Another Grievance Against Logisticare

Today I was picked up early, around 6:00 a.m., which was okay with me, but I was already worrying about how this might affect my return trip.

I arrived for treatment at 6:58 a.m., 17 minutes before my appointment time. I could not believe the machine was broken again, especially since it was broken on Friday and I had heard they called the technician. Anyway, I waited approximately 15 minutes when someone came to inform me that the machine was broken.

Because I had arrived early and was leaving earlier than my appointment time I did not know if the 20 minute wait time for my return ride was based on my appointment time or the time I was dropped off. I called Logisticare at approximately 7:18 a.m., after waiting 20 minutes from my drop off time. I was told the driver would be there shortly. At 7:37 a.m., 20 minutes after my appointment time, I called Logisiticare again because my ride home had not arrived, nor called. I was told my ride was going to ther there in 3-5 minutes. After 8 minutes, I called Logisticare again (7:45 a.m.). This time I was told the driver was in the parking lot, despite my instructions that the driver call me with his arrival notification. As I walked out ot the parking lot to investigate, I received the call from the driver.

I called Los Angeles Care Health Plan when I got home to inquire my my call from March 1, had never been returned and to add March 1 and today’s incidents to my grievance.


Another Grievance against Logisticare

Yesterday, when I was dropped off for radiation treatment, I wanted to confirm my round-trip status before exiting the cab. The driver said he could not wait 20 minutes. I persisted that he was supposed to wait. We called his dispatch, who said a different cab would be taking me home.

I had had my phone on the seat next to me in case he need my ride confirmation number; I forgot it when I got out of the cab!

I go inside to wait and discover the radiation machine broke down, there will be at least a 45 minute wait before the technician arrives. I decided the easiest thing for me to do is call home for a pick up and I will take care of everything when I get home.

Fortuantely, dad have another MetroPCS phone at the house, so I avoided the expenditure of having to purchase a new phone. Mom took me to MetroPCS and they moved my service from the old phone to the new phone for $20.00.

Today I was dropped of at 7:31 a.m. for my 7:15 a.m. appointment. I finished treatment at 7:42 a.m. and called about my ride home. I was told I would have to wait 30 minutes. My call had ended at 7:49 a.m., so I waited until 8:21 a.m. before I called again to inquire where was my ride. I was told the driver should be there in 15 minutes. This phone call ended at 8:25 a.m. I called again at 8:50 a.m., exceeding 15 minute wait time by 15 minutes more. I was told the driver was outside, despite my request that the driver call me when he arrived. I walked around the facility and did not see any driver. I called medical transportation again, at 9:03 a.m. While I was on hold the driver called at 9:07 a.m. and I was on my way home. I did not arrive home until 10:07 a.m.

Approximately a three hour round trip excursion for a 20 second treatment. Aiyaa!

Called Los Angeles Care Health Plan to add to my existing Logisticare grievance and had to leave a message due to excessive calls on hold. Waiting 24 hours for call back.

Medical Transportation Update

Yesterday, I was driven, in addition to one other patient, to my radiation treatment. I finished my treatment at 7:18 a.m. and called for my ride home.

8:36 a.m.: called to inquire where my ride was, angry again that the ninety-minute wait period was being exceeded. I was informed that my ride would be there by 9:15 a.m.

9:12 a.m.: called to inquire where my ride was again and while I was on the phone my ride arrived.

When I got home I believe I filed another grievance against Logisticare with Los Angeles Care Health Plan.

Today, I arrived late to my appointment due to my driver being distracted, driving the wrong direction at the freeway interchange. There were two patients ahead of me, so I did not finish my treatment until 7:48 a.m. when I called for my ride home. I was informed that my ride would arrive within an hour.

9:17 a.m.: despite my ride not arriving within the specified hour, I waited the full 90 minutes before I called to inquire where was my ride. I was told the driver should be there in ten minutes.

9:39 a.m.: more than ten minutes having passed, I called to inquire where was my ride. I was told the driver was on the street where I was waiting and went outside to meet the driver, who arrive about five minutes later.

When I got home I filed another grievance against Logisticare with Los Angeles Care Health Plan. I also filed a grievance against Los Angeles Care Health Plan for using a transportation company based in Phoenix versus a company based in Los Angeles, who would be more familiar with Los Angeles traffic.

I also called today and scheduled my rides for next week. This time, I scheduled round-trips (driver waits up to twenty minutes and drives me back home). If I am unable to return to the vehicle within the twenty minutes, I have to call for a ride home and will be subject to the ninety-minute wait time, which is no difference than what I have been having to deal.

Fingers crossed!

Second-Class Citizenry Problems

While I am grateful to have Medi-Cal insurance provided by the State of California, I feel that because I am poor that I am being treated like a second-class citizen.

Allow me to provide a brief explanation regarding medical transportation: I can schedule round trip (driver waits up to twenty minutes for me) or will call trip (I call when I am done with treatment/appointment and may have to wait up to ninety minutes for ride home). It was explained to me by Beverly Hills Cancer Center that my treatments would only last about 5-10 minutes (actually 30 seconds undergoing radiation), so I scheduled round trip for the first treatment. Well, the doctor’s office was running behind despite being the second patient on the schedule and this causes undue stress on me to get out of there within 20 minutes, so as not to miss my ride. Fortunately, I caught the right home, but learned from this that will call would be less stressful if I changed all my scheduled round trips to will call trips.

I should have known the minute my medical transportation arrived early today that I was in for a load of frustration. When I schedule medically necessary transportation, I am given a pick-up window of and hour to half-an-hour before my appointment time. Today the driver arrived an hour before my appointment time. I was fortunate that I was able to be seen prior to my appointment time, finishing my radiation treatment ten minutes BEFORE my appointment time, 7:05 a.m.

I call medical transportation for my ride home, aware that I may have to wait up to ninety minutes. Fortunately, I always have crochet/knitting project on hand. At 8:35 a.m. I call back inquiring “where’s  my ride.” I am told that my ride should pick me up by 9:30 am. Unaware of the time and developing a headache, I set to knitting. As I am sitting there, it dawns an me that I am now waiting an additional 55 minutes for my ride. I call back, angry now. I express my frustration with Alex and ask him to connect me with a supervisor. Already angry, I am appalled that I have to wait a few minutes on hold before I am connect with Nicholas P. After interrogating Nicholas (did he know I had asked to be connected to a supervisor? was he aware that I was already angry?), I discover that he is not even the supervisor!

At 9:30 a.m. I am back on the phone again to medical transportation, inquiring again “where’s my ride?” Alex calls the transportation company and tells me the driver is outside circling the building, looking for me. What the fuck!? I have previously asked them to call me upon arrival and I will walk out to the auto, as there was some confusion previously and another patient thought my ride was her’s.

Let’s talk about my pet peeve: so-called professionals that cannot keep an appointed time. Because the doctor’s office can’t stay on schedule, I have to schedule will call trips (two-trips versus one round trip). And then I have to deal with transportation that does not know how to keep a commitment, wasting my time. If I was to act that irresponsibly on a job, you can bet your sweet ass I would be fired. And therein lies the irony of my situation. I have such a high work ethic, yet I have not been able to secure stable employment since 2007! Then again, there are other issues at hand that may be preventing my employment, such as two felonies and a bad credit history, but I digress.

Now that the fire has been ignited, I remember that I am still awaiting a referral to an Endocrinologist, which was suggested on January 6, 2016 so that I could get my PET Scan. I find it odd that the radiation oncologist is telling me what to do when it comes to a doctor referral. In my world the radiation oncologist should be contacting my primary care physician and explaining the medical necessity for the referral. In the meantime, I am done with following up with the Venice Family Clinic pharmacist who is unprofessional when it comes to seeing a patient at an appointed time and I am very interested in following up with an Endocrinologist because now I am experiencing complications related to my diabetes. I call L. A. Care to find out that a referral was never submitted!

I have filed two grievances with L. A. Care Health Plan: one regarding medical transportation, one regarding my referral. I have already heard from the grievance department while composing this blog post.