When I heard of this lawsuit regarding Aetna I was not surprised in the least. They have been sued repeatedly, the most recent was about their reasoning for leaving the health care marketplace. Or their disclosures on HIV status. And there are many others. And Aetna is on the verge of a merger with CVS pharmacy's which will again change the dynamic in health care. But this story that CNN reported on took on new heights when their Director admitted to not reading any of the medical data or reports on the patients and their health needs when approving or denying care.. Ultimately care is decided by how much, if any, and ultimately not what the Physician requests but what the insurer permits. Your health and needs are secondary if not ultimately ignored depending on the situation.
After my near fatal car accident a few years ago of which I have said repeatedly was not an accident but possible assault or intent to bring harm to me by my date, I crashed into a light post, had a seizure, fell into a coma the result of a blood on the brain due to a head injury and an alcohol blood count of over .18 which should have killed me in my own right. I was taken to our Trauma one hospital in Seattle, and in turn awoke 24 hours later with full on Traumatic Brain Injury only to be released in 72 hours with full on post traumatic amnesia.
I sued Harborview Medical Center myself or what is called pro se or propia persona, meaning without a Lawyer, as few personal injuries would touch the case as it had no big money attached to it. It was a public hospital for the poor and I was alive and was functioning. These are not qualities personal injury lawyers need for clients. Nearly being murdered by my date or by the hospital via releasing me without due process and diligence is not a big money maker. So, yes regular people can actually use Latin and in turn access legal documents, do research on cases that relates to your case and in turn use any legal decisions that were made of record and apply them to your brief to substantiate your argument. Basically I pulled dozens of malpractice cases and largely copied their format and tailored my case around the issues that were interconnected. I did use a paralegal to review and assist in phrasing and format as that has strict guidelines you must follow and ultimately they cost about 3K and regardless of wining and losing, which I lost, but I had lost not one but two criminal case with Attorneys costing over 35k so why spend more money? Kevin Trombold and Ted Vosk fucked me over like my date just sans drugs and alcohol poisoning. I had no car to drive off into so they were unable to put me into one to ultimately kill myself which I am sure they would have preferred. Yes Vosk and Trombold I have little to say good about either so I will not say anything good about them ever. But they I did not sue.
The issues around my case was that Harborview did not find any individuals who could "vouch" for me and in turn validate and verify insurance which they did after they released me. Whoops! As I have written many indigent people are released from hospitals in all kinds of states as was I in full blown post traumatic brain injury amnesia, to a person unknown as no signed release documents were available and apparently I signed Power of Attorney to the Hospital which was never registered with the County for reasons I am still unclear as without that it is not legal. The diagnosis documents were switched and despite being brought in with a brain bleed of 2mm and in a coma that was at the end of a lengthy list of other diagnosis that included, depression, alcoholism, Lyme disease and other ailments that I neither had nor was actually brought in for. In other words they lied. They lied and I have the records to prove it. I lost on technical issues only and nothing was brought up in the records about any of the quality of care that Harborview failed to provide. The Attorney for Harborview knew the truth and he did not add any contradictions to my claims to prove otherwise. He kept in on the technicalities and urged me to appeal. I actually liked him and he has now crossed over to the dark side to defend people like me.
My insurer was Group Health, since purchased by Kaiser, are too culpable for failing to communicate with Harborview and in turn transfer me to one of their hospitals until I recovered. I did not sue them but then I never paid them anything so it all worked out. But that was again after forcing them to place me on charity care and they did so as I am sure they knew it was the best way to avoid a lawsuit. There records show I was dragged into their offices by the person who took me out of the hospital, a person unknown (but I suspect my dead dog's former walker) as no signed release forms exist with this person's name or signature, no signed POA was ever provided to any provider who saw me in that individuals care which once again falls under a liability issue.
And yes providers at Group Health asked said individual if I had sustained a head injury (again coma and 2 mm of blood on the brain is pretty much a yes) she responded to them "no" as that is not what the release documents said. So they too mistreated me and attempted to get me to commit myself for a mental health evaluation. Again I have no recollection of this due to Amnesia and irony began coming out of it during a session with a therapist who at that moment had no paperwork, no medical history and was trying to get me to admit to being insane and ultimately self commit. I recall this very moment as I utterly panicked why I was there. The irony is that this individual who was asked to leave Group Health a week later due to some of her own issues with care for others. I tracked her down and spoke to her about my injuries and what transpired using the medical records I had in hand and she admitted knowing nothing about my case and that I was with a young woman when I came in but when I left (which I recall as when you emerge out of amnesia it is terrifying and I was gone for about a week in which you function but have no recall of anything, in other words it is like Alzheimer's) that person was not in the waiting room. So going home was terrifying and to this day I have no idea what exactly happened to me during that week I was released to ostensibly my own care.
I tell this story as I am a woman, over 50, white, who had means and insurance and yet I was treated as an indigent mentally ill person who was denied care, denied my civil rights and dismissed by those put into a position to help those like me - Attorneys, Police, Medical professionals. So to understand my story and to prove that this is not abnormal or unique is the point. My story is horrifying and the reality is I am ONE OF MANY.
Public Hospitals are dumps and the staff treats the patients there in the same fashion. Anyone who thinks you are getting decent care at Harborview I want to point out to City Hospital here in Nashville, running at a deficit and unable to generate any income for treating the indigent, is on the verge of being closed. God knows what that place is like. However, Harborview circumvents this same way Vanderbilt does by having a level one Trauma Center for the region and this enables them to staff and train the Medical Students as does Harborview via the University of Washington and their medical school. And I have had elective surgery at Vanderbilt and they too have been under scrutiny for many of their practices, which again is not shocking in the least. So what this means is that you are a second class citizen with third rate care the minute you walk or are brought in the door. And only after checks are issued maybe just maybe you might get care. I, however, without a next of kin I was screwed as there was no advocate for me to get the care I needed.
This week I read another article about another Patient Advocacy group about their daughter Talia and her mistreatment at another Seattle hospital, Swedish. Now unlike Harborview, Swedish is a private, for profit hospital. And they too have had a myriad of problems of late and is not the be all end all of care that it once was. And while Talia's family are upset and rightfully so, they are now one of many who have founded groups and foundations to attempt to change the culture of hospitals and overall the concepts of patient civil rights. ProPublica has long had a site devoted to similar stories, mine is one of them. There is the National Patient Safety Foundation, The Institute for Healthcare Improvement and many more. I believe little will change. Good luck with that.
No one helped me and no one ever will. I learned that the hard way. I went on a date, was drugged and boozed up out of my mind and allowed to get behind the wheel of a car where I could have killed others in addition to myself. The man who found me called 911 not once but twice in a state of urgency, the Police did nothing but took my blood without my civil rights protected as I lay dying as that was all that mattered. My two Attorneys did little to ensure that my rights were protected and threw together junk as a defense and let me lose not one but two cases. And the City of Seattle did little to verify and check my story nor even try nor allow me to test evidence let alone have a defense.
I have been denied in more ways than one. Its the price of doing business.
This is America and you have nothing if you are not rich enough to pay for it. But more importantly the ones who you think care, the Hospital entrusted with my care, threw me into the streets like a dump bucket to wander them utterly delusional for a week. And my secondary provider, Group Health, did not bother to attain my medical records or ensure my safety and proper recovery. American health care at its finest has a long way to go to change its culture. Look at the state of our Government today. That swamp any cleaner?