I work for KP in northern Ca, and I am very satisfied with KP's quality of service- Not because I personally receive great service from my doctor, and staff from receptionists to medical specialists, but because I have the opportunity to hear the comments from hundreds of patients per day, almost all of which are positive.
Yes there are going to be those who may not like their doctor, or get billed incorrectly, or may have some other minor complaint, but there is always a way to get these matters corrected. Taking time to learn the KP system will provide a tremendous change of experience. If you aren't happy with your doctor, look for a new one. If you aren't happy with the way your doctor diagnoses you, request a specialist.
KP is the largest medical system that provides 99% of all medical needs, (there are a couple procedures that KP outsources, such as PET's, and Lasik eye surgery) providing a patient with a seamless continuity of care not found with any other medical system, including Canada's universal health system.
My main point is that the system is like clock-work providing you have a good doctor, or pcp. A good Kaiser doctor acts as a central hub for all other care you may require from KP, such as specialists, medicine, and surgery pre/post checkups. After you have lab work, or a mammogram, or whatever test, your pcp should be proactively calling you to inform you if anything is out of range.
I think Kaiser Permanente is awesome. I have been happy with them for over 20 years, and I have only been working for them for 3 years. Now that I work for KP, I can truly attest that they really do make patient satisfaction their number one priority, and they are continuously trying to improve their system to stay on top of the game with their ever increasing patient base.
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.
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.
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 $$$.
First of all I want to thank all the good people at Kaiser that help me for the 20 years I was with them! Whoever hires the staff over there is doing a great job! Don't get me wrong I am still mad at Kaiser for the one time they they did a bad job! But I want to thank you for the hundred times you did a good job. In my world if someone is paying me for something and I don't do what they expect, I will be fired!
As a businessman I respect Kaiser. Other Hospital are going out of business. Their staff is going out on strike, Doctors are being sue out of business! It very hard to sue the government and Kaiser? How did you pull that one off? There are more people that are not injured or sick than people who are! That might be why you are doing well. You give lots of people jobs. And some of those people have giving me a job!
No I will never go back to Kaiser. They betrayed my trust! But let's think about the lesson that I have learned from my experience at Kaiser. You better take good care of yourself because you sure as hell don't want to put your life in the hands of some Doctor for some dumb move that you did to yourself that could have been avoided! This a important lesson for anybody. So thank you Kaiser! You threw me off your website 20 years ago! What took you so long? I would of got rid of me much sooner!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!