Twisted System

A Phoenix family stumbles through the tangled bureaucracy of modern medical care

Schwager denied a conflict of interest. The governor's office promised an inquiry but never followed up. BOMEX officials say that they held an intensive conflict-of-interest training session for board members afterward.

Lee also filed a complaint against PacifiCare with the Department of Insurance. He got a response just a couple of weeks ago. DOI dismissed the complaint, repeating verbatim PacifiCare's reasons for denial.

But the Lees aren't giving up. "We're just going to keep fighting," Diane Lee says. "What else are we going to do?"

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The Lees say they still want Blackman to operate on their daughter. "Both procedures are risky," Lee says. "But this is what Shawndra wants, and this is what I want for my daughter. I'm willing to take the chance if the recovery time is shorter, and the operation is better."

And Diane Lee is adamant that no one who works with PacifiCare will do the operation.

"They will not touch my daughter," she says. "Even if they were to pay for it, I would still never let them touch my daughter."

Lee is now working with Blackman on a payment plan. He makes good money as an engineer, about $60,000 a year, but it's still going to be tight, especially with the expense of two households.

But that's why the Lees got insurance. They thought it would help them afford the best possible care for Shawndra.

"I just want to do what's right for my daughter," David Lee says. "That's all I really want to do."

Read more New Times' coverage of BOMEX

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