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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Anyone Want to Tell Former Assemblyman Keith Richman, MD that His Lakeside Medical Group Sucks?

I'm not back yet and I don't normally use the power of this great blog to settle personal scores but when it comes to my well being and given my five years of service to Los Angeles I'm going to indulge in a bit of privilege.

And the story has a tangential political angle anyway.

My primary care physician is Lakeside Medical, a very large medical corporation here in Southern California owned by former Republican California State Assemblyman Keith Richman, MD.  Richman, as you may remember would have been the elected Mayor of the San Fernando Valley had the secession movement been succesful at the ballot box.

I am currently in the process of needing two wisdom teeth removed and found a great dentist who is ready to do the procedure.  However, given that my primary care physician prescribed yesterday, knowing full well of my scheduled dental procedure, an antibiotic for another issue, my dentist wants to err on the side of caution and make sure he's okay with the procedure.  She sent over the standard authorization form that she sends to numerous medical offices with no issue.

However, the dunderheads in the offices at both the Van Nuys (where my PCP is currently located) and North Hollywood (where he is moving to) offices of Lakeside could not figure out how to deal with it, have all kinds of excuses about computers not working, they're moving, the doctor is out of town, I need to see another doctor (and hence incur another co-payment and charge to my health insurance company of course), as to why they can not process this form.  Most amazingly, they refused to contact my primary care physician - who is an excellent doctor from my dealings with him - to get his views on the matter.  Having seen me yesterday, being full well aware of my medical history he could easily give the proper instructions.  After several phone calls by my dentist - during one of which the the Lakeside office manager was incredibly rude - and a half hour phone call from me a short while ago, I THINK, they may actually try to reach my physician.  Otherwise I have to take more time off from work and go to yet another appointment so my dentist can what she needs to do.

I would think that Dr. Richman as an alleged Republican would get how silly this type of bureaucracy in the private sector is. If I can't get a simple tooth pulled (which by the way insurance is not covering and I've already paid cash for) because of a bunch of naybobs in North Hollywood, imagine what would happen if some level of government - whether Tony Villar, Obama or Palin (who cares?) - were to take over these decisions.

See I told you it was political.  Stay tuned.

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Blogger Michael Higby said:

BTW - I want to make it very clear that dentist and her entire staff are awesome. Also, my actual MD at Lakeside rocks too. Its just too bad he works at a low performance organization.

July 29, 2009 5:39 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

Well the problem is obvious Michael, you're dealing with a Republican dentist!

July 29, 2009 5:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wake up to the world. All good dentists, and some bad ones, are Republicans. Same goes for doctors.

July 29, 2009 6:29 PM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

Sounds like they are preping for "Obama Care".

July 29, 2009 6:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where is my comment that most good doctors and dentists are Republican? Why didn't it get posted?

July 29, 2009 6:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This actually sounds like something from an Obama speech;

"And make no mistake about it- this isn't just for the uninsured and poor who can't afford coverage-oh no, this is also about people like Mike the Blogger in Los Angeles, who had to suffer for a week waiting for his health insurer to decide what to do with a routine request from his dentist. All Americans deserve better."

As long as these "dunderheads" are allowed to continue this sort of bumbling, of course "his" plan won't work.

July 29, 2009 8:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Please keep Keith in your prayers. He has has some very serious health challenges. It has not been talked about much but those in the know have good reason to be concerned for him.

July 29, 2009 8:53 PM  

Blogger kk said:

What irritates the s..t out of me is that people want to draw political conclusions from bureaucratic crap. The face of evil isn't political: it is simply people following rules. The question of how to solve THAT has nothing to do with right or left, except scapegoating people is so viscerally satisfying.

July 29, 2009 9:29 PM  

Blogger Sandie Dieny said:

We take your comments to heart and want to correct a few facts. At Lakeside Community Healthcare, our patients come first. If they experience less than that level of care and attention, we want to know about it right away. You have our sincere apologies for any delay or problems that may have inadvertently occurred when your dentist contacted us.

Here’s what we know: the calls about your pending dental work were placed to your primary care physician. However, you had most recently been seen by another Lakeside doctor and not your primary care physician. Your primary care physician looked at your chart and your/your dentist’s request and referred the question immediately to the physician you had seen most recently so you would have the best, most appropriate response. The very next morning, the Lakeside physician you had seen most recently pulled your chart and signed off on the medical clearance. Again, if there was any confusion or concerns raised, you have our sincere apologies.

You should also know that should you ever be less than satisfied with Lakeside Community Healthcare, your physician, our staff or any aspect of the care we provide, we have a team of patient ombudsmen available to you. If you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact them at (888) 472-7787. In the meantime, we will strive to continue to earn your trust.

For the record, Lakeside Community Healthcare is not owned by former Assembly member, Keith Richman, M.D. Dr. Richman is an executive vice president with the organization.

Sandie Dieny
V.P. Group Operations
Lakeside Community Healthcare

July 31, 2009 4:20 PM  

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