Kaiser Permanente Informative - Customer ... care ... with Kaiser Permanente
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.