From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Another transplant scandal rocks southern California

November 10, 2005 11:15 AM

This one is far more insidious than the corruption at St. Vincent's where doctor's were selling organs for the right price. No, this is much worse. It's all about administrative problems, communication problems, understaffing, and not telling patients what is going on. The article is about UCI, but these are the exact same issues I'm dealing with at UCLA right now, and it is infuriating.

(Background: I need a double lung transplant, I am not yet on a list. I was all ready to go at Cedars Sinai, but my insurance is forcing me to UCLA, who had initially denied me, but then changed their mind a month later)

Two days ago, Maggie, my step-mom, just lost it on the UCLA people, until she was able to find someone (not part of the lung transplant program at all) who took pity on us and started digging to the bottom of why my whole situation there was so screwed up, and nobody was doing anything.

They had none of my paperwork. I had an appointment today with a doctor who is on vacation. They had no idea what tests I already had, and nothing had been cleared with insurance. Weeks of calling the lung transplant coordinator, and the only thing we would hear is "You're on the top of the pile." Turns out the coordinator is now AWOL. Is she sick? Is she coming back? Nobody knows.

The saviour in the UCI situation? Cedars-Sinai... who I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with. I am hoping there is some way I can get my transplant there, because while UCLA's program might do the most, and might even have the best doctors, the administrative staff is completely incompetent and could care less. AND THAT IS HOW PEOPLE DIE.

More from the archive in Me, My Health.

Another transplant scandal rocks southern California (11.10.2005)

Next Entry: Wal-Mart Premiere Week Starts Today! (11.13.2005)
Previous Entry: California says NO to everything! (11.09.2005)

Read the 6 comments.


"In the case of the liver program, patients apparently had no idea that UCI was passing up livers on their behalf."


Thu Nov 10 2005 11:33 AM


Go Maggie!! Smack 'em around! Make them do their jobs!!!

Thu Nov 10 2005 12:29 PM


That was very nice of Jim to make it sound like I took control and put some people in their place, but it isn't at all what happened. It was more like a whimper than a smack down. It could most accurately be called begging and pleading for help.

Thu Nov 10 2005 1:51 PM


That's outrageous. I'm so sorry you have to go through b.s. on top of all you're really going through. Post some names and addresses and we'll let them hear it too.

Thu Nov 10 2005 5:05 PM

Sponge Bob:

Good luck, something about the medical profession that makes them totally devoid of any administration skills.

As I have learned an occassional screaming fest laced with all kinds of profanity delivered in a most public area does tend to make even the most glacieral medical staff shake a leg. You must do it in person, otherwise they hang up on you or simply lay the phone down. Forms be damned, they'll do anything to not listen to you anymore. As I told my wife, I don't need any "friends", my son needs treatment.

Fri Nov 11 2005 12:42 PM


will be praying that the cedars/sinai door opens. sorry that it's so messed up. hope the red tape flies away.

Sat Nov 12 2005 4:19 PM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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