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Criticism and kudos for Kaiser

July 30, 2007

Re "State fines Kaiser again," July 26

Although the California Department of Managed Health Care has taken positive steps in attempting to improve overall quality of care for Kaiser patients, these six plans for improvement will be ineffective unless they include specific, detailed ideas and much-improved and continued oversight by the department.

Although Kaiser's response to this review has been positive, history has shown its tendency to utilize vague laws or plans for its own financial advantage.

Hillarie Levy

Simi Valley

I had heart surgery at a Kaiser hospital in June. Although recovery can take as long as four months, I'm doing well, thanks to Kaiser's plan after surgery. I've had numerous follow-up visits by Kaiser to check on my current condition -- calls from cardiologists and the laboratory, regular visits from a physical therapist and heart and blood pressure checks. What could be more superior to those statistics?

Jerry Aronow

West Hollywood

Kaiser was fined for a second time in a year by the state for glaring breakdowns in oversight. What exactly did the state do after the first fine to ensure compliance by Kaiser? Why would $1 million of the fine be forgiven if Kaiser makes changes that it failed to make the first time? Are the fines just cheaper than making the proper and necessary corrections, and are deemed a cost of doing business? What are we to make of a state agency that is entrusted to protect the public being unable to enforce its rules and regulations the first time that it finds a problem affecting the health and lives of many who think that they are being protected?

I think people can accept that problems will arise with healthcare systems, which is why we have regulatory oversight. But who is going to fine the state regulatory agency for failure to oversee the correction of problems that it deems so important? And will the state regulatory agency be liable for any problems when its failures to do its job cause patients to be harmed?

Barry levy


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