Newspapers Address Fine for Kaiser Transplant Program
Three newspapers this week addressed Kaiser Permanente's payment of a $2 million fine and $3 million donation under an agreement related to problems with the HMO's Northern California kidney transplant program. Summaries appear below.
Contra Costa Times: The $2 million fine issued by the Department of Managed Health Care "is a mere pittance, given the fact that bureaucratic ineptitude likely contributed to the deaths of a number of patients -- and given the HMO's tremendous resources" (Contra Costa Times, 8/14).
Sacramento Bee: "As the nation's largest HMO continues to grow, Kaiser will consider whether it is big enough to take over highly specialized procedures now performed by experts in other facilities," a Bee editorial states, adding that "patient care should never, ever be sacrificed in the process simply because a new program is not yet up to speed" (Sacramento Bee, 8/14).
San Francisco Chronicle: It is "going to take a lot more atonement for Kaiser to get past its failures" in the kidney transplant program, a Chronicle editorial states. According to the editorial, "what all of Kaiser's patients need to see happen right now is a speedy transfer of the remaining" kidney transplant patients "and a good explanation as to why" no Kaiser officials have lost their jobs over the problems (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/15).