Kaiser deleted warnings

March 5, 2010
Encinitas, California
Vetting explained
By Robert and Jacquelyn Finney
CNN iReport

Robert Finney, Ph.D., was Hewlett-Packard’s Health Care Cost Containment Manager.
Jacquelyn Finney was a federal Medicare fraud investigator. Dr. Finney is the author
of “HOW TO PLAY HMO HARDBALL: The Patient’s Self-Protection Manual.”

HMO Profit Protection System! Delete warning flags and written warnings from patient
lab reports = fewer patient visits to primary care and specialist physicians = decreased
costs = increased profits.

An investigation by two patient whistleblowers has uncovered Kaiser
Permanente’s rigging of its electronic medical records system to conceal
abnormal lab test warnings and risk explanations from 8.6 million patients in
their medical records posted on Kaiser’s patient website.

Kaiser confessed to manipulating electronic lab results provided to 8.6
million patients only after the investigators exposed its scam.

The HMO’s “Thrive” advertising campaign slogan, “electronic health records
save lives,” lures unwary patients into a trap of misplaced trust that Kaiser is
providing accurate, complete health information.

Rather, the HMO’s electronic health records fail to warn patients that they are at risk
of or suffer from life-threatening diseases.

Kaiser’s concealment of abnormal test result warnings violates patients’ rights to
actively participate in their own health care. Hiding abnormal test warnings prevents
patients from enforcing their right to complete, accurate information about the best
diagnosis and treatment choices. The HMO’s electronic medical records system
creates obstacles for patients to obtain second opinions and to appeal the delay and
denial of medically necessary health care.

Beginning in 2008, Kaiser Permanente’s patient website retroactively deleted
abnormal test result warning “flags” and risk explanations from patients’ electronic
medical records that had been previously posted on Kaiser’s website. The redacted
records contain no announcement that they had been altered. Kaiser’s current system
fails to include abnormal test result warning “flags” and risk explanations that had been
included in the records in past years.

If Kaiser had nothing to hide, the HMO would have notified patients that the prior
warning flags and risk explanations would be deleted from their future medical records.
If Kaiser had nothing to hide, the HMO would have notified patients that the prior
warning flags and risk explanations had been retroactively deleted from their past
medical records.

Kaiser’s subterfuge causes a reasonable person to ask what other critical health
warnings and risk explanations the HMO is hiding from patients.

In November, 2008, Robert and Jacquelyn Finney uncovered Kaiser’s shocking
scheme during their routine review of their electronic medical records posted on the
HMO’s patient website. The HMO had deleted abnormal test warnings of kidney and
cardiovascular disease risk, which had previously been posted in their past medical

•     In 2006, their electronic medical records included warnings, including “flags” and
risk explanations, cautioning them that their kidney disease and cholesterol test results
were abnormally high.

•     In 2008, abnormally high warning “flags” and risk explanations had been
retroactively deleted from these same records. Their medical records contained no
announcement that previous abnormally high warning “flags” and risk explanations
had been deleted.

The Finney’s broadened their investigation by comparing the entirety of their
electronic medical records currently posted on Kaiser’s website to the same records
that they had previously saved. Abnormal test result warning information and risk
explanations, previously included in past years, had been deleted from each one of
their electronic medical records.

No Abnormal Test Warnings = No Diagnosis and Treatment of Kidney Failure

One of the most chilling aspects of the Tuskegee Experiment is how zealously doctors
concealed diagnosis from syphilis patients, withholding penicillin to cure them, to study
how the disease killed them.

Like the Tuskegee doctors, Kaiser concealed its deletion of abnormal test result
warning flags from kidney failure patients’ medical records to conduct a secret cost
containment experiment. In 2009, a Kaiser doctor admitted that at least 50,000 kidney
failure patients in southern California were “never” diagnosed and treated.[1]

Kaiser removed flags to spare doctors and other medical staff from having to take
numerous calls from patients to inquire if abnormal test results indicated disease that
required treatment. Kaiser not only saves money by decreasing the volume of patient
phone calls, but also by decreasing the number of diagnostic & treatment procedures.

No Abnormal Test Warnings = No Patient Rights

An integral purpose of electronic medical records is to advance patient rights. They
are sold to the American public as patient-centered and patient-controlled tools
specifically designed to empower patients to take charge of their health in an equal,
meaningful partnership with their physicians.

In reality, they are a giveaway to insurance companies that harms patients instead of
helping them. Electronic medical records systems, that insurance companies can rig at
will, make a sham of government oversight and patient rights.

As their investigation substantiates, absent strict government oversight and rigorous
penalties, electronic medical records provide insurance companies with a weapon of
mass destruction against patients. Rigged, government-subsidized electronic medical
records systems harm patients and cheat taxpayers.

The Finneys’ investigation was validated by the American Health Information
Management Association’s (AHIMA) introduction of a “Health Information Bill of Rights”
on October 5, 2009. The bill’s enactment is imperative, said Vera Rulon, AHIMA’s
president, due to “repeated abuses of access, accuracy, privacy and security of the
most basic rights of individuals.”

Included in the bill are:

•    “The right to expect accurate and complete health information.”

•    “The right to know who provides, accesses, and updates your health information.”

•    “The right to hold health care professionals and others accountable for violations
of privacy and security laws, policies and procedures.”

Early, accurate diagnosis and treatment to prevent and detect disease, disability, and
death are fundamental patient rights. Health care services that do not provide patients
with full disclosure to exercise their rights are dangerous and worthless. Kaiser
Permanents is built on a foundation of lies. Like the “Ford Pinto,”
Kaiser health care
is unsafe at any speed...

Prior to May 1, 2008, Kaiser’s electronic patient “medical records” contained
warning flags and risk explanations informing patients that their lab tests
were abnormal and required attention.
Subsequently, Kaiser deleted lab test flags
and written warnings that test results were abnormal and required attention. The HMO
took these actions without informing or warning patients. Devious and HMO are

Our first two lab records (Slides 1 and 2) show our patient records with warning text
and flags, i.e., Kaiser had not yet scrubbed/sanitized our records.

The second two lab records, (Slides 3 and 4) show our patient records after Kaiser
removed the warning text and flags, i.e., Kaiser has scrubbed/ sanitized our records.

Read the story of a patient who took control and saved her own life

Go to slide No. 5 (Report start) for the Patient’s HMO HARDBALL end game - taking
control and read the story of an “ordinary” patient, a woman who wouldn’t take “NO”
for an answer. She took control and got the medical care she needed. Her
determination and use of information saved her life. An ordinary patient. Indeed not.
She is extraordinary. Her story is her way of passing on the lesson to all of us that it is
possible to take control and save you and your family from disease, disability and
Thank Heaven for
Insurance Companies blog
Cardiology score card
Retaliation by Kaiser
Missing Medical Records
Warnings deleted from abnormal
test results
Conflicts of interest
Failure to diagnose
Employees, goals
Cases and news
missing x-rays
Peer review
Paul Bernstein and writers
Remediating failure to diagnose
Mary Ann Barnes
Kaiser executives
George Halvorson, Kaiser CEO
Profits grow as Kaiser cuts care
Blog: Kaiser Permanente
Dr. Eugene Rhee, chief
of urology
Lynette Seid, CFO San Diego
X-rays (VUCG)
James G. Malone
Dave Horton
Urology score card
Kaiser Permanente links
Rankings Kaiser departments
Cancer score card
Diagnostic Imaging
Medical Records
US Health Insurance companies
consent form
Healthcare reform
KP On Call
Lawyers and doctors
Yvonne Hanzen
Nathaniel L. Oubré, Jr.
Dr. Huathin Khaw
Dr. Jacob Birnbaum
Dr. Catherine Cheng
Dr. Jae Kyo Lee
Marina Baroff
Bertha Aviles
Garfield Specialty Center
Dr. Hamid Safari
Code of silence
Kaiser Papers.org

Member Services
Conahan v. Sebelius and Kaiser
Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
Gee v. SCPMG
Standard of care
Gynecology rankings
Medical School rankings
Board Certification
Problems at Garfield Center in
Kearny Mesa
Bad faith denial of coverage
Cases and news
Kagnoff, Marcia
Prime Healthcare v. Kaiser
Patient advocates
Gilbert Kenneth Moran
Doctors who cause death
Doctors who go along
with Kaiser tactics
Doctors in charge of
Robert Pearl
Filing a complaint
Prime Healthcare heart
failure rates--is Prime worse
than Kaiser Permanente?
Filing a complaint
Gynecology score care

Perceptions of patients
Patient abandonment
Medical Board
April L. Moon and Dr. Andrew
Golden thumb their noses at
Dr. Marianne Rochester at
CalPERS appeal
Compliance Department
Concealing Medical Records
DOMHC (Dept of Managed Health
Emergency room
Added Choice
Dr. Paul Bernstein

Jeffrey Weisz, MD
Complaint process
San Diego
Education Report