by Anura Guruge
Shortly after yesterday’s post I received an e-mail from a Liberty Mutual Twitter account ‘rep’ to let me know that: “We’ve passed your concerns along to management and will be in contact with Deanna to discuss her claim. -Axxxxx”. WordPress automatically sends out a Tweet each time I do a post and I knew that Liberty Mutual will somehow see it. Yes, there is always method to my apparent madness IF you hadn’t already worked it out. That was yesterday, Wednesday. Around 2pm yesterday, Deanna, after getting hold of an operator, on a third try, by repeatedly hitting ‘0’ on the phone, had FINALLY managed to leave a voicemail for her latest Liberty Mutual Caseworker.
This morning around 9 am the phone rang, and CallerID said it was Liberty Mutual. It was the Caseworker. So she had finally called back. Deanna talked with her some and then gave the phone to me
Let me first tell you what her responses were to the 3 explicit charges I made about Liberty Mutual yesterday, in the order I made them:
1. They don’t answer the phone.
She claims that all their extensions were changed and that, yes, some calls got dropped, not answered or ignored. She gave us (the 2nd time around) a ‘good’ extension that should ‘always’ work and then (3rd time around) a ‘secret’ direct line! [At this stage she or I had not mentioned, even in passing, my post.]
So, my assertion was VALID. They had not answered the phone. I don’t care if they changed extensions. Bottom line was that Deanna had been foiled, repeatedly, in trying to get hold of this Caseworker.
2. They just ignore her doctor’s request for treatment!
Deanna was supposed to get an injection for her back this Tuesday, October 21. We checked with her Pain ‘Doctor’ Friday and Monday BECAUSE we are well aware of the games. They confirmed that they had heard NOTHING from Liberty and as such we should cancel the injection on Tuesday. That is what we did.
The Caseworker tells me that she spoke to ‘Nancy’ in their billing department on September 2! That was over 6 weeks ago. She is said to have told Nancy that Liberty Mutual will not do ‘anything’ until they see complete case/visit notes from the ‘Doctor’ (actually a nurse). She claims that the notes had not been received so she did not approve or deny the injection. So my claim again was spot-on. She had neither approved or denied the Tuesday injection. She had not done anything. No phone call. No e-mail. NADA. She then explains that per NH statues Liberty Mutual is 100% in the clear. In NH they do not have to PRE-APPROVE any procedures. They can, however, readily decline to pay after the procedure is done! Well, that is why WE knowing the game get pre-approval. We are not going to get stuck with the bills! But again my gripe was indeed true. They hadn’t approve or denied Deanna’s injection. It is, trust me, bloody annoying.
3. They are not paying the invoices.
This was funny. A check, according to her, was in the mail TODAY! QED. I don’t need to elaborate.
So, as you can see I was NOT making this stuff up. This is real. This is OUR reality. This is OUR life with Liberty Mutual. It is not pretty.
The Caseworker called again after the first call. In this 2nd call she admitted that she was aware of the Tweet (and as such the post). Deanna spoke with her for the 3rd time later in the day.
As I did say yesterday, quite clearly, at the start of my 2nd paragraph, until a few months ago, Liberty Mutual had been relatively decent — though they would, of course, pavolovianly try to reject all claims to begin with. After the initial ‘tea party ritual’ over the 1 year when they did everything they could do see if Deanna was ‘faking’ we had a fairly good working relationship. Over the years Deanna has had at least 5 (one of them twice) Caseworkers. At least 2 of them, one female and one male were extremely empathetic and helpful. They would do their best to REALLY help Deanna. When she had those Caseworkers things were rather good.
Well to be honest everything changed about 4 months ago when Deanna’s latest Pain Nurse (yes, in NH you have nurses prescribing narcotics, giving injections and implanting stuff) suggested a $65,000 surgical procedure. Liberty Mutual flipped. Her last surgery, in 2011, costs, as far as I can tell upwards of $45,000. Maybe it was much more. Yes, they have easily paid up well over $100,000 on Deanna’s injury. Maybe much, much more. I don’t know. The extensive treatment she gets is not cheap. So, yes, Deanna has cost Liberty Mutual a penny or two. But, hey, that is what insurance is all about and the art of actuary.
Well suffice to say Liberty Mutual is not happy about this $65,000 surgery. They immediately told Deanna that she would be assigned a NEW, SPECIAL Caseworker who handled cases like hers! And that is when the rot set in.
They dug through all of Deanna’s medical records, which they have access to, and bad mouthed her to some doctors. Yes, I have it all on record. Yes, one of these days Liberty Mutual will have to answer why they, unethically, divulged information from Deanna’s medical records and why they used some very inappropriate terminology. Yes, two can play this game.
So now you have MOST of the story. Yes, I should write a book about. Yes, there were lots of amusing incidents especially in the early days. Liberty Mutual, as is their right, kept on sending nurses and others to Deanna’s doctor’s appointments to see if she was faking. We would not be told if there would be a nurse waiting for us or not. It was meant to be a surprise for us. Well the first time they did that, it so happened that Deanna was in so much pain that she arrived in a wheelchair unable to walk. The doctor confirmed that she was, at least temporarily, wheelchair bound. The poor nurse had NO LEG TO STAND ON. She left rather sheepishly.
>> Liberty Mutual Workmen’s Comp in N.H. — Oct. 22, 2014.
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