Kaiser is being forced to defend a Bakersfield, Calif.-area staff physician against claims she committed gross negligence when she failed to admit a sick patient to the hospital. The state medical board contends Kaiser physician Dr. Degrasia Anne Howard severely endangered patient K.Z. when she failed to admit the patient after five weeks of abdominal pain, bloating, bleeding and other symptoms. Howard treated the patient with medicines for ulcerative colitis, but K.Z. didn't respond to the treatment, and was ultimately admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, anemia and septic shock.
Kaiser has taken no action against Howard as of yet, and is mounting Howard's legal defense. However, the medical board is attempting to revoke or at least suspend Howard's license.
To learn more about the case:
- read this article from The Bakersfield Californian
PLUS: While I wouldn't take this entirely on face value, given that this is a Kaiser critic site, it's still interesting (and a bit troubling) to take a look at this list of suits against the managed care giant which are pending or have been settled in recent years. List
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