PANORAMA CITY, CALIFORNIA -- I have been a Kaiser member for many years. Why I continue to stay with them is beyond me. I have been to the ER there is Panorama City many times. Had a couple of good visits but many bad ones. I went there again yesterday (Tuesday 03-02-2016) and spent 9 hours there. I was there from 7am until 4pm. I was admitted into the ER about 8am and put in a room after they cleaned it.
Was given a nurse with a Russian accent who was nice at first but once I pressed the button and another person came asked me what I needed I said "I want to ask my nurse a question about something the doctor said." Finally my nurse came in and I asked her. I noticed now her attitude towards me was not nice anymore. From this moment on she avoided my room like crazy.
The ER all day was average busy. Not until late in afternoon did it get really busy. The doctor was nice but he also took forever to come back and tell me anything (hours). I went in the ER for swollen feet. Wanted to be checked for cellulitis infection and for chronic vein insufficiency and I did not feel well - that's why I went there. So after many hours the doctor finally came back and reviewed my tests and told me about everything. It was now 3pm. He said he would like to do another blood test to check something and I said "Ok you can do it but I must leave here at 4pm" (one hour from that time). He disappears and never comes back.
My nurse never comes back either. They all avoid my room like crazy. So I get mad and get dressed, take off all the things I was hooked up to but left the line for blood (plastic thing) on top of my hand. I stand at the nurses' station where 2 girls were making small talk and laughing just ignored me. I had to say "Excuse me" very loud 2 times before they would even look at me. I then said "Can my nurse please take this thing out of my hand so I can go home? I need to leave now."
I see my assigned nurse come out of a door right near there. She just stands there and gives me a dirty look. So another guy has to take the line and plastic tube out of my hand and could tell he was annoyed by having to do it. He did a crappy job by hurting me while taking out the plastic tube. The top of my hand was bruised afterwards. He did a sloppy job, just slaps a cotton ball on there and a piece of tape and then leaves me and says nothing.
My nurse did not get my final paperwork to me either. So I walk down the long hall to the checkout window and wait. I see right near there a man and a woman all dressed up with Kaiser name badges and asked them if they had anything to do with running this place and they said "Yes" so I voiced my complaint.
While standing there talking to them my blood is dripping down my hand all over the floor due to the bad patch up work by that annoyed male nurse. They call another nurse over to tape me up again. I said "I been here for 9 hours and no one in here even offered me anything to eat and not even a glass of water to drink but I day long. I could hear the nurses say 'Well I am going to lunch now.'" The lady offered me a sandwich. I said "No thanks. I have food at home." Why didn't any of the nurses offer me a sandwich or some jello or a glass of water all those hours?!? So I spend hours in that room without food or water. How lame and inconsiderate is that?!?
So because this nurse did a poor job with me I did not get my final paperwork, I don't have on hand all the results of my blood tests or know all about what the doctor said to me. I just wasted 9 hours being in there sitting in room being ignored.
It's incidents like this that make me wonder what Kaiser cares about. I was never really told the reason for wanting the 2nd blood test done, was it about my kidneys or some other problem? I guess I will never know which can put my health at risk. If you don't inform the patient of what is wrong that is dangerous for their health and life!!!
Kaiser makes a lot of money from MediCare which pays for a big part of my medical expense. I expect better service from them and at least show compassion for sick and hurting people and not to treat them in a mean abusive manner with a poor attitude. People deserve to not be ignored at Kaiser because without sick people all the people would not get a paycheck! Treat your patients better, Kaiser! Oh and by the way, this is about the 3rd time I have had problems while going to this ER and being ignored and treated in a rude manner!
FOLSOM, CALIFORNIA -- Moving from So. Ca. was difficult, especially since we would lose our Kaiser Insurance. We had been members for over 10+ yrs. The company my husband was at didn't offer it at that time. In 2014 my private doctor retired and I was left without care. It had taken me quite some time to find the right doctor and now, having a ppo, finding another doctor that wasn't practicing what I call "cookie cutter medicine" was going to be hard. Then that health care business of the government flooded doctors, making it almost impossible. Most were not taking new patients.
I was thrilled when we were finally offered the Kaiser option. My mistake!!! It started out great. I needed refills on the various medicines I took from previous doctor and had them refilled by Kaiser through their call system. I owned a store and was the only person there, so I hadn't had time to find a doctor yet. I had all meds refilled but the pain, and was told I needed to be seen for that refill. Not a problem. Emergency, I found out didn't do that, after talking to as many as 6 or 7 people, even the desk person in emergency. I was very clear about my needs. Okay, strike one, but I understood the reasons.
So, I found a doctor, and made a new patient appointment. When asked why I needed to be seen, I said establish new doctor and pain meds (1st mistake). I was hopeful though. I had my beloved Kaiser back. I went, told her why I was there adding the fact I was moving from a 3000 sq ft. home with three stories and had a deadline. My son and I were only ones who were available to do the moving. Medical issues prevented others from help and one who was full time student. Son was part time with months to go till graduation with bachelor's degree. This was why I was so desperate for help.
One knee is candidate for replacement, other one has damage from injury. I'm almost 60, losing weight, but still heavy and so I was struggling every second. I also had severe pain in my foot, which I had no idea how bad it was till the xray after the visit. So, I relayed this information explaining my time issues as well as the distance I drove for this visit. Well over an hour drive time. The area is very spread out. She spent almost the whole time trying to see if she could trip me up by asking all these questions to see if I was a drug seeker.
Finally after a quick bending of legs and push here and there, told me I had a addictive personality and she would write me a script to bring me down from my old doctor's treatment. I told her no, I was trying to get refilled, but it hadn't been refilled for at least 7 or 8 months ago (2nd mistake. I guess I should of lied and taken the refill. After all I was seeking, according to her). I was refused a prescription for Norco, given those candy pills, Ultrams, but I did get Lidocaine patches. Ok for nerve damage, but not so much on bone pain.
Shocked and feeling lower than dirt at that point, it took me some time to gain my composure and quit crying. She left. I realized she was so determined to find reasons to not help me. She had left giving my foot issue barely a nod. I went into the hall, told her I needed her to look at my foot, and so she reluctantly did, giving me a slip for x-ray and when I asked if it could be done today, she said "Yes", and continued with a smirk saying, "but you won't be seen by anybody today." Okay, at that point, I am upset, outraged, and beginning to feel like I'm slime, looking for drugs wherever I can.
X-ray revealed Achilles tendon pulling my bones in foot up and sideways and my big toe and second toe apart. I snuck a look as it was being x-rayed and I started to cry, because once upon a time I wanted to be an x-ray tech, and I know what a healthy foot looks like and mine looked horrible. After visit to Podiatrist, surgery not option, and if I had continued in way I was, probably wouldn't be able to walk in future. What if I hadn't chased doctor down?
New doctor, same visit requests, same results, no time on my issues, lots of trick questions, but this time I came prepared with my MRI results, doctor's notes, hard copy x-ray of my knee, as well as public notice of sale of house and he refused to look at any of them. Also refused to give me medicines for pain. Oh, I did get refill on Ultrams, but scolded for taking the 4 week supply in 6 weeks time. Putting the warning, must last a month. Wow, that was a slap. But no refill on Lidocaine patches.
Again, I am insulted, slapped mentally, crying uncontrollably. I couldn't believe how I was being treated. This time I think it took me 5 or 10 minutes to compose myself. My son was trying to help and do his last week's intensive school after 5 years. He was almost done, and this? I was heartbroken. I was out of hope. I gave up trying and as a result I lost a third of my personal belongings because the deadline came to move and I wasn't done. I don't know what I left. I try not to think about it. But the anger is there. I agreed to other useless treatments, but only after I moved, as time was precious. Nope, so I was done.
I figured if I changed to a new doctor, my file was flagged, so I didn't. Then lack of exercise, due to pain, I started to put the hard fought weight loss back on. I needed to find help. If I went outside the insurance, it could look like I was seeking, so I filed a grievance at Kaiser. At the end of my story, I find out Kaiser didn't have my previous records, so when the second doctor refused to look at, or even copy my records, refusing me pain medicines, again, it shocked me.
Kaiser was making it so I became bedridden, still full of life, but because I was a "drug addict", I couldn't get help. Refusal to help based on their personal opinion, and not my medical history. This isn't the place I want to entrust with my life. The grievance result came back with a refusal again. Nothing saying "Let's look at your records and then we will see." Nope, just flat out "No". Ultrams are fine they said. There are other treatments like acupuncture, physical therapy, both of which have been proven to move bones and grow cartilage - not... And pain management.
Sure, if they refused me pain medicine based on nothing more than their opinion, I feel so hopeful their other services will be just as helpful. Thanks Kaiser for leaving me so disgusted in your "thrive" message. Cookie cutter medicine. Where are the doctors who aren't afraid to treat patients based on individual situations and circumstances? What happened to those eager med students ready to do no harm?
This woman, who was only doing as she was told needed to be done, has been harmed, to the point of finding alternate methods of keeping the quality of life she deserves. Again, thanks Kaiser for your help. The only way I will "thrive" is to cancel the policy and run for my life, as far away from you as I can.
BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA -- Around mid-2015 I was referred to Kaiser Podiatrist by my Kaiser Primary. On my first visit with the Podiatrist he said that by looking at my x-rays of my ankle it looked bad. First he wanted to try medication and a tie up ankle support. After a couple weeks I called back and left a message for the Podiatrist saying that my current brace was not helping. When his assistant called back she said that I needed to come into the office and get an ankle support. At this time I told her that I already have the tie up brace, she then asked when got the brace? I told her she gave the brace to me on my first visit.
The podiatrist ordered a fitting for the Arizona brace at a local company. It only took one week to get into the local place for the fitting, but it took multiple phone calls to Kaiser and 6 weeks to get the brace. About 3 months later my medication ran out and using the brace daily I was still in pain. I made a follow up appointment with this doctor. During this appointment the doctor asked why I was still wearing the brace if my ankle was still hurting, I told him because you told me to wear the brace. His comment was "if it doesn't work then why do it." He then said that he wanted to try cortisone injections but he felt the shot would not work.
We also talked about another option if the shot did not work and this was I needed to have my ankle fused. He told me that I would have to drive south to have this procedure done because no one here could perform this procedure. After 4 weeks I sent a message saying I was still in pain. He wanted me to come in and talk about a follow up with another injection or consultation with orthopedist for surgery. After waiting ½ hour the doctor came in and we started talking about my options. He then pulled up my x-rays again and said that my ankle did not look too bad, after telling me on my first visit that my ankle looked bad.
It was at this time I noticed that he starting talking down to me and talking to me as if I were stupid. He told me that I could make an appointment here with a doctor and see if they would perform the surgery but he did not think I would get the surgery, after telling me that no one here could perform the surgery and that I needed surgery. At this time I told him if he wasn't going to refer me to a doctor down south why did you want me to come in and talk about my options, surgery and injection. He also told me that the injection would not work. Because of the way this visit was going and the way he was talking to me I told him this visit was over.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- I received a bill for nearly five hundred dollars from the Kaiser Pharmacy this month (first bill ever, as one pays for the medications at the time of pick-up). The bill listed charges for four medications, three (3) of which I already paid for at the pharmacy (I have the receipts, both the credit card and the Kaiser generated receipt that lists the prescription number and cost etc.). The fourth item on the bill is a duplicate prescription of the third item which I picked up and paid for two days earlier.
I called the Livermore facility and explained the problem, the pharmacy call center employee stated that he could not help me, I would need to speak to someone on the disputes line. I was then put through to "disputes", the person there told me to return to the original Pharmacy (French Campus SF) where I filled the prescriptions.
The pharmacist at French Campus was surprised to be told that I was sent to her as she stated they could not change an invoice sent from Livermore. As stated I have a credit card receipts' as well as the receipts' from the French Campus pharmacy showing when I picked up the medication and what I paid for it. So I called the dispute line again and was told they would look into it.
Since filing the complaint I have received two phone calls saying my case was being "evaluated" (from two different techs)...neither of the callers requested my receipts. Oddly enough, everyone I have spoken with at Kaiser agrees that Kaiser would not have refilled a prescription for a ninety day supply of medication two days after I picked up the same medication. The facts do not seem to matter.
This is not my first problem with the pharmacy. Livermore recently updated its computer phone call center. Ever since that "upgrade", the call center has dropped refill requests (about half the time whether one calls in or requests the refill online). I know of two other people who have had the same problem.
In June, I requested a refill for a medication for my lung condition that is absolutely essential to my health; when I went to pick it up there was no record of my request. This happened with two other refill requests so I filed a complaint stating that the system was putting patients at risk by delaying medication.
In response to my complaint I received call after call informing me "my case was being looked at" in the end I received a letter saying that "my request for ** had been granted", I did not request **, the letter never referenced the computer issue, there was also no contact information on the letter (one of the few times I have received a letter from a business that did not include a way to contact the sender).
One month after my first complaint I received a bill for a product I did not receive and three I paid for. Coincidence? Finally, this would just be an annoyance except that there are several mistakes on my medication lists, along with the prescription I did not received. There are several that I do take that are not listed (the data transfer was not complete, I noticed this happened with my husband's records as well). I wonder how many Kaiser patients will be hurt. Well their hospital denies the problem and punishes those who complain.
DENVER, COLORADO -- Kaiser says "Call 911 if you have an emergency," yet if you do and go outside Kaiser, you are not covered. They advise you to do that, claiming they don't want anything to do with you in a emergency. It is the first sentence you hear when you call their broad-based (every problem fits into one number) phone number, 303-338-4545 or 303-338-3800. How can they be the only one that can take care of you with coverage yet they send you elsewhere with no coverage for ALL emergencies to 911?
That is not what I call health coverage. You pay for health insurance but in a emergency have to go someplace else and then end up paying the entire bill, because you went outside THEIR network. Stay away from HMOs. They are as bad as they say.
BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA -- I have worked in the medical field for more than 10 years as an administrator and office manager for both psychiatric and urgent care facilities. The strangest thing to me was the number of patients that came into these offices and paid cash for private services when they had full insurance through Kaiser. The comments on their intake forms often read: fed up with Kaiser policies. I recall a shudder running through my body when an orthodontic office I was working at offered only Kaiser insurance; I resigned from the position 2 weeks later.
At the urgent care I worked at the Doctor noticed that a 32 year old female patient had irregular blood work with regards to her liver. He said: "Get her a referral to oncology immediately." I fought and fought with Kaiser to get the appt for her, but with no luck. Finally, the Doctor himself called Kaiser and screamed at them to get her the appt as soon as possible. She was diagnosed with early stage liver cancer and he saved her life by forcing Kaiser to get her to the appropriate specialist.
Just recently, someone I knew passed away in a Kaiser facility due to lupus. At one point they thought she had cancer - so chemo was done. After she lost more than 30 pounds and all of her hair, they then decided she didn't have cancer. We are not even convinced that she had lupus to begin with. She was just 27 years old.
Worst of all is that the 'medical professionals' around her stole all of the jewelry off her body and pocketed gifts that were sent to her to keep her occupied during her long stay in the hospital. These things occurred at two separate Kaiser Hospitals. On her last day of life, the doctors administered morphine for pain. Her chart specifically noted that she has had severely adverse reactions to this medication and that it should not be administered to her under any circumstance. Her own mother's irate reaction to this got her barred from the facility. This is the quality of Kaiser. This is the level of care and respect you should expect from them.
BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA -- I have been PRO Kaiser for years. Last year I needed a total knee replacement (Feb 2014) and I was sent out to an Orthopedic Surgeon who does not work for Kaiser. After the operation, I had to ask this doctor every other day for physical therapy, finally 3 weeks later he sent me for physical therapy. After six weeks I still did not have full movement of my leg, I could bend my knee to 72° degrees and straighten my knee to 8° degrees. It was at this time he wanted to perform a manipulation because I was not able to bend my leg more than 72° degrees. I did 6 more weeks physical therapy; again I have to ask for more physical therapy, this happen 3 more times.
At this time I can only bend my knee 90° degrees and I am still in a great deal of pain. After 5 months he said that he could no longer help me and said that I needed to get another opinion. I was then seen by a Kaiser Orthopedic Doctor, this doctor sent me to Kaiser Orthopedic Doctor now in Los Angles. This doctor said he could do nothing, then I was sent to Cedar Sinai Orthopedic Doctor, this doctor ordered two test. After 6 phone calls by me and two forms requesting medical records, to both Cedar Sinai Orthopedic Doctor and Kaiser Orthopedic Doctor, the request was sent to Kaiser.
I did have one of the tests at Kaiser Orthopedic and this doctor wanted to research MRI or CAT scan, he wanted to see which would be better. This Kaiser Orthopedic doctor said that this was the last visit, he said he could no longer help me, but he was there if I needed him. The other thing I noticed is that it is taking longer to get in to see my primary doctor, use to take 1 to 2 weeks, now it is taking 4 to 6 weeks and the wait time is taking longer. I no longer feel that personal touch at Kaiser, it could be because of all the issues I have had with my knee.
ONTARIO, CALIFORNIA -- I fractured my knee cap March 2011. It was shattered and surgery with hardware was used to reduce the fracture. I was referred to physical therapy. However, the woman to whom I was assigned never spoke to me or really provided me any real treatment. She was busy training a physical therapy student. I was unable to walk properly when released. I discussed this matter with the surgeon and nothing was done. I sought private treatment paying on my own.
By August 2013, I was unable to walk at all and in extreme pain. I saw their doctor. I was given a sheet of exercises. I persisted. I was given a referral to an orthopedists. X-rays were taken. The X-rays showed the arthritis but they denied the necessary treatment. They focused on my bad knee but I kept telling them it was left hip. I was seen by a physician's assistant who told me this was "my new normal." I was referred to Physical Therapist, but despite how crippled I was, I could only get an appointment every 3 or 4 weeks. The therapist tried to make an opening for me, but was completely overbooked.
On 12/31/14 I switched to Aetna on a PPO. My left hip is now completely frozen. It turns out the hip was completely arthritic and had been since August 2013. I am going to have a hip replacement. It is now June 2014. I have been walking with a cane and in severe pain. It has taken this long, after escaping from Kaiser to get treatment. My advice is to stay far away from Kaiser as possible. Despite their representations, they balance their books by collecting co-pays and denying necessary care. Beware.
LARGO -- Double nightmare with Kaiser. I am livid to the point of tears. These people are more interested in the number of patients and days of stay than providing care and information. I am still dealing with a mess of a system that only cares about the Kaiser bottom line. I can not speak to one person that can answer my questions or provide advice. Everyone tells me I need to talk to someone else, yet I find that decisions are being made without my knowledge, consult or advisement. I can not plan for these decisions without being advised of then in advance. They have major implications for my time, purse and other resources that I have to have in place.
They discharged my mother, who has Alzheimers, from a Kaiser facility and I was not advised that this would occur. Never told them that where she would go upon discharge, was never advised of the discharge care needed, of the equipment that the facility to have to rent (which I will have to pay for), was never given an opportunity to plan for an alternative facility for the discharge - the list goes on and on. I was advised that she would be discharged in 2 days. I was called after 4 o'clock on New Year's eve. Which gives me only 1 working day to prepare for the discharge, financially and otherwise.
I would have appreciated some prior discussion before the decision regarding her care were made and put in motion. I am not invisible, deaf or dumb, and I am her surrogate of record.