Monday, December 11, 2000
Vinny has now completed all but one of the countless tests for his evaluation towards qualifying to receive a liver transplant. He had been scheduled for his psychological evaluation almost a month ago, however our HMO medical insurance processes mental health coverage out of a separate office from physical health coverage.
Although we were approved to go "out of network" to see the transplant specialists at Mount Sinai for Vinny's PHYSICAL evaluation, the mental health administrators kept insisting that Vinny see an "in network" psychiatrist, and Mount Sinai kept insisting that we needed to see one of their psychiatrists who understood the complexities of transplants.
It looks like we've finally gotten the insurance company to understand this, and should be scheduled for this last hurdle very shortly. Once that's done, Vinny's case will be put before the " transplant recipient review committee" and we should have an answer in late December, or because of the various holidays, perhaps early January.
Once VINNY is approved, then Gregory can begin HIS evaluation process to see if he's a viable donor. If Gregory IS able to be a donor, then the transplant will be sooner rather than later -- although we don't know WHEN that may be yet. If not, then Vinny would have to wait for a cadaver's liver to become available, and then this availability will determine the timing of the transplant.
Also, once Vinny is approved by Mount Sinai, we have to go back to the insurance company and get THEM to approve paying the MILLION OR SO DOLLARS required for the whole transplant procedure. We don't expect this to be easy, but it should be do-able.
Vinny's countless tests have so far provided both GOOD news and BAD news.