Kaiser transplant program sanctioned

Better late than never, I guess. Several months after Kaiser Permanente announced its closure, a group that oversees the nation's transplant system has officially condemned the health plan's doomed kidney transplant program. Concluding that Kaiser had denied patient access to transplants and threatened safety for wait-listed patients during 2004 and 2005, the United Network for Organ Sharing yanked the group's "good standing" rating. The move did little to please critics, however, who say the sanction has little more than symbolic value this late in the game. Earlier this year, Kaiser agreed to pay a $2 million fine to the California's Department of Managed Health Care, as well as making a $3 million contribution to organ donation efforts. Kaiser also faced a CMS threat to cut off Medicare certification for the health system's San Francisco hospitals, but convinced CMS to hold off until it could transfer patients to other programs.

To find out more about the sanctions:
- read this piece in the Los Angeles Times