Thanks for your note.
It's interesting that your dealings with ACS have been very
different than mine. From my perspective, it seems that ACS does
nothing except enter data, push paper, etc. for OWCP. ACS acts only
when OWCP instructs it to do so. ACS has a "Prior Authorizations
Department" but I don't believe it does any authorizing at all. It
assigns an authorization number, enters CPT codes, determines dates
of services, and then waits for OWCP to give the go ahead. Despite
the fact that I have an authorization number and the dates of
service have been determined to be 11/3/04 to 11/3/05, I cannot
proceed with treatment because OWCP has not authorized the
authorization. OWCP says ACS is in charge of authorizations, and
ACS says " ... authorization cannot be approved at this time
[because]OWCP has determined that further medical development is
needed ..." Catch 22!
Congresspersons and Senators won't deal with ACS because it is a
contractor and not a federal agency. As long as ACS only has to
answer to OWCP, it has no incentive to be responsive to claimants.
I suspect ACS is a willing scapegoat because OWCP is writing the
checks. I think ACS has to go because it has become a de facto
federal bureaucracy that operates without proper oversight.
P.S. Nancy: Do you know when the contract between OWCP and ACS
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Heidi Fassnacht <riverock5@y...> wrote:
> hello kevin, nancy, pat (!!), and anyone else who
> might be out there,
> i'm sorry to hear about your continued difficulties
> kevin. i know how exasperating it can be, except your
> situation is compounded by decades of dealing with
> this. sorry too pat that it took so long for you to
> just have to pay things on your own. it's good to
> hear from you! nancy, happy belated birthday and
> congrats on your breakthrough with OWCP.
> i've recently had a breakthrough too, getting my
> medical bills reimbursed for most of 2003. i used to
> get approval of my medical appts through my OWCP case
> worker. in sept 2003 when i called OWCP to check up
> on the status of approval for more care (since they
> never call you) i was told i must go through ACS. ACS
> told me i needed prior authorization. so i went that
> route, getting retro active authorization. (i never
> stop going to my care providers waiting for OWCP or
> ACS to get things sorted out. i can't wait that
> long.) after having to send a 20 page fax multiple
> times, and many phone calls, i finally got
> authorization. it's probably taken me around a year
> to get this paid even though it was authorized. they
> came up with every excuse possible, and when it seemed
> they ran out of those, they tried the 'denied for
> untimely filing' one. if they didn't do something
> about that, i was going to get my congressperson
> involved. luckily i didn't have to do that this time,
> but i have before. all i did was keep calling them
> back, call them on the obvious (this page should have
> been on top, not second from the top), and do what
> they suggested (you need to file for change of
> provider for your authorization).
> kevin, although i agree that OWCP and ACS are like
> scapegoats for each other, i have found that although
> there are many problems with ACS, i have had better
> luck with them than with a number of my OWCP case
> workers. the second to last one never called me back
> and she was almost never in when i called. you can't
> deal with someone when you can never talk with them.
> it was exasperating and demoralizing. although you
> never talk to the same person twice at ACS, and they
> don't usually do what they say they will, and so on, I
> would be a little reluctant to get rid of them all
> together. perhaps something could be worked out where
> the lines of responsibility were clearly defined
> between the two (OWCP and ACS), among other things.
> anyway, we could get together some time and talk about
> this more if you like. but i'd best get back to work.
> hang in there!
> "In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we
create, but also by what we refuse to destroy." John Sawhill
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