DENVER, COLORADO -- I could not be happier. I had a suspicious lump. Was seen on Monday by my NP. On Friday I had a mammogram with US. They didn't like what they saw ash called a physician immediately who did a biopsy. The following Monday I had my diagnosis. 15" later I received a phone call to schedule MRI. 15" after that I had an appt with the surgeon. MRI the Monday 2 weeks later followed by surgeon appt that Friday.
Surgery the following Thursday, lumpectomy with sentinel nodes. Pathology back on the next Monday. Again, within an hour I got an appt to schedule a visit with an oncologist on Wednesday, 2 days later. Oncotype testing sent day before oncology appt. Already set up for consultation with radiation oncology in one week. Will start treatment by end of month.
In short, diagnosed on 3/6, surgery on 4/2 and start treatment after healing beginning of May. That is record time. All along the way everyone, and I mean everyone, has been kind, informative and helpful. Phone calls promptly returned, questions answered. I really could not have asked for more!
It's Funny over the last few years I have found myself using reviews more and more to help me make decisions on everything from purchases to places to eat and not once did it ever occur to me to complete a review myself. So bare with me people, this is my first one. So it's 3 days before the end of open season I am going through the grueling process of looking for a new health insurance provider which I have done for the second time now and I am frustrated and annoyed because I don't want to switch insurance companies......
I have been with Kaiser Permanente for almost 15 years I have three great child and they have grown up with KP. I know that you hear so many bad news stories but this is a good news story and I just wanted to share. Just like any organization or business you frequent all it take are a few bad apples to spoil it for the bunch and I have see 1 or two bad apples at KP but in comparison to the many great apples that I have seen at KP there are no comparisons.
My youngest who I will call my Miracle baby was born with more than a few medical problems but under the watch of KP practitioners who would not give up on him, 9 years later you would never know that he had such a rocky 1st year and they have been there ever since.
I took ill myself and the care and concern that I received from the KP doctors and staff has been amazing. Okay so like I said there are a few bad apples..... so my illness causes me to have frequent broken bones and on this particular evening I had broken my foot for the 3rd or 4th time and I was in the waiting room waiting to be seen. I was in pain my foot was swollen and obviously broken to the naked eye. I had only been sitting there for about 1hr. )-:
So in walks my doctor on the same evening who just happened to be sick himself and wanted to be seen for a very bad cough. He proceeds to walk over looks at my foot and ask how long had I been waiting and immediately has me in a wheelchair and whisked off to get my foot reset... good apple. Okay..... Okay.... I know so if KP is soooo great why am I leaving? I know that's my dilemma for the last two years I have been commuting to work and now the closes KP is 10 hrs away and my health is still an issue and I have been missing a few appointments. (not good!)
So it is with regret that I have to give KP up. I pray that I find an Insurance provider that have nurses that will stay on the phone with me until my questions get answers, that have doctors that call me back when I have a concerns. Receptionist that realize that I'm not just another body in there waiting room but that I am a person and finally an insurance company that gives me the care and services I pay for without sending me through a bunch of hoops.
That was just my experience with KP and for those of you who have not had good experience with them I hope you have better luck with them in the future. FYI I have visited their office in MD, CA, GA, DC,& VA .
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- I grew up in Sacramento, California, and we had Kaiser insurance my whole life. Back in those days, I remember waiting for literally hours to see my doctor... It was pretty bad, but it was also because their system was so completely overloaded... They had too many people for the hospital and clinics they had. Now I'm all grown up, and although I work in San Jose, I live 60 miles away. My choices for insurance were Kaiser or a PPO that I would have to come into San Jose to see a doctor. I chose Kaiser because they have hospitals and clinics pretty close to my home.
In the 19 years that I have had Kaiser on my own, I have no real complaints. I have never had to wait long enough to finish a magazine article when I go see my doctor or a specialist. The longest I have ever waited was for a blood draw, but the lab waiting room was packed! When I saw how many people were in front of me, I thought I'd be there all day, but it turned out to be about 45 minutes.
My wife is an OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner, and she knows a lot about Kaiser. (She has never worked for them, but she does know quite a few nurses and doctors who do.) She says that she likes Kaiser because it's so convenient and easy to get what you want from them. It does take a little effort on your part to work their system, but the Advice Nurse that you call into for questions or treatment has the ability to get you in to almost any specialist very quickly.
A tip when talking to the Advice Nurse, you don't want to be macho and downplay your problem. Their questions are directed at you to screen whether you need immediate treatment or just a routine doctor visit with your PCP. (Primary Care Physician) If you want to be seen today, there are frequently "code words" that if they hear them, they will schedule you for an almost immediate appointment... (It helps for me when my wife tells me to call the advice nurse, and be sure and say "Blah, blah, blah" But even if you don't know these code words, you can usually guess what kind of thing would trigger them to get you in right away... Say those things!)
I have had a few health issues over the years, and I can say that I am extremely happy to have had Kaiser. I got into a motorcycle accident five years ago, and I was in hospitals for about two months. The first 5 days I was in San Jose Trauma, and the bill from them was over $100,000. And they didn't do all that much besides dope me up and stabilize me... I had to have two hand surgeries, and over a month of rehab in the Vallejo rehab hospital. If I had the PPO insurance, that accident would've left me broke.
They just built a brand new hospital right at our little town's border, and it's really great. I have been to their emergency room twice, and the service has been excellent and very quick. If I was ever considering another job, one of my questions would be if Kaiser insurance was available. If not, I probably wouldn't go. :)
If I were well enough I'd leave, maybe go to a country where they care MORE for the patient than the DOLLARS they save. Kaiser is awful... Period. I have a disease called Dystonia. Kaiser knows I've went from a ladies petite size 14-16 TO a size O in like 7 months. No appetite, that fluid BURNS too INSIDE. Kaiser knows I'm dying too. They call ME once a week, EVERY week, just to check in. Why? I'm not sure. They can't help AND won't, but they'll plague you by phone for NO reason.
**, my case "pacifier", blamed everything on the docs. Does Kaiser MAKE their employees STOOP that LOW ? With-Hold CARE and TELL you WHY you cannot GET any help...know why??? Well.. there never was HELP, only EXCUSES, bottom line IS money, money, money. The doc in Denver did an ILLEGAL "Huntingtons Chorea" test WITHOUT my signature too!!!! ** said it was OK. Sign AFTER the test, yea right. They, being Kaiser, bugged me so much about signing the paper AFTER that test.
Their nit wit in Denver called himself and said neg. on that. ** on behalf of Kaiser ASSURED me there'd NEVER be the Mayo Clinic. NOT one of their "flunky" doctors could EVER do the Mayo referral? I now consider those calls "Harassment". BECAUSE months go by and no one gets IT at Kaiser OR they really DO NOT CARE. The Mayo Clinic was brought up by 3 or more Dr's BUT not a one filled out the Correct FORMS, and Kaiser is SO HAPPY.
I look like a walking skeleton! I mean, come on, this IS heartless. My belly button leaks clear fluid that gives me second degree burns! THAT surgeon that DID this doesn't care. He laughed! YOU Kaiser should have fired the doc.
Kaiser assigned a "Case Mgr." for me. That was infuriating. All she did was run me and my husband around in circles and spout LIES. Doctors won't and don't treat you IF you have Kaiser. I'd bet they get 'kick-backs' for NOT taking tests and lab work. They are blatantly letting me die. The case mgr. TOLD me the Mayo would NEVER occur.
** here in Co. Spgs. would tell me numerous times that SHE was faxing OR mailing TESTs & the RESULTS to various doctors. THAT never ever occurred. She DOESN'T have access! IF Kaiser sends you out of town to another city, then that is called "Out-of-Network." Meaning "out-of city", or out of FRANCHISE area. Kaiser IS franchised OUT.
So, the owner of Kaiser Permanente saved a lot of dollars not footing the bill for the Mayo. It means my life so I hope the OWNER here in the Springs in Colorado IS VERY HAPPY. Your little FRANCHISE in the RED or what?
My life is nearly gone. I didn't know if I'd have the strength to type 1/10 of this tale nor if this makes sense to the reader. I hope I got my message through.
Four kinds of Dystonia, three of which are brand new plus an open navel that LEAKS from a surgery done around 10 yrs. ago. The surgeon hates me because I didn't sue my M.D. 'Kaiser Permanente', you ARE THE joke of the health care industry. 'Kaiser is Franchised too. Thanks guys, I DO like this site.
DUBLIN, CALIFORNIA -- I am not sure where to begin with. I was first time pregnant last year Oct and I had worst experience of my life with Kaiser. In 3rd week of pregnancy I started bleeding just like my periods. I got worried and called Kaiser, they have such a long process every time you call them. First of all they will tell about flu shots, no matter if you have anything else which is more urgent, then routine questions "What was your LMP, are you having cramps, bleeding blah blah blah." Then your call will be transferred to a nurse and she will repeat those same questions again. I had such a hard time in getting appointment with a doctor.
I was continuously bleeding in whole 3rd week and never got a doctor's appointment. They only ordered beta hcg test, which were coming out fine (I think). My bleeding stopped in 4th week, and from our friends we found that we have to call them at 6:00 in morning to get appointment. I finally got appointment with a doc, but she didn't do any ultrasound. And her attitude was like "why did you guys want to see doc, it's too early in pregnancy." Well I again started bleeding in 5th week, this time I was passing large blood clots but again no appointment.
Me and my husband had no other option but to keep calling their customer service and talk to nurses. And one morning I had severe pain in chest, called 911 as per their nurse advice (god bless her). Well it was same doc there who saw me in my 4th week, and she had same attitude as if nothing has happened and nurse advice was probably incorrect to send us like this to ER. I was sent to radiology lab and after that doc was explaining me about D&C and told if I have Ectopic then it will need to be treated using medicines. I don't how long I was on OT but when I came out, they had to remove my right fallopian tube.
It doesn't end here, doc came and showed me photos of my damaged tube and told me I can still have 3 babies with other fallopian tube. Then she got paged and had to go, she gave permission to release me at that very moment. I was hardly able to move, and nurse was getting impatient about my leaving their hospital bed. Somehow I gained effort to move and came back with my husband.
Next day I started having sharp pain in my abdomen. Again after struggling and praying to different nurses I got to talk with a doctor and she said "you are having pain because of some gas, and that might be because of pain killer subscribed to me." She also mentioned that it I should have been told this by my surgeon. Huh? Next day my legs got double in size because of swelling, well this time nurse was able to tell that this is because of IV given to me and it gets collected in feet. After all this I just wished that least that doc could have done is tell us what I am going to experience, so that we don't get panicked.
I wonder if that's how they treat all complicated cases. Just don't listen to patient earlier and when situation gets worse than remove the part. So convenient, as it is very difficult for a layman to argue against a doctor's decision.
Well, it's definitely not easy to write all this. It's like going through that pain again, but I wanted to share this with all you people out there.
I was lucky to get rid of Kaiser quickly enough because I can change my insurance company in beginning of new year. If Kaiser would have paid more attention to my bleeding in beginning I would not have lost my fallopian tube and it could have been treated by medicines. We thought about filing case against them, but can't live that pain again.
PORTLAND, OREGON -- I got some kind of issue where the hair follicles on my chin would get itchy and secrete a clear fluid - also some swelling. My Kaiser doctor told me I had a sexually transmitted disease. I had not had sexual contact for over 20 years before that happened. I was denied an opportunity to see a specialist. I switched carriers and saw a specialist. I had some kind of bacteria. I was treated by a SPECIALIST! Kaiser does NOT treat people - only takes their $$$.
STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA -- My foot doctor, dr ** told me I needed foot surgery. I have arthritis on the foot. I did have the surgery. The corner bone did not fuse. I saw another kaiser foot specialist. He said I should have never had had foot surgery because the bone never fuses on the corner. I asked him why dr ** did that surgery, he said he did not know. I believe they experiment with people's bodies. I still have pain on the foot. Kaiser has the worst doctors ever.
I called Kaiser Permanente Membership Services regarding a contract change which was extremely time-sensitive. Translation: I had only a day or two to ensure some contract changes that would save me some money on my sky-high monthly independent-contractor health care dues. One more translation: I am a little old nanny, and what I pay in monthly fees could feed a small nation. Okay - more like a village.
I called the # offered. After a 22-minute wait (love that Muzak!) the bored Kaiser-person said I needed to call another #. Long story short but not so sweet, I was on the phone for most of an afternoon, being transferred from here to there to some planet far, far away, and nothing was resolved.
I decided to take an (unpaid) morning off of work to venture a trip to the Kaiser headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. When I arrived, it became clear where all that money hundreds of thousands of us send monthly is going. The place is castle-like in size and appearance; fortress-like in security. A security guard informed me that I was not allowed to go up the winding staircase to the membership offices to request help. Would he deliver a letter to them? No, not allowed. It seems he was not authorized to leave his post.
"Did I come to the CIA instead of Kaiser?" I asked. No reply. Not authorized to joke, I guess. I was told to wait, and a Kaiser representative would be down to talk to me. I waited. And waited. It was better than being on the phone, because I got a break from that damn music.
The upshot: I left. I had reached my humiliation quota for the day. On my ride home, all I could think of was all the money I have sent them throughout the years. And how a good customer like myself is treated. And deep regret that because our health care system is so unfair, an honest working person should be subjected to this kind of treatment. And deep compassion for all the other Kaiser Permanente customers who share my frustration and disillusionment.
UNION CITY, CALIFORNIA -- I own a business and recently switched to Kaiser for me and my employees' medical insurance. These are a few of the things that happened in the first one month that had me regret my decision to move to Kaiser:
Kaiser did not send any information about how to access account to the members. I, the group admin, had to send multiple emails to get the membership id information. However, when it came to billing, the first month premium was immediately charged to my account. The members were not able to avail any healthcare services for one month because they did not have any clue about how to take an appointment with the doctors.
There is no way to contact them outside business hours, not even to make payments! There is just one phone number for customer support and that too has very restrictive hours which makes it hard for someone with a full-time job.
I did not get any information about how to set up account for online access. Neither did I get information about how and where to send payments.
The notification of the first bill came on two days after the bill was due! How is anyone supposed to know that the bill is already due if the notification comes later than the due date?
There is no way to reset password online for group administrators. You can't even check for email responses without logging in! This is too much restriction in the name of security. This is so ironic because when I called an operator reset my password and told me the password over phone! What kind of security is this when you can't reset my password online and a live person can just speak out the password over the phone!
The website is really very difficult to use. The navigation controls are tedious and non-intuitive. It is very slow and does not provide information about how to pay bills. I hope this review helps you make decision on choosing the right medical insurance plan.
MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA -- I applied for Kaiser's health insurance at the beginning of January 2009 with the intention of starting health coverage at the beginning of March, however now I don't believe that this will happen.
I wasn't very happy when I found out that I needed to fill in a 20 page health questionnaire when I started the application process online, especially since I had never had to do one with Blue Cross, but I pushed through it anyway. I finally got to the Women's health section of the application where they asked when was your last period. Since I am on Depo (birth control shot who's side effect is stopping a woman's period) I answered truthfully with September 2003. Of course this pulled up all kinds of red flag warnings on the site, it then asked me why which of course I answered with "taking Depo".
I didn't hear anything from Kaiser for almost a month and when I went to check my application status online it just said 'processing'. I finally received a phone call from someone at Kaiser (9:00 at night) asking me, once again, when my last period was and what medication/birth control I was on. Finally I received a letter from them, basically implying that they didn't trust me and that I would have to go down to one of their lab facilities and take a pregnancy test, before they would consider my application.
Oh and they apparently only gave me two weeks to complete this from the date that the letter was written (one week and one day from when the letter was actually delivered) or they would figure that I was pregnant and they would throw away me application.
My anguish is over the fact that if they were actually medical professionals then they would know that one of the side effects of taking Depo is that you do not receive your period and that if I had been pregnant since September 2003...I would be DEAD (with a 5 year old inside)! Even after I take this pregnancy test, they can still deny me...a perfectly healthy 25 year old with no prior medical problems...WTF? Just because I am on birth control? If you apply to Kaiser just know that you might be in for a very long, hassled time!