Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Another story in the news. The headline says "Department of Veterans Affairs employees destroyed veterans’ medical records to cancel backlogged exam requests"

While the headline may be accurate, it's incomplete. This story is only partly about the VA. Unmentioned in the article is the fact that the clinical parts of the VAMC are run largely by UCLA under contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs. In particular, the person who initiated the records destruction, according to the linked article, was Dr. Suzie El-Saden, who is an associate clinical professor in the UCLA Department of RadiologyAccording to the article, it was Dr. El-Saden who "initiated an 'ongoing discussion in the department' to cancel exam requests and destroy veterans’ medical files so that no record of the exam requests would exist" at the VA. 

It's that same University of California pattern that I've written about before: University of California supervisors demanding unethical and potentially criminal behavior from their subordinates.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Apparently, the culture of noncompliance with the law at the University of California lives on:

UCI retaliated when they reported wrongdoing, doctors say


There's plenty wrong with alleged University of California actions described in the linked article, but here's something that I think is particularly galling:

Those undergraduates who were apparently exposed to radioactive gas vented near their dorms? The University is going to keep track of them for the rest of their lives. Wherever they go, whatever they do, for as long as they live, the University of California Alumni Office will keep track of those undergrads and hit them up for donations. 

Meanwhile, the medical offices and epidemiology departments of the University will likely show negative interest in the likely increased risk of lung cancer, or possibly other cancers, developed by those undergraduates who spent large amounts of time apparently unknowingly inhaling radioactive gas. What is "negative interest" in this context? "Zero" interest would simply denote that the University would not track the increased risk of lung cancer due to long term inhalation of radioactive gas. "Negative interest" is what is really likely to happen: even if, by some chance, some researcher happens to find an increased risk of cancer in these unfortunate undergraduates, the University is likely to squash any knowledge of that risk and destroy any studies that show such an increased risk. Read the linked article: the University allegedly tried to cover up past and future wrongdoing by apparently firing whistleblowers. 

Its an odd juxtaposition: close following for the purposes of getting money out of those undergrads as they age, combined with likely negative interest in cancers caused by the long-term exposure to radioactive gas. Those undergrads will get older, and will get letters every year or more asking for donations for the alma mater. Some will donate. At the same time, some of those aging undergrads may start to cough up blood, and loose half their body weight, and die young. That's likely to happen ... unless long term inhalation of radioactive gas in youth doesn't increase the risk of later lung cancer. If those aging undergrads do become deathly ill, then some of their donated funds will probably go towards covering up any connection between long term exposure to radioactive gas, and whatever health problems may have occurred as a result of that exposure. Those aging undergrads will have donated money to cover up their own destruction. Pretty sad, really. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

University of California. Of course.
UCSF fundraiser advocates withholding health care from Obamacare opponents

By the way, is there anyone more likely to reflect the zeitgeist of a major medical center than a senior fundraiser at that institution?

Sunday, August 04, 2013

h/t instapundit:

UCLA officials bend travel rules with first-class flights, luxury hotels

Well, at least no one is dying over this apparent medical fraud.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

An interesting article regarding the University of California:

http://www.city-journal.org/2013/23_2_multiculti-university.html

Saturday, March 30, 2013

UC hospital workers allege patient neglect, harm


http://www.ocregister.com/news/report-499065-medical-patient.html

UCI Medical Center settles federal fraud case

update: a link that works:

UC Irvine to settle federal fraud claims for $1.2M

The headline focuses on the wrong aspect of this case, in my opinion. It's not the million dollar plus fraud that's the biggest problem here. It's that the fraud was occasioned by the practice of not providing promised, and billed-for, services. 

Again. 

In this case, the promised and billed-for service was attending physician supervision during anesthesia. Something to consider if you plan to undergo anesthesia at a University of California facility. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The "culture of noncompliance with the law" apparently lives on. Wasn't this the sort of thing that eventually got attention when Josef Mengele did it?

2 UC Davis neurosurgeons accused of experimental surgery are banned from human research

Drs. Muizelaar and Schrot claim they got "consent" to intentionally infect patient's open head wounds with bacteria.  This "consent" had given by patients with known brain damage.  Wow.  Simply wow.  

Thursday, May 03, 2012

ANOTHER NEEDLESS DEATH

A case with similarities to the one which resulted in the death of Sheri Sanji.

Note that the SF VAMC academic partner is UCSF, as described in this paragraph:

"Research is also a key aspect of the VA Medical Service. Facilitated by a VA-based non-profit research organization, SFVAMC-based faculty members are supported by more NIH grants than any other hospital in the VA system and also have access to research funding from the VA and other external sources. VA research ranges from laboratory to clinical and outcomes in focus. The VA is also playing a leading role in the UCSF Clinical and Translational Research Institute, an ambitious NIH effort to stimulate the translation of basic scientific findings to improve individual and population health"

In other words, the VAMC is likely just the landlord for this "VAMC lab."  The lab is likely really run by the University of California.  If so, this death would be the second time in four years that a young healthy lab worker died as a result of conditions in a University of California run  lab.  The lab management is paid to train their workers adequately, and to keep lab conditions safe enough, so that even one death should never happen.  These two deaths are just another example of the pattern of accepting payment (grant monies, which generally include funding for worker training and safety measures) and not actually providing the paid-for service (in these cases, worker training and safety measures adequate to prevent two deaths in ~ 4 years).