Sacramento

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Help Make My Voice Heard

Published October 15, 2018 by lynn k scott

I created a petition to alert the state of California to how cancer patients are being treated by Sutter Health.  If you could find it in your heart to sign and then reblog, share on Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform, I’d appreciate it.

It’s time we told insurance companies they can’t let doctors control who they do/don’t treat.  We are all people.  No one facing a life-threatening illness should have the stress of no treatment options because someone deemed a patient not worthy.

You can find the petition HERE.

Thank you for your support in this latest cancer development.

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Kicked out of Sutter Oncology/Hematology

Published October 12, 2018 by lynn k scott

I just learned today, after following up, again, on an oncology referral, that I have been dismissed from Sutter Health Oncology/Hematology. I never received the original dismissal from my first oncologist. Apparently, after I saw my PCP for another referral, because my existing oncologist was bought out by John Muir (which they failed to advise), I was blackballed by Sutter.  I only learned of this today, over the phone that I am not allowed to see any doctor in oncology/hematolgy.

Sutter is refusing to treat a stage 3 colon cancer patient because I couldn’t understand my Russian-born oncologist. They are collecting premiums and denying care.  I went through the steps of seeing a PCP for a referral for an established disease that Sutter knew of for the previous 10-months.  Sutter told me I had to do this to see another oncologist and they knew full well I couldn’t be seen by anyone in Sutter who could treat my cancer.

My only option is to my PCP or go to urgent care; neither of which can treat my disease.  I can go to the Emergency Room but they can’t refer me to an oncologist, whom I’d have to see for follow-up care.  I am only allowed to see someone out of network and they have no one for me to see.

I am allowed to choose my doctor. It is not out of the norm for a female patient to want a female doctor. Based on the medical terminology, it is not out of the norm to insist on a doctor whom I can understand, without the aid of her staff.

Have I been challenging? Yes! Have I been rude and sworn? Yes. Why? Because I, ME, am in charge of my care. I, ALONE, determine my treatment!!!!

Doctors take an oath to treat patients. Yet, they pick and choose who they will care for. The ones who blindly go along with their godlike mentality are their preferred patients. How dare the patient question them? I am the one living and battling cancer – NOT THEM!

Please share this. Let the world know how cancer patients in Northern California are being treated.

 

Cancer Update: September

Published September 19, 2018 by lynn k scott

Not a whole lot to report. I am experiencing issues of anemia again.  The same symptoms when I was diagnosed (almost exactly a year ago).

I called the oncologist’s office to find out what’s going on with my CT scan.  Well, it’s on hold because of their inadequate scan coordinator.  The facility, that’s in my city, can do the scan, but refuses to administer lidocaine to numb my arm for the IV.  I have collapsing and rolling veins.  Most IVs take two or three attempts (not to mention hurting like hell on each attempt).  They don’t do that on a “clinical level”.

Seems the scan coordinator is inept at calling the patient to update them or having someone else follow-up.   It would seem, the scan coordinator isn’t able to search other hospitals to see if they might be able to accommodate a very reasonable request.  Nah – let’s not do anything…we’re only talking cancer, right?

The receptionist was gracious enough to let me know that following up wasn’t in her job description.  She agrees someone should have called but couldn’t answer who would do that.  Let’s chalk that up to “no help”, shall we?  Then she told me to feel free to call back to check on the status.  I let her know I have been symptomatic.  Gave her all the symptoms.  Anyone with half a brain, working in a hematology office knows what anemia sounds like and should make sure the patient is called back.  Yea…not this office.

I almost passed out yesterday.  I was able to stay awake for 1.5 hours after work.  I slept after work and was in bed at 9:00 and went to sleep for the evening.  Their inept attitude is robbing me of my quality of life.

Am I demanding?  Yes.  I give them an opportunity to do their job and then I take off the “kid-gloves” and let them have it.  I will not apologize for being my own advocate; esp. when patient advocacy and the online help feature have also failed me.

I submitted a referral request for a doctor, who’s an hour away.  I asked for confirmation they received the fax and confirmation when it was processed.  The fax was sent over five hours ago.  Did the doctor’s office call:  Nope!  Now I have to follow-up with them; again.

There is no excuse I am receiving such horrendous treatment.  If I end up in the emergency room, I will not be paying a bill that could have been prevented by the doctor’s office simply doing their job.

Part of the blog is to show how (cancer) patients are being treated while facing a life-threatening illness as well as documenting issues should a lawsuit be necessary.

Sutter Health Plus, based out of Sacramento, California, should be ashamed at its inability to provide healthcare based on the needs of the patients.  I shouldn’t be forced to go to a subpar facility, even if they deem it ok.

Apparently, I have Schrodinger’s Cancer:  I either have it or I don’t.  Guess we’ll never know because my health isn’t a priority to anyone but myself.

 

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Not Subjecting Anyone Else

Published July 20, 2018 by lynn k scott

Another failed attempt by Sutter Health Plus to do their job; help patients get treatment.  My journey has taken me to the point that I no longer give a damn what I say or how I say it, because when it comes to dealing with doctors, their staff and the insurance agencies, they have little disregard (in my experience) to actually assisting the patient; in the manner that works best for the patient.

I filed a complaint against my current oncologist’s staff for failing to do their job.  Of course, every complaint is done the same way.  Patient complains, grievance department calls doctor’s practice, “file review” and then issues a form letter that ignores half of what the actual grievance was about, dismisses patient concerns (as if they have been handled) fails to contact patient for clarification on information obtained from doctor’s office and refers patient back to PCP (Primary Care Physician); which patient has never seen.  The PCP is supposed to help with the oncology referral.

The patient is being seen by someone and wants a different doctor.  I didn’t go to medical school, but I’m smart enough to realize that the existing doctor, who already has some knowledge of the patient, should be making (and can make) the referral.  Why should the patient pay more money in copays to see an unfamiliar doctor, have to recount (AGAIN) why they need a referral, to a doctor who has no vested interest in that patient?  I mean, as an HMO, the PCP already gets a monthly stipend for accepting to see that patient; if and when that ever happens.

I’m a ‘bad’ patient, so I have to speak with a “case manager”.  I was already told by Sutter Health Plus, last year, they don’t have those.  The “case manager” is merely a person in the grievance department, who is assigned to deal with me when I call customer service.  Why?  Because I’m not allowed to be upset at their half-assed attempt of treating my disease.  After all, we have to protect the fragile ears of customer service reps, from upset cancer patients, asking…no begging….for support.

The twist in all this, is this person is on the team that reviews my grievances.  They rule the same way, EVERY TIME!  I am not allowed to have someone else review my grievances.  I am only allowed to speak with Carla (my “case manager”) or her supervisor.  I have asked repeatedly to speak to the manager who is above Carla and her manager.

Today, Carla had the nerve to say, “we will not subject anyone else to you and your behavior”.  Hmmm….make me continually deal with people who are part of the problem instead of passing the issue to someone who  1) might have a different perspective on the situation, 2) someone who would be a fresh start and 3) someone who might have the ability to see that my issues are addressed.

I’m such a detriment to the medical community, that I’ve been blackballed by the insurance agency itself.  Could I be nicer?  Perhaps.  Am I going to….NOPE!  Why?  It’s simple, I have had to fight for my basic rights, that I PAY for, just to be treated.  I am holding people responsible and I will not be a doormat because I refuse to let them make any further money off of me because they think they are god in deciding if I live or die.

Sutter Health Plus is in need of major reform (as are most insurance carriers).  Carla in claims needs to be retrained (as does her manager -with whom I will not speak with again).

At this point, I will be utilizing the UC Davis emergency room going forward.  I’ll incur the annual maximum charge and then they can run every test they want, but I’ve hit the maximum.  No patient should ever feel like they are being dismissed or given up on.  Sutter Health Plus (Sacramento, CA) has done just that!

Revisiting the Crocker Museum

Published March 5, 2017 by lynn k scott

I first brought you the Crocker Museum a couple years ago when I had to go to a museum for a class project.  I decided to return yesterday to see what was new.  The Crocker Museum is located in Sacramento, CA.  We did discover that on the first weekend of every month, if you are a Bank of America member, showing your card will get you a free entry!

My daughter wanted to start at the third floor and work her way down.  The pictures I took aren’t in any specific order and I can’t really tell you what floors they are on.  My favorite piece was still on the third floor and it made me smile to see her there.

I discovered, “Nydia, the blind flower girl of Pompeii” right where I had first met her several years ago.  She stands in the middle of two wooden staircases that lead from the second to the third floor.  She is listening for her escort that she had been separated from.20170304_145637.jpg

I am not sure what about this particular marble statue that draws my attention.  I have been fascinated with Pompeii since I first learned of Mt. Vesuvius’ eruption in junior high school.

The museum reminds me of several buildings stitched together to create one enormous building.  You enter in a very modern building, work your way to the second floor, where modern meets dark, oiled,  hardwood that houses of yesteryear were comprised of.  In this section of the museum, you will find an amazing collection of porcelain pieces.  It fits the room.  One can imagine themselves in fancy clothing attending a prestigious event in this wing of the museum.

Continuing on, you will find my favorite pieces; those on Asian culture.  There is just so much to see and hard to capture it all.

Another “old friend” I was happy to see again was the Suit of Armor.  It is just so impressive to look at.  I love the ability to step back in time and visit places, through their sculptures and art work.  I guess this is why I was once a history major.

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There is also a whimsical side to some of the pieces.  My daughter is standing next to a piece called, “Turquoise Curves” (featured pic).  She was immediately drawn to it, so naturally, I had to make it a photo opp!

There was a HUGE multicolored teardrop, a ceramic VW bug and an unexplained pile of dish rags/towel in an enclosed case.

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On the second floor, just above the entrance, you can journey to Africa.  From ceremonial masks, to weapons, to tools, to instruments to various carvings to spirit pieces, it’s truly a wonder to behold.

All in all, we had a fun time.  I would have liked to have spent a bit more time there, yet when there is an 11-year old leading the tour, you tend to move a bit faster.  I will admit, I followed her into a room, where I found her sitting and just looking at the paintings in front of her.  It just melted my heart.  I want her to be moved, to be inspired, to see renditions of people and places through someone else’s eyes.

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