Temple man battling Scott & White Hospital over medication
A Temple man plans to sue Baylor Scott & White Memorial Hospital if he doesn't receive his medications.
He says he was promised they would be covered, otherwise it could cost him his life.
Scott & White performed its first heart transplant in March of 2010.
In order to receive certification from the Center for Medicare Services, they had to complete several successful procedures.
Randy Fraga was one of those patients.
Four years ago, Randy Fraga, fought for a new heart.
Now, he's fighting to keep it.
"It puts me back to the point I was right before the transplant. I was planning a funeral then," says Randy Fraga, heart transplant patient.
Fraga was selected to be one of the first patients for the Scott & White Transplant Program after suffering from cardiomyopathy for years.
In April of 2011, he underwent surgery.
"It went great but in the end I'm having problems with the clinic side of it, with the procedures of hospital administration part of it," says Fraga.
Scott & White later received certification from the Center for Medicare Services for meeting quality standards and has been able to receive Medicare reimbursement for heart transplants.
Fraga says he feels used.
"I was number ten, I was the last one. They got what they wanted and now, they're just leaving us out to dry now," says Fraga.
At the time of his procedure, he says he was told by Scott & White that the cost of all his medications would be covered for the rest of his life.
Fraga also suffers from Parkinson's and kidney disease, which is why he must take nearly 26 medications daily
About a month ago, they stopped coming.
"They set that precedent. It was, 'okay we're taking care of all of it.' They even told me that, 'we're taking care of all the medications for you.' I understood it as the way to keep you healthy, to keep the heart going,'" says Fraga.
Unfortunately, he has no documentation of this promise.
So we asked the hospital.
They sent us a statement saying: "The Scott & White employees reportedly involved in the conversations referenced are no longer with the organization, so we cannot speak to what specifically was discussed. That aside, our commitment is always to do what is right for our patients."
Scott & White says they have been and will continue to help transplant patients enroll in medication programs offered through pharmaceutical companies.
Programs that fill prescriptions at minimal to no cost.
They have been working with Fraga for more than a year through this process.
"The hospital keeps saying that it's free but they're not free, and they're not available all the time. They're available sometimes, like sometimes they'll be on the list and sometimes they'll drop off the list. Each one of the assistance programs warned me of that," says Fraga.
With the discounts, he says he would still have to pay around $2,600 a month. Something that Fraga says he can't pay, since the only income he has is his disability check.
That's why he continues to ask the hospital for help.
"I've been given the run-around. I've been trying to talk to one person, then they send me to another person," says Fraga.
He has contacted a lawyer.
They hope to remedy the situation without having to take further legal action.
All he wants is to stay alive.
"They are anti-rejection drugs and if I continue to skip medications, my immune system will start kicking in. The immune system will fight the heart because it's a foreign organ. It's not part of my body. So what will happen is it will start rejecting it and I'll go back into heart failure. This heart will be destroyed," says Fraga.
It would mean losing the heart he was once given for a second chance at life.
Scott & White has been in touch with Fraga's lawyer to work out a plan.
In the meantime, a gofundme account has been set up to help with medical expenses. You can check that out here.