letter from a former KP Patient
It scares me to think that Kaiser could be the template for national health care! My husband and I will work ourselves silly to afford better! All physicians who are from other countries, and are working with the American public, need to understand, have respect for, and be able to communicate very well with Americans and in very good English. I was bombarded several times with physicians who patronized, looked down on, and who had little regard for Americans or for learning proper English. In addition, there were a total of three situations we experienced with Kaiser which resulted in our resolve never to return to their plan.
My husband and I were members of Kaiser for three years back in the late 1970’s when I worked with Sacramento County. We joined again briefly about fifteen years later, but we quickly dropped out and pursued private insurance. I have a story that I have told many times for its amusing qualities. As a community college instructor in California for a number of years, diversity and our ability as a state to integrate so many immigrants from all over the world has always been a source of pride as a Californian. We are glad that our sons grew up knowing and understanding many cultures and having friends from many countries. For this reason, I have never had a problem with going to physicians from other countries.
One time in the late 1970’s, my toenails started to give me problems after I did a lot of hiking in Yosemite National Park. I also noticed my toenails were not growing correctly. I saw a physician from India and explained to him my story about hiking, the pain I was having in my toes, and about how they were not growing correctly. He looked at me for a long time, not at my toes, but at me in general. He then said in halting English, “You look good on outside, so you are good on inside.” That is all he said. I looked at him in disbelief, and asked him again what he recommended. Again he looked at me and said, “You look good on outside; you do look good on inside I think. You have no problem. You look good.”
I excused myself and left his office, marching right down to the patient relations department. I may not remember exactly the name of the department, but I was told that if I had a complaint that is where I should go to explain my issue regarding the doctor. I was assigned another physician, but after seeing the next doctor, the nurse at his office quickly walked up to me and said, “You’ll never get the proper treatment here; go see this doctor, an Internist. He will take you seriously and get you help." I had to make excuses as to why I should go to yet a different doctor, but I did eventually get proper medication.
On another occasion after the birth of my first child, I had some strange cramping and was sent to a general practitioner for an exam. An older doctor and Caucasian, he was pleasant but began to talk about surgery to resolve post-birth problems. I had not even been examined yet. I sensed a strange logic in his explanation on why I should be operated on, and decided not to return to Kaiser again. I found a gynecologist who examined me and offered exercises and a diet plan which resulted in all ending of my symptoms and increased health. In 1975, when I was working with Sacramento, CA. County, my husband was having a lot of pain in his left heel, an area which he had had surgery on as a child.
Because my husband’s family had been with Kaiser for a long time, and because we were newly married, I didn’t have any history at that time to cause me to second-guess their treatment. My husband agreed to surgery, which the doctor said would “update” the skin graft done in his childhood. After the surgery, my husband’s nerves in his left heel and foot were damaged and resulted in the loss of feeling. A year later my husband went to a private surgeon in Fresno specializing in the feet and leg areas.
My husband was told that the surgeon was a “butcher” and ruined the graft that had been “state-of-the-art” in 1958 when he had had it done. Unfortunately, the damage was done, and my husband never obtained any compensation or feedback from Kaiser. In addition, the surgeon that had done the surgery was “no longer with Kaiser” as said by Kaiser’s administration office. Those are our stories, and I hope that others can learn from ours and others’ stories that it is important to accept only physicians who are culturally respectful of Americans, who have a very good command of English—our language, who have proven success in the area of specialty that is needed, and who do not push for unnecessary surgeries. “JTF”
12/7/99 I was on a project with Kaiser Permanente (KP) in Pasadena, California in 1997-1998. KP was developing a new system, using Cool:gen (IEF). There were a number of Cool:gen consultants working on the project - a mixture of H-1Bs' and U.S. citizens.
KP wanted the U.S. consultants to sign on as full time employees but was only willing to pay us about $60K per year. ($60K per year is a low salary for an experienced I.T. professional in S.California). As consultants we were making about $60 per hour so needless to say, most of us declined the KP offer.
So what did KP do? It sent it's managers to the Phillipines, Egypt and India to hire employees on H-1B visas. And guess what? Some of these new hires had NO knowledege of Cool:gen. They had lied on their re'sume's and in the interview. The H-1B hires were being paid about $50-55K per year. And you guessed it, once we trained the H-1Bs' our contracts were terminated.The Cool Cool-gen programmer
Often insurance companies in an effort to save face and pretend that they are perfectly run will ignore and or deny their errors in judgement and action. Rather than apologize and say they have made a mistake they will knowingly follow through to the end even though it is bringing sesrous harm to a person and their family. This is a immature, outdated business practice. The people in this subsection were wrongly incarcerated by the Kaiser Plan and the for profit Permanente Medical Group. Kaiser made a mistake and instead of correcting their mistake when it was discovered they chose to instead allow innocent people to be branded and incarcerated for the sole purpose of avoiding the publication of negative publicity.
of Murder Freed After 21 Years Behind Bars
BUELL: Kaiser Hospital was caring for my son. And in January, before he died -- a few months before he died, he was bleeding internally when my sister was watching him. And they said that he had a ruptured spleen, and then it turned around that he had no ruptured spleen. And they don't know where he was bleeding or...
think the hospital was covering its
MARSH: Well, to a degree, yes.
KING: Were you a scapegoat?
MARSH: I just think I was caught up in the overzealousness of child abuse at that time, yes.
January 20, 2006 State Pays Wrongly Convicted Man
* Compensation board awards Kenneth M. Marsh $756,900. He served 21 years for a toddler's death that was later deemed accidental. By Maura Dolan, Times Staff Writer
Mirrored at for historical purposes: http://horror.kaiserpapers.org/kenmarsh.html
Other relevant link:http://freekenmarsh.com/index.html
A warm, caring foster mom of two medically fragile infants, Yvonne was falsely accused of child endangerment by an unscrupulous doctor. Even though there was no evidence to back up his claims, Yvonne was put on trial. During the grand jury, a so-called medical "expert" testified under oath that Yvonne suffered from Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy (even though a scientific diagnosis was never made), and therefore, nothing she said could be believed. - Read more....http://horror.kaiserpapers.org/eldridge.html
Cynthia Toussaint -Cynthia Toussaint’s career as a ballerina was ended when a pulled hamstring led to RSD. Today she is dedicated to RSD awareness and HMO reform.
The odds of Chris and Rod Royer's 12-year-old son getting the debilitating hip ailment known as Perthes disease were 1 in 5,000. But he did, and Chris knew things were bad in December 2001 when Ryan approached her as she sat in the stands watching him play basketball and said, "Mom, I can't run."
The Royers soon learned that the prognosis for Perthes, which causes deterioration of the thigh bone in the hip socket, was not good, especially for children in Ryan's age group. Kids like Ryan typically had to hunker down, withstand the arthritic-like pain the disease brought, and wait for hip-replacement surgery as adults.
Then the Royers got lucky. Chris learned about a relatively unknown procedure known as "distraction" that was performed at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore by its originator, Dror Paley, an outside-the-box orthopedic surgeon who reported 95% success rates.
The Royers, who live in Fullerton, asked their longtime health insurer Kaiser Permanente to pay for the surgery. The company refused, describing the procedure as "not medically necessary." The Royers, seeing Ryan's condition worsening to the point that pain sometimes left him in tears, signed up for it anyway. Last November, they took Ryan to Baltimore for the surgery, which cost about $50,000.
Once back in Orange County, Chris Royer took on Kaiser. Read more.......http://horror.kaiserpapers.org/royer.html
Kaiser Does With the TRW Report They File on You
All wasn't good news however, as it took 6 months to get the health insurance I should have had all along. Kaiser turned me down because I had "been hospitalized once within the past year". Big mistake; never mark this box on a health insurance application. They denied me any form of coverage for any price, and apparently reported that to a "health insurance" version of the TRW credit reporting business. Everybody else I applied with turned me down as well, and I couldn't lie since it would be reported why Kaiser had denied me. Finally, in April, Blue Shield took my application, along with a $318 check to get the policy started. The 14th of that month they cashed the check.
Marie O'Dell Story.
Bill and Marie are Senior Citizens that in my opinion have been misled by Kaiser. Marie has diabetes and Kaiser did create serious medical complications with her care. She has been placed in Kaiser Hospice, because "Kaiser will then pay for her medicine." Mr. O'Dell was advised by Kaiser to give her Morphine for breathing problems.
away from Kaiser Permanente - Kaiser Permanente is
very much like
the cigarrette companies, and makes money while maiming and killing
and thousands of people. There is no telling how many people
died because of Kaiser Permanente.
Another Life Ruined By Kaiser - A Kaiser Botox Story
Kaiser ruined my life so, obviously, I pre-judge them. I am no longer with Kaiser. I was with Kaiser - Vallejo (North Bay Area) until 1995 when I changed to Health Net to save my life. The internist I saw through HN diagnosed my case in 2 minutes. She had never met me before. The ENT's and speech pathologists at Kaiser treated me for two years and had no clue.
Read more at:
Kaiser Permanente will pay $1.8 million to the family of a man who suffered a brain aneurysm after his headache was wrongly attributed to grief.
In 2005, 45-year-old Ted Blackwell visited a Kaiser clinic in Orange County with a headache and neck pain. According to the binding arbitration document, doctors attributed his symptoms to grief over the death of his brother eight days earlier.
He received an injection and was sent home.
Blackwell returned to the clinic two days later, still in pain. According to the document, his daughter requested a CT scan because of her father's disorientation but doctors decided that wasn't necessary.
Two days later, Blackwell collapsed and underwent surgery at Hoag Hospital for bleeding in his brain. He suffered permanent brain damage and is unable to work, according to his attorney James McElroy of Del Mar.
Scott Bracy is the father of a three-month-old baby girl, and he’s fighting for his life.
In August Scott was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Doctors at Kaiser Permanente medical center in Riverside told him with aggressive chemotherapy treatment he would have a twelve percent chance of survival.
just a few days before his fourth scheduled
treatment, Scott received
this letter from Kaiser, which says, “your membership in
health plan has been revoked due to the intentional misrepresentation
your health history." An allegation that Scott vehemently denies.
Mirrored for historical purposes at: http://horror.kaiserpapers.org/bracy.html
admitted on Monday because he
was having trouble
maintaining his balance,
was released Tuesday. The boy died in his
home that afternoon.
filed in Superior
to Chan's plight and seeks unspecified damages from the city and Kaiser
Permanente. The suit alleges that Kaiser negligently reported the
as a drug overdose.
her back and arm had grown
intolerable since late 1996,
crippling her ability to earn a living or really to do anything beyond
lying in a Vicodin haze at her Santa Rosa home.
Bob and Carmen Pack, who recently learned that the Walnut Creek nanny accused of running down their two children might have been abusing the prescription painkiller Vicodin, said at a news conference outside Kaiser's corporate offices they were pushing for a statewide, real-time database that would allow doctors and pharmacists to access medical records.
Their children Troy, 10, and Alana, 7, died in October 2003 after allegedly being hit by Jimena Barreto, 46.
transcripts from grand jury
testimony, Barreto told police
she had taken Vicodin and muscle relaxants the day of the accident. A
doctor who treated her days before the accident testified that she had
been seen by several doctors and given six different Vicodin
David Himmelstein, MD, Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH
Ida Hollander, MD
Common Courage Press, 2001
by Kenneth R. Kahn
"Bleeding the Patient" is not simply the charts and graphs and statistical study of how people are unequally treated by America's nightmarish system of "health care' but for the army of bean counters and CEO's "Bleeding the Patient" is a way of life, a creed and code to live by.
The unfortunate part is that while this volume deals with an important, timely and life- and-death subject, it does so graphically, statistically and mostly fails to convey to the reader the life and death story, the human equation, of how Americans cope with a system to which its rulers are not subjected and which causes untold suffering and misery. After reading this volume, one can only come to the conclusion that the only thing worse than an HMO is being uninsured and that sometimes there may exist little difference between the two except for paying the bill.
A real life personal example of the tyranny of HMOs was driven home to me when my wife underwent surgery at a hospital. The HMO was Kaiser Permanente. The doctor committed what was to Kaiser an unpardonable sin--he admitted her a day early, an unscheduled admission due to a low blood count. To extract its revenge, while my wife lay recovering from surgery, Kaiser sent a social worker to see my wife and told her that she had a choice of being to either a "skilled nursing facility" or to obtain "home health care" at our expense. Keep in mind that I have been paying premiums to Kaiser for years. The ultimatum was delivered as a result of the early admission by the doctor. Additionally, my wife was approached by a nurse working for Kaiser to ascertain her condition and to get her discharge as early as possible. In the end, I had verbal confrontation with the Kaiser nurse and told them that if they did not back off, I would be filing suit for malpractice based on misdiagnosis. In the end, my spouse was driven home in an ambulance at Kaiser's expense. However, they refused to pay for home health services which we then contracted. We were told by the staff at the hospital that this conduct by Kaiser is commonplace and that they harass Kaiser patients regularly. Since the hospital has a contract with Kaiser, such conduct is tolerated. Additionally, we were told that Kaiser sends people to "skilled nursing facilties" at 10 p.m. and regularly monitors the conditions of Kaiser patients to send them home as quickly as possible.
In what is described as the largest award ever in a Sacramento legal malpractice suit, a jury awarded an 11-year-old quadriplegic and her parents $2.35 million Tuesday after deciding the family's lawyer violated an attorney-client relationship.The jury of 11 men and one woman unanimously found that attorney Rodney A. Klein breached his duties as the family's lawyer during a medical malpractice suit that ended in an out-of-court settlement in 1978.
says it tried to call priest's
family on day of his death
rather than three days after.
By John Geluardi and Rebecca Vesely
CORRESPONDENT AND STAFF WRITER
However, Kaiser officials are still declining to answer mounting questions from family members as to how Thomas Douglas "Dewey" Schwartzenburg's body was mistaken for that of an elderly Fruitvale woman and released to a mortuary, which cremated the body.
Kaiser representative P.J. Ballard said the 59-year-old Schwartzenburg drove himself to the Oakland hospital's emergency room early May 11 and died from a heart attack shortly after. But information about what happened after Schwartzenburg died is sketchy.
Oakland -- Oakland couple has filed a lawsuit against Kaiser Permanente Hospital claiming that the HMO lost the body of their stillborn daughter.
The child, Malika
stillborn at Kaiser's Hayward facility on November 23. Her parents,
Elisaia Levingston and Joe Armstrong Jr., claim that while awaiting her
autopsy results, the hospital informed them that it could not locate
her body. What happened to the body is a mystery.
Attorneys allege that the hospital had the remains cremated against the
parents' wishes. Kaiser officials yesterday said the hospital doesn't
perform or authorize cremations and doesn't know what happened. Despite
an hospital investigation and an extensive search -- even through
hospital laundry -- the baby's body has never been found. The
suit alleges that after telling the parents the baby's body had been
misplaced, the hospital offered Levingston her placenta for burial
instead and $15,000 for the loss of the child's body. The suit claims
that hospital officials told the parents at one point that the remains
might have accidentally been placed with another body that was to be
The child, Malika Armstrong, was stillborn at Kaiser's Hayward facility on November 23. Her parents, Elisaia Levingston and Joe Armstrong Jr., claim that while awaiting her autopsy results, the hospital informed them that it could not locate her body.
What happened to the body is a mystery. Attorneys allege that the hospital had the remains cremated against the parents' wishes. Kaiser officials yesterday said the hospital doesn't perform or authorize cremations and doesn't know what happened. Despite an hospital investigation and an extensive search -- even through hospital laundry -- the baby's body has never been found.
The suit alleges that after telling the parents the baby's body had been misplaced, the hospital offered Levingston her placenta for burial instead and $15,000 for the loss of the child's body. The suit claims that hospital officials told the parents at one point that the remains might have accidentally been placed with another body that was to be disposed of.
mother given the
wrong baby when she left a hospital maternity ward
last month cuddled her own son for the first time Friday and said all
she wants to do now is ``get to know him.''
Days of suspense and a barrage of medical tests confirmed what Rosetta Kirks began to suspect earlier in the week - that the infant she took home from Kaiser Permanente Hospital in West Los Angeles was not the baby she gave birth to Feb. 11.