23andMe founder blasts Stanford Medical Center for denying dying friend help — and sees success

A friend of Anne Wojcicki, the founder of the at-home genetic testing company 23andMe, was denied care at Stanford (Calif.) Medical Center until he paid a $1 million deposit, but Ms. Wojcicki slammed the hospital on Twitter and got him the care he needed, Mercury News reports.

Her friend, who is critically ill and does not have insurance, was being treated at Fruitdale, Calif.-based Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, but required more advanced care at Stanford. Stanford, however, refused to take the patient in without a $1 million deposit.

The patient's family called Ms. Wojcicki, who criticized the hospital on Twitter. "What kind of morals are reflected in our society when you know you can save someone's life but refuse to do so [because] of payment?!" reads part of her tweet.

Stanford also noted they couldn't care for the patient because they didn't have access to his medical records — which Santa Clara Valley said would take five to 10 business days to produce. Ms. Wojcicki addressed that issue, too. "Santa Clara Valley Medical Center says it takes them 5-10 business days to give you medical records! It's hard to imagine what possibly takes them that long?! Why do we all tolerate not having access to our own information?" a second tweet reads.

Stanford said it does not take in patients without proof they have enough coverage to fund the care they need after receiving complex procedures. But, Ms. Wojcicki's intervention proved a success.

"Grateful to [Stanford Medical Center] for taking the risk on my friend and transferring him. He was told on Thursday at Santa Clara that he would die. But he didn't," her tweet reads. "It's important for everyone to remember to advocate for themselves. Good healthcare comes to those who complain."

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