March 1, 2011
In North Carolina, a blind mother of three autistic boys took on North Carolina Medicaid—and won.
Meleah Corner had been taking her sons to a clinic for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) treatment for their autism. Both Meleah’s pediatrician and a neurologist noted clinically that there was a definite improvement in the boys. But when she submitted the bills to NC Medicaid, they were denied.
After exhausting normal routes of appeal, she decided to sue NC Medicaid in North Carolina Superior Court. Dr. Paul G. Harch, who is on ANH-USA’s board of directors, was able to testify for Meleah in the case. Dr. Harch is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Magna Cum Laude) with twenty-one years of experience in hyperbaric medicine, and is president of the International Hyperbaric Medical Association Foundation.
As powerful as Dr. Harch’s testimony was, the defense put on quite an ugly show, doing its best to discredit everyone connected with the case with false or misleading statements. The government’s expert witness even gave testimony that appeared to directly contradict his own published research on the effectiveness of HBOT treatment! But the judge listened carefully and found for the plaintiff.
The mother recently received word from her attorney that the state has chosen not to appeal the Superior Court decision—the evidence was clearly convincing. They will cover the HBOT for all three of the children, and the attorney general’s office even asked if they needed any help with provider enrollment or getting the kids on a facility’s schedule.