Mismanaged Care & Suicide

CNN is planning to air a program on suicide and managed care. The program, Newstand - Time, a news magazine, will give this subject 2/3 of the hour, i.e., two segments. Assuming there are no new national or global crises to cover before then, the program will air on June 20 (Sunday) and June 21 (Monday) at 8pm EST (check local listings in other time zones; probably 8pm in other times zones, too).

The program will feature two stories - one of a 15 year-old boy and one of a 68 year-old man, both of whom killed themselves within hours of being discharged from a hospital by their managed care companies against the wishes of their doctors and families. The father of the boy, Mr. Moscovitch, from Connecticut, and the Moscovitch family's lawyer, Karen Koskoff, of Bridgeport, CT will discuss the insurer's role in the boy's suicide.

The Moscovitch boy clearly told staff he would kill himself if they discharged him, and the managed care company allegedly knew this...but discharged him anyway. The boy hung himself and died a few hours after the discharge.

The story of Mr. Plocica, the 68 year-old man, will be told by Mr. Plocica's wife, son, and daughter, who live in Texas. Desipite a long history of depression and recent suicide attempts, the managed care company discharged Mr. Plocica, who went home and drank anti- freeze.

Karen Shore, Ph.D., President of the National Coalition of MentalHealth Professionals and Consumers, the organization that initiated Rescue Health Care Day (April 1, 2000), is scheduled to appear in both segments to provide explanation and discussion about how managed care has harmed mental health care. Russ Newman, Ph.D., J.D., Executive Director of the American Psychological Association's Practice Directorate may also be appearing in the program. CNN's correspondent, Art Harris, presents the stories and did the interviewing.