Whistleblower lawsuit against Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (update 2)

At a time when concerns about the privacy and security of electronic health records are a hot topic and the issue of private vs. public health insurance is making the front pages, a lawsuit filed by a former Kaiser employee alleges that Kaiser knowingly and repeatedly violated HIPAA, exposed millions of members to identity theft, and ripped members off by not keeping track of deductibles and co-payments.

A whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee against Kaiser in Los Angeles County Superior Court names Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (KFHP), KP Program Group, and Robb Munson, Vice-President of Health Plan Service and Administration for KFHP as defendants.  The plaintiff is John Denning, a former Senior Enterprise Architect and Director of Claims for Northern California.

Allegations of Unfair and/or Illegal Business Practices

According to the complaint, a copy of which was obtained by this site, Kaiser’s practices have exposed millions of members to identity theft and medical fraud, and have likely cost Kaiser members millions of dollars in overcharges on deductibles and other out-of-pocket patient expenses on insurance products that “were illegal or improperly administered.”

Denning, who began working at Kaiser in 2003, alleges that Kaiser had no system in place to track deductibles and out-of-pocket payment by members. As a consequence, Denning claims, Kaiser retained millions of dollars at members’ expense by essentially forcing the members to prove that they had met their deductibles.   Denning alleges that the failure to track deductibles existed from the time he started his employment, was still ongoing in 2008, and was willful, i.e., Kaiser did not do what it could have and should have done.  Denning also alleges that Kaiser sold some products to unsuspecting people in states where the states had flatly disapproved of those products.

Allegations of HIPAA Violations

Denning’s complaint also alleges two patient privacy breaches that have never been reported in the media:

1. Denning claims that in November 2007, he discovered a security breach involving all Kaiser members in Northern California diagnosed with dementia. According to the complaint, Kaiser’s Dementia Registry had been placed on a “widely accessible public share drive” on Kaiser’s network. Denning claims that he reported the problem to the KPIT help desk, but the problem continued, and he then reported the problem to the KPIT Compliance Officer. According to the complaint:

That officer told Plaintiff that Kaiser leadership did not care and that there was widespread violations of HIPAA throughout the Kaiser network and throughout the organization. He told Plaintiff that the only way he could get the company’s attention would be to send the information anonymously on a disk to George Halverson, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan’s then CEO, at his home with a note telling him that unless this was corrected by a certain date, the next time he would see the information would be in the New York Times.

Denning claims that he did not do that, but instead, reported the breach to the National Compliance Hotline. Again, he reported getting no response.

2. Denning also claims that sometime around April 2008, Kaiser employees in his building

were regularly dumping thousands of unshredded patient health information (“PHI”) paper records that they had printed that included patient names, other identifying records including their social security numbers, banking information, diagnoses, prescriptions, and other sensitive sensitive information into public trash bins which were unlocked, unmanaged, and totally exposed to public scrutiny.

Denning claims that he reported the situation to the Compliance Officer for his department and followed up repeatedly.

Months later, Kaiser management claimed to have done an “investigation” of Plaintiff’s report and denied that any HIPAA violations had been or were taking place, despite the fact that Plaintiff and at least five other Kaiser employees confirmed that they had witnessed the on-going illegal dumping of patient records.

According to the complaint, he reported the alleged HIPAA violations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) on at least three occasions, and claims to have retained evidence of the violations.

Although Denning claims that Kaiser violated federal law (HIPAA) by not notifying HHS of the breaches he observed, this site is not aware of any provision in HIPAA that would require such notice. Because HHS does not provide information on the status of complaints, it is not clear what action, if any, HHS may have taken or may be contemplating based on his complaints.

There is no indication in the complaint that Denning ever reported his concerns about  privacy breaches to the state. According to the California Office of Privacy Protection, there is no state law that requires a non-state agency (such as Kaiser) to report breaches to the state itself.

Could Destroy Public Trust

When informed of the allegations, Deborah C. Peel, MD, Founder and Chair, Patient Privacy Rights provided a statement by email that said, in part:

If the whistleblower’s allegations are true, it is very disturbing, violates HIPAA, and may violate other state laws protecting consumers right to the privacy of sensitive personal information.

Proof of privacy violations of this magnitude will destroy public trust in specific corporations and severely weaken trust in all electronic health systems.

Also very troubling is the whistleblower’s assertion that his repeated warnings about these ongoing violations went unheeded. The Kaiser system holds itself out to the public as an example of a trusted user of electronic patient records. Sadly what is alleged has actually been found to be true of many other health plans and healthcare corporations– as repeatedly reported by PHIprivacy.net and the media.

Kaiser was contacted by email and telephone on several occasions last week to request a response to the lawsuit. And although a Kaiser spokesperson indicated on Wednesday that they would provide this site with a statement, no statement was provided by the time of this publication [but see UPDATE, below]. It should be noted that the claims in Denning’s lawsuits are allegations that have not yet been proven, or disproven, in court.

Hat-tip, Courthouse News.

Updated 3:04 pm: I received the following statement from a Kaiser Permanente spokesperson, which I am reproducing in its entirety. There was apparently a glitch with an email address, which delayed their transmission and my receipt of this statement for inclusion in the original article:

Kaiser Permanente does not publicly discuss personnel matters. However, Mr. Denning is alleging that he is being retaliated against for reporting compliance concerns and you need to know that is not true.

We encourage employees and physicians to report suspected compliance violations to leadership as well as our Compliance Hotline, where they may remain anonymous if they choose. Kaiser Permanente does not tolerate retaliation against individuals who report illegal, unethical, or otherwise inappropriate acts or against individuals who refuse to participate in wrongdoing.

Mr. Denning reported a number of compliance concerns. We conducted a thorough and unbiased investigation of each of Mr. Denning’s compliance concerns through our established compliance reporting and investigation process.

Confidential waste handling:
Mr. Denning’s characterization of confidential waste placed in public waste receptacles is not accurate. All waste receptacles for confidential patient information are located in secure, non-public, Kaiser Permanente work spaces.

In response to the concern Mr. Denning raised, Kaiser Permanente performed an assessment of confidential waste handling throughout the building where Mr. Denning worked. Based on that investigation, we found no evidence that leads us to believe we have not complied with HIPAA requirements.

Further, we found no indication of an actual privacy breach resulting from the paper disposal processes in the building. Mr. Denning was informed of the outcome of this investigation.

Member records on shared drive:
Mr. Denning’s characterization that the records he identified were on a public site is not accurate. The file was on a Kaiser Permanente owned and controlled intranet shared server and was not available to the public.

In response to Mr. Denning’s compliance complaint in 2007, an investigation determined that a valid issue about record control was raised, although there was no evidence of any actual privacy breach, nor any public disclosure of this information. The investigation found that the posting was inadvertent and the document was immediately removed from the drive. Mr. Denning was informed of the outcome of this investigation.

At Kaiser Permanente, we know that the trust our members place in us depends in large part on how we protect their confidentiality, privacy, and security, and we are dedicated to earning and protecting that trust every day. We are committed to complying with all applicable laws, regulations, and ethical standards.

Update 2, Aug. 15: Matthew Holt of The Health Care Blog has posted some commentary on the allegations and KP’s response here.

About the author: Dissent

7 comments to “Whistleblower lawsuit against Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (update 2)”

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  1. Anonymous - August 11, 2009

    Denning is right…but he has not even scratched the surface!

    The Kaiser “spin machine” will obfuscate, negate, spin and distort the facts. Kaiser will make its standard and tried playbook responses. They will state they have investigated and in fact they do investigate, but not to fix, but rather on how to spin a story, how to hide and bury problems and punish those who brought the problems up!

    Yes, it is true Kaiser does encourage people to call and report problems, that is an undisputable fact and matter of “official” policy.

    But it is equally true and matter of “unofficial” policy if the problem being reported has regulatory implications, potential public damage to Kaiser’s well groomed and unreal Thrive image, the solution to the problem is simple: the person reporting the problem becomes the problem, therefore, get rid of the person and “bury” or “spin” the problem.

    Kaiser’s history is littered with such examples of doctors, nurses, employees, executives, anyone that challenges the status quo! All you need to do is search the public record to find them out there!

    Dementia registry on “Kaiser owned and operated” servers running on Kaiser’s flat, open-to-all network that are open to any of the 150,000 plus employees and thousands of offshore and onsite contractors of which a vast majority has no business in being able to access HIPAA and State protected information is only part of the story.

    How about the millions of other records that contain medical information, social security numbers, credit card numbers, phone, home addresses, birth dates, family history and even salary information that live on the 5,000 plus unsecured servers on Kaiser’s network?

    How about the enormous and very porous access and huge security and safety gaps in Kaiser’s HealthConnect that not only violate HIPAA requirements but also put members at risk caused by errors and inappropriate access — endemic and persistent problems across all of Kaiser’s regions and all of the more than 25 instances of the HealthConnect databases that for years have been known and widely documented in internal memos, audits and findings for years with no real resolutions ever implemented?

    How about the “willful neglect” of a leadership at the highest levels in denial concerned more about the profit of a supposedly “not for profit” organization rather than protecting the public interest and Kaiser’s members’ and employees’ trust?

    Even the examples listed here are just the tip of an enormous iceberg that is fully supported by undisputable evidence, a house of cards that is beginning to wobble…Denning’s story is just unfolding, but it is not the only story…stay tuned!

    One Who Knows!

  2. Anonymous - August 13, 2009

    We are a group of concerned citizens, in fact we are current Kaiser workers coming from many parts of Kaiser. We are doctors, nurses, professional folks. We believe that the public deserves to better understand the situation. To that end, we are quite versatile in Kaiserese and the translation of Kaiserese into plain, common day English that can be understood for what it really is. Here is a translation of the Kaiseristic response to Mr. Denning’s law suit:

    Kaiserese: “Kaiser Permanente does not publicly discuss personnel matters. However, Mr. Denning is alleging that he is being retaliated against for reporting compliance concerns and you need to know that is not true.”

    Plain English: True enough, Kaiser does not publicly discuss personnel matters. In fact, they don’t even discuss personnel matters in private! Inevitably any personnel matters that arise at Kaiser find themselves in the labyrinth of an HR organization whose very structure is a maze of confusion where no clear points of accountability exist anywhere. Where no one is really in charge and everyone is in charge! If you cannot find a decision-maker, you cannot find accountability – HR defers to management, management defers to HR and suddenly you find yourself in this endless circle of accusations, counter accusations, appeals, counter appeals, spin and counter spin. You do that until a) you get tired and give up; b) you accept and live with it; c) you move on and always the preferred option d) you get fired for having challenged the status quo.

    Kaiser’s culture is deeply immersed in the denialism of “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil” and if you do, then you are the evil! We know that all it takes to make the point is to look at the public record. In fact, it would be interesting to see Kaiser’s HR statistics on how many cases have been raised, how many and how they have been resolved, but of course Kaiser will never let this happen…it would be too much transparency for a culture built on secrecy, besides, it would clearly show that the “emperor is butt naked” (incidentally, Kaiser is the title for “emperor”).

    Retaliation for bringing up issues at Kaiser is clearly not a matter of policy, but it is certainly a matter of practice. What is quite interesting about retaliation at Kaiser is not that it occurs, but how it occurs. Here is our insider views: think of Kaiser as a self-sustaining organism that has one and only one function of self-preservation. This is an organism that has attained a successful steady state and status quo. Any challenges to the status quo inevitably mean a “threat to the system” and an almost “organic”, automatic response driven by Kaiser’s DNA begins. The obligatory “ritual of investigations” is conducted and if the “threat” is found not to be damaging to the system, the issue is resolved.

    However, if the “threat” is perceived as damaging to the system, then the “Kaiser collective” springs into action that follows a well tested “roadmap” of a) appeasement; if that does not work b) denial; if that does not work c) neglect; if that does not work d) buy silence; if that does not work e) build a termination case and finally terminate. And when the roadmap is exhausted and the “threat” is terminated and the results become public then the Public Relations machine takes over. Interestingly enough, the Kaiser machine is an equal opportunity “responder” when it comes to threat to the system. The very person who provided Kaiser’s official response to Mr. Denning’s law suit posted on this site, if she/he in a moment of simple human caring, lucidity and concern for the public good decides to bring up attention to a serious issue, she/he may very well find herself/himself in Mr. Denning’s shoes with yet another public law suit!

    Kaiserese: “We encourage employees and physicians to report suspected compliance violations to leadership as well as our Compliance Hotline, where they may remain anonymous if they choose. Kaiser Permanente does not tolerate retaliation against individuals who report illegal, unethical, or otherwise inappropriate acts or against individuals who refuse to participate in wrongdoing.”

    Plain English: Absolutely true that Kaiser encourages employees and physicians to call in and report compliance violations through the Compliance Hotline and leadership. It is also true those who call have an option to remain anonymous. But here is a neat trick that only insiders know: if you call anonymously, there is usually a way for the callers to call back and check on the status of their concern. More often than not, the issue is “investigated” and a resolution is either communicated or is put into a registry for “further investigation” that may take years to be addressed, if at all. If you identify yourself and your allegation is perceived as a “threat” to the system, then Kaiser just acquired you as a target and you just have become the issue.

    The company is on the record about their concern in managing “reputational hits” which costs them millions of dollars to protect and preserve their public Thrive image and anyone or anything that can be perceived as a threat to that is a threat to Kaiser. The public interest and good are not even part of the equation. Kaiser’s entire compliance function is a “control” function and not a solutions center where issues are effectively, honestly and properly dealt with…protect the image at all costs! Want evidence of that? The answer is simple: any regulatory agency worth its salt would uncover the reality behind the “doctored” statistics in less than 15 minutes. All they need to ask for is the registry of complaints received and the status of each!

    Kaiserese: “Mr. Denning reported a number of compliance concerns. We conducted a thorough and unbiased investigation of each of Mr. Denning’s compliance concerns through our established compliance reporting and investigation process.”

    Plain English: True, Kaiser does conduct unbiased investigations, but unbiased from Kaiser’s point of view and not the public. The Kaiser “established compliance reporting and investigation process” is a supreme Karl Rovian piece of work. Much like Karl Rove Kaiser takes the attitude “if you don’t like reality, create your own reality”. Quite simple and convenient, regardless of the facts, take the facts change them, distort them and make them fit your needs.

    Confidential waste handling:
    Kaiserese: “Mr. Denning’s characterization of confidential waste placed in public waste receptacles is not accurate. All waste receptacles for confidential patient information are located in secure, non-public, Kaiser Permanente work spaces.”

    Plain English: Kaiser has policies regarding the disposal of confidential information, but they don’t have an enforceable, operational process that assures that policies are working. In fact, they don’t have any means or methodology around policy enforcement and effectiveness across their 30+ hospitals and over 400 medical offices. We, as insiders, knew that part of Mr. Denning’s function was to examine and ensure that compliance and confidentiality was properly handled related to claims processing, but he did a big “no, no” – he took his job seriously and operated under the Professional Code of Ethics and refused to buy into the Kaiserized approach…see John, no good deeds go unpunished!

    Kaiserese: “In response to the concern Mr. Denning raised, Kaiser Permanente performed an assessment of confidential waste handling throughout the building where Mr. Denning worked. Based on that investigation, we found no evidence that leads us to believe we have not complied with HIPAA requirements. ”

    Plain English: Of course Kaiser found “no evidence”, doing otherwise would be an admission of broken processes, unenforced policies and bad operations. How would that jive with the Thrive image? It would not, let alone the associated HIPAA violations fines if Kaiser had “found evidence”. Again, Karl Rovian thinking at its best!

    Kaiserese: “Further, we found no indication of an actual privacy breach resulting from the paper disposal processes in the building. Mr. Denning was informed of the outcome of this investigation.”

    Plain English: We certainly believe that Mr. Denning was informed of the “outcomes” of the investigation. We believe, however, that somehow Mr. Denning and several other witnesses could not reconcile what they saw, witnessed and documented with the “outcomes” of the investigation. Mr. Denning’s problem may have been not to be able to understand that Father Kaiser Knows Best!

    Member records on shared drive:
    Kaiserese: “Mr. Denning’s characterization that the records he identified were on a public site is not accurate. The file was on a Kaiser Permanente owned and controlled intranet shared server and was not available to the public.”

    Plain English: At Kaiser we know that there are huge security, privacy and access problems and violations. But it has been and continues to be the position of Kaiser that as long as these violations happen within “our walls” and the public never becomes aware it is O.K. That may be the position Kaiser takes, but it is not the law. In fact, whatever Kaiser’s position we think that unprotected confidential data that is widely accessible to over 150,000 employees and thousands of contractors constitute a fairly large “public”. As recently as February 2009 Kaiser had to admit to a breach affecting 30,000 employees…this one was an incident that slipped through the “compliance” control center, but we know of many, many more that never get reported! Again, any regulatory agency worth its salt would need less than 15 minutes to uncover the real issues and as hard as Kaiser may try to hide, it cannot simply because the problem is so pervasive and widespread…no place to hide if you just look!

    Kaiserese: “In response to Mr. Denning’s compliance complaint in 2007, an investigation determined that a valid issue about record control was raised, although there was no evidence of any actual privacy breach, nor any public disclosure of this information. The investigation found that the posting was inadvertent and the document was immediately removed from the drive. Mr. Denning was informed of the outcome of this investigation.”

    Plain English: As bad as dementia registry on a public, readily accessible internal server may be, it does not begin to tell the real story. There are millions of other records that contain protected member and employee information spread across Kaiser’s internal networks with not so much as a password protecting them. We could write an entire book about the sad state of affairs in this topic. If there is a single thing that the regulatory agencies can do to safeguard the public interest is to take a serious, real and much needed look on how Kaiser handles patient information. To say the least, it is appalling and right down dangerous. Given its size, the huge volume of unprotected data, Kaiser is absolutely one of the most fertile grounds for the “identity theft” bad guys…guys that as we speak are inside of Kaiser’s walls as employees, contractors, vendors, etc. mining the fertile grounds of an organization that believes that as long as the public does not know, we are O.K. We believe otherwise, so did Mr. Denning.

    Kaiser characterizes this an “inadvertent” situation of a file being placed on a common network, but since when standard operating procedure has become “inadvertent”?

    Kaiserese: “At Kaiser Permanente, we know that the trust our members place in us depends in large part on how we protect their confidentiality, privacy, and security, and we are dedicated to earning and protecting that trust every day. We are committed to complying with all applicable laws, regulations, and ethical standards.”

    Plain English: Kaiser wants the public trust, as long as that trust does not mean real investments on member protection. Kaiser wants to comply with applicable laws, as long as they don’t have to pay anything for doing so. Kaiser wants to adhere to ethical standards, as long as these standards don’t conflict with their profit motives. Kaiser wants to sell you the idea of Thrive, as long as it does not cost them anything to make you thrive. Kaiser wants care for you, as long as you stay away from using their services. Kaiser projects a public image that is a stark contrast and diametrically opposed to its private and public behavior.

    We leave you with three questions and tentative answers – one for the public reading this, one for Kaiser’s leadership and one for the regulatory agencies.

    Question for the public: As Kaiser insiders (doctors, nurses, professionals), what do we have to gain by responding to Kaiser’s position in a public forum? Our answer: because we care, we are members of the public, some of us and our families are Kaiser members and we know what is wrong, we have spoken about what is wrong to internal leadership, only to find our concerns fall into deaf ears. You have the right to know. What you don’t know can hurt you and your families.

    Question to Kaiser leadership: Who are we and what do we have to gain? Our answer: we are your colleagues, your subordinates and your peers. We believe you failed in the discharge of your fiduciary responsibilities. You are more concerned in running a ruthless “for profit” business hiding behind the facade of a “not for profit” image. We have informed you, alerted you and you continue to choose “drinking the cool aid” rather than fixing problems. Mr. Denning went public, but rest assured there will be others.

    Question for the regulatory agencies: Does the public deserve your protection according the laws of the land? Our answer: we think so. The eight years of regulatory “vacuum” during the Bush era must come to an end. Whistleblowers are only whistleblower as a last resort. Mr. Denning is right, but there is a lot more than what he alleges, there are serious problems with the Kaiser system that must and should be investigated for the public, California and national good.

  3. Anonymous - August 13, 2009

    Allegations posted by anonymous parties without actual proof are not particularly persuasive, because anybody can claim anything. That’s just how it is on the internet. If what you say is true, I hope you have gone to the state and federal regulatory agencies with actual statements and evidence or filed complaints that can be investigated. Have you?

  4. Anonymous - August 19, 2009

    Please know that what I am about to write and share with this statement can be backed up by documetation three times over and I have indeed reported the continuous irregularrities to both State and Federal Regulatory Agencies. (Some things bear repeating).

    I know this statement will make my situation worse and I will suffer retalliation for going public, but every single word is true and for some reason, I feel compelled to get the truth out. Eevery single day innocent patients needlessly die and honest caring employees are fired who speak up about it. There is NO AWARD FOR HEROISM big enough for the heroic efforts displayed by Mr. Denning and Josh. From my heart I thank you for doing the right thing. It is through your courage I am able to report the outrageous treatment I received from Kaiser which has caused my poor prognosis to
    become worse.

    I am a retired paralegal and terminally ill patient who has been a Kaiser member since 2000. For six years I received proper care and treatment from Kaiser and my PCP was a rhumatologist who specialized in treating systemic scleroderma, a rare and debilitating and very painful autoimmune disorder that has no cure and since the symptoms
    worsen with time leads to premature death. Then two years ago (2007) I became disillusioned at the way I was suddenly being treated with indifference and found false information had been entered into my medicsal chart. I filed a complaint with the CA Medical Board and Kaiser which only made things worse. I needed surgery and was told unless I withdrew my complaint I would be left to die a slow and painful death in my hospital bed. Naturally, I withdrew my complaint and the next day surgery was performed. At first, I thought I was alone fighting to expose Kaiser’s treatment of terminally ill patients until I decided to search the internet for “complaints against Kaiser”. I discovered I was not the only patient who was forced to undergo surgeries or who experienced malpractice or who had been contaminated with HA-MRSA. What was really supportive, was realizing that other patients had complained about their botched surgeries and how they had also acquired this deadly infection and when they complained like I did, they too were being referred to a psychiatrist and they also had a new diagnosis that was suddenly added in their medical file for a mental disorder.
    The other patients had also been prescribed varius medications like me such as seroquel, klonopin, cymbalta and prozac. These are medications prescribed for schizofrenia and depression. In my case, I discovered weeks later that while I was hospitalized, I was being given these medications without my consent or knowledge. I was outraged and sent in a complaint. Kaiser retalliated by taking away my doctor and medication I had been on for six years. I complained again, but this time, I went thru the IMR process and all the way to the Appeal Judge who ruled in my favor and ordered Kaiser to restore me to my former doctor of eight years and chronic pain medicatiion immediately as well as treat my new acute pain from an almost fatal car crash(caused by ambien). After the judge made his order on August 5th, Kaiser called me with an appointment on August 6th to see Dr. Chow. During this office visit the doctor asked me what I was there for and I said to her, “don’t you know, you called me”, and she pretended not to know. But she was taking notes on a pad and I asked why. She said she needed to write down everything so she could get instructions and find out what to do. She had to leave me twice to go get “instructions” and find out if they wanted her to give me any medication. The second time she left was to get instructions about scheduling me for another appointment and if so who. So I patiently waited for her to return to see what the regulators wanted her to do. I quietly apologized to her that she was being brought into the middle of an awkward situation and informed her under my breath rather fast that I was so sorry the recorder was left on. By mistake, ofcourse, I accidentally taped the entire office visit on August 6th. She seemed indifferent about it. She said she would be happy to schedule next week to see me. Did you know records csn just mysteriously disappear? I have on tape where she said, I have been instructed to tell you, “you will only receive psychiatric treatment, nothing else”. This direct violation of the judge’s ruling could not be substsantiated had it not been accidentally recorded, by mistake. I decided to make copies. Did I mention, that being mentally deranged such as I am and being denied treatment for my recent coma I suffer amnesia and have problems with memory loss so I have to record everything in order to have a proper record of things that happen. Ofcourse! Ofcourse, it was entirely by mistake that I also taped the hearing on August 5th. the day before (and sent copies to you know ….the proper authorites). Ofcourse I expect to suffer humiliation, aggression and retalliation for acting in such a manner but what else can Kaiser do to a patient that is already dying. They have already caused me to be mentally unstable. Speed up my death, yes. But I am in severe pain and death will be a welcome friend. But before I go I am determined to expose every single threatening letter they sent to intimidate me. I am becoming weaker and weaker from the lack of medically necessary treatment. In my medical file are example after example of “patterns of illegal behavior” which I have suffered since 7/24/06. This ongoing denial of treatment, neglect and abuse is so rampant and out of control that it is killing innocent patients every day and destroying families. Kaiser’s caring employees who try to do something about it are subjected to harrassment before they are fired ofcourse. Agencies who used to regulate this horrific behavior have been cut to the core with budget cuts and now our own government is almost powerless to regulate them. Kaiser has become the largest HMO in our country with a “not for profit” status despite the fact Kaiser makes millions in profit each year. Their profit comes from treating patients like me, as a “throw away patient” and treating honest and hard working brave employees who come forward like “troublemakers” which are fired for no justified reason. Kaiser regulators are aware and taking full advantage of the lack of government’s ability to monitor and are rolling full speed ahead. HOPE! Sooner or later, they are going to roll over the wrong person in power. WARNING! Until then, try to stay out of the way of this monstrous rolling machine.

    My heartfelt appreciation to You, Mr. Denning and to you also Josh. Please don’t give up, I am almost dead from Kaiser’s repeated abuse and neglect but until then, I am here with the heart of a giant, volunteering and ready to “fight for Justice”.
    From [email protected]

    This is my e-mail address for anyone who wants documentation to support my statement, do not hesitate to contact me.

    P.S. (Be prepared, it is so absurd and cruel, it is hard to believe).

  5. Anonymous - August 24, 2009

    I grossly hate to admit I’m relieved others besides me have had false and defamitory information put in their personal medical records. Not that I am happy about it, by any means, but if it happens to enough people maybe something will be done about this horrible trend! Good Luck for the brave ones who’ll be certainly blacklisted by this difficult but necessary action!

  6. Anonymous - September 12, 2009

    Yes, it is true that Kaiser will tend to hide the truth. I will be filing a lawsuit against KP this week for negligent hiring, negligence and gross negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and emotional distress. I was recently employed by KP as a physician. I spent some 8 years with the group before I left, as I became sick of the way other physicians neglected their patients and got tired of bickering with other doctors. 1 year after I left KP I learned that my identity had been stolen. After about 7 months of investigation I found that the person who stole my identity was a KP employee, employed in the “Patient risk management” department. Further investigation led to determine that this thief, DAG, had a terrible checkered past prior to being employed at KP, including several civil judgments against him, and had been convicted of a misdemeanor. Further investigation by the police led to finding all of my personal information on DAG’s computer, and several attempts to obtain credit using my SS# and other personal information obtained from my employee file. Anyhow, I will soon place a link to a site which will have copies of all of the moving papers filed in this case. I am sure KP will put up a good fight and will attempt to hide the truth in the matters, but hopefully the papers will inspire others to do the same.
    BaseballGuerrero

  7. Anonymous - September 12, 2009

    BaseballGuerrero: Please do follow-up and post a link when materials are available on the web. I’m curious as to whether what you are alleging is related to the incident reported in February 2009 when a non-employee was arrested and found in possession of employee info, or whether you are talking about some other breach that was never reported in the media.

    Unfortunately, and although it’s small consolation, a number of hospitals and insurers have reported incidents involving ID theft due to a dishonest employee. And the problem is not confined to KP or the health care sector as the “Insider” category of breach reports on DataBreaches.net reflects.

    Your unfortunate experience serves as reminder for all of us to regularly check account statements and to take advantage of the fact that we can get free credit reports that may alert us to new account fraud or other problems that could signal a serious problem.

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