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Kaiser bureaucrats, have a heart!

December 27, 2012 12:10 am

Kaiser bureaucrats, have a heart!

Can I ever identify with Robert and Diane Clauson and their struggle to get convenient testing/treatment from Kaiser Permanente ["Patients balk at going to Tysons for tests," Dec. 9]!

At 74 years of age, working five half-days a week at a firm in Massaponax, I have been undergoing surgery and treatment for breast cancer since early fall.

I have gone back and forth to Kaiser locations at Fredericksburg, Springfield, Woodbridge, Falls Church, and Tysons.

When follow-up radiation treatments were deemed mandatory, I was first told I would have to go to Fairfax City. I protested. I found two doctors listed in Kaiser's own "Top Doctors" publication that provide radiation therapy at Mary Washington and Stafford hospitals.

Much to my dismay, I found that both of these doctors have disappeared and have not been replaced. It took me nearly two weeks and about 20 phone calls to various Kaiser departments to find this information. Thus, I was "granted" permission to have treatment in Woodbridge.

While this might seem a "convenient" compromise to Kaiser officials, it is certainly not convenient for a 74-year-old to travel 30-plus miles up Interstate 95 from my workplace, five days a week for four to five weeks, while heading into the teeth of winter.

Were I able to use Mary Washington or Stafford hospitals, both of which have the proper equipment, I would be able to go to either one on my way to or from work.

I find it unreasonable that Kaiser assigns mandatory treatment, yet is unwilling to bend when circumstances prove that logic is on the side of the patient.

My medical care has been superb; it's the bureaucracy that has driven me to distraction. Kaiser must provide a means for people in my condition and age to obtain the convenient care they are so quick to advertise in their TV commercials. If they were as compassionate and caring as their physicians, nurses, and technicians, I would be getting my treatments locally.

Joanna H. Horigan


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