Kaiser Permanente - Page 3

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Customer ... care ... with Kaiser Permanente
Posted by on
After having read the last two reviews of Kaiser Permanente's health service, I thought it might be easier to isolate my review to a specific arena, prescription refills and customer support in my case. I think when people discuss healthcare as a big subject, it can be very hard to reckon with the fact that it is a business much like any other venture that offers services and products at a price. Ideally, the industry should consist of only people who care about the welfare of others. Shouldn't any business that deals with people? But there are still costs, procedures, and miles of red tape even a well-intentioned worker will find himself a part of in order to hold a job in the business. I'm not saying this is a good thing. What I am saying is that this is the place we're at as far as healthcare in the US goes. As for the case of another reviewer here, it is horrible you had an experience in a system that purports to care for your well-being work out so poorly for your loved one. But like the other writer said, some individuals at Kaiser offer professional care in a kind manner and with more than adequate competence. And some do not.

Anyway, moving along. I had KP in the last state I lived in. I wasn't sure how my plan there would translate once I moved to another state (still keeping my plan and asking for the same kinds of medications) but after a few phone calls, I found that I could get my prescriptions and could pick a physician just as in my former state. Trouble is, by a few phone calls, I mean a steady stream on calls to various branches of Kaiser over the course of five or six days. One rep would tell me I had to come in for an appointment in order to get my prescription filled. Another would tell me an appointment wasn't necessary but, after being informed that another rep said otherwise (stupid me for piping up), had to put me on hold to confirm the truth. Then in order to find the pharmacy where my meds were being held, I had to call around again. The whole time the phone support employees were polite, deferential and sympathetic to my situation. The real question then is how far does polite treatment go when you still have to jump through hoops to get what you want?

Another gripe is the Kaiser Permanente website. It has features for members. But you the member can only access these features if you have a user ID and a password. You get these things by having them mailed to you or signing up with a primary caregiver and registering for those items on the caregiver's personal site. Never before was it this hard for me just to get a permission code to use a darn website. I've enrolled in college classes at a city university through fewer steps. It just seems ridiculous if you're already a member to endure a prolonged process of using member features.
     
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Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-04-26:
Keep in mind that the laws regarding prescriptions and dispensing medications vary from state to state - you can't expect them to know every rule off the top of their head.
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Kaiser Won't Let Me See Specialist
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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 $$$
     
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clutzycook on 2013-08-18:
It wasn't Kaiser, it was the doctor. That's why second opinions are so important.
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DNR orders
Posted by on
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- If any reader of this post has been a patient at a Kaiser Permanente hospital, or has a loved one who has been a patient at a Kaiser Permanente hospital, and was pressured by a Kaiser Permanente administrator for a "DNR" (Do-Not-Resuscitate") order, please respond to this post.
     
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Anonymous on 2011-10-21:
Why are you asking? That is a personal family matter and you should state your reason for asking people to respond to your post with such personal information. Is this a solicitation for an attorney?
Ben There on 2011-10-21:
I was thinking the same thing John... That, or this is an attorney.
Anonymous on 2011-10-22:
Well, lets see if they answer. Since they are supposed to be coming back to check for responses if we hear nothing back then we have our answer.
clutzycook on 2011-10-22:
Yeah, I want to hear more about this myself. I have worked in hospitals for 10 years and I have never heard of a hospital administrator talking to a patient about signing a DNR order. In pretty much all of my experiences, it has been the duty of the nurse or the physician to bring that sort of thing up when and if the need arises.

I wonder if the OP is thinking about a Living Will or Power of Attorney, or just even asking the patient if they have a DNR. But then again, why would an administrator be asking that?
Anonymous on 2011-10-22:
We placed a DNR for my sister while she was at Kaiser. We were not pressured. In fact, they were very compassionate and they didn't take the situation lightly. We were informed of all of the possible options and made one that was what we felt was in the best interest of someone that we loved very much. No administrator or health plan would pressure me or anyone with any common sense to do something that we didn't feel was right.
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Kasier is the Worst!!
Posted by on
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Kaiser is absolutely awful! They won't pay if you have complicated medical issues and simply don't care. They only care about saving money. They hurt me tremendously, and I am still in pain from their lack of care. When I filed a complaint with Kaiser, they offered me extended coverage and then reneged on their offer.

In addition to all the pain they caused me, I now have to pay for the extended coverage bills they were supposed to cover. Very cruel and unethical! Don't use Kaiser unless you want to be maimed or be broke!
     
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Anonymous on 2011-02-09:
More details please. How did they hurt you?
sam35 on 2011-02-16:
Its hard to keep up with Doctors even when you feel well ! Iam lucky I have Doctors that are my friend!
I save them more than they save me, so far !Doctors
blame the insurance Co. and the insurance Co. blame
the Doctors. Did you know that if you find a Doctor
that take cash ,with no insurance involvement your
care will be better and it will cost you less ! But
stay out of the Hospital.
getoverit on 2011-02-16:
I've never used Kaiser but from what I hear, when you have a Kaiser plan, the doctors you see are employees of Kaiser itself. So, there's probably not a lot of blame game going on between the docs. and the insurance company.

I've known people who swear by Kaiser, especially people with large famiies, because (evidently) they don't get nickel-and-dimed for every office visit or minor treatment.

If this matter is a serious as it sounds, I'm wondering whether the OP is considering taking action against Kaiser. If they truly caused the need for extended coverage, I would think they could be held liable, based on statements from current care-givers.

But, like littleshorty says, we don't have many facte here.
Anonymous on 2011-02-16:
I have heard from friends that if you belong to Kaiser, it can take weeks for the proper care. Nice system they have. It seems they have accepted far more patients than they can accommodate. Greed at the patient's expense. I have heard that some Kaiser locations are better than others, and I'm guessing probably those in smaller cities.

My doctor is in private practice and I always get good care from her (for the past 13 years). They are out there. You just have to hunt them down.

Thanks for the post.
sam35 on 2011-04-15:
So true there are great Doctors out their ! Good luck finding them . And you will need even more luck if they take you . But it is possible ! People
spend more time researching buying a toaster than they put into their own health care ! No wonder there are so many horror stories . Once upon a Time I was no different . I don't trust Doctors just because they are Doctors ! I license to what they say , but don't do anything that I don't think is best for My health !
Kaiser , Blue Shield , Whatever insurance you have
health care is not good and it is going to get worse ! Don't do anything dumb that will put you in a system that you don't want any part of !
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If the State says so, it must be true.
Posted by on
LOS ANGELES -- After NOT receiving services (the staff "lost" my specimen), I requested a simple refund of my copay. After zero response from several Kaiser customer service points, I complained to the State (Managed Health Care) who said "my copays are not contingent upon degree of satisfaction or reason for service."

I'm sorry, but receiving competent service is a basic tenet of business law. No service, no pay.

Is $25 worth it to Kaiser to be posted on every site I can access?
     
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Anonymous on 2010-11-22:
Unfortunately, yes. Kaiser Permanente is Goliath, and you are David without a slingshot or a stone.
sam35 on 2011-03-06:
You know that Kaiser has the most comprehensive mental health service of any insurance provider !
If you stay with Kaiser you might need them ? If
you are paying $70.00 a month Kaiser is worth it,
however is your paying $700.00 a month and have the nerve to pay cash ? You can do better ,and you won't
need to see a counselor !
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Kaiser Permanente Prescription Costs
Posted by on
We've been Kaiser members for about 30 years and find that they have become very expensive. I just received my Prescriptions which have increased in cost compared to those I purchased in December 2009. Today I checked with Costco and found that their retail cost is slightly more than half as much as my co-pay through Kaiser. If you belong to Kaiser, check around with Costco or Walmart before purchasing prescriptions through the Kaiser pharmacy.
     
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GenuineNerd on 2011-02-20:
I get two prescriptions filled from Kaiser, but I transferred one (Pravastatin) from Kaiser to Giant Eagle because they charge only $10 for a 90 day supply (Kaiser charged $44.) I still have Lisinopril filled at Kaiser, though, because that is still around $10 for 90 days.
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My experience with Kaiser's Emergency room
Posted by on
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I arrived at 12:00 with a bad case of cold.

I was discharged just after 2:00 PM. ( I know this because of my parking ticket).
Within this time, I was first seen by a nurse, blood pressure, temperature, etc., then put in a room, then was examined by the doctor, he ordered blood works, ekg, x-ray of my lungs, met with by the doctor again telling me my medical conditions, got an injection of an antibiotic, got a prescription for additional antibiotics, went to the Pharmacy, got my medicine, paid a total of $45 and let the Emergency room just after 2:00 PM.

Just that experience amazed me. But believe it or not, the next day, the Emergency room doctor called me to ask me how I was.

This is fantastic. My complements to Kaiser's staff and physicians at the Emergency room on Sunset Blvd.
     
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clutzycook on 2010-04-13:
They gave you an antibiotic for a cold? Won't do you a bit of good.
saj80 on 2010-04-14:
Not only that, clutzy, but this person went to the ER for a cold; this is why our health insurance and medical industry is out of control now.
i_am_canadian on 2010-04-14:
How bad was the 'cold' though? Sometimes your chest and head will fill up so badly you feel like you can't breathe. Did this person think that perhaps it was advancing to something more serious? I wasn't in their body, so I won't pass judgment on something like this.
A 2 hour wait time for an illness such as that however is pretty good, I remember waiting in our local hospital's ER from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. And that's not even counting the time spent waiting for my test results.
Canada's health care system is a gift and a luxury, but God it needs some fine tuning.
PepperElf on 2010-04-14:
and some people cannot withstand simple colds the way others can.

when my father gets a cold, if it's not addressed right away it usually turns in to pneumonia.

so the antibiotics can come in play to make sure nothing else comes in with the cold.

it's also possible the OP was wrong about it being a cold - hence it's severity - and that the doctors found that it was something else instead.

anyway I'm glad the OP is feeling better and is happy with the doctors. =)
Starlord on 2010-04-14:
One time I ran an icepick through my left hand, and had Crystal take me to the ER ar Casa Grande Regional Medical Center. I was there over five hours, because I had to wait for a woman with about eight kids with sniffles. Two hours is faster than I ever got seen in Arizona, and $45? At the old Pinal General Hospital, my visit was $137 for the emergency room, and more for the doctor who came in to stitch my lip. you got off lucky. I was thinking as I read your post that what you probably had was pneumonia, because the common cold is caused by a virus, and antibiotics won't touch a cold. Glad to hear you are better.
Anonymous on 2010-04-14:
This is a touchy subject, since my son and I seem to have been born near or around the immediate vicinity of the planet Kryptonite. We never, and I can't stress enough the word "never", get sick. My wife and daughter on the other hand...the wind blows in the wrong direction and they're sick for days. I sometimes am accused of not being sensitive enough towards their needs, because I too believe that the common cold, sniffles, aches & pains, fevers, do not warrant a trip to the E.R. The very definition of E.R. is Emergency Room. Emergency. Is a cold or flu an emergency? I personally don't think so. My wife does. For this, I hold the opinion she is delusional. Sorry Honey(: An emergency is when you cut or lacerate your finger, you were in a wreck, you broke a bone, you're having an asthma attack, you're having dizzy spells, etc...something that may seriously impact your immediate well-being. For the runny noses, coughs, etc...go see your family doctor! If you don't have one, go to a clinic. But saj80 hit the nail on the head about the increasing cost of insurance due to these minor incidents tying up the precious time of the E.R. staff, not to mention those that are their for true medical emergencies.
MacOSXpert on 2010-04-20:
I was born at this particular Kaiser Permanente and I'm happy to know that they're still doing good.
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Kaiser Permanente poor customer service
Posted by on
I've been calling Kaiser customer service 866-238-2808 almost everyday for a week now to cancel my moms insurance policy and its bean a real pain. First of all most customer service reps are not that helpful. The representative I spoke today 10:01 ET 01/04/10 was the worst of them, she try to ignore all my questions and attempted to hang up on me. She was very rude.

It was also especially hard to send a fax to them, I faxed cancellation notice almost everyday and they have 2 days to verify if the fax went through. I've faxed my docs at home and through outside fax service but when I try to verify later, they were not able to receive it.
     
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Anonymous on 2010-01-04:
Did you try sending them, via mail, a written documentation for cancellation since trying to do it by phone isn't working?
voiceoff on 2010-01-10:
RUDE people are everywhere and they consider you rude when you ask for help. Why are they in customer service wqhen they are really compnay service reps?
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Pharmacy service is the worst!
Posted by on
ALTANTA, GEORGIA -- I have been satisfied with Kaiser Permanente for 3 years, but this year they changed how they operated their on-site pharmacy. I checked, and this change is across all GA KP locations.

Every time a patient has a new prescription, he has to go to the pharmacy, wait in line to go to the window and order his prescription, and then sit down and wait 30 minutes - 1 hour for his name to come up on a sign board. Doesn't seem bad. But while he is waiting, there are at least 20 other KP members waiting for their prescriptions, too. Nobody waiting understands what could be taking the pharmacists so long, since this used to take about 5-10 minutes per customer.

If Kaiser would switch back to the 5-10 minutes-per-customer pharmacy operating model, I and the rest of their patients would be much more satisfied with their level of service!
     
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goduke on 2009-11-19:
Sounds like they've either changed the workflow for the pharmacy team or they've cut hours. Can you drop it off and come back later?
chrissyatl on 2009-11-20:
I called the first time I noticed the change and was told that it is a cost-saving measure. They closed their mail-out filling place and expect the clinic pharmacy locations to pick up the slack. This is why it takes forever to get a script filled. They are fully staffed, another confusing thing for the patients. I believe they've actually added pharmacy hours now, because the clinic now has appointment times until 8 pm during the week and on Saturdays.

Yes, it is possible to walk up to the window, order your prescription, and then drive off and do something else for an hour. The location of the clinic is not amidst a bunch of other retail, so there is nothing in the immediate vicinity to do with you time. One has to get in the car and drive elsewhere to do other errands. It's quite inconvenient, and I wish they could find a way to switch back to the old, wonderful way they ran their pharmacies.
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Most uncaring unknowing doctors.
Posted by on
LANCASTER, CALIFORNIA -- For several years I was having severe abdominal pain and I kept going to see different doctors at Kaiser begging them to do something. They told me "You have acid reflux" I have never had this in my life, but that is what they kept claiming. Every time I went in they would give me a new pill to take and basically told me to deal with it. Finally one day while I was bent over in extreme pain I went to their awful urgent care clinic. The doctor came in pressed on my stomach I moaned he said "Oh you have gall stones" and walked out. It tooki this guy less than a minute to diagonose something that these other doctors could not over years!!!
Now I am having pain on my left side and numbness and I sometimes pass out. I went to Kaiser against my better judgment the other day and the doctor says "its Migranes here take these pills" So here we go again.
This time though I will have a back-up plan and I don't believe a word that these pill pushers tell me.
     
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Skye on 2009-09-12:
Maybe you have a pinched nerve. I would see a specialist. You wouldn't want to pass out while driving, God forbid. Go to a neurologist.
Anonymous on 2009-09-12:
Good advice Skye.

Gall Stones get worse and worse. Fatty foods and things like chocolate will make it flair up on you. Classic Gall Stone pain is across your upper back and abdomen. I had them and they are nothing nice. Pain pills will do little to help the pain unless you get enough to knock you out.
Skye on 2009-09-12:
Thanks Super! And good advice from you also.
Suusan B. on 2009-09-12:
I have been told for the last 15 years that I had acid reflux. Two months ago I experienced a pain attack so bad I contemplated calling 911 for the first time in my life. I went to my new doctor and he ordered an ultra-sound that revealed gallstones and two weeks later had my gallbladder removed. When dealing with HMO's like Kaiser you have to stand up for yourself and demand tests and the appropriate treatment. A doctor shouldn't just say "you have gallstones" without discussing with you a treatment plan because believe me, they won't just go away on their own.
It sounds to me like you have more than one thing going on here - - gallstones cause pain in your upper abdomen and back radiating towards your right side. Pain and numbness in your left side and passing out have nothing to do with your gallbladder. Again - - you need to make an appointment with a Kaiser physician (not go to urgent care) and demand that your health issues be addressed and resolved.
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