The fine on Kaiser, as reported on in the San Jose Mercury News and other papers, raises an important issue in the health care reform debate.
How do we handle consumer complaints? Do people know where to go? How are they followed-up and treated?
As a policy advocacy organization, we don’t do any individual casework, yet Health Access gets lots of calls of people with all sorts of health care issues and problems. There’s not a obvious place to go: The insurer? The hospital? The medical group? The Medical Board? The Department of Managed Health Care’s HMO hotline? Department of Insurance? Your employer? Your broker? Your county office?
For Kaiser patients, given that their insurers is also the provider of care, they know to complain to Kaiser. That was small relief, apparently, since Kaiser didn’t handle those complaints well. I have a suspicion that this is just the tip of the iceberg in the health system overall…