I would have never imagined that anyone could actually not be allowed to apologize. As I mentioned in my earlier post Complaint, MassHealth's failure to apologize may mean that I have to file a lawsuit against them. This is ironic, because it seems that a main reason for not apologizing is so that the apology can't be used in a lawsuit.
As Deb Wachenheim states in A Healthy Blog – Herald Covers Apologies
From our perspective, encouraging apologies is a win-win proposition. Providers want to apologize when an error occurs and patients want to hear an acknowledgment of their suffering. Many institutions, including those in the Harvard system, are adopting policies to encourage providers to apologize and fully disclose adverse events.
Legislation will ensure that providers in all settings can apologize without being told otherwise by institutions and insurers. In addition to being the right thing to do, some evidence indicates that lawsuits are less likely following an apology, so this could save money as well. If you have a story to tell about when you or a loved one received an apology or wished you had received one, contact HCFA's Consumer Health Quality Coordinator, Deb Wachenheim, ….
She asked, so I did:
Deb Wachenheim, HCFAMA,
I m sending you this because in the "A Healthy Blog – Herald Covers Apologies" post you ask for stories about apologies. Not only do I wish I had received one, I am in fact still hoping that I do. For privacy reasons I left these names out of my blog post Complaint I asked ******** of Western Mass Legal Services to ask ******** if he could help get an apology, if not from ******** of the Springfield MassHealth office and ******** the Hearing Officer, then at least from a superior, and also for some form of reassurance that other AFC host families that may have also been wrongly found ineligible for MassHealth insurance had been made aware of their renewed eligibility.
It is my personal opinion that ******** should have been more sensitive to the health needs of AFC care recipients and more appreciative of the services that I and other host families provide. I also believe that ******** should not have made a decision having such a negative impact without having first obtained an opinion from the legal department.
My opinions aside, I feel that my requests are reasonable. I do not insist that anyone admits any wrong-doing, but as you stated "want to hear an acknowledgment of [our] suffering", if only a few lines. I do not insist that MassHealth make any retro-active payments to anyone for the year and half it took for this to finally be found wrong, but only to know that MassHealth is not continuing it's unfairness to others.
Your statement "lawsuits are less likely following an apology" not only hits the mark, but in my case, it is the lack of an apology that will compel me to file a lawsuit despite the hardships that doing so will entail. Further litigation will only aggravate the care recipient's health, and my 24/7 care responsibilities leave little time for activities outside of caregiving. So you can understand that I really would prefer to not have to take action against MassHealth.
I like to consider myself to be a patient and fair man, and I would like to make one last effort to resolve this by making a personal request for an apology and assurance. If you will please inform me as to whom I can make this request, it will be greatly appreciated.