Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tovar, Gravagna family urge investigation into transplant error

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Anna Tovar, D-Tolleson (District 13) is demanding an independent investigation on the transplant issue after government failed to notify a patient he was approved for a heart transplant.

Tovar, a two-time transplant recipient, sent a letter (see attached) to Gov. Jan Brewer and AHCCCS, Arizona’s version of Medicaid, to ask why Douglas Gravagna, who needs a heart transplant to live, was denied the procedure then approved, but never notified.

The letter also demands answers for faulty data that shows a dismal transplant success rate that AHCCCS presented to lawmakers before Republicans and Brewer axed transplants.

“How did a mistake of this magnitude happen?” Tovar said. “How many other patients were mistakenly informed that they would not be covered? Douglas Gravanga and the others waiting for transplants deserve an explanation. This is not a simple ‘miscommunication’ issue — protocols and procedures are lacking.”

Gravagna and his sister Kim Vega joined Tovar at the press conference to ask for accountability in government.

“I will not stand back silently and watch while Gov. Brewer continues to place a dollar amount on the lives of those awaiting transplants,” Vega said. “Just because they are allowing Douglas to have coverage doesn’t mean we’re going to stop fighting for those whose lives are at stake.”

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