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 ! Who ever hires the staff over there is doing a great job ! Don't get me wrong Iam 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 lets 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 web site 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!
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.
MONTCLAIR, CALIFORNIA -- After being seen by a doctor, the very next day I had Lab work done. The doctor told me he would have my results and some answers within three days. A week went by and when I called an asked about the results I was told I could get them online. I guess I'm supposed to do my own diagnoses. I made another appointment, when I showed up, I was embarrassed by the receptionist that announced loudly in a lobby full of people that I would have to leave because my Kaiser card was cancelled. Lovely, it took me two days to straighten out the mess that was an error due to the providers of my insurance. I pay $500 a month for a service I have never been able to use. I have never been able to get a prescription or even an answer about my health. Kaiser was nice enough to send me another email stating that I would have to pay non member prices for the previous treatment, "there wasn't any", if my insurance didn't retro the policy.
Needless to say the insurance company did retro, and thank God I don't owe Kaiser a cent. I am now making an appointment with a foreign non licensed doctor that isn't very expensive but at least he cares. I hope. Good work Kaiser, you saved money again by not finishing what you started, that's if they ever really started any work.