In late 2018 I was diagnosed as having an intradural meningioma spinal tumor. Because of the risks associated with removal of the tumor due to its location, I wanted an experienced surgeon whom specialized in surgery in difficult areas of the spine. After exhaustive research, I learned of Dr. Luke Macyszyn at UCLA and requested a referral to obtain his opinion related to my tumor. It was at the referral visit with Dr. Macyszyn that my wife and I met his assistant, Mr. Andrew Barquera. After it was decided that Dr. Macyszyn was going to perform the surgery, Mr. Barquera contacted us to set up a surgery date, provide us the list of preoperative tests to complete before surgery, and his direct contact information for any questions or follow-up we needed. Additionally, Mr. Barquera advised he would assist us with obtaining the necessary clearance for surgery through our insurance provider, Health Net.
Two weeks before the scheduled surgery date, our health insurance company notified Mr. Barquera that they were denying the surgery because they believed a surgeon in our medical network was qualified to perform the surgery. Mr. Barquera immediately notified me of the denial and spent a significant amount of time explaining my options. After the conversation with Mr. Barquera it was my opinion that Dr. Macyszyn was the most qualified surgeon to perform my extremely risky surgery. I asked Mr. Barquera if he would assist me with filing an appeal with Health Net. Mr. Barquera agreed and got to work. He compiled all the necessary information for the appeal including a letter from Dr. Macyszyn describing the medical need for the surgery to be performed at UCLA. Mr. Barquera spoke with me over the phone on numerous occasions providing updates on the status of the appeal. He promptly answered countless phone calls and emails that my wife and I sent to him and helped us navigate the health insurance nightmare that we were tangled within.
In the end, we were successful in obtaining approval to have my surgery at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with Dr. Macyszyn. This wouldn’t have been possible without the extraordinary assistance provided by Mr. Barquera while serving as an advocate for me in my time of need. It might seem to some that Mr. Barquera was just doing his job, but to me, he went above and beyond what was required of him and earned a debt that I will never be able to repay.
Now that my tumor has been removed, I feel stronger and much of the pain that I was in before my surgery has gone away. None of this would be possible without the expertise of Dr. Macyszyn and the extraordinary support provided by Mr. Andrew Barquera.
The purpose of this letter is to make sure that the extraordinary compassion and amazing customer service provided by Mr. Barquera should be the benchmark for any and all associated with UCLA Health.
By: Joshua L.