The Troubling Realities of the Healthcare System: From Elizabeth Holmes to Denials of Insurance Claims

Ben H.

Ben H.

Jul 05, 20233 min read


The Troubling Realities of the Healthcare System: From Elizabeth Holmes to Denials of Insurance Claims


The healthcare industry is no stranger to controversy and challenges. From high-profile legal cases to the rise in denials of insurance claims, it is evident that the system is in need of reform. In this article, we will delve into the stories of Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of Theranos, and the increasing number of denied health insurance claims. Through these narratives, we will explore the commonalities and underlying issues that plague the healthcare industry.

Elizabeth Holmes and the Fall of Theranos:

In 2018, Elizabeth Holmes, once hailed as a visionary entrepreneur, faced a trial that would expose the truth behind her startup, Theranos. Holmes was convicted of misleading investors about her company's technology and its potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry. The subsequent sentencing of 135 months in prison and a hefty restitution payment highlighted the magnitude of her deception. However, it is worth noting that Holmes's lawyers refrained from commenting, leaving many questions unanswered.

The Denial of Health Insurance Claims:

While the story of Elizabeth Holmes captivated the public, a quieter but equally troubling issue emerged within the healthcare system: the rising number of denied insurance claims. Millions of Americans have experienced the frustration of having their claims denied, even when receiving care from in-network providers. A study conducted in 2021 revealed that, on average, 17% of claims were denied, with some insurers reaching denial rates as high as 80%. This alarming trend raises concerns about the impact on patients' health and financial well-being.

Unraveling the Root Causes:

Despite the complexity of these issues, common threads can be identified. Both the Theranos scandal and the denial of insurance claims reflect a system that prioritizes profit over patient well-being. Elizabeth Holmes's misrepresentations were driven by a desire to secure investments and propel her company's success, while insurance companies often deny claims to minimize their financial obligations. In both cases, the consequences for individuals are severe, whether it be financial ruin or compromised health.

Actionable Advice for Patients:

  • 1. Review Your Insurance Policy: Familiarize yourself with the coverage and limitations of your insurance policy. By understanding what is included and excluded, you can be better prepared to navigate the claims process.
  • 2. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of all medical procedures, treatments, and conversations with healthcare providers and insurance representatives. This documentation can serve as evidence during an appeal if your claim is denied.
  • 3. Be Persistent and Advocate for Yourself: If your claim is denied, don't be deterred. Research the appeals process for your insurance company and be prepared to fight for what you believe is rightfully covered. Remember that you have the right to question denials and seek a fair resolution.


The stories of Elizabeth Holmes and the increasing denial of health insurance claims shed light on the flaws within the healthcare system. While the motivations behind these issues may differ, they both underscore the need for reform. As individuals, we must educate ourselves about our insurance policies, document our medical experiences, and advocate for fair treatment. Only through collective action can we push for a healthcare system that prioritizes the well-being of patients over profit.


  1. "Inmates Await Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes: ‘I Want to Be Her Friend’", (Glasp)
  2. "Denials of Health Insurance Claims Are Rising — And Getting Weirder", (Glasp)

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