LAFAYETTE, COLORADO -- Kaiser is great in many areas. My 1 star rating is for their weight management and customer service group. They are not equipped with fluoroscopes to do lap band fills so they have to guess. If you get sick and come back the next day because they put too much in, they charge you again. Today, they did nothing but tell my wife to go to their downtown office where they have more equipment than Rock Creek and charged $50 dollars.
The doctor and customer service both agree there should not be a charge because they did not do anything, but neither knew how to fix it without a formal 30 day complaint. This is very poor care and bad process when no one can make a simple charge correction and force me to have spend 1+ hour on the phone explaining the same thing to multiple people. Go somewhere else for lap band care - even without insurance the fee for a fill is less with better care.
It's Funny over the last few years I have found myself using reviews more and more to help me make decisions on everything from purchases to places to eat and not once did it ever occur to me to complete a review myself. So bare with me people, this is my first one. So it's 3 days before the end of open season I am going through the grueling process of looking for a new health insurance provider which I have done for the second time now and I am frustrated and annoyed because I don't want to switch insurance companies......
I have been with Kaiser Permanente for almost 15 years I have three great child and they have grown up with KP. I know that you hear so many bad news stories but this is a good news story and I just wanted to share. Just like any organization or business you frequent all it take are a few bad apples to spoil it for the bunch and I have see 1 or two bad apples at KP but in comparison to the many great apples that I have seen at KP there are no comparisons.
My youngest who I will call my Miracle baby was born with more than a few medical problems but under the watch of KP practitioners who would not give up on him, 9 years later you would never know that he had such a rocky 1st year and they have been there ever since.
I took ill myself and the care and concern that I received from the KP doctors and staff has been amazing. Okay so like I said there are a few bad apples..... so my illness causes me to have frequent broken bones and on this particular evening I had broken my foot for the 3rd or 4th time and I was in the waiting room waiting to be seen. I was in pain my foot was swollen and obviously broken to the naked eye. I had only been sitting there for about 1hr. )-:
So in walks my doctor on the same evening who just happened to be sick himself and wanted to be seen for a very bad cough. He proceeds to walk over looks at my foot and ask how long had I been waiting and immediately has me in a wheelchair and whisked off to get my foot reset... good apple. Okay..... Okay.... I know so if KP is soooo great why am I leaving? I know that's my dilemma for the last two years I have been commuting to work and now the closes KP is 10 hrs away and my health is still an issue and I have been missing a few appointments. (not good!)
So it is with regret that I have to give KP up. I pray that I find an Insurance provider that have nurses that will stay on the phone with me until my questions get answers, that have doctors that call me back when I have a concerns. Receptionist that realize that I'm not just another body in there waiting room but that I am a person and finally an insurance company that gives me the care and services I pay for without sending me through a bunch of hoops.
That was just my experience with KP and for those of you who have not had good experience with them I hope you have better luck with them in the future. FYI I have visited their office in MD, CA, GA, DC,& VA .
DENVER, COLORADO -- I was diagnosed in April of 09 with Stage III breast cancer. Little did I know, but Kaiser Oncology FAILED to tell me that the type of breast cancer that I suffer from is called a Triple Negative and is rare and aggressive. The one thing that they did right was to treat me with chemotherapy first (which shrunk my tumor), but they NEVER told me any details about my cancer. When I asked if it was estrogen positive, all I got was a "no" and sent off to chemo treatment. The oncologist always rushed us and never gave my husband or me any clear answers.
When I finished my chemo treatments in November of 09 I asked what my prognosis would be. All I got from the oncologist was, "I don't know. We won't know until we do surgery." No support whatsoever! I made an appointment in early Nov with the surgeon to discuss my mastectomy and she "informed" me of what "they" were going to do for my reconstruction. No options... Just one procedure. When I started doing research, I didn't like the butcher job that they were proposing, so I asked questions. The surgeon told me that I could not have breast implants as I was to have radiation and they couldn't do tissue expanders due to radiated skin.
I kept asking questions, which started to tick her off. I asked for a consult with the plastic surgeon and he told me that tissue expanders would not work with radiated skin (he had spoken with the surgeon prior to my visit). When I asked about the TRAM flap procedure (a tummy tuck and use of abdominal muscles for breast reconstruction), I said that I would look like a patchwork quilt and he said "yes" without any hesitation! He treated me like crap. My husband asked if there was anyone in Colorado that did do breast implants and he thought that there was "some guy up North".
My current plastic surgeon (NOT related to Kaiser) is a half a block to the south and has been doing breast implants on radiated skin for years! The Kaiser plastic surgeon then asked me if we had any other questions, told us that he was late for his next appt (which he was late for mine and didn't give me the full hour I was promised) and then told us (very sarcastically) "Good luck". I went to work the next day, made appointments with a new plastic surgeon, a new oncologist and had a referral to a new general surgeon.
I then switched my insurance to United Health Care (thank God for open enrollment). I then finished my chemo on the 23rd of Nov. I visited the radiologist oncologist (through Kaiser) and he said the same thing... Can't do breast implants with radiated skin and then proceeded to give me information for support groups and counseling (which I NEVER got since I was first diagnosed...Too little too late). I went home and cancelled my surgery for December. The general surgeon was such a chicken that she didn't want to call and find out for herself why I had cancelled; she waited for her nurse to get back from vacation (over a week later) to call and grill me.
Then she had the oncologist call and grill me some more. I told them that I had switched insurances and that I would not be having surgery until after the first of the year. I am very happy to report that I had a double mastectomy on Feb 10th and I have been given such EXCELLENT treatment by United Health Care. They have called me and referred me for counseling and checked on me frequently. Kaiser is the worst possible place to be treated for cancer (in Denver, at least). I have had two other women come to me to discuss their breast cancer treatment with Kaiser and neither one has been good. Enough is enough!
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- I grew up in Sacramento, California, and we had Kaiser insurance my whole life. Back in those days, I remember waiting for literally hours to see my doctor... It was pretty bad, but it was also because their system was so completely overloaded... They had too many people for the hospital and clinics they had. Now I'm all grown up, and although I work in San Jose, I live 60 miles away. My choices for insurance were Kaiser or a PPO that I would have to come into San Jose to see a doctor. I chose Kaiser because they have hospitals and clinics pretty close to my home.
In the 19 years that I have had Kaiser on my own, I have no real complaints. I have never had to wait long enough to finish a magazine article when I go see my doctor or a specialist. The longest I have ever waited was for a blood draw, but the lab waiting room was packed! When I saw how many people were in front of me, I thought I'd be there all day, but it turned out to be about 45 minutes.
My wife is an OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner, and she knows a lot about Kaiser. (She has never worked for them, but she does know quite a few nurses and doctors who do.) She says that she likes Kaiser because it's so convenient and easy to get what you want from them. It does take a little effort on your part to work their system, but the Advice Nurse that you call into for questions or treatment has the ability to get you in to almost any specialist very quickly.
A tip when talking to the Advice Nurse, you don't want to be macho and downplay your problem. Their questions are directed at you to screen whether you need immediate treatment or just a routine doctor visit with your PCP. (Primary Care Physician) If you want to be seen today, there are frequently "code words" that if they hear them, they will schedule you for an almost immediate appointment... (It helps for me when my wife tells me to call the advice nurse, and be sure and say "Blah, blah, blah" But even if you don't know these code words, you can usually guess what kind of thing would trigger them to get you in right away... Say those things!)
I have had a few health issues over the years, and I can say that I am extremely happy to have had Kaiser. I got into a motorcycle accident five years ago, and I was in hospitals for about two months. The first 5 days I was in San Jose Trauma, and the bill from them was over $100,000. And they didn't do all that much besides dope me up and stabilize me... I had to have two hand surgeries, and over a month of rehab in the Vallejo rehab hospital. If I had the PPO insurance, that accident would've left me broke.
They just built a brand new hospital right at our little town's border, and it's really great. I have been to their emergency room twice, and the service has been excellent and very quick. If I was ever considering another job, one of my questions would be if Kaiser insurance was available. If not, I probably wouldn't go. :)
FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA -- I really wonder how inhuman can someone be? Doctors treat their patients like we are a bunch of animals, nurses treat everyone like we have no right to ask any questions!!! How can we stop this???!!! Who should we need to talk and complaint?! I really don't know where to begin with all the mistreat my husband and I personally received from Kaiser, but I'm pretty sure what I'm going to say is not new to all the people that have Kaiser Permanente as a health insurance specially Falls Church Center.
Well, let's start on the calls... whenever I call to make an appointment or just to leave a message to my doctor it takes forever to get to someone that will redirect me and tell me that "in case we get disconnected can I have your number" so like always after 15 min the call is lost, after calling back and have to go through the same standard questions I did before, I finally get to the nurse who gets my number again and puts me on hold to wait for a nurse again... and again the call is lost, one could think that hey I gave her my number twice maybe this time I should just wait for their call...
But after two days I finally got the call (this happened 2 times that I waited to see how long it will take them to call me back). OK well I finally got the appt, got there 15 minutes early, btw I was having severe pain on my lower right side abdomen and began spotting since I was 6 weeks pregnant (3rd time trying) I was really scared that I was having a miscarriage, so once I was there I had to be on the waiting area for 1 hour so exactly 45 minutes from my time of appointment. When the nurse finally called my name I thought "thank goodness! its my turn" but she left us in the room waiting for the nurse for another 50 minutes.
When she came in told me to get ready for the Dr and she left as soon as she finished pronouncing the last word... Well I was ready for the Dr, I was having really bad pain by now, after 40 min my husband went to the front desk and told them I was in pain, but the nurses told him that I should've have gone to the ER and that besides the Dr is in his way... They didn't even came to see how I was doing, one came after probably 15 min my husband told them, looked at me and told me the Dr is in his way...
I told her I was in pain and if I should go downstairs to the ER but she said "the Dr is coming just wait" I couldn't believe it!!! No one was doing anything!!! They were laughing outside telling jokes at the front desk... So the Dr showed up after 20 min, but it was a nurse not a Dr like we thought. As soon as she got to the room she said hi and spread my legs apart and told me that she was going to take a sample from the cervix for some test and she was about to use the wrong size of instrument!!!! And it hurt!! Besides she didn't even give us time to say something... so I told her that that wasn't the right size and she told me "but you have kids already, why are you complaining!"
What!!!??? I don't have kids, this is my first one. I was so frustrated and upset... Well she finally changed instruments and got the sample and told us the Dr will see us soon... At this time I was crying, hurting and upset, my husband was trying to keep me calm while he was asking her what are the tests for, why no one told us that, I was coming for pain not to check for Chlamydia besides we were tested before we decided to get pregnant both my husband and me... But she didn't pay attention to what he or I were saying...
Told me to get dressed go downstairs to the laboratory, get some blood test done and wait 1 hour for my results... But we told her that I needed to see the Dr for the pain... And she said "once you have your results come back here in 1 hr." So we went to the lab waited for another 15 min I had the blood and urine test done went outside to the waiting room waited 1 hr went upstairs again... Waited another 30 min for a nurse to call my name, took us inside waited 15 min for the nurse who saw me before and she said "OK so why do you want to see the Dr?" I couldn't believe it!!
My husband told her what were my symptoms because I was so frustrated and upset I was crying easily... She said "OK go to Inova Fairfax Hospital to the ER if you are in that much pain" so my husband hold my hand for support and I walked out the room but before, he asked her what was the result on the tests and she said "Oh yeah everything is good"... I left Kaiser regretting ever ever getting into their health insurance... I was so mortified. It took us 4 hours and 50 min to find practically nothing. I don't think even our pets are treated this way!!! I don't want to say that they treated us like that because we are Hispanic but that definitely came to my mind...
I'm very sure we are not the only ones that came across to this kind of people, but if my words can help someone, and/or prevent someone to get into Kaiser especially when they are planning for a baby, please take in consideration what I'm writing. "Don't get Kaiser" you will regret it. Just to let you all know my baby is fine. I'm now 7 wks but not thanks to Kaiser nor the staff.
If I were well enough I'd leave, maybe go to a country where they care MORE for the patient than the DOLLARS they save. Kaiser is awful... Period. I have a disease called Dystonia. Kaiser knows I've went from a ladies petite size 14-16 TO a size O in like 7 months. No appetite, that fluid BURNS too INSIDE. Kaiser knows I'm dying too. They call ME once a week, EVERY week, just to check in. Why? I'm not sure. They can't help AND won't, but they'll plague you by phone for NO reason.
**, my case "pacifier", blamed everything on the docs. Does Kaiser MAKE their employees STOOP that LOW ? With-Hold CARE and TELL you WHY you cannot GET any help...know why??? Well.. there never was HELP, only EXCUSES, bottom line IS money, money, money. The doc in Denver did an ILLEGAL "Huntingtons Chorea" test WITHOUT my signature too!!!! ** said it was OK. Sign AFTER the test, yea right. They, being Kaiser, bugged me so much about signing the paper AFTER that test.
Their nit wit in Denver called himself and said neg. on that. ** on behalf of Kaiser ASSURED me there'd NEVER be the Mayo Clinic. NOT one of their "flunky" doctors could EVER do the Mayo referral? I now consider those calls "Harassment". BECAUSE months go by and no one gets IT at Kaiser OR they really DO NOT CARE. The Mayo Clinic was brought up by 3 or more Dr's BUT not a one filled out the Correct FORMS, and Kaiser is SO HAPPY.
I look like a walking skeleton! I mean, come on, this IS heartless. My belly button leaks clear fluid that gives me second degree burns! THAT surgeon that DID this doesn't care. He laughed! YOU Kaiser should have fired the doc.
Kaiser assigned a "Case Mgr." for me. That was infuriating. All she did was run me and my husband around in circles and spout LIES. Doctors won't and don't treat you IF you have Kaiser. I'd bet they get 'kick-backs' for NOT taking tests and lab work. They are blatantly letting me die. The case mgr. TOLD me the Mayo would NEVER occur.
** here in Co. Spgs. would tell me numerous times that SHE was faxing OR mailing TESTs & the RESULTS to various doctors. THAT never ever occurred. She DOESN'T have access! IF Kaiser sends you out of town to another city, then that is called "Out-of-Network." Meaning "out-of city", or out of FRANCHISE area. Kaiser IS franchised OUT.
So, the owner of Kaiser Permanente saved a lot of dollars not footing the bill for the Mayo. It means my life so I hope the OWNER here in the Springs in Colorado IS VERY HAPPY. Your little FRANCHISE in the RED or what?
My life is nearly gone. I didn't know if I'd have the strength to type 1/10 of this tale nor if this makes sense to the reader. I hope I got my message through.
Four kinds of Dystonia, three of which are brand new plus an open navel that LEAKS from a surgery done around 10 yrs. ago. The surgeon hates me because I didn't sue my M.D. 'Kaiser Permanente', you ARE THE joke of the health care industry. 'Kaiser is Franchised too. Thanks guys, I DO like this site.
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.
PORTLAND, OREGON -- I started complaining about my hip last November. I just qualified to get a new hip. I went from seeing 20 patients per day/5 days a week to spending my days in bed. Thanks Kaiser, at this rate me and my patients are in trouble. Never again will I have anything to do with Kaiser as soon as I get out of here. I think even military medical care was better and they almost killed me twice.
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.
RIVERSIDE -- I got creepy service and low bed manner from DR **. He and all doctors at same area so rude and arrogant. DR does not write blood tests. Keep installing my pain medication. Finally still after 3 month I have left and denied pain medications after back surgery. It seems all doctors in the same duplex do not give damn for anyone. Kaiser Pain management sucks also. They do not damn about you as well. We need bring mass lawsuit to KP. They are criminal Enterprise created by the Nazi Hitler whom created KP. I am so disappointed.