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Patients denied kidneys because of paperwork

Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein of the Los Angeles Times used interviews, internal memos and transplant records to show that 25 Kaiser Permanente patients in Northern California were denied the chance for new kidneys that were nearly perfectly matched to them last year during the troubled start-up of the giant HMO's kidney transplant program in San Francisco. " The patients missed this opportunity because they were in effect stranded between two transplant programs." Kaiser never properly completed the paperwork to transfer the patients' cases to its program from UC-San Francisco Medical Center, which had been under contract to care for them until September 2004. At the same time, Kaiser would not authorize UC-San Francisco to continue accepting kidneys and transplanting them into Kaiser patients.

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