the case of a woman
whose cancer was misdiagnosed,
regulators decide to censure five more physicians.
of California, reversing an
earlier position, has
decided to publicly censure all six Kaiser Permanente doctors involved
in the death of a Woodland Hills woman whose case has sparked a debate
about state oversight of California's largest HMO.
has asked Kaiser Permanente to
provide the state agency
with more information when it loses malpractice arbitration awards.
complained that Kaiser has been allowed
to name only one
doctor when telling the board that it has lost an arbitration
protecting others who may have been found at fault.
Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), who sponsored a
that requires medical providers or their insurance carriers to report
least one doctor to the medical board after losing a malpractice
welcomed the news Monday.
deal with life-and-death issues,"
Figueroa said. "They
should be very concerned about the public's protection."
Jim Anderson did not say whether
nonprofit HMO would agree to provide more information about arbitration
awards to the agency, but he said executives "plan to work with the
board constructively" to discuss the issue.
with the case of Robyn Libitsky,
who won a $1-million
arbitration award against Kaiser before she died this year at 29 of
sarcoma, a rare fast-growing cancer.
attorney had argued that Kaiser doctors
to diagnose her case in the early stages, when it might have been
treated. Kaiser lawyers said that there was no proof she had the cancer
when she first sought help and that all six doctors who saw her acted
reported the award to the medical board,
doctors, the health maintenance organization named just one of the six
doctors identified in the arbitrators' finding.
the arbitration on the doctor's
record, available to
the public on the board's website.
mother, Hillarie Levy of Simi Valley,
wanted the records
of all six doctors to reflect the arbitrators' decision. But medical
Executive Director David Thornton said in an Aug. 12 letter to Levy
the board could not publicly censure doctors who were not named by
account of the arbitration award.
Times story Oct. 23 detailed Levy's
crusade to change
reporting rules for medical malpractice arbitration awards —
most of which
involve Kaiser because of the HMO's size and its policy of requiring
to arbitrate disputes. This prompted Figueroa to ask the medical board
to reexamine the Libitsky case.
Levy again Wednesday to say he had
concluded that all
doctors involved in the arbitration report should have been reported to
the board by Kaiser.
informed of my findings and
notified that all six physicians
will be placed on the board's public disclosure screens," he wrote.
not available for comment Monday,
also wrote a letter
to Kaiser Permanente asking the HMO to include a copy of the
findings in reporting future awards so board investigators could decide
for themselves which doctors should have black marks placed on their
only four of the six doctors were
reported on the medical
board's website, http://www.medbd.ca.gov , but a spokeswoman said all
would be named by week's end.
finally something is being done,"
Levy said. "I want
to see it through for Robyn."
2005 Los Angeles Times
To The Kaiser Papers
Back to robynlibitsky.kaiserpapers.org