Friday, I got another call that you never want to get. This is the second one this year. The last one was from my son’s school saying he was injured. This one was from Kaiser. Kaiser never calls with good news, they send that via email or snail mail. The person on the other end of the phone was from the dermatology department. She was calling to give me the news that my biopsy came back positive for cancer. Yeah, I have melanoma which is a type of skin cancer. About half an hour later I’m on the phone with another person scheduling surgery for later this week.
This is all a bit of a shock but I’m trying to get a handle on the news. Not surprisingly, Kaiser won’t make this easy to research. They will not email me anything about the results nor send it to me via snail mail. In fact, there is no trace of the results anywhere on their secure patient website. No, instead I must go there in person during regular business hours to get a copy of the lab results. They are saying it’s because of HIPAA laws but that’s BS as best as I can determine. I think it’s to cover their exposure to liability by not giving me anything in writing; if the communication stays verbal it’s my word against theirs. Also, Kaiser is actuarial driven. They are run by bean-counters not motivated by patient care. Look at their business model, their staff is paid the same whether they see me or not so what’s the incentive to treat me? Ditto for tests, they will always choose the cheap test before the conclusive one if the price variance is great enough.
Oh, thus far, I have yet to see a doctor during the process of being diagnosed with cancer, everyone thus far is a PA (physician’s assistant) including the guy giving me the surgery later this week. The people there are nice but if they invoke the “C” word, don’t you think that merits seeing the M.D.? If patient care means proving to the patient that you care, I’m still waiting.