Parents locked in insurance battle for baby twins’ skull surgery

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BASEHOR, Kan. -- The parents of eight-month-old twins in Basehor say the $100,000 operation their little boys need can only be done in Texas. Blake and Lance Tranckino were born with craniosynostosis, a birth defect where the joints between bones in a baby's skull close prematurely.

"So right now, their brain is growing long ways instead of being out, so they don't have pressure on their brain right now. But if doesn't get fixed it will lead to that," said mom Karla Holton.

Doctors have told Holton and her husband that the boys will need an operation in the next two months. If the surgery isn't done, developmental delays like vision impairment will follow.

"We're starting to get worried and very scared, because with this surgery, it's going to give them a better chance at a better life," said dad Victor Tranckino.

The parents say they've been told under KanCare, their insurance will only approve an operation done in Kansas. The procedure done by a specialist in Dallas, Texas is "one and done" according to Holton. In Kansas, the 27-year-old mom says it is quite different.

"It requires two surgeries and then a helmet for up to a year afterwards," Holton said.

The parents don't want their boys to have to wear helmets and they're not confident in that procedure.

"It mainly depends on the person fitting the helmet, the way their skull is reshaped," said Tranckino.

His wife added the Dallas specialist does his operation twice a day, compared to a procedure done twice a month at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

"We're going to go to Texas no matter what it takes. If we have to pay out-of-pocket, we will. We're going to get the best care for them no matter what it is," said a teary-eyed Holton.

In a statement to FOX 4, Sunflower State Health says:

"We are committed to providing our members with the appropriate care that is needed to keep them healthy. We have not denied services in this case. We are still in the review process and working with the providers in Texas to make sure all of the necessary paperwork has been completed. It was determined that Sunflower had until February 10 to complete the request and we are confident that the deadline will be met so that a plan of action can be made for this family. We apologize if there was any miscommunication to the family, but we want to reiterate to them that the request for services for their twins has not been denied and we are working to make sure we meet the February 10 deadline and that they both get the care they need."

FOX 4 will continue to follow developments and let you know what happens with the twins' surgery as the deadline nears.

Twitter: @RobLowTV

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