BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA -- Two years ago I was sent out by Kaiser to a local contract doctor to have a total knee replacement. At this time I am still having issues with this knee and need to have this procedure done again but Kaiser wants to send me to another contract facility of their choice.
They have to do this because they have unskilled physicians here, so they want to send me 2 ½ hours south at my expense and I will have to get a relative to take time off from work. I will need to pay for all their expenses while they are waiting for me to be released from the hospital. I wanted Kaiser to send me to a town that I already have relatives and was far less driving distance, but they would not. Because I walk with a bad limp and have to use a cane and a walker, I now have problems with my hips.
BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA -- The doctors at Kaiser are great, but service overall is terrible. Getting on the phone with member's service is a nightmare and then try getting an appointment with your doctor, if you don't mind waiting 6 to 8 weeks, then you're good to go. I have to say it use to take 2 to 3 weeks. I tried getting an appointment with a specialty doctor, not a problem 7 weeks out. I called a non-Kaiser doctor and got in the next day. I only had to wait 30 minutes to see the doctor. This doctor was very informative. Kaiser what happen to the great service you use to have?
DENVER, COLORADO -- I could not be happier. I had a suspicious lump. Was seen on Monday by my NP. On Friday I had a mammogram with US. They didn't like what they saw ash called a physician immediately who did a biopsy. The following Monday I had my diagnosis. 15" later I received a phone call to schedule MRI. 15" after that I had an appt with the surgeon. MRI the Monday 2 weeks later followed by surgeon appt that Friday.
Surgery the following Thursday, lumpectomy with sentinel nodes. Pathology back on the next Monday. Again, within an hour I got an appt to schedule a visit with an oncologist on Wednesday, 2 days later. Oncotype testing sent day before oncology appt. Already set up for consultation with radiation oncology in one week. Will start treatment by end of month.
In short, diagnosed on 3/6, surgery on 4/2 and start treatment after healing beginning of May. That is record time. All along the way everyone, and I mean everyone, has been kind, informative and helpful. Phone calls promptly returned, questions answered. I really could not have asked for more!
DENVER, COLORADO -- My wife and I have been a members since age 64, now 72. Every year we spend hours on the phone trying to get all the forms needed to renew. Mail and E-mails warnings (of overdue payments) flow all year, 2 invoices each month and 3 weeks later the 2 automatic mail payment acknowledgements along with corresponding Emails. If you go for anything you get 5 pages in the mail of useless information. Why aren't the forms online, why do they keep giving me California 800 phone numbers? When you call they say you're not known to them and then they realize you're from Colorado and give you a Colorado number.
I had to renew a prescription using their website and it was not listed correctly. Opted to send an inquiry to the pharmacist using the link provided. Had to remove and send it. KP does not believe in punctuation. You wonder what the intent is when they ask you what meds you're taking and your heath background. Are they cutting out the doctor. And no I'm not breastfeeding, don't they know I'm a 72-year-old man? All our prescriptions are 30% cheaper using local pharmacies except for one. Perhaps this is how they fund their web incompetence.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I went in for an annual physical and was told there is no charge for it as well as no charge for flu shot... Okay, fine. I'm in the patient room with my 20 something daughter; we let the doctor know that I have been having some serious hip and shoulder pain (isn't that why you have physicals, to let the doctor know if anything new pops up?) So this woman tells us that she is a nursing mother and her lactating is overdue so the appointment can't take too long; she only has 20 minutes scheduled for the visit.... Oh really, how nice.
So anyway, she orders the MRI for my hip and shoulder and then I get a bill from Kaiser stating because she ordered the test, the physical now becomes an outpatient office visit. I called KP's financial dept and I am disputing it... What doctor tells a patient that they only have so much time for them...This is not health care.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I've had trouble with them since the beginning of the year. I pay my premium online and they say I didn't pay. In January, I paid - they said it didn't go through. I paid again and then both payments went through. Then I had to wait 10 days for a refund which was $845, not exactly a few dollars. I paid again in February with a debit card. This time they said the payment was declined when I showed it went through on my bank statement. And I called my bank to confirm. They can't find the money so according to them I didn't pay.
I've called them about 10 x - have been on the phone with them around 8 hours. The CSRs are no help. I knew someone at the Atlanta corporate office so I actually got someone specific to call... again, not a lot of help. I've faxed my February bank statement 2x and after 5 weeks, no resolution. Unbelievable. This is their fault yet I'm the one who is getting screwed.
REDLANDS, CALIFORNIA -- I've had a bad experience with the nurses being rude and walking away when I was talking to them. I went in for a ** shot but the nurse told me I wasn't due and I was trying to show them from my log in my last date of injection. She became angry and showed me the schedule from a binder on how often ** shots should be given. I was trying to explain that I was aware of schedule but that's when she walked away and then returned to tell me the dates that I was there. I agreed with the date and the last date was when I was given the injection. She clicked on that visit and seen that I received my injection then.
She never apologized and didn't make eye contact with me. Kaiser is supposedly big on preventative care and no co payment when you have a physical. I went in for a physical and was telling the Dr. that I was having pain. I later received a fee for co-payment fee and was told that because I expressed a pain that I was having at that time it no longer became a physical so therefore I was responsible for the $25 co payment. They are trying to take money any way they can and that with the high monthly fees that I already pay.
VACAVILLE, CALIFORNIA -- I have documented multiple, horrid experiences that we have had with KP. Most recently, I took my brother-in-law who has paraplegia, dementia, and mental health issues in to the ER for suicide watch and they placed him in a board and care in the slums of Sacramento. When I went to check on him the next day, he was near death. They didn't treat him, they dropped him in a hell hole to die. I took him back last night and they finally admitted him.
When we were in the ER, the security guys were outside of his door and kept saying out loud, "Crazy," while laughing. Then after that when the doctor said she was going to give him meds to calm him down, they laughed and said, "You are gonna sleep tonight." Like they were making fun of him. When I called this morning to see where they placed him, the ER Admittance said, "He is at Freemont." When I asked if that was the city or the name of the place, she told me to, "Google it," and hung up on me.
He has dementia, yet they refuse to treat him for it, they act like it doesn't exist. He is gravely disabled, yet they continue to put him in a non-assisted living environment where people steal from him, stalk him, scream at him, where there is no supervision, no help, no food, and puts him in an extremely dire and dangerous situation. I have countless of other documented, recent horrible, encounters of their lack of quality care and in fact, abuse of patients. I have tried everything I could think of but am tired and growing weary. I can't fight the giant that is Kaiser.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I am finding that with Kaiser Permanente I am getting a band-aid for my chronic back pain, and I am dismissed by their medical staff if I tell them their efforts are not providing long term care. The system is designed to avoid fixing expensive problems and seems to only put short term band-aids on big issues and they kick the can down the road at the patients' expense.
The cost of their saving money is the pain and suffering of their patients. I wish I had a better option in healthcare but my corporate plan is 2 thousand out of pocket a year or Kaiser Permanente which cost less but you definitely get less care. The issue is how they avoid cost at the suffering of their patients. If you have no healthcare issue, it's a great plan but with chronic pain issues, this is the wrong plan. You will only get a band-aid not a fix for your problems, due to the high cost of providing the best possible outcome for pain. It's not cost effective.
BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA -- I need surgery on my ankle, because the Bakersfield location has unskilled personnel. They force people to drive two hours south at your own expense. Because you will not be able to drive yourself back a relative will have to take time off work, you will need to set this person up in a hotel and pay for meals. If something was to go wrong during surgery, your out of pocket cost for this person will climb. I have tried to get Kaiser to let me see a local surgeon but all they will say is this person is not a contract doctor.