January 8, 2002
"Cases Reveal Lapses in Kaiser Emergency Care" (Jan. 2) describes nine medical malpractice cases involving Kaiser Foundation Hospital emergency rooms [decided] in the past seven years--nine cases among more than 10 million patients treated. All of us at Kaiser Permanente wish that number was zero. We acknowledge regretfully that errors in medical judgment and in the delivery of care do sometimes occur. As the Institute of Medicine's report on patient safety and medical errors concluded, "to err is human."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 25, 1999 |
Kaiser Permanente members in South County will be able to use Irvine Medical Center this fall if a new five-year agreement signed Tuesday gets regulatory approval. The agreement includes maternity, emergency and some medical and surgical care at the private hospital.
June 17, 1999 |
A state investigation of a leading HMO found no proof the company improperly removed drugs from its formulary, but similar probes of five other insurers continue, officials said. The state Department of Corporations notified Oakland-based Kaiser Foundation Health Plan that the "information reviewed, including the large amount of information provided by the plan [Kaiser], does not support the allegations," the department said this week.
March 17, 1999 |
A consumer advocacy group sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan over a television advertising campaign in which the nonprofit health maintenance organization proclaims that its doctors, not its administrators, make all decisions on patient care, basing them on medical rather than financial concerns.
January 1, 1999 |
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, the largest nonprofit health maintenance organization, said California's Department of Corporations has denied its request to drop coverage in 1999 of anti-impotence drug Viagra and other sexual-dysfunction treatments. Kaiser spokesman Jim Anderson said the Oakland-based HMO's current policy of requiring patients to pay 50% of the treatment costs will stand.
December 29, 1998 |
The state Department of Corporations said it has closed its investigation of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan's policies regarding the anti-impotence pill Viagra after finding that the HMO earlier this year "may have encouraged" its doctors not to prescribe the drug because of cost considerations. In April, Kaiser, the nation's largest nonprofit HMO, announced that, with rare exceptions, it would not cover the cost of the expensive treatment for sexual dysfunction.
August 1, 1997 |
For the last two years, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan's mandatory system for arbitrating legal disputes with its members has been the focus of news media scrutiny, complaints from lawyers, legislators and consumer groups, and, last month, a stinging rebuke from the California Supreme Court.
April 24, 1997 |
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in Texas routinely refused to pay for emergency room care, even in some cases where Kaiser nurses advised patients to seek emergency treatment, according to a controversial state report released by Texas regulators. The report, provided to The Times on Wednesday, also said Kaiser failed to act on complaints against its physicians, and it faulted the company for "an unacceptable disregard for quality-of-care issues."
January 26, 1997
Re "HMO Trend Demands Eagle-Eyed State Oversight," by Jamie Court, Commentary, Jan. 15: The Kaiser Foundation Health Plan is indeed a nonprofit organization, and the "profits" Court discusses so glibly are plowed right back into the health plan to benefit the members through new technology, upgraded facilities and expanded services. According to the California Medical Assn.'s analysis of various public financial filings, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan spends 96.8% of every dollar on actual medical care--more than any other California health plan.