Faithful readers know that the toe in question is actually my big toe, which I first wrote about two weeks ago. Thanks in part to the amazing power of the Internet, my blog about my toe has already fomented change…on a personal and national level.
I’d written that Aetna wouldn’t cover the toe joint replacement surgery I need because they considered it experimental, though the procedure is FDA approved. Another blog picked up the discussion.
Later that day, I got a call from Aetna’s executive response team! My contact was very helpful, and sounded truly concerned about my case. And, he actually followed up on everything he said he would. Then the people he spoke with followed up in a timely fashion. (Having had a couple of frustrating experiences with customer service at large corporations recently, I am a bit skeptical about the quality and speed of response.)
One week later, my doctor had sent my information and discussed the procedure with a doctor there. The week after that, Aetna decided to cover my surgery…and to cover it in the future! They’ve already updated Clinical Policy Bulletin 0708 to reflect this change.
My feet and I thank Aetna, my doctor, and everyone involved for being open to taking action, and doing so quickly. But of course every insurance company won’t and can’t decide to cover every procedure because someone blogs about it.
P.S. How many people could be impacted by this policy update? I’ll keep looking, but haven’t yet found a statistic saying how many adults suffer from hallux rigidus, or degenerative arthritis of the big toe…