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Resource ID: #17778
Subject: Health Care
Source: Westword (Denver)
Affiliation: 
Date: February 15-21

Description

Westword recounts the wrangling between the University of Colorado and CU professor Victor Saouma over the cost of an emergency kidney transplant in Switzerland for Saouma's wife, Rhea. The Saoumas were enrolled in CU's employee health plan, which provided health care through the university's Health Sciences Center. The Saoumas had also purchased the Silver Plan, additional coverage that allowed them to get some treatment outside of CU. But with enrollment in this plan dropping and its costs increasing, CU officials dropped the plan altogether. The new plan, called the Gold Plan, did not allow for transplants outside of the Health Sciences Center except in the most urgent of cases. CU tried to avoid paying for the cost of Rhea's kidney transplant while the couple was living in Switzerland for Victor's sabbatical. After being served a lawsuit in the fall of 2000, CU administrators eventually agreed to pay the costs of the surgery, plus interest, legal fees and an additional, undisclosed amount. A 1999 audit of CU's employee health program validated allegations that the plan was mismanaged.

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