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 -- 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!
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.
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!
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.
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. :)
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.
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.