Sunday, September 26, 2010

ObamaCare in Preview: Los Angeles County Public HealthCare

LaTi reports the ugly details:
Doramay Bailey got the bad news last year. Her annual mammogram at the county's Martin Luther King, Jr. Multi-Service Ambulatory Care Center in Willowbrook revealed a lump in her left breast. She needed a biopsy to determine whether she had cancer.

But when she called to schedule an appointment at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, the disabled 58-year-old grandmother got more bad news. She was told the soonest she could be seen was February, five months later.

Bailey is one of many women who have encountered increasingly long waits for biopsies at Harbor-UCLA, while those seeking biopsies at other hospitals are treated within weeks, if not sooner..

A Harbor-UCLA doctor, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, said the average wait time for breast biopsies was eight to nine weeks.

Vanessa Wright, 53, of Hawthorne, had a mammogram at MLK on Sept. 16, 2009, that showed a lump in her right breast. She could not get an appointment for a biopsy at Harbor until March 12.

The home health aide and mother of four said she spent the intervening months worrying about whether she had cancer and, if so, who would care for her aging aunt and disabled daughter...

When Bailey finally had a biopsy Feb. 18, the test showed she had stage four cancer. The doctor told her she probably had two to three years to live, she said.

Upset by the delay, Bailey sought treatment at the private City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, which is 45 minutes by bus from her South Los Angeles Home. But she said the trip was worth it because she has been treated promptly — she already has received four courses of chemotherapy.

"They just took too long at Harbor to do anything," Bailey said...county officials plan to hire a new contract radiologist at MLK this fall, but have had trouble finding one trained to perform the type of ultrasound-guided breast biopsies done at Harbor-UCLA.
Maybe L.A. County can find a good felon to help with the backlog. LaTi has reported that
...people convicted of such crimes as rape, murder and elder abuse are paid to provide services for some of the most vulnerable Californians in their residences.

Data provided by state officials show that at least 210 workers and applicants with felony convictions flagged by investigators as unsuitable for the In Home Supportive Services program are nonetheless scheduled to resume or begin employment. State and county investigators have not reported many others whose backgrounds include violent crimes because the rules of the program, as interpreted by a judge this year, permit felons to work in the program.

1 comment:

  1. King-Harbor Hospital has an interesting history.

    On Thursday evening June 7, 2007, this Board learned that MLK-Harbor Hospital had been found by federal investigators to have committed numerous violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) by placing emergency room patients in “immediate jeopardy” of harm or death. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have given the hospital 23 days to correct these problems or face immediate termination of federal funds. This is the fourth time this hospital has been found to pose an “immediate jeopardy” to patients. Over many years, this Board has invested millions of dollars in reforming this hospital. At the insistence of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, we hired Navigant Consulting to completely reengineer services at the hospital.

    Guess who was on Navigant's board at the time? Valerie Jarrett.

    Navigant was accused of overcharging King Harbor.