How Far Would You go to Save Your Child?

  • Author – Carolina
  • 3min read

Families forced to hold a fundraiser because their child’s healthcare system won’t save his life.



Recently, the news has once again been covering a family that is struggling to cover the cost of the most expensive drug in America for their son, Devdan. The insurer refused coverage of the treatment for his rare disease, totaling $2.125 million.

Devdan was born with Spinal Muscle Atrophy (SMA). SMA damages the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing progressive muscle weakness and problems breathing, speaking, swallowing, and walking. Zolgensma’s onetime gene therapy treats SMA and has earned the title of the most expensive drug in America.

It is currently Devdan’s only hope for a normal life. In this case, to save their child’s health and future, the parent’s initiated a fundraiser through Ray of Hope Foundation.

Most of us probably don’t consider what or how hospitals pay for their supplies. When we pay our medical insurance premiums, we buy a plan and think we’re covered in case of a medical emergency. But what many families of children with rare disease have learned, that’s not always the case. Rare diseases aren’t funded the same way common medical conditions are paid for. There aren’t enough patients to warrant extensive research and treatment developments. Consequently, medical care is often unconventional. As a result of these novel treatments, patients with rare disease often receive Surprise Medical Billing or are denied coverage altogether.

Value Based Healthcare (VBHC) Saves Lives

Medications and treatments that deviate from the routine can be a financial disaster for hospitals, families, care providers, and health systems. And organizations with a strong commitment to value-based healthcare have seen sustainable gains. In this case, had Devdan’s medical facility operated under a value-based healthcare reimbursement model, this life-saving treatment would have been available and the critical care for this child could have begun without delay.

Calculating value-based reimbursements measures numerous points of quality and the overall health of a population. Unlike a fee-for-service model, value-based healthcare providers must report data to payers and demonstrate improvement. The VBHC model has many advantages, including improved patient satisfaction, a reduction in healthcare delivery costs, and better health for the patient populations being served.

Better management of financial challenges with Lyfegen

The VBHC model has many advantages, including improved patient satisfaction, a reduction in healthcare delivery costs, and better health for the patient populations being served. Luckily, Devdan’s Ray of Hope fundraising effort has achieved the needed target of $2.86M. More than 29’000 people came together to raise this enormous amount in such a short period of time to give Devdan a second chance at life.


This unfortunate scenario is common for those dealing with rare disease, and those in need of extraordinary medical care. Had Devdan’s insurance participated in a value-based program, the necessary medicine could have been provided for with no delay in treatment. As the health care market adjusts to the pandemic and prepares for the future, leaders must decide whether to accelerate their participation in value-based healthcare to meet the clinical and financial challenges that will remain for years to come.

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