm quoting the letter to "bold" the insurance company's evaluation of Narconon, and their reasons for payment denial, just to make it more obvious and to perhaps stand out a little to the search engines.

Quote
Dear Mr. ____________

This letter is in response to an appeal submitted on your behalf by Narconon Southern California, regarding the pre-authorization denial of payment for detoxification and chemical dependency residential treatment from 08-23-10 forward.

This appeal has been reviewed by one of our medical directors. It has been determined that the original denial of 10-07-10 will stand.

This denial is based on the ___________ (insurance co.) Documented Service Requirements for Residential Treatment for Adult Substance Related Disorders. Specifically, the following criteria are not met by this facility.

1. Medical problems are evaluated and treated by a physician in a timely 
    manner.
    A. The facility never had a physician or medical professional on their staff
        (or consulting) see you. When they did an initial exam, you were     
        sent to an urgent care facility.


2. Family therapy is initiated within the first week after admission, and   
   conducted at least once weekly, unless contraindicated and the reasons   
   are documented.
  B. The program does not include family therapy or other conventional 
   therapy that would involve one on one meetings and related
   documentation. There is no documentation of any family meetings or 
   family therapy, or justification for contraindication.


3. All therapeutic services must be provided by state licensed or certified
    chemical dependency professionals.
  C. While the program is licensed by the state of California, there is not   
   clear indication that the professionals at the facility are licensed.


4. Regarding justification for continued stay in Residential Treatment,   
   ___________ (insurance co.) requires documented treatment goals 
   showing significant progress with behavioral medical or psychological status
   requiring 24 hour care documented by the staff, and there is
   documentation of new clinical problems whose resolution is essential to 
   completing the program requiring 24 hour treatment.
  D. The facility does not provide adequate documentation by staff 
   indicating any of this necessary information. This is not adequate
   documentation for showing ongoing care.


5. An individualized treatment plan including problem formulation, treatment 
   goals and recommended therapeutic modalities is not adequate, and 
   ongoing tracking of progress is not adequate. Instead the program is not
   adequately individualized.



                                            Sincerely ________________ (insurance co.)

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Offline mefree

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2011, 21:14 »
Quote
It has been determined that the original denial of 10-07-10 will stand.

You were not notified by Narconon or your insurance company abut this denial until almost 2 months later? That is highly unusual.   

The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline VONSTEPHANSON III

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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2011, 21:22 »
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Offline mefree

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2011, 21:25 »
Yes NN told me this sort of thing with insurance co.'s happens all the time. The intake girl, said she likes fighting the fight to get the money from them and is a Pit bull or something to that effect. Right, I think she got the bull part right.

It is more likely that either Narconon was delayed in pre-authorizing or chose not to inform you of the original denial. Ask the insurance company for a copy of the original denial letter to Narconon. Check that date.   
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline ethercat

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2011, 21:45 »
Right, I think she got the bull part right.

 :-D^\^\

And yes, do what mefree said too. 
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Offline mefree

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2011, 21:47 »
 :D
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2011, 11:44 »
Quote
It has been determined that the original denial of 10-07-10 will stand.

You were not notified by Narconon or your insurance company abut this denial until almost 2 months later? That is highly unusual.
VonStephanson is correct. It is common. The few I know who received any amount of reimbursement received it many months later - as I said - it's usually reimb for the bed only if any thing paid.

This is terrific to have the info from the insurance company on line. Thanks,VS
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline mefree

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2011, 23:23 »
Quote
It has been determined that the original denial of 10-07-10 will stand.

You were not notified by Narconon or your insurance company abut this denial until almost 2 months later? That is highly unusual.
VonStephanson is correct. It is common. The few I know who received any amount of reimbursement received it many months later - as I said - it's usually reimb for the bed only if any thing paid.

I should not have lumped Narconon and insurance together in my reply. I realize that Narconon may take their time with this.

At least on appeal, health plans have a specified period of time that they must respond. Generally speaking, that period of time is 30 days, but may vary state to state.

An example for behavioral health: http://humanresources.vermont.gov/sites/dhr/files/pdf/benefits_compensation/DHR-Mental_Health_Appeal_Process.pdf
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline VONSTEPHANSON III

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« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2011, 14:27 »
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Offline ethercat

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Re: Need official letterhead against Narconon
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2011, 11:07 »
Quoted for posterity.

The appeal is not in vain. The breakdown of why my insurance company denied coverage substantiates the fact NN uses false advertising as I think I prove as follows in excerpt taken from my letter of complaint to The State of California Attorney General and soon another complaint to The Federal Trade Commission with this information and here's what I wrote:

.......There are no licensed medical staff on sight.  I was led to believe this was a facility with licensed medical staff on sight, based on  website advertising at www.treatmentthatworks.com. Please note the nurse photo in the “A word from our medical director”, which gives the strong impression to anyone looking for a treatment center that it is a staffed medical facility. This played a role in my decision to place my son in the care of their facility. It would be safe to assume that  anyone searching for a residential care facility would be led to believe they offer medical staff on their premises which was not the case.

     Please note my private Insurance company states what their criteria is and what they found a Narconon:

1. Medical problems are evaluated and treated by a physician in a timely manner.(criteria)
    A. “The facility never had a physician or medical professional on their staff (or consulting) see you. When they did an initial exam, you were sent to an urgent care facility.” (findings)
     
    This substantiates and supports my claim, that even though they give the strong impression of on sight medical staff, there was none, causing negligence on the part of the facility to treat my son in a safe and professional manner, due to the fact that when  a medical emergency occurs at there facility, the initial assessment of whether or not to call for medical aid is made and determined by non-licensed staff or staff member. Furthermore, even more compelling, next to the nurse in their advertising

“A word from our medical director ”, they clearly mislead the consumer by stating:
 “Our staff includes board-certified physicians and naturopaths with extensive training and experience in nutrition, vitamin and mineral supplementation, herbal therapies, prolotherapy, acupuncture, natural hormone replacement, chelation, intravenous nutrient therapies, and enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP)”.

     Once again, it is not unreasonable to assume that  anyone searching for help, would be misled into believing they have medical staff on sight, while using terminology like “board-certified” when they do not. Board Certified only means in this case, the person has graduated the Narconon/L. Ron Hubbard program, which is the Scientology based program. The caregivers at this facility are NOT licensed professionals, as this ad leads you to believe. The distortion lies in the fact that most, if not all treatment centers have licensed care practitioners on sight, which is normally assumed by the
consumer, to deal with complications such as acute withdrawal and seizure when sending a loved one to a chemical dependency treatment center. I ask, would any reasonable person not assume if one is sending someone to treat disease, that there would be licensed medical staff on sight?  I don't believe it is uncommon for anyone to think they will see a nurse or doctor when walking into a clinic or hospital.   

     Chemical Dependency/Alcoholism is after all, classified a disease by The National Institute on Drug Abuse-NIDA.  Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long lasting and can lead to many harmful, often self-destructive, behaviors. Common knowledge therefore, predicates the assumption of disease management when searching for a care facility.

      Narconon misleads the consumer into thinking  they offer medical professionals by their advertising, but they use the word “professional” in a distorted manner, as they base that on advertising with statements such as, ...”with extensive training and experience in nutrition “. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the inconsistency of dosages of Niacin given by their staff range greatly form Narconon treatment center to treatment center across the United States shows a lack of control and professionalism. The lack of control in dosages is only one example of misguided and unprofessional policy, but would lend to the idea that the person  responsible in control of Niacin, hands out dosages at whatever whim they decide. It is documented that their facilities administer Niacin at extremely high rates that put the recovering addict at risk. Narconon's claim that their use of Niacin at rates as high as 2000mg.-5000mg.in a single dose that are intended to immobilize lipids is nothing more than junk science. Again, their use of misleading and false information is used to give the impression they are at the cutting edge of drug treatment therapy's when in fact there is solid scientific research that proves the opposite. Largely, studies show the use of  Niacin at high doses  is of no benefit to detoxification for drugs and alcohol and in many cases be harmful, which is the consensus of the medical community. 

      Not only is this deceptive and false advertising that needs attention from all agencies involved and addressed, but I also believe Narconon goes out of their way to avoid disclosing their treatment methodology, simply because they avoid and contradict the accepted disease approach of treating drug/alcohol addiction appropriately, as they completely discount the concept of disease management. I believe the effort to bring to light Narconon's deception is important because false marketing and failure to disclose, often targets a very vulnerable segment of our population -- those suffering from serious or confounding health conditions and diseases such as chemical addiction.

     Unfortunately, the inappropriate and ineffective approach to drug treatment along with deceptive marketing that Narconon uses, goes largely unnoticed by the consumer who pays $20,000-$30,000 for treatment, and more importantly by agencies responsible for enforcement of quality care. One reason Narconon is allowed to continue, is simply because drug addiction is complicated, misunderstood by laymen, and can be difficult  to treat. Most outside of the treatment care arena don't carry the knowledge or don't know whats required to obtain a “quality recovery”. For this reason I believe Narconon takes advantage of the unsuspecting and unknowledgeable with the tactics they use.

      In addition the FTC requires that a  proof requirement be met, in order for deceptive marketing to occur, which I believe, I prove as follows:

PROOF REQUIREMENT
To establish that an advertisement is false, a plaintiff must prove five things: (1) a false statement of fact has been made about the advertiser's own or another person's goods, services, or commercial activity; (2) the statement either deceives or has the potential to deceive a substantial portion of its targeted audience; (3) the deception is also likely to affect the purchasing decisions of its audience; (4) the advertising involves goods or services in interstate commerce; and (5) the deception has either resulted in or is likely to result in injury to the plaintiff. The most heavily weighed factor is the advertisement's potential to injure a customer. The injury is usually attributed to money the consumer lost through a purchase that would not have been made had the advertisement not been misleading. False statements can be defined in two ways: those that are false on their face and those that are implicitly false.
 
    Heatstroke is an acute medical emergency for which their facility failed to treat with first aid, as there was no licensed  medical staff on sight to properly deal with his condition, nor did they provide any follow up care. This  came to my attention only at a  later date from my son, as the staff failed to notify me of what had transpired at their facility. This occurred partially because of Narconon's inability to provide emergency health care by on sight licensed staff. It is my contention, given the circumstances that occurred with heatstroke, they did not, and could not administer appropriate care, while leading me, the consumer to believe the contrary.
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