Our Members' Stories
A Wicomico county employee for nearly 30 years, Wendy had never given much thought to their group health insurance as she had always been generally healthy, not utilizing her benefits often. That all changed June 29, 2015 when she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.
Wendy’s Care Coordination Experience
It wasn’t until her grandson asked if she would be able to “afford cancer” that Wendy realized how little she knew about her coverage. After beginning treatment, one of the first things she did was call CareFirst. One of the services she learned about was case management. Through this program, specialized registered nurses provide one-on-one support to members facing complex illness or injury.
The day after she returned home from surgery, Wendy’s personal case manager, Pat, reached out. She not only made sure Wendy understood her discharge instructions and medications, she answered all of her questions, set up home-based nursing services and made sure Wendy had assistance and transportation to and from her doctors’ appointments. In addition, Pat educated Wendy about symptom and side-effect management and how to prevent complications, such as an infection, that could land her back in the hospital. Wendy was grateful for Pat’s support, “After my surgery when I was home and 2-1/2 hours away from the hospital, I was freaking out and asking her questions about everything. She made sure I was comfortable, that my home nurse was coming and I had everything I needed. I feel like she is one of my best friends now."
Wendy’s post-surgery treatment involved infusion chemotherapy every three weeks. For 16 weeks, she took a full day off from work to drive over 200 miles roundtrip for a 30-minute treatment, logging several thousand travel miles in total. In an effort to lessen the burden, Pat consulted Wendy’s oncologist and confirmed with CareFirst that Wendy was eligible for home infusion therapy; she then coordinated the set up. Wendy reflects, “Everything needed for chemotherapy was delivered to my house. When the nurse came the next morning, I sat on my couch drinking coffee and in 38 minutes I was done. It was so easy! I didn’t have to drive, pay tolls or parking or miss work.”
Today, Wendy is recovering well and happy to share her CareFirst experience with others, including a colleague recently diagnosed with the same type of cancer.
"You don’t know how good your insurance is until you need it. The relief of knowing I had a great insurance company who would work with me... has made me so comfortable knowing I could concentrate on getting well. Thank God CareFirst is here for me."