Only on 10: Family says daughter denied home insurance care
CHARLESTOWN, R.I. —
Rhana Fleming used to be able contort her body in ways most of us can only imagine.
Now, her paralysis limits her physically in ways most of us can only imagine.
"This is someone's who's very physical, very physically fit. Now she's confined to a wheelchair that she now moves with her chin," said Rhana's father, Robert Fleming.
On Dec. 15, 2012, Rhana had to be picked up from gymnastics practice because she was not feeling well. At the hospital, Rhana stopped breathing. When she started breathing again, she was paralyzed from the neck down.
"They still don't know what caused it or what happened," said Rhana's mother, Cheryl Fleming.
Nine months later, her parents are fighting and even bigger battle with their insurance company Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island.
"Dealing with the insurance has just been a nightmare," Cheryl Fleming said.
The Fleming's insurance policy clearly states "skilled nursing care" is covered. What isn't specified is how much.
They said they had 24-hour nursing care when Rhana left the hospital. Two weeks later the nurses just stopped coming.
Rhana's parents feel they are not getting the nursing care they are supposed to receive.
Rhana's parents said she received excellent at Hasbro Children's Hospital. And they say they never would have taken her out of the hospital had they not been promised at-home skilled nursing care by their insurance company.
In a statement, a representative from Blue Cross said, "Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island understands this has been an extremely challenging time for the Fleming family. Initially, we chose to provide private duty nursing services which are not a covered benefit. We went above and beyond the Fleming's policy then shifted the appropriate level of nursing care."
Rhana may never be able to do gymnastics again, but she works tirelessly with her physical therapist every week to regain movement. Most recently she has been able to hold herself in a standing position with a walker.
She's clearly not out of the woods, but she isn't giving up. And neither will her parents when it comes to getting the best care for their daughter.