When a patient strolls into the lobby - the facility looks and feels - like a hospital.
But, there is something surreal about the place, and not quite right.
The ailing individual strolls up to the front desk, anxious to be admitted into the "Emergency" Department, nonetheless.
At this juncture, a stone-faced employee quizzes the patient, pointedly.
"Are you a member?"
If a resident of the community - or a visitor to the facility at 6041 Cadillac in Los Angeles is seeking medical care - they are expected to be carrying a Kaiser Permanente Insurance card in their wallet to be treated.
Otherwise, they'll probably be SOL, just betcha.
Or, in the alternative, the hapless victim will be charged an arm-and-a-leg for the unprofessional services rendered.
One of the major complaints about Kaiser Permanente?
Although Kaiser asks a patient on the information sheet they fill in, if they have other insurance such as Medicare or Medical, there is no guarantee that the coverage (or its policy terms) will be accepted.
In fact, one of the major complaints about Kaiser's rinky-dink outfit is troubling.
One patient complained that after they were stretched out on a gurney for about 8 hours in the bowels of the freezing-cold "Emergency" Department all night, a case worker suddenly strode in to try and cajole the sorry individual into hitching a ride on an independent ambulance service (at their expense) to a facility where their insurance was accepted.
If the patient puts up any resistance to the suggestion, well, there will be hell to pay!
For example, one elderly lady at the front desk was causing quite a commotion when I happened to be on the premises one night this past week.
Why, pray tell?
"The medics brought me here two days ago and I was discharged the next day. It cost me $300 for ambulance fees. But, I'm still sick. The doctors here never did nothing for me at all," she blurted out in a nasty tone of voice so all within earshot could hear.
On the heels of the emotional outburst, she demanded that the staff re-admit her for emergency care immediately.
Another patient was downright mystified when one quack at the hospital - by the name of Dr. I. John Kim - breezed into his room Friday afternoon to inform him that he was being discharged out-of-the-blue.
The patient was being released from the hospital's care in spite of the obvious.
For starters, he had just received a blood transfusion an hour-or-so earlier because his blood levels were low.
Also,, he had just endured a painful procedure to remove 1.4 litres of liquid from his lungs, and was still recovering.
In fact, the ailing patient had been diagnosed with pneumonia Dr. Kim's associate (by the name of Dr. Katz).
"I was just brought up to my room a few hours ago," the middle-aged gent protested.
"I'm on painkillers, in a lot of pain from the procedure, and I'm too weak to go home."
The nurses on duty were alarmed, too, when Dr. Kim proceeded to ignore their pleas (to hold the patient for observation and a period of rest) - and opted instead - to hand over his "orders" for an immediate discharge of the sick patient.
Dr. Kim was actually discharging a patient from his care - even though the individual was suffering a lot of pain, dealing with chronic bouts of diarrhea, and having trouble breathing.
It's quite obvious that Dr. Kim never bothered to review the patient's medical records - or consult with the other doctors involved - before making his snap decision which rose to the level of negligence.
This one is ripe for my "Consumer Alert" list!
Avoid this cesspool of malpractice and negligence at Kaiser Permanente and incompetent uneducated Doctors like Dr. I. John Kim from the get-go!
Voodoo doctors at Kaiser!