ALHAMBRA, CALIFORNIA -- I went in to BHC Alhambra hospital voluntary for depression on the encouragement of my Kaiser therapist and boyfriend. I was admitted on a Wednesday and asked to leave on a Saturday. My doctor ** said I could leave against medical advice but need to talk to the nurse. The nurse spent less than five minutes with me and put me on a 72-hr hold.
I was there a whole week and treatment not very helpful - all groups are the same. I spent less than 20 minutes with an individual therapist and did not know my treatment plan. After five days of being in there, my depression got worse. I truly believe that because I had good insurance they wanted to keep me for the insurance money. The hospital was not abusive or dirty, just not very effective treatment. Overall a lot of better places and a lot worse places.
ROSEMEAD, CALIFORNIA -- On 5/22/2010 I was admitted to BHC Alhambra. The following took place on 5/24/2010...I woke up and my vitals were taken. An announcement was made that there was a Process Group led by a male LVN. Approximately 2 dozen patients sat and listened to the rules of the hospital and what Level 1 and Level 2 were. Many of the patients were put on very high doses of Seroquel so they could hardly stay awake during the day.
I was in Level 1 and it was very bad. A patient broke my glasses after I was there a few hours. The place was really dirty. The shower had mold growing in it and the dirt between my bed and the wall was inches thick. There were stains of fluids dripped down the walls next to the bed. I shared the room with 2 other patients and it had a bathroom with a door that did not work. It always stayed open. It was windy and cool that weekend and the window near my bed was broken so at night cold air blew in on me. I got really sick.
The LVN spoke about getting on our knees and praying to God every morning to thank him for what we had. He spoke about being from Texas and working as a prison guard. Towards the end of the session he said and I quote:
“After this group I want you to go to your doctor and tell him you want to go home. Tell him you are ready to go back to your life and be with your family and friends. Now here is a little secret that I am going to share with you and don't tell anybody I told you this. If you don't have insurance or if you are homeless without insurance they will let you go right after your 72 hour hold is finished. But if you have insurance, Medicare, Medical, etc. they are going to put you on a 14-day involuntary hold.
If that is the case I want you to call Patients Rights. That is your right. They will listen to you. They will help you. They will make a hearing for you. But be sure to tell the doctor you want to go home. If you are on a voluntary hold go up to the nurse's station and say you want to go home. They have to let you see the doctor and he will discharge you if you want to go home."
He also had a negative opinion of my doctor and favored another doctor who I never saw at the facility but his name is on some of my records. After hearing this, I went to see my doctor when he arrived. I waited in line behind 10 people. The line moved really quickly as each person moved in and out of his office after less than 5 minutes. But the doctor bills Medicare for 35 minute sessions! We could all hear what was being said inside the room since the door was left open. No privacy at all! After 15 minutes waiting, I was the only one left to see the doctor. I said what the LVN told me to say.
A few hours later I meet with my social worker. Immediately she tells me what great insurance I have and they will cover me for the 14-day hold and more if necessary. After answering many of her questions for her forms, I told her what the LVN told us in the Group Orientation. Social Worker: "Oh no, is he still telling people about that?" Me: "So you have heard this before. It is true?" Social Worker: "Well, can we end here and I will get back to you?"
The social worker is now red in the face and speechless. All of a sudden my 14-day hold was no longer on the table and she spoke about talking to the doctor to have me discharged. I could not believe that what the LVN said was correct and it has now been verified by the social worker. I made a collect call to my spouse immediately. My spouse called a BHC Alhambra Director. My spouse called me back and told me that the Director was really upset about the situation.
Next I see the social worker talking to the LVN. After that fellow patients from the morning Process Group are questioned about what was said in the group meeting. More patients are questioned about the morning group and what the LVN told us.
The LVN is fired and sent home and staff members on both Level 1 and Level 2 begin pulling me aside to find out what has happened because they heard about him being fired over something I said. Patients are all talking about being questioned about what the LVN said and were concerned about being in trouble with the staff and were afraid of retaliation by the staff.
Later that day, the social worker pulls me out of another group that I am in on Level 1. She tells me that she spoke with my doctor and I am to be released and not held an additional 14 days. She made an appointment with my regular doctor for Wednesday, May 26th. I am to be released the next day, Tuesday May 25th. I am now being transferred to a different wing (Level 2) for the rest of my time at BHC Alhambra. It is a cleaner, peaceful wing of the hospital and I am now able to listen to music and do activities. I could play games and now I am able to eat much better food at the cafeteria.
After 2 days of hell, everything changed for me because of one thing, being told about the insurance scam at BHC Alhambra and having it confirmed by the social worker. This was unbelievable! The records BHC Alhambra provided to me are total lies and I have witnesses to prove it. They have not explained how I went from a 14-day hold to being released after less than 72 hours.
Next I am summoned to a meeting out on a bench on the grounds of the facility with a well-dressed woman who said she was the head of nursing. She wanted to know every detail of what was said to me that day and who said it. She even wanted me to describe what the person was wearing when they said it. I didn't get it, but I answered all of her questions and it felt good to be outside in the sun on a bench. The next day May 25, 2010 I was finally discharged and escorted out of the building by the director and the woman who said she was the head of nursing.
Unfortunately, I have not been the same since this all happened. I have never experienced anything like I witnessed at BHC Alhambra and the doctor. This is the absolute truth about what happened while I was at BHC Alhambra and the records need to reflect the truth. Something needs to be done to prevent this from happening to another patient. This facility should not have patients when they treat them this way. It is so horrible that a facility and a doctor institutionalize people like me for the sole reason of getting more money from Medicare or Medical?
Because this facility cannot work with patients and obey the law, I believe they should not be able to violate the civil rights of any other individuals. They also should not be able to continue holding patients based on how much money they can get from Medicare or Medical. When patients like myself go from a 14-day involuntary hold to a 72-hour hold for the sole reason that the insurance scam at BHC Alhambra is exposed. I do not see how they are helping anyone besides themselves.
Almost every document I have received from this facility is false. Meetings took place between me and administration staff over the insurance fraud and it is not in my records. The records need to reflect exactly what happened. After being in the facility for approximately 14 hours, I met with the doctor for two minutes and in that time according to the records he estimated my hold time to be "four to seven days". This doctor was extremely detrimental to my well-being and I believe he is dangerous and should not be in his position at the facility.
This doctor did not spend two minutes with me on 5/23 and he billed my Medicare Advantage Plan for a 35-minute intake interview. He did not spend a total of 35 minutes in the unit I was in and there were 10 patients lined up in front of me to see him! Each of us spent less than a total of 3 minutes with the doctor. Some patients like me were not even given the chance to sit down! This is against the law.
I have given a report to my insurance to prevent this claim from being paid. This doctor should not be compensated for time he did not spend with me. If he is billing all of the patients insurance companies the same and trumping up the time by over 30 minutes, he is stealing a fortune.
ROSEMEED, CALIFORNIA -- On 5/18/07 a doctor at BHC made a threat to my daughter. My daughter stated to me that he said if she refused to be medicated, he can keep her here for up to 365 days. This is a clear violation of patients rights - in the handbook they gave me it states 'A patient has a right not to be threatened by a doctor for not doing meds and should never be fear she won't be released if she doesn't...'
MY daughter feels like "she has to say OK to the meds because he said he won't release my mom and I want to go home not to be medicated" is a right each patient has. This DR. ** should not be threatening a patient for not wanting to be medicated and he would not budge on saying any other way but meds. His way or she's not getting out.
As for school, I am having her home-schooled just since March...because of an attempted rape on her by the boy she went to school when she didn't want to go back to school there. Home-school was an option for the three months left. She will be going back into a school in Sept...w/ her IEP in place and he doesn't like that. He just saw her 10 min. at most for an evaluation in that 10 min.
He determined my daughter was not going to get out because she denied meds and he is going by that he did not release her after the 72 hr hold. And has refused to talk to me, her mother, since 12:50 on 5/18/07. Nor have they handed me any papers or guides on what I can or cannot bring to my child and what is her hospital plan and what are they doing for her.
They also have denied me the right to see my child on visitation - as my work does coincides with their visitation time - I wanted to have lunch with my daughter at 1 pm instead of 5:30 pm as I would be at work at 5:30 pm. I wanted to spend a little time with my daughter - they also have refused to give me information or call me as I request information on my daughter's care or needs each day I have been able to visit hr and request it. They have not telephoned me on my cell nor my home on my daughter's care.
I am told they have 4 days to get a hearing set up at that time she is allowed whom she wants there. I asked her to ask for a advocate and an attorney and me, her mom...since I am raising my girls myself. This doctor did not even hear anything I wanted to say concerning my daughter and what led to these thoughts she typed on the net. He wouldn't let me explain nothing. To me this is a clear violation of patients rights. My daughter says "there are fights between the girls there and a lot of yelling of the staff and they threaten to lock you up in solitary a lot here mom", she said to me. There, is that enough info?