The health-care debate is primarily focused on the uninsured. What follows are the misadventures of someone who is insured and became a victim of the typical HMO bureaucratic morass. It’s an insight into a system that creates angry patients, overworked doctors and unmotivated, rude personnel.
This is a scenario familiar to many of the 21 million Californians enrolled in HMOs.
My friend injured her knee Oct. 26. As of today, she is still awaiting treatment, in dire pain and unable to walk. She immediately contacted her primary care doctor. He could not see her until Nov. 12, or 17 days after the injury.
After the visit he submitted a request to the HMO for authorization to see an orthopedic specialist. The best the orthopedic group could do was schedule an appointment with a physician’s assistant Nov. 24 (12 days later).