CALIFORNIA -- I was a member of the Kaiser first and then converted to Senior Advantage. I have had many problems with receiving services and incompetent doctors. I was denied service in their Reproductive Endocrinology service because my FSH was 14. They would not do any additional testing to look for my source of infertility. FSH only is a predictor of how well someone will respond to infertility medication to stimulate the ovaries. I am 40. I had severe pain in my ovarian area and they would not give me an emergent appointment the only appointment they would give me was 2 months away.
The Md I saw at Kaiser referred me to Endocrinology and they refused to see me. If they saw me they would have picked up the PCOS earlier. I called to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist and was refused, I had been having blurry vision and spots in my vision. I had surgery in their Head and Beck service which caused me to have severe pain that left me incapacitated. The pain service wanted to place a spinal cord stimulator for pain in my ear. I contacted the manufacturer of the device and they told me it was an inappropriate use of this device. I had countless problems with the pharmacy, including waiting in line for over an hour.
Seven years earlier I had a MD refer me to an endocrinologist because I (a medical professional) felt I had polycystic ovary syndrome. He told me I did not. Well I do have it and have suffered health consequences as a result of this MD's inability to make a correct diagnosis. I waited in line for an appointment over 30 minutes just to register with the receptionist. The physician I worked with used experimental drugs inappropriately on infants and children placing their lives at risk. Kaiser was informed of this behavior with supporting documentation and this doctor is still working with Kaiser.
So I got Medicare to allow me to disenroll outside of the open enrollment period. I requested my medical records, filed the appropriate forms. They told me and it was on their documents that it takes 10-15 days to receive the records. I called twice to make sure they received my request and that it was being processed. I called today 22 days from request and was told a bill was sent out Nov 1 (now the 7th) and that the bill had to be paid before they would process the request and "that could take some time." I called twice to the billing department and no one returned my call. I called the manager twice and no return call.
I have 2 appointments that I have waited over a month to get and do not have my medical records. Both appointments are with specialists for services I was denied at Kaiser. I worked for Kaiser and saw the nightmare other patients had in getting services and I would never use Kaiser again.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- I wanted to respond to the woman who wrote how Kaiser neglected her husband's care. I sympathize with her and hope that her husband gets better care and facilities than the one he got. No one deserves that. I wish them the best.
Kaiser has some of the worst care and it seems that some of it has to do with the attitudes of the people they hire. I remember a classmate recanting how her aunt had died because they had misdiagnosed her condition and gave her the wrong medicine. The hospital was insensitive to the family members when they told them that the medicine perscribed to her wasn't working.
Another person told me that a nurse had jammed a needle in her arm during a routine exam and caused this horrible bump on her wrist. She complained but they did nothing. She tried to sue them but apparently lawyers don't want to sue nurses for incompentence, they perfer bigger game like doctors.
I have my own gripes about the way Kaiser treats their patients and their families. Such as nurses and lab technicians who don't care and just sneer and gripe about patients just because they simply don't like them or their appearance. Whether it's a patient or a family member, the last thing anyone needs is to be made pig noises at and being called ugly, poor, or to have their food poked at, to be be treated and taunted like a child, or to be told they don't know what they are feeling. And knowing this, I am glad that I am no longer a Kaiser member.
And yes, there are some wonderful, genuine, and highly professional people who do work at Kaiser and they do care for their patients regardless. I've encountered a few of them visiting a friend at the hospital and they deserve the best praise. Unfortunately, it's those who are petty, stupid and childish that ruin everything for those who are wonderful. They need to be elsewhere. Perferable begging for money in the streets. I get the feeling that a lot of them are working at a hospital just for the money and that is WRONG! Those people do not deserve to work in the health care profession if that's the case.
REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA -- I had a bad seizure on Dec 7, and was taken to Redlands Community Hospital ER. They brought me out of it, stabilized and discharged me the same night. I called in to my primary care doctor at the Kaiser Redlands clinic; and he saw me in a very timely manner. But then he ordered a follow up visit to a neurologist, and the earliest appointment I could get was not until Jan 16. The reason I need to see him is that the seizure zapped my short term memory; that and during waking hours my experiences become dreams instead of memories. The ER doctor thought that I had suffered hypoxia during the seizure.
I can't believe that Kaiser, knowing what I went through and the after effects, thinks it is fine for me not to see a neurologist for six weeks after a seizure that nearly killed me. I have to call in every day hoping there will be a cancellation, but it's no use. I suspect that Kaiser Fontana is understaffed. My husband and I pay almost $1,800/month for our two premiums. That is why I say that Kaiser charges like Kaiser, but at least in this case it feels like I'm on Medicaid! Perhaps that is naive. Perhaps it takes six months to see a neurologist on Medicaid. I just think that considering the brain damage from a seizure that almost killed me, I'd be a higher priority to Kaiser.
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND -- Kaiser started billing me after I had a foot surgery even though I had paid for everything up front, and went against their own member services, and surgeon on the 90 day universal health laws in the state of VA. They also refused to fill my primary Dr's prescriptions at their own pharmacy! Stay away! Each Primary has hundreds to thousands of patients and has no time for you (5 min or less per visit, I was told the 1 st day by my Dr). If you have serious issues, you will get 3 world care at best! These Dr's are there due to failing at their own practices, or being sued for malpractice! Think about what you're doing?
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO -- A Kaiser Dr. finally prescribed an MRI for my lower back when I began showing nerve damage, never mind I've been suffering from back pain since the age of 26. It takes nerve damage people so if you need an MRI then say you have nerve damage, as evidenced by the numbness in my legs. Anyhow, I also had upper back/lower neck pain and requested that area have an MRI as well in the same visit rather than my having to take more time off work to have it done on another day, and hopefully before nerve damage happened.
I was denied by the Dr. and the MRI was not granted until I asked for the denial in writing. So ask for denials of care in writing! I asked the reason for her denial and she said "because it's expensive". Even if that's the reason and I know and she knows it, I couldn't believe she said those words, but she did. As a side note, the MRI techs said it is not that much more expensive to combine the tests. Now I am truly afraid to trust Kaiser for any back surgery, so I live in pain every day. I have been denied other insurance due to my existing back condition. When Cobra runs out, I'm screwed.
My advice to anyone/everyone dealing with Kaiser. You MUST do your own research, and DEMAND care. It is stressful and I left Kaiser crying but you have to do it. I understand you cannot sue Kaiser in most cases because your policy calls for arbitration. If I had any other choice I would get other insurance.
WAIPIO, HAWAII -- Tons of situations are flying through my head that I desperately need to say so. OK soo I am pregnant with my 2nd child. This time around I am on Kaiser for my medical plan. The first thing they tell you to do is choose your doctor to provide you your prenatal care. OK done. I'm 7 months pregnant and have only seen him twice. The rest of my visits was with a nurse practitioner or another doctor that, who I believe, was just working that day and had some time to spare. I'm still not sure how things work.
I drive 30 minutes from home to for the following to occur: Wait in a waiting room full of people with whom knows what (10mins), pee in a cup (1min), wait in an exam room for a nurse practitioner to measure my stomach (5 sec), listen to heartbeat of my baby (5 seconds - the only exciting part), get none of my questions answered (2 seconds), told I might have gestational diabetes and yet when tests are done I'm no way near it (4 minutes), and waddle out - that's right about 15 minutes of awkwardness.
I can go on and on. It's too late for me to change plans now from work so I have no choice but to stick it out. But believe me I'm switching as soon as I have the opportunity too!!
COLORADO -- In November 2007 I had a major accident and had to go to the ER. I won't bore you with the details but it has been a battle royal fighting Kaiser in Denver for basic care. By comparison, I moved to Maui in Febuary 2010. I retained a private primary doctor. I did not have a lot of experience with any other doctor besides Kaiser at that time. Boy was there a huge difference in the quality of care. Very single Kaiser doctor I ever encountered was condescending and fairly incompetent. The only option Kaiser ever gave me was surgery. After hearing terrible stories and getting the absolute worst service from any industry let alone health, I declined.
This led to an onslaught of negativity from Kaiser. However my private doctor could not have been any better. Amazing difference. Some examples of the difference are insomnia. After not sleeping for an extended amount of time because of pain and other factors I asked (begged) my doctor to rx something to help me sleep. He fought me tooth and nail and then gave me something that reminded me of the old west elixers. It works on sleep. It works on depression (the only depression I suffered was at the hands of Kaiser). It works on pain. It takes out stains. It slices. It dices (just kidding). This medication does not even start to take effect for up to several weeks!!
I had already told my Kaiser doc I had not slept since July and I thought it was becoming a danger to me and to others. Kaiser couldn't care less. Looks like a flight back to Maui. Kaiser sucks!
On August 16, 2011 I went to Kaiser due to an illness. I asked the person who was working in the office to fax my doctor's note to my place of employment, she told me I would have to sign a medical release, in which I did. I called my Program Director to make sure he was in the office to get my doctor's at the same time it was being faxed. I came back to work on the 26th in which my PD told me Kaiser faxed over some information I probably didn't approve. Kaiser had faxed over my whole medical records from to 2007 to 2011. Don't let this happen to you, do not sign a medical release.
SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA -- In July 08 I received a mammogram at Kaiser San Rafael 3rd street location. I was covered under a different insurer in 2009 and requested that my films and results be transferred to Queen of the Valley Hospital. I was transferred to medical records and they told me (two different people during two different conversations, one being Carlos) that my folder was "empty" and that I had already requested that my films be transferred out to Queen of the Valley. When I requested proof of this, they sent me the release form to Queen of the Valley asking that their 2007 mammo results be transferred TO Kaiser. They were grossly confused.
I called back and was told my films had been lost and my folder was "empty". I then called patient relations and was told they would investigate and call me back. Never heard from them. Over a month later I call again. It took me 10 minutes and 8 layers of a phone menu to get a customer representative on the phone only to be transferred to someone who said they couldn't hear me and was not able to understand my phone number so someone could call me back. I still don't have films for comparison purposes and my entire experience with Kaiser has been appalling.
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA -- I am suffering from severe cough and cold since the past one week and I have been calling Kaiser for the appointment with the physician and they say the appointment is not available on the same day at my medical center and ask me to go for after hours care where the system is poor and I cannot have the chance to see my primary physician. If I want the service at my medical center I have to call the next day. I have been calling daily for the appointment at 7:00 (appointment center opens) but I have no appointment.
What is the use of having a medical insurance at such place where your health is not taken care and they don't treat you when you are sick and need a doctor?