Sunday, April 13, 2014

Kaiser often denies care to paying patients, but then doles out a bit of free care to get publicity

See what Kaiser does to paying patients at Garfield Specialty Center.

The fourth paragraph of the following article is shockingly deceptive, not giving even a clue that 20 non-Kaiser Permanente hospitals are involved in Project Access.

30 Get Free Treatment on ‘Super Saturday Surgery Day’ at Kaiser
by Chris Jennewein (former San Diego Union-Tribune administrator)
Times of San Diego
April 12, 2014

Nearly 30 San Diegans with debilitating medical conditions are scheduled to receive free treatment Saturday at a “Super Saturday Surgery Day” conducted by the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.

About 150 physicians and staff will volunteer time and expertise to provide medical care to the patients. Kaiser Permanente Garfield Specialty Center in San Diego.

For 13 of them, treatments will include hernia repairs, gallbladder removals, head and neck therapy, and vascular surgery. Another 16 patients will receive diagnostic gastrointestinal procedures to prevent colorectal cancer.

Barbara Mandel, Executive Director of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, said that since the Project Access San Diego program started in December of 2008, more than 2,400 patients have received free specialty care, including both inpatient and outpatient surgeries and procedures.

[Maura Larkins' comment: Journalist Chris Jennewein fails to mention that all this care DID NOT COME FROM KAISER PERMANENTE. Only some of it came from Kaiser. Here's a list of hospitals involved in the program:

Alvarado Hospital
Carlsbad Surgery Center
Coast Surgery Center
The Endoscopy Center
Endoscopy Center of Chula Vista
Escondido Surgery Center
Euclid Endoscopy Center
Kaiser Permanente
La Jolla Endoscopy Center
Northcoast Surgery Center
Orthopaedic Surgery Center of La Jolla
Otay Lakes Surgery Center
Palomar Pomerado Health
Paradise Valley Hospital
Parkway Endoscopy Center
Poway Surgery Center
San Diego Outpatient Ambulatory Surgical Center
Scripps Health
Surgical Center of San Diego
Tri-City Medical Center
University of California San Diego Medical Center]

Kaiser says it has held a dozen Super Saturdays, providing more than $2.4 million in services.

[Maura Larkins' comment: Who came up with that number? Perhaps Kaiser values its own services very highly? I expect Southern California Permanente Medical Group will use this as a tax write-off, so it would be expedient to exaggerate the value of the service.]

To qualify for Project Access San Diego’s Saturday Surgery Day an individual must live in San Diego County, be low-income, ineligible for public health programs, and be referred by their primary care physician.

— City News Service

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