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General Health Care Prison Health Care.. Medical, medications and all that go with it related to health care in the prison system...

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  #1  
Old 11-22-2014, 11:18 PM
frogman1212 frogman1212 is offline
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Default My Daughter Needs a Kidney Transplant

Hello,

I am seeking help with a situation I have with my 21 year old daughter. Some facts for all of you so we all have a common understanding.

She has been doing meth on and off for over 4 years.
She has taken ibuprofen and or Aleve on average 5 days a week for headaches. 200 to 500 mg
She was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure on Nov 10th 2014
She has had no history of kidney issues until this point in time, Nov 20 2014
We have not received a second opinion. The UC Davis doctors believe that the cause is the use of ibuprofen.
We have researched and linked meth use with kidney and or liver problems. But have no conclusive evidence that 4 years of on an off meth use (typically 4-5 times per week) could cause chronic kidney failure.
She was incarcerated once for 6 months and then again on August 20th 2014 with a release date of May 15, 2015. She was found guilty on a few occasions for theft,
She is currently located in a med ward in a downtown jail for her duration of her sentence
She is on Medical
We have her on our United Health Care insurance as well
I have put in motion getting her medical records released to our primary care physician and myself

We are seeking advice with the following assertions and or questions?

First, our goal is to determine if in fact she has chronic kidney failure. If that is the case, our second goal is to help her however we can with getting the best care she can get given her circumstances.

Should we keep her on our insurance?
I need to figure out how to get a power of attorney so I can speak with the doctors. We believe a notary will need to be present when she signs the power of attorney. Not sure how that works in a jail setting. Getting answers from jail clerks is like pulling teeth out of a donkey.
Should we push to get her released early, our belief she will get better care outside the Calif jail med ward system.
How can she get a transplant while in jail?
We have no idea how to go about getting the process moving to ask for an early release. Do I work with the DA? What are the steps?
Should she remain on Medical if released early? We are thinking it is better to keep her on Medical until after the transplant, maybe even longer. We have decent Health Care, but clearly Medical paid for a very very nice facility (UC Davis). United Health Care would never have put her there as they are not in our network… although for more money we probably could have sent here there as well.


Bottom line, we think the best route is to get her out early if possible, get the transplant by me donating my kidney, and move on.

Your help is greatly appreciated
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  #2  
Old 11-23-2014, 06:15 AM
xolady xolady is offline
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You need a hippa release to get any medical information. I don't know how it works where you are but I would get a hold of whoever is in charge of medical at the facility. They can direct you more appropriately on what course of action to take. You also might want to contact her attorney, they might know more of how things work where your daughter is. Good luck and god bless.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:44 AM
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about the notary.
Im not sure but if I remember right in our local county jail they had a *friends outside* person who was also a notary. For a nominal fee they can get things signed and I believe notarized as well.
You might check that angle out.
Im sorry your daughter is so ill.
I do know one of those OTC pain relievers is not good if taken too often. (tylenol, I think. Aleve is naproxen and different but might also have compromised her health along with meth use)
All the best
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Old 11-23-2014, 09:12 AM
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Welcome to Prison Talk. I'm sorry about your daughter's medical problems. To get accurate answers to your insurance questions, you need to meet with a CA family law attorney.

A second opinion is important, although not as urgent as if she was diagnosed by a jail doctor. While she is locked up, the jail will totally control what medical care she does, and more importantly does not receive. Be sure to also discuss the possibility of getting her a compassionate early release with the lawyer.

Prison/jail medical care is always substandard, but since she was sent to a real hospital, she will receive the same level of care as anyone who seeks treatment there.

One consideration in your insurance decision is the actual scope of your private insurance coverage. Now that preexisting conditions can no longer be excluded for coverage by health insurance companies, that should be one issue you won't have to worry about, but be sure to find out for certain.

One other possibility, which absolutely depends on the actual coverages she has, is she may be able to be covered by both, one primary, the other secondary. That often means that the secondary policy will pay for things like deductibles and co-payments not paid by the primary insurer. Again, very important, any and all of that depends on the actual coverages of both policies.

Medicare almost always becomes primary coverage under coordination of benefits, but that may, or may not be true if she has CA Medicaid insurance. Find out before you decide. Best of luck.
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:13 AM
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OK, you're going from kidney failure to transplant wayyy, too quickly. YOu need to get that HIPAA release signed so taht you can access medical records, go over them, and figure out what your best course is. She's not even eligible for a kidney transplant until she's at late stages kidney failure. If she's not on dialysis, she's not even close to late stages. If she is on dialysis, it's still questionable whether she's in the late stages.

Her counselor there, at the facility, is usually a notary. There are notaries at the facility, and HIPAA forms get signed all the time. The Med facility she's at should have them, along with notaries. She needs to request a HIPAA form, fill it out, and get a notary to sign it. It's much easier for her to do it where she's at than for you to dictate it. She's an adult - she's gotta make the request, and get a notary to sign it. Again, a notary is not difficult to find among the prison staff.

Keep her on your insurance until it makes no sense to take her off your insurance.

Talk with an attorney in your area about early release and whether or not it's worth it, but get those medical records first. Paying for an hour or two of attorney time can get a ton of your questions answered adequately by somebody licensed in your jurisdiction. You don't go to the DA with early release, you go to your own attorney, if that's the best thing to do. You need to know exactly how much more time she has to serve and where she's at physically before you go that route.

Yes, inmates have been recipients of organ transplants, especially live donor transplants (live donor transplant is where the donor is a living match with two healthy kidneys and chooses to give up one of his/her healthy kidneys to the sick inmate). If she's in late stages kidney failure, she'll be placed on UNOS (Uniform Network for Organ Sharing), and they'll want to start looking for living donors. The problem is that if she has an active addiction, it's a strike against her, but you can look up all the UNOS stuff and living donor information.

You also need to look at your insurance and see what all it covers. You could quite conceivably be looking at a mid to high six figure healthcare bill or larger - yet another reason to think as clearly as possible about spending the money to get her out early if she's in the early stages of an inevitable progression.

First step - get HIPAA signed. She needs to advocate for her own healthcare and request the form and a notary.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:19 AM
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I have been told that a person with a history of addiction may not qualify for a transplant since it will endanger the transplanted organ. Perhaps if a family member is a live organ donor that would not apply, as long as their was some way to pay for the surgery and after care (medications/examinations/etc...) which is all very expensive.
Is she to the transplant stage now or your just trying to be prepared?
The other issue is her headaches and their cause and how would she deal with her pain issues if the cause is not alleviated. A friend of mine had headaches and alcohol usage and as it turned out she had a brain tumor that was causing poor impulse control, headaches and eventually seizures and vomiting. A surgery to remove it was successful and it proved benign.
It sounds like her sentence is short and that is in her favor. I would keep her on your insurance if you can.
Did they discuss if she is ill enough to be at the transplant stage?
I am so sorry your family is facing these issues. Hugs.
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yourself View Post
OK, you're going from kidney failure to transplant wayyy, too quickly. YOu need to get that HIPAA release signed so taht you can access medical records, go over them, and figure out what your best course is. She's not even eligible for a kidney transplant until she's at late stages kidney failure. If she's not on dialysis, she's not even close to late stages. If she is on dialysis, it's still questionable whether she's in the late stages.
^^^ This first. There is difference between Chronic Kidney Disease and kidney failure (known as End-stage Renal Disease). If your daughter was dealing with ESRD, she'd absolutely be on either hemodialysis or peritoneal. These are invasive and time consuming treatments and as you didn't mention them, it leads me to think she is not there.

Kidney disease can be monitored and treated for years, delaying further damage.

Two of the most common contributors to kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Both meth and NSAIDs affect vascular health. If she had any predisposition for kidney problems, it's likely the drug use heightened her risk.

Try to take this one step at a time-- if the need for a transplant does arise, you'll need to be in good health yourself. Take care.
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