First, I want to thank everyone who has chipped in for my participation in the Health Care Blogging Summit. A few dollars from a lot of people builds up fast, and I'm now confident I'll have the money by the end April. :D
Now on to the horrific example of Kaiser Thrivicide that's currently being discussed everywhere. The patient had been going to Kaiser (Northern California - Roseville) for NINE YEARS, with the complaint that he had lost his sense of smell. The doctors I know say that any third year medical student would immediately consider the possibility of a frontal lobe brain tumor. However, as usual, Kaiser avoided doing the brain scan that's required to rule out that diagnosis (i.e. Kaiser didn't want to spend the money on the necessary test.)
After nine years, a Kaiser doctor finally ordered the tests, and of course the patient had a frontal lobe brain tumor.
Since brain tumors are expensive to treat, Kaiser elected not to consult with the person who had his Power of Attorney for the patient's health care, or anyone else: Kaiser sent the patient directly to a hospice without ordering any further tests or treatment!!!
When his family got to the patient, he was being pumped full of IV Morphine, though he had no pain symptoms! Apparently, even the costs of maintenance without treatment are too much for Kaiser. Suppressing respiration with Morphine will hasten death. And both the hospice move and what looks to me like attempted murder reduced the chances of the patient going to REAL doctors who might try to treat, or even cure this disease.
The patient's family (who have his Power of Attorney) want to move him to a hospital where he can be treated, but Kaiser has been trying to play the family members off each other instead.
The advocacy community is outraged because this is TYPICAL for Kaiser! The doctors at Kaiser avoid diagnosis of an expensive disease, and when its presence becomes impossible to deny, they declare it incurable without proper testing, and then rush them off to "Hospice" to initiate involuntary euthanasia.
This is NOT negligence! This appears to be a premeditated PLAN to save money at the expense of patient lives!
Yet Kaiser rates continue to skyrocket. Patients are paying $$$ for Kaiser's PR thriviness instead of health care!
I've pieced together the story from a number of emails - most of the above is paraphrased or directly quoted from my source. If I've misunderstood anything, I welcome corrections and will act quickly on them.