The Kaiser HMO nightmare
Kaiser Permanente is the oldest and largest HMO in the United States. It serves nine states and the District of Columbia. With over 8 million health plan members in California, the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan is the largest provider of health services in the state.
Kaiser provides an integrated delivery of care, coordinating and connecting a patient’s care all within one system from beginning to end. This care can include office visits, lab work, treatment, disease management, in-patient procedures and post-op recovery. The Kaiser Foundation Health Plan works with Kaiser hospitals for inpatient care and the Permanente Medical Group for physician care. As a member of Kaiser’s HMO insurance, it’s difficult to receive medical care from anyone except Kaiser physicians.
Unfortunately, many members of Kaiser have been victims of medical malpractice and negligence which many believe is the result of Kaiser cutting corners when it comes to patient care. There are hundreds of patients with Kaiser Permanente nightmare stories, the result of the negligent care that they have received as a member of the HMO. The bureaucracy within the Kaiser network has resulted in delays or denials of treatment or referrals to outside doctors. Kaiser members have been injured by carelessness on the part of Kaiser doctors and other health care staff.
When it comes to filing lawsuits against Kaiser for medical malpractice, HMO members are forced into arbitration which prevents them from suing Kaiser in a California court.
Your chance of winning arbitration
Starting in 1978, Kaiser Permanente has included a mandatory provision in all of their group policies that requires the use of a private arbitration procedure for all malpractice cases, negligence, product liability, prescription drug, and medical negligence claims against employees of Kaiser and doctors belonging to the Permanente Medical group.
There are many rules and regulations that are specific to the arbitration process. In an arbitration hearing, a neutral arbitrator or panel of arbitrators hears and renders a decision on your case. If you’re entering into arbitration against Kaiser Permanente for medical malpractice or negligence, doing it yourself is a bad idea.
These cases are complex, and Kaiser has experienced attorneys representing their employees. Members who represent themselves in arbitrations against Kaiser lose their cases approximately 75% of the time. Therefore, hiring an attorney that has experience navigating the complexities of the arbitration process provides you with the best chance of winning your case.
The best strategy for your case
If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice while in the care of the Kaiser HMO insurance system, you may be entitled to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Scott S. Harris, Kaiser arbitration lawyer, has a proven track record of successfully litigating medical malpractice claims for clients through Kaiser’s arbitration process. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.