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Letters to the editor | 8-18-14

August 18, 2014 - 1:40pm

Congratulations to PONY champions

As a member of the 1980 PONY League World Series Championship team from Maui, I would like to personally congratulate the Hilo All Star team, the 2014 PONY League World Series Champions.

It’s been 34 years since a Hawaii team has captured the title. Congratulations to the players, coaches and all of the parents. I would also like to say to the 1980 Hilo PONY All Star Team that for 34 years now I have always said that the Hilo team was our toughest opponent doing our run to the title in 1980. Hilo gave us our only loss that year luckily for us it was a double elimination tournament which we had to battle Hilo twice more to win the state title. Hilo Baseball: much respect from Maui. Youth Baseball in Hawaii has always and will always compete on the national and international stage.

Dennis Pacheco

Kahului, Maui

Limitations in noninvasive medical care outrageous

A physical therapist can relieve pain and restore function and have been doing so with minimal use of medications since the 1940s. This restorative expertise has become increasingly restricted by Hawaii’s largest local insurance company. The Hawaii-based company elected to hire a third-party company from California to manage the rehabilitation benefits for Hawaii’s insured three years ago. Each year the company has reduced the numbers of authorized treatments permitted. These treatment limitations occur regardless of diagnosis, doctors orders or PT recommendations. Unfortunately this company has no commitment or connection to our Hawaii recipients and undervalues rehabilitation. The California company’s original focus was centered around management of chiropractic services until they expanded to rehabilitation services just a few years ago.

In addition to this third-party rehab management restriction our local physicians are also being subtly discouraged by this Hawaii insurance company from sending their patients for their rehabilitation needs by another third party employed to measure and score efficiency. While paying for a third party to withhold recipient services, Hawaii’s largest insurance provider is currently paying 13 percent less for physical therapy treatment than Medicare plans, VA or Workers Comp and pays no tax. They are paying 28 percent less than other local insurance plans, while they simultaneously discourage or restrict therapy intervention. No patient contact is permitted with the California company or their local representative following limited authorizations or arbitrary denials of treatment. When the Hawaii insurance clients go directly to the local office to report their rehabilitation needs are not being met they are sent away and told it is entirely in the hands of the other company.

We as carriers of this Hawaii insurance are then left filing lengthy appeals that do not allow treatment to continue during the time it is needed.

Is this really the insurance plan we purchased and what else were our choices here in Hawaii?

Betty Fackler