Saturday, January 12, 2008

Loss of a sense of history, and other losses too

Boy, this Daily Bulletin article starts off promisingly, doesn't it?

The very first hospital to come to this city of 175,000 people broke ground Wednesday at the Kaiser Permanente Ontario Vineyard campus.

Very first? VERY first? Andrea Bennett ight want to see what this Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Commission report shows.

The claimant started working as a truck driver for the employer four or five months before the occurrence. On November 6, 1988, the claimant had driven from Middletown, Ohio, to Ontario, California and made a delivery. After communicating with the employer's dispatcher, he stopped at a Burger King restaurant to eat. After eating, he returned to his truck and began sweating, getting dizzy, and feeling nauseous. He went inside the truck stop and an ambulance took him to Ontario Community Hospital where he stayed for three days. He left on November 8, 1988, and resumed his duties driving his truck. The evidence contains no final diagnosis and neither of the expert witnesses established a final diagnosis or disability from the occurrence. At the hospital, Dr. Thornburgh gave his impressions: 1. Hemocult positive emesis, rule out GI bleed; 2. Vertigo, rule out vertebrovestibular reflex, vs labyrinthitis; 3. Rule out silent MI; 4. Possible substance abuse.

And, depending upon your definition of "hospital," there is arguably a hospital within Ontario today.

Kindred Hospital Ontario is a 91-bed facility that offers a full range of services for long-term, catastrophically ill patients. As a fully accredited acute care hospital, Kindred Hospital Ontario delivers all levels of care including a full-service Intensive Care Unit.

While our reputation is rooted in the innovative management of ventilator-dependent individuals, all acutely ill patients are considered for admission regardless of their prognosis. Kindred is recognized for expertise in resolving the needs of this complex patient group through our multidisciplinary approach to medicine.

And one more point - the hospital that is being opened is a Kaiser hospital. That is, if the two terms are not mutually exclusive.

In September of the year 2000 my father, Adam Wesley Arnold was euthanized by Kaiser Permanente staff in Los Angeles, California.

My family and I witnessed the cruel acts that were committed against our father in the name of saving a corporate buck so administration would have a few more pennies in their coffers.

We were devastated by the Kaiser attitude which was basically "Tough Toadies People"....

[Friends] shared enormous amounts of information regarding the financial incentives of Kaiser Permanente to deny care, avoid diagnosis and outright eliminate the patient in any way possible if they are going to be expensive to treat medically....

We would prefer if at all possible that [patients] avoid any HMO just because of the manner such organizations are run. HMO's are in existence for the personal benefit of the owners, the stockholders or who ever is running their show. We acknowledge though, that not everyone has the opportunity to obtain medical care elsewhere.

HMO's and Kaiser in particular are not in business to help the patient with anything that is long term, potentially life threatening or just plain complicated. They are good for cheap co pays on prescriptions and general minor ailments. Someday, everyone is going to have a serious, life threatening illness. When they do, they will not want to have an HMO, especially Kaiser Permanente for their medical coverage.

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