Readers React

Questions over patient care at Kaiser

To the editor: My 24-year-old daughter experienced the same delay in diagnostic tests from the Woodland Hills Kaiser in 1999 for worsening back pain. She requested and was refused an X-ray for six months. ("Kaiser ordered to pay woman more than $28 million," March 26)

This late diagnosis of cancer resulted in her death in 2005. She thought winning the arbitration in 2003 would improve how Kaiser physicians treated medical complaints. But based on Anna Rahm's experience, whose leg was amputated after a long-delayed MRI, care has clearly not improved.

So what is the real lesson? Kaiser's priority continues to be its bottom line, so patients must be proactive and vigilant in their care.

For instance, if refused diagnostic testing or care, request that the physician note in your chart that he's refusing your request. Also maintain a detailed paper trail of medical care requests and denials, and don't be afraid to ask for help from administration.

As patients, changing our mind-set regarding our care will hopefully result in fewer bad outcomes.

Hillarie Levy, Simi Valley

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