Las Vegas Spine and Pain Clinic is hostile to disabled folks



Summary: I have Lewy Body Dementia, a cross of Alzheimers and Parkinsons diseases. As such I have needed a caregiver for years to speak for me and help me understand medical decisions; so much so that we set up a medical power of attorney so that she could fulfill this role.  We have been going to Las Vegas Spine and Pain for pain management for years without issue; two visits ago they announced a change in policy and my caregiver could no longer accompany me when visiting the doctor. They created an impossible situation and when I knew I had no chance of remembering anything the doctor said to me more than five minutes, I said I wanted to record the session for my own sake. Upon hearing this Las Vegas Spine and Pain kicked me out of treatment and put a letter in my file claiming that I threatened them, the kiss of death in this area, ensuring no one will want to treat me.


I never meant to need to post this but I have few other options at this point and people need to know about this place.   Las Vegas Spine and Pain is a pain management clinic in Las Vegas Nevada.  Two months ago they informed us that my caregiver could no longer accompany me when seeing the doctor, even though she has a medical power of attorney and the pain clinic damned-well knew it; they forced us to give them a new copy of the POA every month for a year or more; they kept "losing" it which says little of their document retention and safeguarding abilities.

After reminding them that I have dementia and speech issues so:

A. Little of anything I said to the doctor could be relied upon;

B. I had little chance of understanding what was said to me, let alone remembering it once I left the office;

Las Vegas Spine and Pain replied that they could care less because according to the junior sports medicine doctor in charge of the clinic, in his professional opinion my dementia is just fine, I have no problems mentally and so do not need my caregiver present. This ass-hat could not find his own ass if he used both hands and a flashlight. The final straw came during last visit, I once again complained to the doctor I could not remember everything and begged to record the session. It was the only hope I had of recalling any part of the visit with absolute clarity.  The PA immediately pulls out a letter they had ready falsely claiming I had threatened them and as a result they threw me out giving me 30 days to find a new pain doctor which, if you have ever had to find such a doctor is a joke. 

However the thing that angers and worries me is they have no problem claiming in my current medical records that I threatened the doctor, basically the kiss of death for any patient. I wanted them to insert my rebuttal to what their false claims into my medical records so that if they give them to someone new, right next to their claim of my threatening them would be my letter outlining my side of the situation. 

Unfortunately, if LVS&P knew half as much about LBD as they claim and stake their medical reputations on, they would know that while something like this looks or seems "whole" it is the product of many short sessions about clarity to execute something like this. That means it will be "late" by normal human standards and at the same time, the product of every second of free (read: clear) time I have had for a week or more. It is a sad fact indeed that LVS&P necessitated me taking minutes of a very finite number that I have remaining and spending on making them honest.

Since I cannot have it inserted into my medical records, I shall post it here so any new physicians can get a better understanding of what happened at LVS&P. 

Greetings. To be brief after receiving your letter that you intend to keep in my records and share with future care providers, I am demanding that this letter be included as well to rebut your silly and ill-formed strategy.  If future care providers find your letter, they will find this along side it, either in my file or in a public forum; the choice is yours to make. It will make a nice addendum to the last time speaking out involved your firm. A letter to my neurologist outlined the amateurish attempts your firm made at manipulation of my treatment:  

Of course removing the fallacy from my record was always an option but you have already made that choice.

To deal with the fiction in the letter: there was no threat and you know it. It was YOU who removed my single-most reliable method of remembering important physician commands by preventing my caregiver and legal medical proxy to accompany me on visits. In forcing my caregiver to not be present when your employees were questioning me about medical things, you all but ensured that some or possibly all of what you entered into the record as a result was known to be unreliable.  You know and have been reminded on repeated occasions that I cannot process information quickly and I have expressive aphasia meaning I have little control over the reliability of what I say to anything when my caregiver is not present.

I was told that recording the session was illegal and since your firm suggested to phone the caregiver and the caregiver can only succeed if she can see my face and actions, video was never a non-option. For the technically-challenged, this is also known as live-streaming. Yet this is what triggered the threat letter. The problem for you is at no point were we ever trying to catch you in anything, we just needed a solid record of what happened and since all other options were eliminated by you, this is whats left. The only “threat” to you is if it did indeed reveal some previously unknown medical malpractice on your part. We were just trying to get through the visit with all information we are entitled to. We will not be punished for your own paranoia.

I repeatedly insisted that not only could I not be expected to recall everything from any given visit, due to the documented expressive aphasia that you were warned about repeatedly you could not rely upon (and therefore make anything resembling a diagnostic decision) on anything I said. Yet you seemed to insist on making intentionally poorly-informed decisions as a result of these unaccompanied visits.  

This brings up a related problem: your “doctor” thinking he knows more about dementia than medical professionals that have made this their careers. As someone with actual dementia I can assure you that Dr. Le has a lay-persons knowledge of dementia at-best and frankly any  diagnosis he makes about it is immediately suspect, yet his non–professional assessment plays a part in your reasoning not allowing my caregiver to accompany me during visits.  As the great sage Callahan opined, a man has GOT to know his limitations yet clearly Dr. Le has no sense of his own.  Do you prevent children from being accompanied by their parents or legal guardian during visits?

Another problem is that your office manager tried to blame this decision on COVID-19 rules which is another obvious lie as it only takes a single look at your waiting room to know this is selective and therefore biased enforcement. Non-enforcement when patients are talking and interacting with masks hanging off of their faces, your office personnel looking on with approval. Coming to us with this excuse is less than genuine.

If you suspect this is some kind of attack on your firm, we could have dropped a dime on you a long time ago and didn’t. We let many mistakes slide because we stupidly thought you were sincere in your efforts to treat someone who also has progressive dementia.. It was your actions of late that forced my hand on this.  

So the take-away here is, if you need a caregiver to get by in public, stay clear of Las Vegas Spine and Pain. They gave me zero time not to mention they lied and poisoned the records that the next physician will see. Worst of all, they overrode a much more trained, experienced and informed medical opinion with their own and their patient paid the price for it. I currently am only at the "intro" phase of meeting a new provider and will have no meds starting tomorrow morning. This means from now-on, until this is rectified I see a lot of foggy days in my future. 

If you have an option, look a little farther than Las Vegas Spine and Pain. They used to be someone you could work with but since they got rid of the old employees and tried to force an "interventionalist" down our throats.....since then, hostile.  The Germans have a word for this: Bewacht.


Jeff Cobb


Lewy Body Dementia.