December 5th, 2013

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Mom's Nightmare at La Mariposa Nursing & Rehab Center

I'm sharing a review I wrote about my mom's recent experience at La Mariposa after recent hospitalization because I'm really not sure what else I can do but share this with as many people as possible.


After hearing about how my mother was treated here I am absolutely livid. My mom has a rare autoimmune disorder that at times can make her muscles so weak that she isn't able to breathe and sometimes even requires hospitalization for IVIG treatment + breathing tube intubation. When it gets really bad she is unable to talk because she's not getting enough oxygen and losing consciousness/ceasing to breathe is 100% possible without quick action. We are used to her being hospitalized at Kaiser in intensive care for a week or so and then being transferred to a nursing home for another week or so before getting well enough to go back home.

On this particular occasion she was sent to La Mariposa instead of the usual facility that takes her and the neglect from the staff over the 24 hours she spent here could very well have killed her. I've written somewhat of a summary of the events that transpired:

"Mom woke up with the feeling that something was "not right." She was bathed and then set down to watch TV and was given oxygen via machine. Shortly after she was left to herself in her room her condition started to worsen.

When she began to experience rapid onset of weakness and began having trouble breathing, she pressed the button to alert the nurse for assistance and waited for 5-10 mins and began to panic. Unable to speak or get up to find help, started banging objects around trying to get someone's attention. A total of approx 25 minutes passed before a CNA came.

The CNA named Carmen that arrived was asked to get the doctor because something was clearly wrong. CNA had to tell the nurse Mona a total of three times over another 15 mins or so to come evaluate what was happening to my mom. Mona was down the hall passing out pills and medication to the other patients.

When Mona finally came she did not apologize for the delayed response and, after evaluating the situation, she discovered the oxygen wasn't even turned on. Again, no apology. She said it was probably a CNA or janitor who unplugged the oxygen on accident.

Mom said she needed to be transported back to Kaiser hospital ASAP because she is going to need emergency treatment. Non emergency ambulance was called and it took at least another 20 mins or so for Mona to sign off on the paperwork required before they could take her.

Back at Kaiser, my mom had to be placed in ICU and given IVIG treatment. When I visited her that evening she looked and sounded terrible - a complete 180 from her condition when she was discharged from Kaiser and transferred to La Mariposa."

Does this nurse Mona even understand that someone can quite literally die in situations like this??

When mom was back at Kaiser she was telling a nurse there about what happened and she said the nurse had tears in her eyes. Apparently that nurse's father actually died in the care of La Mariposa.

This is not a coincidence. This is the reality. These people do not care about you, your family, or the health of their patients. Please, don't let them do the same thing to you. You might not be lucky enough to survive that 25 minute wait for help.

The only good thing she had to say about this place was about the CNA Carmen. She was kind, helpful, and my mom says she feels grateful that Carmen did everything she could to help her that day because who knows what could have happened had she not come into that room. Carmen deserves to work for a better facility than this place, among other doctors and nurses that actually care about their practice and your loved ones deserve the same.

A family member talked to the manager there that day about our complaints but I doubt anyone will be held accountable because all the other reviews are negative and describe similar conduct. If you live around the CA bay area/valley beware!
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Student Loan Weirdness

I'm not sure if this qualifies as bad service or not, but its definitely been an inconvenience. So I've been out of college for a few years and am in repayment on my student loans. My largest loan is a federal direct loan that I pay $200 on ever month. I'm also enrolled in their Kwikpay program, which is where the money is automatically deducted from my bank account every month. I get a slightly lower interest rate for being enrolled in this program. Usually the money is deducted 1-3 days before the monthly due date, and this has been the case for over a year that I've been enrolled in this program.

Well, cue last month and its the night before the monthly due date. I notice that the money has not been deducted from my bank account yet. I log into my direct loan account to make sure that everything is still scheduled and on track and it says that it is, so I try not to worry about it. However, the due date comes and goes and I see that the money has STILL not been deducted from my account. I log on again and it shows that the payment is still scheduled to be deducted, but my account also shows a large PAST DUE notice in all caps. Umm...okay.

Now granted, I probably should have contacted someone at this point, but I figured that the payment was still scheduled and that the system was probably just being slower than normal and needed a little while to process. Another entire WEEK goes by and the money has still not been deducted from my account. Then I receive a very scary sounding email saying that my account is SO VERY PAST DUE and that I need to make a payment IMMEDIATELY or I will be subject to HELLA LATE FEES.

So I finally log back into my account and just make the payment manually (pressing the "make payment" button and authorizing the payment basically.) The money deducts from my bank account that day and I think that all is well. Well the next day rolls around and, as you can probably guess, the auto payment finally kicks in and the money is deducted from my account TWICE. Now, I'm kind of living paycheck to paycheck and I REALLY can't afford to be putting $400 towards my loan this month, so I start freaking out.

I call the customer service line and relay my story, and the woman I talk to tells me that there's really nothing they can do to reverse either payment, but that they can apply one of them towards my payment for next month. Heeeeey, that's real swell for next month, but I KIND OF NEED THAT MONEY TO PAY MY RENT THIS MONTH. Luckily I live with my boyfriend and he agreed to cover my portion of rent until I could pay him back, but I don't know what I would have done if that had not been the case.

I understand that technology fails and clearly there was some miscommunication going on in this case, but it seems weird to me that they wouldn't be able to rectify the double payment. And I don't understand why I would be receiving emails like that in the first place if I'm enrolled in the auto payment program. But maybe its just my fault for not contacting them sooner before I made the manual payment? I don't know. I'm still a little miffed about the whole situation.