Doctors responding to a survey investigation conducted by the Toledo Blade reported that 14% of their patients had suffered "serious harm or injury" because of delays in care caused by their patients' insurance companies, see "Not What the Doctor Ordered: Delays, Denials Thwart Patients Hoping for Help." 920 doctors, including members of both the American and Ohio Medical Association, responded to the survey. Nearly all -- 99% -- reported that insurance companies had interfered with their clinical decisions regarding treatment of their patients.
There is often no real remedy or relief for a patient or a patient's family that is killed or seriously injured because their insurance company would not pay for the treatment and care their doctor directed. That is because most people's medical insurance comes through their job and therefore is covered by a federal law known as ERISA (stands for Employee Retirement Income Security Act). When an insurance company denies medical treatment in this type situation, the only remedy that the insured patient (or the insured patient's family) can recover is the cost of the treatment. And that will occur only if the insurance company's decision is deemed "arbitrary and capricious." If the patient dies as a result of the insurance company's arbitrary and capricious denial of the treatment, there are no damages recovered by the family, no lost income or anything but the cost of the denied treatment. ERISA is protection for outrageous insurance company practices.