BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA -- Two years ago I was sent out by Kaiser to a local contract doctor to have a total knee replacement. At this time I am still having issues with this knee and need to have this procedure done again but Kaiser wants to send me to another contract facility of their choice.
They have to do this because they have unskilled physicians here, so they want to send me 2 ½ hours south at my expense and I will have to get a relative to take time off from work. I will need to pay for all their expenses while they are waiting for me to be released from the hospital. I wanted Kaiser to send me to a town that I already have relatives and was far less driving distance, but they would not. Because I walk with a bad limp and have to use a cane and a walker, I now have problems with my hips.
BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA -- I need surgery on my ankle, because the Bakersfield location has unskilled personnel. They force people to drive two hours south at your own expense. Because you will not be able to drive yourself back a relative will have to take time off work, you will need to set this person up in a hotel and pay for meals. If something was to go wrong during surgery, your out of pocket cost for this person will climb. I have tried to get Kaiser to let me see a local surgeon but all they will say is this person is not a contract doctor.
PORTLAND, OREGON -- I started complaining about my hip last November. I just qualified to get a new hip. I went from seeing 20 patients per day/5 days a week to spending my days in bed. Thanks Kaiser, at this rate me and my patients are in trouble. Never again will I have anything to do with Kaiser as soon as I get out of here. I think even military medical care was better and they almost killed me twice.
ORANGE, CALIFORNIA -- This story is very hard to get across in words how tragic and desperate we felt but I will try. Two years ago my son was in his 2nd year of college. He developed a drug problem. We had no idea how bad it was and what to do about it. We expected to get guidance from our health care professionals at Kaiser. After all, that is what we have insurance for.
When our son came home after the second year was over, thru various and horrible ways we found out he was abusing drugs. He agreed he had a problem and wanted help. We turned to Kaiser Addiction medicine. They put him in outpatient rehab. We felt that maybe he needed more but we had never dealt with this and did not question their “knowledge”. He attended most meetings, he did miss a few, but he drove himself to and from the meetings on his own. He wanted to be sober.
After a couple of weeks, my husband and I found him unconscious and barely breathing. It was latterly the worst moment of our life. My husband performed CPR until the 911 responders arrived. They shot him in the heart with something to make his heart beat again and start breathing. He was taken to the closest hospital, not a Kaiser hospital. He was there for about 8 hours. The doctor there told us that he needed more treatment than he was getting and he has a serious problem.
When he was stable enough, they moved him to a Kaiser hospital where he stayed for about another 24 hours. We were told he was ok to go home with us. A big red flag went off in both our heads and we knew this was not right. We asked if any psychiatrist had seen him and they said no. We insisted he talk to someone before he left. They called someone in and she had about a 2-minute conversation with him and said "ok he is free to go." Just make an appointment with the addiction doctor. Once again, we did.
The next day my husband took him to the “addiction specialist” (HAHA) and told him what happened and how close to death my son was. The doctor then said something that to this day is unbelievable, he said to my husband AND my son in the same room that death was nothing to him, they deal with it every day and that my son should quit smoking cigarettes. Then he said to our son that he should attend Kaiser's outpatient rehab that meets every day for two weeks. My husband tried to get him into inpatient but the doctor said no. My son at this point was frustrated because he knew what he was doing was not working but we really did not have a choice.
He attended the meetings again, he did miss some. He was a 19-year-old drug addict. But he did attend classes and had us go to classes as well. He was trying. Then, about a week and a half into the everyday rehab, the second overdose happened. Again 911 responders came and gave him something to wake him up. This time he was taken to a Kaiser hospital where he stayed for about 3 or 4 hours then was released. At this point his father and I were begging the doctor to put him into an inpatient rehab. The emergency doctor told us is was not that easy and sent us on our way. My son was still showing effects of being on drugs. It was horrible.
We knew something had to be done and it was up to us. We immediately made plans for my husband to take our son out of state to clean up and get away from the bad habits he had fallen into. They were leaving the next day and it was my job while they were gone to work things out with Kaiser and get him into an inpatient facility that he needed. Our son agreed. He knew he needed help and he felt he was not getting it. He was very discouraged.
They left and the next three days were spent on the phone with Kaiser talking to anyone who would listen and could make the decision to get him into inpatient facility. I kept hearing No and no approval never came. They said the reason was he lacked motivation and missed some outpatient meetings. Well, he is a 19 year old boy addicted to heroin. But the kid CLEARLY is crying out for help. I had some really amazing conversations with the Kaiser doctors. They are completely incompetent when it came to addiction and mental health issues. We were on our own. We are not rich and that leads to a whole different story (http://www.gofundme.com/spwjv4m).
I was blessed enough to find a wonderful place where he attended inpatient rehab for 3 months. He had to learn a lot of things to live a clean and sober life. He got the treatment he needed. He needed daily follow-up care for 9 months. At this young age, they do not have the skills or wisdom to stay on the right track without help. So we did what we had to do to get our son healthy and on his way to a happy, healthy life. I am proud to say he is sober today and has earned himself his personal trainer certification and has a job he likes. We are so happy to have our son back.
No thanks to Kaiser. We submitted all our bills to them and they declined to reimburse us. They said it was because we did not use a Kaiser facility. Well it does not make sense. We tried to go to a Kaiser facility, they said no NUMEROUS times. They gave a different reason. But now, they give us a different reason again. There were so many rude comments and inconsistencies from Kaiser. They just did not care.
When the doctor told my husband and son his little death explanation, I immediately filed a complaint against him. I feel that from then on out he truly did not care what happened to my son and went out of his way to make treating him as difficult as possible. The only thing I could find on this guy was that before Kaiser, he was a family practitioner. Normally, addiction specialists are trained in mental health issues. He was a family practice doctor. He exacted his retribution on us to the tune of the cost of rehab for about a year. Kaiser never paid. We tried to get a lawyer but nobody would take our piddly little case.
It is my opinion that Kaiser does not have its own facility and they would have to pay someone else to treat my son. That is why he was not treated by Kaiser. By sharing our story, it is my hope that you will share this with as many people as possible. Eventually, if enough people who have had similar problems stand up to the health care industry, in particular Kaiser Permanente, there is a hope of changing the way doctors and health care workers deal with and treat an addiction problem.
No person or family should ever have to be treated as we were and struggle to pay bills when we pay for health insurance. The patients' needs should dictate the treatment, not the cost to the insurance company. My son is happy and healthy today and I thank God and pray to him to keep him that way. Thank you for your time.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- Kaiser mishandled my father's last week of life and the process leading up to this. They violated their pain management care claim as stated in their handbook which is basically false advertising and misrepresentation of what actually goes on once inside chaotic Kaiser care. My father suffered a very painful death all because of their lack of urgency, lack of prescribing the correct pain medication and many other incidences that were not monitored by my father's oncologist and medical team. Once on hospice the hospice nurses were negligent in effectively monitoring my father's pain and he basically was bleeding to death from his rectum.
At one point I called "**" on Santa Teresa hospital's supervisor line. ** said that he could not get a hospice nurse out to see my father for another 3 hours. This is while my father lay there bleeding profusely in pain. It took a call to my father's attorney and a threat to sue for Kaiser to get a hospice nurse to my father sooner and to get him situated and prepared to die with dignity. Should people have to do this to get healthcare staff to do their jobs?
Next, my brother also was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and wanted specific information about his upcoming surgery. Kaiser states this and on Dr. **'s (his former surgeon's) website he clearly states how he likes to ease the comfort of his patients as surgery can be a daunting experience. Dr. ** had misread my brother's chart on more than one occasion, and later with specifics about the surgery. This was a concern so more questions were asked of this Dr. to ease my brother's mind about the procedure. After a few hours Dr. ** called my brother stating it be best that he have another surgeon perform this procedure.
What kind of doctor doesn't have the integrity to finish what he started? What a loser to just walk away at the last minute when he is just being asked to do his job and ease the patient's mind for an upcoming procedure. Providing more information is too much sweat off of **'s brow? ** is clearly Wrong just as my father's oncologist Dr. ** was wrong. Fascinating how the names connect so well with these experiences. It's easy to make jokes of the care or lack of, at Kaiser. They must take the rejects from more reputable healthcare groups.
I don't have Kaiser and I will not lower myself to a place which operates below standard. I am fortunate I have a choice. I will surely stand up for family and friends who have Kaiser. They are easy to outsmart and not very bright, and quite irresponsible to just name a few.... and these are their good qualities.
BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA -- The doctors at Kaiser are great, but service overall is terrible. Getting on the phone with member's service is a nightmare and then try getting an appointment with your doctor, if you don't mind waiting 6 to 8 weeks, then you're good to go. I have to say it use to take 2 to 3 weeks. I tried getting an appointment with a specialty doctor, not a problem 7 weeks out. I called a non-Kaiser doctor and got in the next day. I only had to wait 30 minutes to see the doctor. This doctor was very informative. Kaiser what happen to the great service you use to have?
DENVER, COLORADO -- My wife and I have been a members since age 64, now 72. Every year we spend hours on the phone trying to get all the forms needed to renew. Mail and E-mails warnings (of overdue payments) flow all year, 2 invoices each month and 3 weeks later the 2 automatic mail payment acknowledgements along with corresponding Emails. If you go for anything you get 5 pages in the mail of useless information. Why aren't the forms online, why do they keep giving me California 800 phone numbers? When you call they say you're not known to them and then they realize you're from Colorado and give you a Colorado number.
I had to renew a prescription using their website and it was not listed correctly. Opted to send an inquiry to the pharmacist using the link provided. Had to remove and send it. KP does not believe in punctuation. You wonder what the intent is when they ask you what meds you're taking and your heath background. Are they cutting out the doctor. And no I'm not breastfeeding, don't they know I'm a 72-year-old man? All our prescriptions are 30% cheaper using local pharmacies except for one. Perhaps this is how they fund their web incompetence.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I went in for an annual physical and was told there is no charge for it as well as no charge for flu shot... Okay, fine. I'm in the patient room with my 20 something daughter; we let the doctor know that I have been having some serious hip and shoulder pain (isn't that why you have physicals, to let the doctor know if anything new pops up?) So this woman tells us that she is a nursing mother and her lactating is overdue so the appointment can't take too long; she only has 20 minutes scheduled for the visit.... Oh really, how nice.
So anyway, she orders the MRI for my hip and shoulder and then I get a bill from Kaiser stating because she ordered the test, the physical now becomes an outpatient office visit. I called KP's financial dept and I am disputing it... What doctor tells a patient that they only have so much time for them...This is not health care.
DENVER, COLORADO -- I was diagnosed in April of 09 with Stage III breast cancer. Little did I know, but Kaiser Oncology FAILED to tell me that the type of breast cancer that I suffer from is called a Triple Negative and is rare and aggressive. The one thing that they did right was to treat me with chemotherapy first (which shrunk my tumor), but they NEVER told me any details about my cancer. When I asked if it was estrogen positive, all I got was a "no" and sent off to chemo treatment. The oncologist always rushed us and never gave my husband or me any clear answers.
When I finished my chemo treatments in November of 09 I asked what my prognosis would be. All I got from the oncologist was, "I don't know. We won't know until we do surgery." No support whatsoever! I made an appointment in early Nov with the surgeon to discuss my mastectomy and she "informed" me of what "they" were going to do for my reconstruction. No options... Just one procedure. When I started doing research, I didn't like the butcher job that they were proposing, so I asked questions. The surgeon told me that I could not have breast implants as I was to have radiation and they couldn't do tissue expanders due to radiated skin.
I kept asking questions, which started to tick her off. I asked for a consult with the plastic surgeon and he told me that tissue expanders would not work with radiated skin (he had spoken with the surgeon prior to my visit). When I asked about the TRAM flap procedure (a tummy tuck and use of abdominal muscles for breast reconstruction), I said that I would look like a patchwork quilt and he said "yes" without any hesitation! He treated me like crap. My husband asked if there was anyone in Colorado that did do breast implants and he thought that there was "some guy up North".
My current plastic surgeon (NOT related to Kaiser) is a half a block to the south and has been doing breast implants on radiated skin for years! The Kaiser plastic surgeon then asked me if we had any other questions, told us that he was late for his next appt (which he was late for mine and didn't give me the full hour I was promised) and then told us (very sarcastically) "Good luck". I went to work the next day, made appointments with a new plastic surgeon, a new oncologist and had a referral to a new general surgeon.
I then switched my insurance to United Health Care (thank God for open enrollment). I then finished my chemo on the 23rd of Nov. I visited the radiologist oncologist (through Kaiser) and he said the same thing... Can't do breast implants with radiated skin and then proceeded to give me information for support groups and counseling (which I NEVER got since I was first diagnosed...Too little too late). I went home and cancelled my surgery for December. The general surgeon was such a chicken that she didn't want to call and find out for herself why I had cancelled; she waited for her nurse to get back from vacation (over a week later) to call and grill me.
Then she had the oncologist call and grill me some more. I told them that I had switched insurances and that I would not be having surgery until after the first of the year. I am very happy to report that I had a double mastectomy on Feb 10th and I have been given such EXCELLENT treatment by United Health Care. They have called me and referred me for counseling and checked on me frequently. Kaiser is the worst possible place to be treated for cancer (in Denver, at least). I have had two other women come to me to discuss their breast cancer treatment with Kaiser and neither one has been good. Enough is enough!
FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA -- I really wonder how inhuman can someone be? Doctors treat their patients like we are a bunch of animals, nurses treat everyone like we have no right to ask any questions!!! How can we stop this???!!! Who should we need to talk and complaint?! I really don't know where to begin with all the mistreat my husband and I personally received from Kaiser, but I'm pretty sure what I'm going to say is not new to all the people that have Kaiser Permanente as a health insurance specially Falls Church Center.
Well, let's start on the calls... whenever I call to make an appointment or just to leave a message to my doctor it takes forever to get to someone that will redirect me and tell me that "in case we get disconnected can I have your number" so like always after 15 min the call is lost, after calling back and have to go through the same standard questions I did before, I finally get to the nurse who gets my number again and puts me on hold to wait for a nurse again... and again the call is lost, one could think that hey I gave her my number twice maybe this time I should just wait for their call...
But after two days I finally got the call (this happened 2 times that I waited to see how long it will take them to call me back). OK well I finally got the appt, got there 15 minutes early, btw I was having severe pain on my lower right side abdomen and began spotting since I was 6 weeks pregnant (3rd time trying) I was really scared that I was having a miscarriage, so once I was there I had to be on the waiting area for 1 hour so exactly 45 minutes from my time of appointment. When the nurse finally called my name I thought "thank goodness! its my turn" but she left us in the room waiting for the nurse for another 50 minutes.
When she came in told me to get ready for the Dr and she left as soon as she finished pronouncing the last word... Well I was ready for the Dr, I was having really bad pain by now, after 40 min my husband went to the front desk and told them I was in pain, but the nurses told him that I should've have gone to the ER and that besides the Dr is in his way... They didn't even came to see how I was doing, one came after probably 15 min my husband told them, looked at me and told me the Dr is in his way...
I told her I was in pain and if I should go downstairs to the ER but she said "the Dr is coming just wait" I couldn't believe it!!! No one was doing anything!!! They were laughing outside telling jokes at the front desk... So the Dr showed up after 20 min, but it was a nurse not a Dr like we thought. As soon as she got to the room she said hi and spread my legs apart and told me that she was going to take a sample from the cervix for some test and she was about to use the wrong size of instrument!!!! And it hurt!! Besides she didn't even give us time to say something... so I told her that that wasn't the right size and she told me "but you have kids already, why are you complaining!"
What!!!??? I don't have kids, this is my first one. I was so frustrated and upset... Well she finally changed instruments and got the sample and told us the Dr will see us soon... At this time I was crying, hurting and upset, my husband was trying to keep me calm while he was asking her what are the tests for, why no one told us that, I was coming for pain not to check for Chlamydia besides we were tested before we decided to get pregnant both my husband and me... But she didn't pay attention to what he or I were saying...
Told me to get dressed go downstairs to the laboratory, get some blood test done and wait 1 hour for my results... But we told her that I needed to see the Dr for the pain... And she said "once you have your results come back here in 1 hr." So we went to the lab waited for another 15 min I had the blood and urine test done went outside to the waiting room waited 1 hr went upstairs again... Waited another 30 min for a nurse to call my name, took us inside waited 15 min for the nurse who saw me before and she said "OK so why do you want to see the Dr?" I couldn't believe it!!
My husband told her what were my symptoms because I was so frustrated and upset I was crying easily... She said "OK go to Inova Fairfax Hospital to the ER if you are in that much pain" so my husband hold my hand for support and I walked out the room but before, he asked her what was the result on the tests and she said "Oh yeah everything is good"... I left Kaiser regretting ever ever getting into their health insurance... I was so mortified. It took us 4 hours and 50 min to find practically nothing. I don't think even our pets are treated this way!!! I don't want to say that they treated us like that because we are Hispanic but that definitely came to my mind...
I'm very sure we are not the only ones that came across to this kind of people, but if my words can help someone, and/or prevent someone to get into Kaiser especially when they are planning for a baby, please take in consideration what I'm writing. "Don't get Kaiser" you will regret it. Just to let you all know my baby is fine. I'm now 7 wks but not thanks to Kaiser nor the staff.