Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crazy HMO story

My parents have a friend in their Sunday school class whose father died last Wednesday. He was old and it was expected. The funeral was scheduled for the following Saturday. But there was a problem: the doctor couldn't be bothered to sign the death certificate. He said he was too busy and he'd get to it on Monday. I don't know what's wrong with a doctor like that, but it caused a real problem for the family of the deceased, because they needed the death certificate to bury their father on Saturday!

So my parents' friend called Kaiser and said, "If there's no death certificate then my father's not considered dead yet, right? And his medical care is covered by Kaiser until death, right?"

Correct, he was told.

"All right, I'm bringing him in to the emergency room now; let's see what you can do for him."

The death certificate got signed and they buried him last Saturday.


Eanah said...

I'm not shocked to hear this is Kaiser. From first-hand dealings with their authorizations department (though admittedly, a decade ago), they are/were hands-down the worst-worst-worst insurance group out there.

I remember once my boss (the doctor) being told by staff that a patient of hers was asking for a recommendation for which medical insurance company they should go with. Without pause, my boss rattled off a couple and concluded with, "And Kaiser only if they want to end up dead."

Looks like nothing much has changed...

(Horrible that your parents' friends had to go through that, but an awesome and crafty way to get a quick response!)

JimAroo said...

8 years from now, you will have been obamazied in your health care and will long for the good old days of Kaiser.

Another reason to avoid Kaiser is that when you are in a Kaiser facility you are in an abortion mill. Kaiser covers abortions and performs them in their facilities.

It isn't their only business of course like FPA, but they do pressure for both abortions and sterilizations

Rachel Gray said...

How depressing. Kaiser is my HMO!

I've faced certain irritations with them, but nothing terrible-- then again I've never been seriously ill.

There was a study comparing the British national health care system with Kaiser; it determined that Kaiser gives better specialist access for less money. The (reputably) best national system was worse than a bad HMO. Can't wait for the future!

Meg said...

Kudos to your parents friend! So tragic what they endured.

Some physicians these days are something to be desired.