The LA County Observer

Observations of a LA County Resident

How many days does it takes LA County DHS to update one page of a website?

Written By: raconte - Nov• 26•19

Apparently it takes almost 63 days or nine weeks! That’s right!

Several weeks ago, I made an unannounced visit to the Harbor/UCLA Medical Center HUB. As usual there was quite a bit of traffic so I arrived after 6 in the evening and in the dark. I followed the directions provided by the LA County Department Health Services (DHS) to a bungalow identified on the website as “N26”. Imagine my surprised to find the bungalow dark and locked up tight, but wait there’s a paper note on the door detailing that the HUB has been relocated to the “Professional Building” in Torrance.

The note provides an address and with a little help from Google Maps I found the “Professional Building” just behind the hospital. I parked my car and walked up the steps to the building, which of course was closed because – it is after all a professional building, not a clinic or hospital. However, I found myself in luck as a county employee kindly lets me in and escorts me to the HUB, which is closed without a soul in sight because it is after all 6:15 pm and the HUB closes at 6:00 pm.

I chatted with the employee who shares what she knows about the building and the HUB, which she estimates, has been there for about six weeks now. So for at least nine weeks no change has been made to the Harbor/UCLA Medical Center website. The week following my visit, I informed the Board of Supervisors during the weekly meeting, I even provided photographs to illustrate the issue – still no change is made. It takes nearly another two weeks for the people at DHS to make the change, at least now providing the correct address. Unfortunately, the link to the campus map that is provided on the HUBs website takes you to; if you guessed it’s a map showing the HUB is located at N26, and not at the “Professional Building” you would be correct.

These HUBs provide a critical function when there is suspected child abuse. It’s bad enough that the HUBs aren’t opened on the weekends or late in the evening, but DHS Head, Dr. Christina Ghaly seems to only think that children are at risk only during business hours Monday through Friday; even after Ms. Hamai with permission from the Board of Supervisors has allocated additional financial resources to expand services, hire staff and what not. Not to mention that the Grand Jury made the recommendation that the HUBS should be opened 24/7 including weekends and holidays.

It angers me to see Dr. Ghaly spending taxpayer resources to allow a DHS employee to commute from Orange County to LA County using an Uber-like services, and to remodel an office including the purchase of new furnishings for said office. All the while Dr. Ghaly gives short shrift to our County HUBS and LA County children who are at the greatest risk, many of whom are children of color. I wonder how many more children must die before Dr. Ghaly’s failure to expand the HUBs is addressed by the LA County Board of Supervisors?

Now to answer my original question, not only did it take almost nine weeks, and numerous telephone calls from the folks at Hahn Hall of Administration to DHS to fix the problem. But after all of that: what the folks at DHS did in response was to remove the mismarked campus map – I guess correcting the mismarked campus map was beyond their ability, so they just took the map out.

Los Angeles County Supervisors “fiddle” while the Department of Health Services “burns”.

Written By: raconte - Jun• 10•19

I submitted the “op-ed” below to the Los Angeles Times for consideration, the response I got back was “I don’t think we can run this as an op-ed…” I called to find out why and Robin (Editor, Op-ed) went on to explain that my op-ed was too personal.  Well, I’m sorry to say that to this LA County resident, health activist, and RN the health of our county’s health department is well – personal.  Just ask the residents of South Los Angeles if the loss of King/Drew wasn’t personal and the eight (8) years they waited for it to be rebuilt, personal.  Ask the allied healthcare workers, nurses, and physicians of our four (4) County hospitals if the health and wellbeing of these hospitals and assorted urgent cares and clinics aren’t personal.

Robin asked my permission to share my email with one of the LA Times reporter, but I’ve crossed paths with this reporter in the past so I won’t hold my breath waiting for her to call me back.  In the meantime below is my letter to the Los Angeles Times, more to come…

Los Angeles County Supervisors “fiddle” while the Department of Health Services “burns”.

The LA County Department of Health Services has seen a turnover of directors over the years, and filling that vacant position has often required a tedious and time-consuming search process.  So, its understandable that the LA County Board of Supervisors would choose to appoint an internal candidate, Dr. Christina Ghaly, as the new DHS director rather than undergo yet another long search.  However, choosing expediency over an actual job search process means our County is now paying the price.

Prior to Ghaly’s appointment as our new director of DHS she was appointed to head County LAC+USC.  During her tenure, she managed to lower LAC+USC’s Leapfrog score from a B to a D.  As if it wasn’t enough that Ghaly’s management style lead to a two grade drop in one County-run hospital we had to see if she could do it again, so she was later appointed to run Olive View.  True to Ghaly’s management style it wasn’t long before she drove Olive View from a B to a D grade.

After leaving Olive View, Ghaly was made the Chief Operating Officer for DHS before she was made Interim and then permanent Director.  She’s therefore really been “in charge” of DHS for 2.5 years now.  Only in LA County would this track record be rewarded with being offered the position of Director of the Department of Health Services.  If Ghaly’s past management failures weren’t enough to give the Supervisors reason to rethink their hiring decision, you’d think the recently revealed “2018 Patient Safety Culture Survey” by Press Ganey would.  That survey, completed by more than 12,000 DHS employees, showed DHS hospitals scored lower than the National Average and National Safety Net Hospital Average on all 24 of 24 questions asked.  These results are a damning summary of Ghaly’s leadership, as they reflect the perceptions of DHS employees regarding how DHS treats both its patients and staff.  The results of this survey were only revealed to the Supervisors after I handed copies of the one page aggregate to each of them, something Ghaly, herself should’ve done – but considering the dismal scores it’s not surprising that she was too ashamed to provide the information herself”.

Later, Ghaly would produce a 10-page report where she tried to explain away why our County hospitals ranked so poorly.  Ghaly even went so far as to try to rationalize that our County RNs and other advanced practice providers were using the survey as a negotiating tactic (a nursing strike loomed on the horizon), by writing the following: “In sub-group analysis, the negative trend was in large part driven by the responses of RN and Advanced Practice Providers within DHS. DHS will conduct a series of focus groups and perform other focused data analyses to determine why this change may have occurred, the extent to which it may have been related to ongoing labor negotiations that were occurring at the time of the survey, and how to address and improve perceptions among our nursing staff about the climate of safety across DHS.” 

The DHS system is in trouble.  The academic environment at Harbor-UCLA has been collapsing for some time.  Harbor-UCLA hasn’t been able to recruit a new Chair of the Department of Medicine after 5 years and 3 failed national searches.  Indeed they seem unable to recruit leaders generally; their Chairs of Surgery, Pediatrics, OB-Gyn, and Anesthesia are all internal promotions.  After Ghaly left LAC+USC as Interim CEO, their Leapfrog scores began to recover from the D back up to a B.  But since she took over as DHS COO and then Director, their scores have tanked back to a D.  This may have something to do with the fact that in a period of little more than a year, Ghaly has turned over leadership at the hospital an absurd amount of times—4 CEOs, 3 COOs, 3 CFOs, and 3 CQOs in such a short period of time.  Meanwhile, the medical staff at Olive View has been in revolt, forcing out their CMO, and complaining about DHS leadership.  There are fires burning all across DHS, and people are being hurt as a result.

Not to mention the enormous amount of money DHS has wasted under Ghaly in what can only be described as incompetence in modern data analytics.  The availability of data is the lifeblood of a quality improvement program—as I know well, having run QA at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in my past.  After spending years and tens of millions of dollars attempting to build an internal data repository known as CEDAR, DHS recently hired an expensive consulting firm, Gartner, to assess their data readiness.  I’m told that at a recent report-out downtown, Gartner assessed DHS as having the lowest possible data readiness, despite years and millions of dollars spent.

Meanwhile, I started receiving calls and e-mails from many County employees, including physicians, complaining about Ghaly.  Many explained that she rules through fear and intimidation, and that she doesn’t listen to anyone, including many people who have far more experience than she does.  Many also said that she brags that she only answers to the Board of Supervisors.

I’ve also heard that she seems to prefer to hire “yes people” who ask no questions and never challenge her, rather than hiring the quality of people to ensure the highest quality of service to staff and patients in the Health System.  I’m not sure how true this is, but I can tell you that after Mr. James Brady was hired over Ms. Pam Griffith the DHS Dashboard has been riddled with a computer glitch that yields “N/A” which provides no information on some key and critical data points.  A glitch that Mr. Brady hasn’t been able to resolve which might’ve something to do with that fact that his experience is with two small hospitals in the self-developed Kaiser system rather than Cerner/Orchid  (which the County uses) which Ms. Griffith fully understood and was proficient in.

Not all that long ago our Board of Supervisors failed to recognize that King/Drew Medical Center was in critical condition and by the time they did; all the corrective action taken wasn’t enough to stop King/Drew Medical Center from losing its accreditation and closing.  It’d take nearly 8 years to re-open the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, a much smaller hospital with a smaller footprint and mission.  I hope that the current red flags being revealed in various safety surveys and key indicators aren’t a warning that the Supervisors will choose to ignore.  It’s often hard to acknowledge that as a group you made a bad choice, but as the evidence continues to mount the Supervisor’s need to rethink their original decision. Raising all the money in the world shouldn’t offset the fact that Ghaly appears to be hiding critical performance and safety issues from the Supervisors and that’s called dereliction of duty.

The Supervisors should remember that Ghaly is an “at-will-employee” and can on any given Tuesday by a vote of three be sent packing.  This LA County health activist and RN wonders how many more of our at-risk children need to die or how much lower in quality of care must the hospitals that so many of our most vulnerable residents rely on for their care must fall before the Supervisors take that vote of three?

Geneviève M. Clavreul, RN, PhD

Suicide and Workers’ Compensation

Written By: raconte - Feb• 07•17
I’ve often wondered how many injured workers either contemplate or commit suicide out of despair and feeling that suicide is their only recourse to ending the constant pain in which they’ve been forced to live with. I’ve grown accustomed to the blank stares that I receive when I’ve poised this question to various “leaders” in our state’s workers’ compensation system. No one seems to be able to provide me with a definitive answer to my question so I decided to do an Internet search. The search failed to provide any links to statistics of how many injured workers commit suicide, but it did provide pages of links about individual injured workers who had committed suicide. Most notable was an article from the Insurance Journal. Apparently in September 2007 a Massachusetts Appeals Court in Suffolk County found that a suicide qualifies for benefits if it is “simply causally connected to the unsoundness of mind resulting from the injury, without having to show any particular quantity or quality of that cause.” A very interesting finding, no doubt.

An investigative report by NBC Bay Area ran a three-part investigative news story, and in Part II they share the story of Nurse Lorrie Mays, who was injured at work in 2003 and ended up taking her own life in 2016.   Her mother, Ms. Dismuke, cited a letter her daughter received in February from an Independent Medical Review denying her appeal for additional treatment for her depression, as the proverbial last straw for her daughter. Mays committed suicide shortly thereafter. Dismuke share with the NBC Bay Area reporters about finding additional letters written by her daughter that described her despair and frustrations trying to get appropriate medical care that she thought would make her better. You can read more about her story, here.

Below you’ll find a few more links that show a link between lack of appropriate medical care and suicide.

Next up the link between financial stress and suicide

Eureka – Physical Therapy Schedule, and it only took 3 Months!

Written By: raconte - Jan• 31•17
They say that Workers’ Compensation is supposed to help get the injured worker back to pre-injury condition, but as this injured worker has learned there’s no guarantee when or if that care will even be provided.

In my last post, I wrote about waiting for my treating physician’s request for physical therapy (PT) to get the green light. Of course the Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) claims adjuster decided that maybe my treating physician’s diagnosis that I needed PT was somehow inappropriate, not the standard of care, a shot in the dark diagnosis, etc. So, off she went and sent the request to utilization review (UR) – you know any excuse not to pay for medical care or at the very least delay shelling out the greenbacks to pay for care for as long as Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) can hold out, or better yet wear out the injured worker so that they either give up on seeking the care or pay for it out of pocket.

This time it only took just under three months to actually get a PT appointment scheduled. To accomplish this goal it only took numerous calls from my treating physician to the Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) claims adjuster, approval of their handpicked UR company and my attorney. All this effort and time for four PT appointments with a system like this, it’s a wonder that injured worker’s get any medical treatment at all.

More to follow . . .


Written By: raconte - Jan• 10•17
Plural sequelae


  1. An aftereffect of a disease, condition, or injury
  2. A secondary result

As defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary

As I sit here at home waiting to learn when I’ll finally have my physical therapy (PT) appointment, I wondered how many other injured workers’ suffer from sequela/ae due to the foot dragging, oops I mean the review process, that’s used so very often by the Workers’ Compensation (W/C) claims adjuster to verify that the treatment recommended by the injured worker’s treating physician is “reasonable”.

On November 14, 2016 my physician submitted the form PR-2, aka Primary Treating Physician’s Progress Report, followed on November 28, 2016 a formal request for authorization to my claims adjuster (Ms. CA). So before Ms. CA could give my physician the green light off to utilization review (UR) it went and after a couple of back and forth UR approved albeit it was a “modified” approval but my physician’s PT request was authorized. Yet here I sit more than one month later still waiting to begin my PT. Why? You may ask, all because Ms. CA has yet to respond to my physician to approve the actual physical therapist facility/person. So without her green light, here I sit waiting in pain.

Under a traditional healthcare plan there’s usually a 5 to 7 day window for the plan to approve a referral, and the member then receives a referral letter that either shows the referral is approved with the name of the specialist or therapist to call. If the referral is declined the member can appeal and again there is a set period of time for which this must occur. Unfortunately, with W/C this is very often not the case with the treating physician being required by the claims adjuster through the use of UR to “justify” that the injured worker is indeed in need of the specialized care, treatment or tests. Should UR approve the request then the treating physician can refer the patient, but the claims adjuster can throw a monkey wrench in things if the specialist or request treatment still requires approval from the claims adjuster for the injured worker to see the specialist.

When this kind of foot dragging occurs the only recourse is to go back to the W/C “court” and seek the intervention of an administrative law judge. Even when the attorney makes this request for a hearing the injured worker can expect to wait 30 days or months for a hearing date. In the meantime the injured worker’s injury is left to endure an extended period of time without appropriate treatment for their injury. Meanwhile if that injured worker had been treated through the traditional medical track one can reasonably conclude that the injured person would’ve received treatment more quickly and thus be at a lesser risk of suffering additional sequela/ae.

I think that much of this waiting and foot-dragging is directly related to the adversarial system that has become rooted in our W/C system. It would appear that many employers in order to “manage the claim” come to see the injured worker as someone who is out to take advantage of the system, and while this may be true in a small number of cases it’s not so for the majority of the cases. The majority of injured workers simply wish to get back to pre-injury condition (as much as is medically possible) and back to work. But when the injured worker and treating physician have to plead and fight for treatment and then wait for the W/C courts to sort it out essential progress in healing is delayed and to some great extent denied. What I find outrageous is that even when there’s a court order that supports the injured worker the employer, through the claims adjuster, can decide to simply ignore it; leaving the injured worker with no recourse but to go back to court waiting again sometimes for months for another hearing, which stretches things out even more. And around and around it goes when it’ll stop nobody knows.

How did I get here? And why I got an attorney?

Written By: raconte - Jan• 05•17
When I suffered my work-related injury being represented by an attorney was the furthest thing from my mind that is until I felt that Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) was “messing” with my care.

After my fall on the wet floor of the restroom at the hospital I was sent to our employer’s workers’ compensation clinic/physician for care. While I was somewhat underwhelmed by the physician’s level of knowledge he seemed attentive and taking the appropriate steps to evaluate and treat my numerous injuries. The problem arose several weeks later when I found myself unable to place any weight on my right leg. While I had injured this leg in my fall the physician found primarily soft tissue/strain-like injuries, so I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t bear weight on my right leg. Stumped, I returned to the clinic for re-evaluation and surprise, surprise, I had a fracture that the physician had overlooked.

The physician ordered a cast walker, better known as a moonboot. Unfortunately, he didn’t have one he could fit me with so it was up to me to call around and find a store where I could purchase one. I was expected to pay for it out-of-pocket for which Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) would reimburse me, which they eventually did thanks to a very professional and compassionate employee in Human Resources at Glendale Adventist Medical Center (GAMC). However, you’d think that a health organization would have such materials on hand or have a relationship with vendors/suppliers that could get them what they needed them stat – but I guess not.

So with the moonboot found and fitted I prepared myself to “wait-out” the almost six weeks that the physician estimated it would take to ensure full healing. In the meantime I began a series of physician visits to treat my other assorted injuries, including consulting with an orthopedic surgeon to fix the torn meniscus in my left knee, another injury that was the result of the same workplace accident. During one of my orthopedic appointments the surgeon agreed that I was a good candidate for surgery and we discussed the surgical plans. It was at this point that I asked him that if I had surgery immediately and considering that my right leg was currently in a moonboot this would leave me confined to my bed if I had surgery before my moonboot was removed. The orthopedic surgeon thought about this for about a minute and asked when the moonboot was to be removed and I replied in two more weeks. After some additional discussion he decided that since I was a diabetic we should wait until my moonboot was removed so I’d have at least “one good” leg to get around on while recuperating from left knee surgery. Since being confined to a bed for two or more weeks was not sound medicine for a diabetic such as myself and could lead to more dire consequences. I left his office that day not only with a treatment plan, but an appointment two weeks out for surgery. Everything was set, or so I thought.

Shortly before my surgery date I received a letter from the Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) claims adjuster, Mr. CA, informing me that since I had refused surgery I had been deem “permanent and stable”. This designation would also affect my workers’ compensation payments and I would now be receiving permanent disability (PD) since I was no longer eligible for total temporary disability (TTD). Shocked by this change I contacted Mr. CA (I could do this since I had no attorney at that time) and asked him about the status change, since when I left the surgeon’s office two weeks earlier I was deemed TTD. Mr. CA went on to explained that he had contacted the surgeon and asked him to review his opinion, which the surgeon did and it was decided that I was now PD. I explained to Mr. CA that, at least in California, a physician cannot change a medical diagnosis of a patient without reexamining that patient which, hadn’t occurred in my case and any way I had a surgery date set and would be having surgery shortly, so how could I have refused surgery?

It was at that time the Mr. CA would utter those fatal words “we do it all the time”. I asked him to hold on for a moment so I could get my daughter in the room to listen to our conversation on the speakerphone. Once there I asked him to repeat his response to my question of the legality of having a physician changing a medical diagnosis without reexamining the patient, and Mr. CA repeated once again “we do it all the time”.

It was at that time that I knew I would need an attorney to sort this situation all out, and the search for a shark began.

More to follow. . .

Workers’ Compensation medical care versus your private insurance medical care

Written By: raconte - Jan• 02•17
The other day I read an interesting post written by Dr. Kathleen Kozak a physician from Hawaii who has a column in Honolulu Civil Beat. Her column, which can be read here bolstered my own personal theory that has been germinating for quite some time now. I’ve often wondered over the past many years if we looked objectively at both care models, Workers’ Compensation and the private, which model would have the injured worker back to pre-injury condition (or at least as close to it as possible) faster? Based on my own experience (both nursing and personal) I think we’d find that an injured person would “recuperate” more quickly if provided care through their private insurance.

I think this story from Hawaii illustrates the problem quite well. Reading about Bonnie Chan’s struggle to get appropriate care for her work-related injury struck a chord with me, especially in her fight to get timely care. When I underwent ankle bone graft and partial fusion/surgery, I suffered an unexpected outcome and consequently developed Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and though my orthopedic surgeon made numerous requests for physical therapy, which by the way is one of the treatment of choice for CRPS his request were continually denied. At least one of the reasons given was that I had already had the maximum number of physical therapy allowed by our state’s WC regulations. While I had had physical therapy, it was ordered for my elbow as part of my recovery post-surgery elbow surgery. To this health professional it makes little sense that the physical therapy ordered for my ankle would be denied because I had “used” up my allotted physical therapy on my elbow. One would think that if physical therapy is the treatment of choice then that should supersede some arbitrarily set limit.

But then again we are talking about WC, a bureaucratic, governmental system that by definition is not always known for being logical. All thanks to the self-insured Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation).

More to follow. . .

The “Patient dumping” scheme in Workers’ Compensation

Written By: raconte - Dec• 31•16
Eureka! I think I figured out how employers or at least my former employer, Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation), saves money on the treatment of my work-related injury – they pawn it off on my private insurance. I think it’s the Workers’ Compensation (WC) version of a patient dumping scheme.

Over the past several years, through the use of utilization review and the claims adjuster simply ignoring the pleas of my WC physician they, Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation), have managed to pawn of the cost of nearly a year and a half of medications and numerous labs and medical exams onto my private insurance. This is a version similar to the patient dumping that numerous hospitals in the Los Angeles area have been accused of doing. On 2014, Glendale Adventist Medical Center (my former employer and where I suffered my work-related injuries) paid out $700,000 in settlements from patient dumping claims stemming back several years.

So here’s how, I think the WC patient dumping scheme works. They simply stop providing care, hiding behind utilization review (UR), even though the injured worker hasn’t been returned to pre-injury condition and may still be living with debilitating pain. Or because the process of getting care takes so long the injured worker then suffers additional injury/sequelae from the initial injury and from the failure of the employer to address the work-related injury in a timely manner. Then if the patient is provided care or finds a way to pay for the care/medications the employer sees this as an “out” for them from providing additional care, and each time the injured worker finds a way to pay for care for their work-related injury the employer see this as a “savings” and the process continues with the employer using UR to continue to deny any care or medication requested until the injured worker learns that the only way they’ll receive much needed care for their work-related injury is pay for it out-of-pocket and/or with their private insurance.

I find it interesting that UR review will deny let’s say pain medication for a work-related injury being handled through WC, but your private physician and insurance will cover the same pain medication. How is it that the private insurance company that everyone rails against seems to believe that its medically necessary and acceptable, but your WC claims adjuster and their UR agent comes to a different conclusion?

I guess its because your private physician really believes in his/her Hippocratic Oath. Meanwhile the WC claims adjuster has no such oath and the UR agent is someone who will never see you, the injured worker, and maybe hasn’t seen a patient in years. He/she just scans “the literature” so he/she can find a way to deny or at least reduce the care the injured worker receives all in the name of saving a buck at the expense of the injured worker – sounds like a patient dumping scheme to me!

More to follow . . .

So, I caused my cardiac issue or so says Adventist Health

Written By: raconte - Dec• 28•16
As I ended in my last post, I left my internal medicine consult with the need to get a cardiac clearance before I could be cleared for right shoulder surgery. Once again, Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) left it to me, the injured worker, to make all the necessary arrangements to secure the needed cardiac clearance.

Normally, this is something that’s paid for by the employer; but, oh no not in my case since it would appear that Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) had decided to simply abandon their responsibility and pawn it off on my private insurance and personal physician. Or perhaps Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) decided that if they refused to pay for the necessary medical clearances and thus delaying this surgery long enough as they did with my spinal stimulator permanent implantation that I’d give up on my right shoulder surgery, as well. You see after Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) delayed for almost a total of two years the approval of the spinal stimulator surgery I agreed to forgo the spinal stimulator surgery all together if Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) agreed to approve my right shoulder surgery. I suggested this since the medical literature showed that the effectiveness of a spinal stimulator lessened with time; and by agreeing to forgo this surgery I saved Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) at least $100,000 or even more in associated care.

So, while I thought I was being reasonable I would latter learn from the attorney representing Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) that he believed my cardiac issue was my own fault for having waited “so long” after my last surgical clearance. I guess he was unaware that like many things in life a surgical clearance has a “life expectancy”, and the generally medical acceptable practice is that a surgical clearance has a life span and that span is dependent on the surgeon and hospital. So the likelihood of a competent and ethical surgeon accepting a surgical clearance that was approximately 2 years old was almost nil and as such I had to start the surgical clearance process all over again.

Once again with no help from Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation), but with expert help from my private insurance and personal physician they referred me to a cardiologist four days after seeing the internal medicine physician. Unfortunately, Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) was displeased at the pace set by my cardiologist and filed to have me removed from total temporary disability to permanent and stable – their logic seemed to be that I was refusing surgery – the very surgery I couldn’t undergo until I was cleared to have – I guess that’s the logic Adventist Health (that religious hospital/healthcare corporation) uses to save themselves some greenbacks.

More to follow . . .

If I thought getting medical clearance would be easy I was seriously mistaken!

Written By: raconte - Dec• 26•16
As you all may know; and in case you didn’t; clearances (not the kind you get at Nordie’s) but the medical kind are as much a part of the surgical process as are the nurses, surgeons and anesthesiologist. So in short you can’t have one without the other, at least for the planned surgical procedures, trauma and emergency situations are another matter entirely. So to deny access to medical clearances is to deny a patient the ability to proceed more safely with surgery.

So with no help or support from Adventist Health (you know that religious, hospital/healthcare corporation); but thanks to my private insurance, patient advocate and doctor, I was able to keep my hematology appointment and ultimately my hematology clearance.

I dutifully submitted a copy of my clearance to my surgeon so he could schedule the internal medicine clearance necessary for my right shoulder surgery. Twelve days after getting the green light from my hematologist my surgeon’s office scheduled my internal medicine clearance. I attended the scheduled February 22, 2016 appointment with the expectation that I would leave with the necessary and mandatory medical “go-ahead” required to schedule my surgery – but that wouldn’t be the case. At that appointment the physician discovered that I had a left branch bundle block, something that would require a cardiology clearance before internal medicine would sign off on the surgery.

Now you’d think that Adventist Health (you know that religious, hospital/healthcare corporation) would take the lead on getting this clearly critical clearance scheduled so their injured worker could get the care they’d need – but again you’d be wrong.

More to follow. . .