Kaiser Permanente Insurance
ConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
I have had coughing for 15 months. Kaiser's doctors kept prescribing ** even I tested negative for allergies. I did not show any issues with sinus and lung CAT-scans, Kaiser ENT told me that I had not any sinus problem as per CAT-scan but if I wanted he could prescribe a high dose antibiotic. Of course I declined. In desperation, I went to an ENT doctor outside Kaiser paying out of pocket. After a test; he diagnosed silent acid reflux. I am dealing with it and Kaiser now. DO NOT ENROLL IN KAISER PERMANENTE!
I have a couple fractured ribs on my left side (from when I was 10) and minor scoliosis. I was in pain and went to the Kaiser ER. It hurt to move and the pressure was immense. They got me to the back and into a chair. The ER doctor came in and asked me why I was there. I explained to him that I had shooting pain in my ribs and it hurt to move. He sent me off to x-ray and 10-15 minutes after I came back he came in, said that it's just a spasm and I would be fine to go home.
I urged that it didn't feel like just a spasm. He said he could give me a ** shot. I explained to him I took an anti-inflammatory prior to my arrival so I declined. I asked if it could be due to my scoliosis in which he responded, "having scoliosis doesn't cause pain." I left the ER in tears. Felt uncared for and unheard. Turns out my ribs refractured and that's why I was in immense pain. Also I still have yet to find out why I have an edema. I'm only 28. No tests done to see why. Kaiser needs to pay more attention to their patients instead of a treating us as a herd of cattle.
Dr. Beverly ** (Manor Care, Arlington) forced the release of my Mom while she had a pulmonary embolism and pneumonia - both acquired while at Manor Care. She is a horrible human being. And now, Dr. ** is forcing the release of my Mom from Potomac Falls Health and Rehabilitation Center with a gaping leg wound that was acquired due to a botched cardiac catheterization surgery that Kaiser performed. No one is able to be with my Mother during the day and the wound needs skilled nursing care. They don't want to pay for her rehabilitation until the wound heals, so they have modified the protocol on changing the seeping wound dressing from 2 to 3 times per day to 2 to 3 times per week in order to claim that "skilled nursing" isn't needed. This is contrary to advice provided by other doctors at Kaiser.
Due to the nature of the wound they created, and the lack of a sufficiently sterile environment to bring her back to, the unavoidable outcome will be that she will acquire an infection, and due to her age will not be able to sufficiently fight it and will die. Would be great if we could fight this - but our family has no money so we are at the mercy of an uncaring medical company like Kaiser Permanente. I am posting this review as I want everyone to know about the heinous practice of Kaiser Permanente to not take responsibility of their mistakes and not properly care for the elderly.
I have fibromyalgia, Sciatica pain in my right leg, pelvic area, and lower back. I recently had to go to the ER and that is when I learned that my Sciatica pain problems have flared up again but this time it has spread and is causing severe pain. I have done every single thing Kaiser has told me to do to help myself with my Fibromyalgia. But since my Sciatica pain is so severe that I finally had enough of dealing with everyday pain, numbness down my right leg, I cant bare weight on my right leg along with shooting pain that go all the way to my toes. My ** is great! She referred me to Pain management where at first I had a great doctor. He started with ** injections first on the right side then bilateral in my lower back areas. Sadly this didnt help with the pain and everything else I feel in this area.
I go to email my doctor but he is no longer with Kaiser so now I'm dealing with a ** of a doctor who will only do phone appointments and not office visits. This is where I finally had enough of KAISER!! This doctor Dr. ** that works in Stockton doesnt seem to care that I was seen in the ER for severe pain for my Sciatica problems that have now spread and have caused me to walk around like I'm 80 years old and I'm 40! I have an MRI scheduled but this same doctor stated to me over the phone that he will see me in 3 to 4 weeks after the MRI RESULTS come back. I said 3 to 4 weeks!!! So if you do all the things Kaiser tells you to do and you're still left in severe pain they will make it as though you being in pain is nothing to them. I have worked in the medical field almost my whole life and the doctors I've worked for would never expect a patient to wait 3 to 4 weeks before getting any actual help from a doctor.
It doesnt matter if you have to go to the ER because thats how bad my pain was then and still now. My husband's medical insurances only carry 2 Kaiser and a PPO that is too expensive so of course we get stuck with Kaiser. I would think by now Kaiser would do more than waiting for a patient to fall apart instead of helping them to have the pain you see control somewhat. 5 years I've been patient with all the things Kaiser tells me to do and I have done them all 3 times over. Why is it that when a patient needs help the most that Kaiser is only interested in saving and protecting their money than to try to help their patients!! I'm not the only one that feels this way. There are so many people that are stuck with Kaiser and do all they are suppose to and then get slapped in the face when you need medical attention the most!!
It's time I look into seeing a lawyer. My husband is over at Kaiser right now in the business office filing a complaint to start this process... So please be careful with Kaiser if you end up costing Kaiser money because they choose to ignore the underlying medical problem and left me to suffer! Kaiser isnt worth all this pain! I wish I would have done the more expensive health insurance. Maybe then I wouldnt have been ignored so severely. And when You do start to take action stay with it because Kaiser has no right to do this to anyone thats their patient!!
I went into the emergency room because I was experiencing rapid heart rate and palpitations. The attending Dr **, Russell M was very rude from the beginning. As a patient I have the right to ask questions and his response to a question was laughter. So when I told him not to laugh at me he told me to get out. He basically kicked me out of the room. I pay hundreds of dollars a month on medical insurance and this is the service I received. This is patient negligence.
How do I know I can trust these reviews about Kaiser Permanente?
- 909,216 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.
KP billed 32k for an appendectomy and totally disregarded my plan benefits summary. I have the Silver 70 which lists $300 copay for a CT Scan and $350 ER copay that's waived if you're admitted to the hospital... According to my plan I should have paid $300 total for those services but they billed them at nearly 4K! The cherry on top is that I filed a grievance and received a letter saying I had until 9/18/17 to submit documentation then received a denial letter dated 9/16/17... They literally denied my appeal before my window was up!
I had to drive myself to a Kaiser ER due to the fact that I was in agony due to hemorrhoids. I waited over twenty minutes in a hospital cubicle before the male nurse - who looked no older than 17 - took a quick look at me. Then, after another twenty minutes, a doctor came in and spent less than two minutes with me. Another twenty minutes go by, and finally another, female nurse, shows up with my prescription. I am directed to the pharmacy counter. I drive myself home, still in pain. Now, I get the bill - Over $1,200!!! I am already pay a $460 a month! Thieving, lying crooks!!! We need single payer now!!! Put these crooks out of business!!!
I have several health issues. Since I was 4 years old. I had thyroid cancer, TB. During my life I have a learning disability and mild scoliosis and asthma and hormone problems called PMDD. In 2015, I was very fortunate to have a full coverage in Kaiser because of my husband. In 2015 I was having issues of carpal tunnel symptoms. For several months I was complaining they took blood work. Nothing was showing up. I could continue going to urgent care and complaining about my symptoms for 1 year and several months. Into I told them my shoulder was hurting me.
Thank God they take a Xray. It take them 1 year and 9 months... into they found a mass in my right dominant arm and shoulder. It's was chondrosarcoma (bone cancer). Because of my insurance, they were able to do the surgery. Aftermath was a different story after 3 months later. The doctor take me off of medication. Which I still have pain in my arm mostly every day. He suggested over counter **. I continue working even though I will never be able to lift my arm ever again and I can't tell my employer that I have a partial disability which the doctor says and I'm not disabled. I had a Oncology Genetic Test Report which states I have BRCA 1 risk of cancer in the future and now Kaiser OB/GYM disagree with Radiology report about ultrasound and wants me to retest again.
Prolonged the issues with ovaries and uterus. I'm in borderline of get cancer again. I was so disappointed today with my primary doctor. She requested several blood work tests. I asked her, she can add 1 more to my blood work. The doctor denied taking my request saying... "She won't know what to do with test if she gets it back." That made think. Doctor could of suggested a second opinion and request another referral to another doctor. She just said simply said "no. I can't help you." I lost faith in Kaiser Doctor. I'm just a paycheck for them. Physically and mentally it does have a big impact in your life. I simply smile and continue every day to live my life normal as I can regardless what's going on with me. Kaiser doesn't care. Good luck!
Just remember for each bad review on this site there are thousands of HAPPY KAISER MEMBERS who are not taking a moment out of their day to tell you how happy and grateful they are to be Kaiser members! I am one of the happy Kaiser members. Yes in the 20 years I did run into two weird and crazy doctors... both surgeons and both "dismissed discretely" after written complaints from customers helped Kaiser to get rid of them. I have moved from Northern to Southern California and find the positive experience to be in both the north and the south! It is important to know that each individual is in control of their health, who their doctor is and if and when they need a second opinion. I highly recommend Kaiser and would never even consider changing my healthcare after 20 years of highly professional, expedient, knowledgeable and kind care received.
If this review saves even one person from signing up with Kaiser it will have been worth writing it. You'd be wise to stay away from this corporate nightmare of a place (and this is a corporation, make no mistake about it). The doctors literally work for the insurance company, not for you, and you will see that often. If you need tests done they will try to skirt around it if they possibly can. It will be pulling teeth just to get an MRI, a CAT scan, even just to get certain hormonal levels checked can be a fight. They don't want to order tests unless they have no choice as they are in the business of saving the insurance company money and the Drs. receive bonuses at the end of the year if they do so. If you need a specific medication that Kaiser doesn't carry because it's too expensive you're out of luck, you'll have to go to a private doctor to get your meds.
Also, if you need a referral beware that Kaiser will often make you take a "class" first. Yes, they expect you to take time out of your day to attend an hour long class in order to get your referral (they're banking on you just opting out, saving them more $$$). The worst thing they did that truly made me see them for the crooks they are is when one of the Drs. hit a nerve in my face during an injection (I was getting injections for TMJ/jaw clenching). After the injection I knew something was very wrong. I kept complaining and telling them it affected my speech and my smile. They insisted it would get better, give it time, it may take 10 months to a year to heal back to normal. Well my nerve was completely dead and when I finally paid money out of pocket to go to a private Dr., he said Kaiser really messed up.
By the time I called a lawyer the lawyer told me "You let a year go by, the statute of limitations for suing is 1 year, you missed the window, sorry". So Kaiser knew they messed up, told me to wait a year and it would get better. It doesn't take a genius to put 2 and 2 together and see they just didn't want me to sue, they knew that nerve wasn't coming back. To add insult to injury they won't even treat the problems that my nerve damage is causing, even though THEY caused it! It's been devastating and has affected my entire life.
I was totally screwed over and then treated like dirt afterward. And trying to go after them is a David and Goliath situation, pointless, they hold all the power. Also, their mental health care is famously abysmal. They're always getting sued for not providing adequate care. My sister has severe depression and Kaiser will only do the bare minimum. This place is all about their bottom line, period. I would never ever recommend it and I hope that I've saved someone from the nightmare that I (and my family) have gone through with this place.
I have been on Kaiser for 7 years and actually like my doctor. I find though, consistently, that not only must I be my own advocate. I actually need to research my symptoms online to feel updated. I know most doctors don't like people who overuse the internet to self-diagnose. However, appointments are only 20 minutes, if you are lucky. I feel like I need to be informed to ask questions that are never brought up by the many physicians I've visited. As I said, I do like my PCP, but I often get the "pass the buck" feeling. I'm constantly being referred when it involves something other than a head cold, and that's when the long wait times come into play.
My biggest complaint is the wait time for certain appointments, including referrals/specialists. An ortho/neuro specialist... usually 2-3 months out for an appt. Some procedures... several weeks. Mental Health... up to a FOUR month wait! Are you kidding me? I've found if I complain, insist, even cry, I can get one sooner, but I shouldn't have to do that! Calling on a Monday... almost impossible to get through to anyone. Physical Therapy... usually the next week! Or they give you some papers with the exercises on them and tell you to do them at home, which most won't do. I realize I need to take control of my health, but sometimes Kaiser makes that difficult. They say they're into preventative health, yet they don't offer the cutting-edge treatments/procedures that other facilities do, nor do they offer certain medications I was able to take prior to being on Kaiser.
I'm told it usually has to do with costs. I understand they want to streamline healthcare to cut costs, but my plan has gone up 8% for each of the past 2 years. With these increases, I feel that at least the pharmacies should be open on most holidays. I understand Kaiser employees deserve days off, but even now they seem understaffed in many departments... Other companies either rotate employees on holidays or offer time and a half.
On a final note, I do appreciate that most Kaiser employees are kind and caring, and that I don't have to wait more than 15 or so minutes before seeing the doctor. While Kaiser does offer surveys often, the questions are skewed to things they know in which they are competent. Surveys never ask about phone wait times, or getting into specialists in a timely manner.
Ok here we go. First I tore my pinky finger tendon playing basketball the second week of August. The finger is stuck forward as if I'm bending it. Now I went to the urgent care office the very next day. After 3 hours, the doctor told me that I have a tendon tear and that I need to follow up with the orthopedic to get a professional opinion due to the nature of my injury. The doctor told me that of course it will take 4 to 6 weeks for this injury to heal. Now they checked to get me a better splint than the Walgreens splint I bought and wrapped myself. She then came back and said that they didn't have a better splint than the one I have on. She also told (me) to make an appointment with orthopedic at the front desk on my way out so I can get a better splint and better opinion. Now I found that a bit strange since usually the doctor puts in that request, but what the heck I gave it a try.
Of the course the females at the counter looked at me strange and said they cannot make appointments for specialty visits. So I went home, waited until the next day around 2:00 pm and called the orthopedic office to make an appointment. The female I spoke with said that the closest appointment she had available was on September 16, 2017, pretty much a whole month away. So I'm telling her that it takes 4 to 6 weeks for my finger to heal, by that time it would have healed in a downward position. She constantly said that's all they could do and that she checked but there aren't any more appointments available until then. I asked her if she checked another location other than the Southwood location and she said she checked. So she sets the appointment a month out. I immediately call member services and got transferred several times until I was hung up on.
I called back and explained the problem again and gave my member number again just for them to tell me there is nothing else that can be done. I then google the corporate number for Kaiser, calls it, and to my surprise the number is to member services. I then tell the lady that I need the number to corporate. She of course said that she needs my member number, date of birth, and the nature of my complaint. I give my info and explain the situation again. She then transfer me to a male in member services who I tell the story to again and give my info to again. He tells me, “Oh your doctor was supposed to make that appointment for you. She is the only one that can request an urgent appointment”, which I already knew that. So now after being on the phone for 50 minutes, he then tells me that they are going to send a message to my doctor for her to request an immediate orthopedic appointment.
He then told me that it takes about 4 hours for the doctor to get the message and respond back to (me) in reference to that request. I waited and waited for 24 hours, yes the next day. I then called them back after 24 hours and spoke with someone who told me that I could try to contact my doctor myself online. Someone then told me that they sent that message to the wrong doctor so they have to send it again. By this time I have a headache and my eye is twitching. I then get transferred to gastroenterology which is the study of the stomach of course. She of course transfer me finally to orthopedic who then schedule me an appointment for the 28th on a Monday morning at 9:00 am all the way in Glenlake. I explained that I live past Conyers, that drive will be pure hell at 9:00 am. She of course said that's the only thing she have. Now I go to bed early the night before so that I can get up early to try to make the appointment.
I left home at 7:15 am and my GPS said that my drive was one hour and forty seven minutes long. God help me. After battling traffic for an hour and 10 minutes my GPS said that I still had an hour and nine minutes left on my route. I called member services again and spoke to Debrah who was able to check and get me an appointment switched to the Southwood location at the same time. Debrah thank god for you so much. You were the only help I had.
Ok back to the story. So I go to the appointment, didn't wait for too long to be seen, thank god. The doctor came in and took off my Walgreens splint that I bought and had on since the injury and told me that of course I have a tendon tear and that I need to keep my finger straight at all times through the healing process. He tells me that they don't have a better splint than the one I had on so I need to keep what I had on if it was comfortable.
I honestly was expecting them to give me an Oval-8 splint or something more effective than the Walgreens splint I had on. He tells me that I can order the Oval splint on Amazon. Now I really thank him for being honest and I don't think it's his fault that they don't have the proper updated medical tools and gadgets. I couldn't believe that I have to order a proper splint myself on Amazon. I used to think highly of Kaiser, I really did. I thought that Kaiser was one of the best. What am I paying insurance and co-payments for if I have to order my own splint. Where is the money going to, the Thrive commercials?
Kaiser is a good health coverage. Not the best but getting better all the time. I feel comfortable with the Doctors, clinic and their staff. Not a PPO but they do the job well.
I've been a Kaiser member for the past 9 years and have had positive experiences with them since the beginning. This year, I had total hip replacement surgery which went beautifully. The initial x-ray indicated a bad hip and Kaiser allowed me to get cortisone shots prior to deciding on surgery. They gave me no problem or hassle about surgery at all; the PCP referred me to the orthopedist, who reviewed the x-ray & took another more in depth set, then told me I needed full hip replacement. I was scheduled right away. I wound up meeting my out-of-pocket costs 100%, meaning I no longer pay for anything, including prescriptions, until the 1st of the new year. I recently had a neck & lower spinal MRI, which was approved right away due to the x-rays showing degenerative disc disease. I'm now waiting for my spine doctor to contact me to discuss my options.
My husband had some wonky test results recently, and his PCP referred him to a Rheumatologist and a Cardiologist. I find Kaiser to be incredibly efficient with how they run things; as a one-stop-shop type of operation. I never wait once I arrive for an appointment, and I mean never. I'm taken in to see the doctor within 5 minutes max. I get my prescriptions at the same location, without more than a 15 minute wait. The email set up between patient and doctor is amazingly efficient as well. The one thing I do not like to do is call for an appointment on a Monday, since it can be tough to get through by phone. All in all, I think Kaiser runs a pretty tight ship and gives me good value for my premiums. I've had other health insurance, including Rocky Mountain Health & United Healthcare *United H/C was THE Cadillac of healthcare, in my opinion*, but for the buck, Kaiser has a pretty good bang.
Kaiser has been the only medical facility that I have gone to since 1968 when we moved here from NY, and Kaiser opened up shop in this city. I have heard my share of jokes and negative statements about Kaiser as whole and I am sure some are earned and deserved. When people are taking care of people, something, or someone is going to be unpleasant eventually and that is how stories are born. That is not to insinuate that Kaiser and all within her walls is perfect, far from it, they are humans too. For 49 years they have kept me and my family alive and in that time there has been some very wonderful things that they have done for us, keeping both my son and I alive while I was giving birth to him was a pretty cool thing to pull off when both of our hearts stopped beating.
Giving me CHF by pumping too much fluid into me when I was severely dehydrated was an early death sentence they gave me, that is decidedly uncool, but they saved my life! What it comes down to is, you pick your doctor, you make a bad pick, throw him back into the sea of other doctors who have openings and pick a new one. I plan on doing that with mine very soon. Depending on how you got your insurance there can be from $0-$50 copay I believe. Most people pay $15-$20 each time they see the doctor. Again, depending on your coverage, as a state worker mine is fairly standard, your copay pays for X-rays and labs, and any other testing your doctor may write up for you. Your prescriptions are vastly reduced, which is very helpful with big pharma trying to charge $500 for a placebo.
Kaiser is usually always understaffed, the doctors are only allowed an allotted amount of time to spend with each patient, because they have to keep their billable hours high, so many times you feel very rushed and like the doctor isn't even putting all their attention on you. If you need to see a specialist and you know you do, often times you have to convince your doctor of that. Without a referral from your General Practitioner, you won't be able to see a specialist. I feel that they often wait longer than they should before they refer you.
I like going there because all the doctors, specialists, labs, etc. are all under one roof, but it also causes problems when you want to see a certain specialist about something and he isn't on the Kaiser roster, it comes out of your pocket. If you are having emotional or mental problems you cannot get in and see your Dr or therapist more than once every 6 weeks because that practice is always tremendously understaffed. So if you are going through a very bad mental time, there is no one to help you work through it that you know, it's whoever is free.
I am paying a handsome sum for my monthly membership fee. In addition, when I see my primary physician, I must pay $35. (Up from $25.00 last year.) When he sends me to a Specialist, I need to spend either $85.00 or over $200! Last month I spend over $500. I am widow on fixed income and every dollar I spent endanger my ability to make my mortgage payment! What can anybody do about this?
I am frustrated, broken down, and am trying to stay strong for my husband's sake but need to find some avenue to let my feeling's out. I have now dealt with Kaiser Permanente twice on pretty big life events and can say I am still no more impressed the second time around than I was the first. Probably, less so, as using the word impressed is an overstatement.
The first incident my husband and I had to go through, was a life-threatening motorcycle accident. We were initially placed at UCLA due to the trauma he experienced as well as his proximity to the UCLA location. For a week, he was in too critical condition to be moved. However, within that week, I received multiple check-ins with doctors, students, nurses, caregivers/social worker, and people who overall were generally looking out for us and trying to help us. Our UCLA social worker would check in on us every day if not twice a day, helped me with all our paperwork and disability, guided me with their parking rules, and even provided me with meal tickets since I spent everyday and night at the hospital by my husband's side.
After a week, we were transported to Kaiser and the level of service drastically decreased. I think we saw a social worker once, maybe twice, and that was after I had to ask for one. Most of the staff were disorganized, nurses tried to double up my husband's doses because they either did not look at the charts or things were not logged, and I truly believe very few people cared about either of us. We were just a 'checklist on their job' to them.
Now my husband has been diagnosed with Leukemia and yet again no one has been there to pick up the pieces or try to help us along the way. The doctor, understandably is busy, but it's already been over a week and no one has sat us down to walk us through the process. I've had millions of questions and am only given a few minutes over the phone with the doctor a couple times in the week, where most our questions are ignored. Of course, whenever I do have a dire question, the doctor is never there and no other oncology doctor will answer it or call us back.
In addition, my husband and I are a young couple looking to eventually have children, but no one discussed the side effects of bearing children with his treatment, they only mentioned that the pill needed to be taken immediately. We weren't even aware it was a type of chemo treatment until the day they told us it needed to be taken. If we had not been proactive in researching, we could've really screwed up our chances of ever having healthy children in the future as he will have to take this pill for the rest of his life.
Now, we are facing the problem where Kaiser is prescribing us a generic version of the chemo drug that has proven articles to show the drug is not as effective as a first line therapy as the brand name, Gleevec. Yet once again, no one has talked with us to discuss all our options and now we are freaking out whether it is okay to start the generic drug or not. We have talked to your pharmacists and nurses who say "they aren't doctors" but the active ingredient is the same but when I ask to actually speak to a doctor (any doctor for that matter!) they tell me that is not an option because they are too busy for a 5-10 minute phone call. Kaiser has forced us to put off his treatment twice now because we cannot even be comforted or acknowledged, by a doctor, in knowing that his treatment will not do more harm than benefit because Kaiser is too busy to give two very scared and very lonely people a callback.
Finally, Kaiser tells me that my current doctor is booked for over a month before we can even see him for a sit down to discuss his cancer. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!? You haven't even given us a single pamphlet about the disease or let us know commonly asked questions and now you are telling us it will be a month before we can even get our every growing list of questions answered. After some crying and some yelling, the nurse said she would "check-in with the doctor, after the weekend, and see what they can do". I understand that my husband may be last on Kaiser's priority list but he is first on mine and no one in my shoes should ever have to deal with the lack of care or compassion we have experienced.
Kaiser is both the Insurance Company and Hospital and therefore make me believe you only care about the bottom dollar. Kaiser does not have adequate staff to deal with all your patients and those that are facing life altering decisions and questions are unable to get the answers they need in a timely fashion. I feel Kaiser could care less about the patients as a whole and if I were to advise anyone, I would have them avoid ever using Kaiser's insurance. I would gladly pay more elsewhere to get proper care than ever use Kaiser's services again but understand not everyone in the world has this opportunity. Kaiser Permanente probably hopes for people to die just so there is less work for you to do. I know this is a horrible and drastic thing to say but at this point this is how Kaiser has made me feel.
I'm posting this short review to help support many of the previously submitted reviews about the very poor customer experiences with many of the Kaiser Permanente processes, and procedures, and performances from right coast to left coast of the USofA. (Thanks for the news that they're incapable of handling all the new clients they have.) After being a 6 year customer of KP, and after reading others experiences on this ConsumerAffairs website, and after having 2 recent years of my own poor service experiences with KP, I'll be looking to opt-out of KP going forward in 2018.
Hard to get timely appointments, not feeling confident in KP's dermatology dept expertise & delivery - (kids, wear sunscreen). You can't get a referral unless you first wait in the long KP line first. KP has no escalation process. KP won't help to expedite a "worrisome" problem that is not an ER visit need. My positive views: Getting a flu shot is easy; as is a blood draw; my primary care physician is responsive to my small needs for a physical or cholesterol monitoring. Hope this helps someone.
This year, I switched to Kaiser Dental, because the benefit amounts looked great and when I asked the customer service agent about wait time, she said it was about two weeks, but emergency appointments could be obtained without wait. When I first called for a dental appointment in December, I was told I would be contacted by the local dental office. After waiting for two weeks with no callback, I called in a second time and waited another two weeks, before calling a third time, each time with no response.
In February, I had to go in for an emergency appointment, which cost more and was at a distant clinic. They started a root canal. A few days later, the temporary filling fell out. I had difficulty getting another emergency appointment and ended up with a terrible infection. When I called in, I was told to drive over an hour to their nearest hospital. Finally, I was able to get them to contact a dentist, who was willing to call in a prescription for an antibiotic. The only pharmacy open on the weekend, was at the distant hospital. I requested that it be called in to a local pharmacy, but was cautioned that I'd have to pay full price. The antibiotic caused side effects, which included severe digestive disturbances and a skin rash. Once again, I went through the time consuming phone process to obtain advice.
The only appointment I could obtain to replace the temporary filling, was a second emergency appointment at a distant clinic. While there, they said they'd have the nearer clinic call me with a follow up appointment. I asked if I did not hear back in a timely manner, if I had the option to walk in to make an appointment and I learned that indeed, that is an unspoken option.
This time, I didn't wait. I drove straight to the local clinic and set up an appointment. The receptionist was not exactly welcoming. I learned that the first opening was not until late May, so I had to return to the distant clinic to finish the root canal. I was then informed that I needed to have a check-up, before they could proceed with a crown. Initially, I was told they were booked through the end of August. The dentist told me that he would put in a note to try to get me in earlier and gave me a direct number.
When I didn't hear back, I called and was then called back by a woman who explained that it wasn't fair to other clients to give me an earlier appointment. I agreed with her that it wasn't fair to the other clients and affirmed that it was not fair to me either! That we had all purchased a product and that Kaiser was not providing that product in a timely manner. After a slightly negative comment, she gave me an appointment for the check-up in May. The crown was put in on July 11.
While visiting my father in S California in early July, the rash that began during the antibiotic treatment, intensified. I called an advice nurse at Kaiser in that area and was offered a same day appointment. I also had them look at a skin lesion I'd been concerned about. The practitioner prescribed a medication for the skin rash and offered me an appointment with a dermatologist for the following week. Unfortunately, I had to fly back to Oregon to have the crown put in, so I requested that the referral be transferred to Oregon. Once home, I learned that the first available appointment was not until mid September. I requested to be put on a list for a cancelation, but was told that was against their policy. This waiting game is dangerous, irresponsible, unreasonable and without integrity.
I have a neuro-autoimmune disease from a surgery. You guessed it Kaiser. They put me in a cast which caused the disease. It spread full body which has led to me losing my career of 20+yrs. Permanent Disabled with 100% unemployable. I was have neck problems with it locking up. Get MRI done on my cervical spine shows 4 herniated disc with the 5th one moderate bilateral. Neurosurgeon says there's nothing wrong. I have the MRI looked at by 2 doctors outside of Kaiser. Both say the C5-6 has no fluid and it's too close to my spinal cord. If I don't get surgery I can be facing permanent paralysis. I have Medicare and have Kaiser. Going back and forth with the neurologist and neurosurgeon.
Today the pain is horrific. Lots of pressure and both my arms are going numb. Just like the other 2 doctors said would take place. What's worse I can't even sleep for more than 4 hrs, I can't sleep with a pillow and now my legs are starting to get pins and needles when I'm laying down. I get up and it goes away. I freaking cannot believe how inconsiderate and how incompetent Kaiser's doctors are. They hire the bottom of the barrel and have practitioners treat patients. I'm like "dude my arms are going numb nothing." Even their physical medicine Dept tells me “Yeah we know your neck is bad and the numbing is caused by your neck but we can't do anything for you.” Freaking no EMG nothing. You can't leave nerves pinched nor compressed for a long period of time. That's what leads to permanent nerve damage which is irreversible.
Mind you I've been going back and forth with Kaiser's neurosurgeons for almost a year now. And yes I have Medicare. Then Kaiser can refer me outside of their network and choose not to. I'm getting out of there coming this enrollment in Oct. Kaiser is only good for educating pre medical awareness. When it comes to actually treatment you’re better off going to a car dealership. LOL. They are terrible yet protected by the government that's why they have what's called a arbitration because if they didn't they wouldn't be in business from all the malpractice law suits. Kaiser SUCKS REALLY BAD.
Be careful!!! They send you a bill even in the things that are covered like the ANNUAL PHYSICAL CHECK. In many years that I was with Health Net and Blue Cross never had received a bill for a physical and they did a lot more (EC, XR CHEST), here in Kaiser I have to beg the doctor to do my PAP. Also if it is needed do a test that is not covered they must to let you know before. They do not have idea what they are doing. People, OPEN YOUR EYES, DO NOT LET THEM TAKE YOUR MONEY!
In calling Kaiser for an appointment, I asked to schedule a behavior health appointment, in which I was denied saying they were closed and other representatives cannot schedule these appointments (lazy or uneducated on the system, or just inconvenient, I don't know). Then, when arriving for a physical appointment, I asked to schedule an appointment in the behavior health department once again. They said "Go upstairs to behavioral health and schedule it with them. We can't do it here." I'd like to point out that these departments are in the same building and they can pull up schedules for the doctors in behavioral health on these computers.
I went upstairs at 3:30 PM and saw the behavioral health department to be closed. I went back downstairs and they said to call their general number for making appointments. I was very dissatisfied with the fact that I went in a circle and was not informed of the department's (early?) closure or that they were not available to make appointments for a specific department when the receptionists are available to make appointments for every other department. I proceeded to e-mail my doctor through the Kaiser Permanente website and she directed me to the same hotline number.
When calling for the second time, the behavior health department was finally open. After waiting on hold for 30+ minutes, I was told I was considered a "new patient" because I had not been to behavioral health department after a year. New patients cannot make appointments after 2:30 or on the weekends. Tell me, as a full-time working adult, why I would schedule an appointment as a "new" patient to miss work because I am restricted to scheduling before 2:30 PM? I am infuriated that the process of setting up an appointment took so long and yet I cannot fit this into my schedule because of its inconvenience to my, and every other working adult's, schedule. My status as a "new" patient inhibits me from getting the healthcare I need when I have visited this doctor before and still have communications with her through e-mail in the Kaiser Permanente app and website.
Other than this instance, I have had multiple bad experiences with Kaiser in waiting on hold for extremely long periods of time (30 minutes to an hour). Also, a con is that they do not let you visit doctors outside of the Kaiser Permanente system, which means I cannot go see a behavioral health professional. I have repeatedly been disappointed with the customer service and care that Kaiser Permanente provides.
Please, do NOT choose Kaiser for your health care needs. Unfortunately, Kaiser is the only health care offered by my employer. Here are three examples of the MANY negative experiences I've had while receiving medical care from Kaiser. 1. LONG wait times on the phone and phone representatives who do not listen carefully ~ One example: I told the Kaiser operator, I am taking **, and I am having severe side effects. I need to speak with my ob/gyn. "So, you're having an allergic reaction to **?" She laughed. "No. No. That is not what I said. I am taking **, and I am having severe side effects." Oh!
2. Under-Educated Medical Personnel: The young women in the ob-gyn office who took my vitals was pleasant, but she was not well trained. When she started to take my blood pressure, I told her (as I had been instructed by the radiation oncology nurse) to please take it on my left side, as I had received radiation treatment on my right side. "What was the radiation for?" She asked. "I had a lumpectomy," I replied. "What's a lumpectomy?"
3. Inexperienced/Unkind Technicians: During my 5th mammogram in two years, I was yelled at three times by the technician because she was having trouble conducting the procedure. I am a breast cancer survivor. I know how a mammogram works. I had the procedure done 4 other times by 3 other technicians. I remained calm and compliant throughout the procedure. This tech was having trouble getting the pictures she needed. She could have asked the other tech for help. Instead, she took her anger out on me. One of her remarks was, "You know this is all your fault don't you?!" If you have other options for medical care, please select those instead.
I really wish I could give 0 stars for their telephone service. Seeking any kind of help over the phone is a super tedious process. Speaking to operators is not fun at all. I was on hold for 20 minutes only to be directed elsewhere and then disconnected. The whole Northern/Southern California is a complete disaster when trying to get your questions answered.
I have been having the same conversation with the billing department at Kaiser Permanente for the past 3 months. They tell me one thing over the phone, then the billing statement is released for that month and what is represented in that bill is completely opposite of the conversations that have taken place. TIP: don't lie to your customers so they begin undergoing an ongoing, weekly treatment, just to go back later on and charge them an outrageous amount of money because 'the billing code used doesn't align with what's covered by your plan'.
A worker's comp which should have been assessed and closed quickly... is still on after 6 months! Countless calls to claim offices, member offices, financial offices, 3 certified with return receipt letters to 3 different Kaiser Permanente addresses... I still keep receiving bills, bills which should have been flagged (I was told they were) and sent to my claim examiner... Nothing. What in Hell is going on at Kaiser ** City?
OMG this is the worst company ever. To reach the provider you literally spend over 30 minutes on hold just to be told they can't take a message or they transfer you 5 times because no one knows who to take a message. Worst company ever!
October 9th 2016 - my daughter went to the Kaiser Vallejo ER for abdominal pain, was diagnosed with appendicitis and told it needed to come out. We were told that she was to be transferred by ambulance to Walnut Creek then left in a room for hours until the condition was so bad that her appendix had ruptured. They had forgotten to call the ambulance.
Jan-Feb 2017 My husband was having his eyelashes fall out and went in to see his DR. She ordered bloodwork then asked if he was gay because she said that syphilis was something that caused that and as per her- it's more common among gay people. Profiling at its worst.
5/8/2017 Pregnant, I was admitted to Vacaville ER with a severe migraine. Despite being listed in my chart as a medication I'm allergic to, the ER Dr fought to give me this medication and to offset the reaction suggested first giving me Benadryl. If my husband hadn't been there to stop him he was going to do this. They also took many vials of blood but no tests were ever run. 6/2017 Despite me asking repetitively about what blood tests I should have had done I am now 6 months pregnant and had my first pregnancy blood panel done 1 week ago, months later than I should have because no one ever ordered it.
First of all, I have been a patient at the Veterans Administration for 30 years -- Kaiser is much worse in every aspect of the game. Not making that up. 3 months to get appointments with PAIN specialists and other serious doctors like neurology and cardiology. I recently had been passing out/blacking out and falling in my bedroom and bathroom. Several times I was lucky I didn't die from my head hitting the bathtub and another the shower.
I went to visit my primary care doctor because I wasn't sure which specialist I should see. My PC doctor told me I should have gone to the emergency room because they would have done all the tests there in one evening -- instead, it's going to take you possibly months to get those appointments at Kaiser. Ok, it's a damn serious situation that could kill me and that's how they handle it? Good God. This should be enough information to get you not to join Kaiser or to drop them next open season.
I went to my first appointment which was ultra-sound for my neck arteries. The nurse there was great and she also told me that Kaiser has taken on 100,000 new patients this year -- thank you Obama Care -- and is laying off employees. She works 2 + more hours per day, into the night, because of the shortage of nurses. The lady at the blood lab who I've known for years told me the same thing. She mentioned it to me, I did not bring up the subject. They both agreed that Kaiser is opening themselves up for major lawsuits because of the time it takes to schedule appointments -- much longer than it takes me to schedule the same type of appointments at the VA. The phone/appointment system is much worse than any I've even dealt with. Again, much worse than the VA.
This is what happens when a liberal California company takes on a bunch of illegal and/or a bunch of non-paying patients. We actually pay figuratively and literally. Their customer service sucks! We keep getting billed for things we have paid for and have receipts for. We've never left a Kaiser facility without paying our co-pay. I think they do this to prey on older people who may not remember or keep records.
Today, I just got back from the cardiologist -- a much older, frail man who didn't even look at my records on the computer except my medications. The first thing he says is, "Do you want medicine?" I was thinking, "What the hell is wrong with me first." He wasn't sure. He looked up my VA medications on the computer (Kaiser also has the list) and he put them in his smartphone to look them up on the Internet. He told me one of them said that one of my medications COULD be causing the dizzy spells and blacking out. COULD? From the INTERNET? I told him I don't want any damn medicine until he finds out what is wrong. He said, "we could do a heart scan and stress test." COULD? I said, "I want both." So, I have to wait another month and two for appointments. My neurology appointment is 2.5 months away (from the time I made the appointment).
So, you can see why people are suing them. "You may have a serious problem that could kill you, but let's wait months to check it out." However, if you are an illegal alien or non-paying patient, you can go to the emergency room and get the tests right away. Folks, just the fact that I'm comparing them to the VA should be enough for you to drop these people in a heartbeat.
I know it's a lot to read and it's probably full of misspelled words and a lot of grammar mistakes. I am emotional and if I don't share this now I won't do it later because calm Carolina will take over and try to negotiate and make excuses for why this happened to me. On October of 2015 my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36. In 2016 my best friend was also diagnosed with cancer. As you can imagine watching two beautiful and intelligent women you love and adore go through so much pain was very hard. I can't even put into words how your heart feels. My sister went months trying to get approval for a mammogram, after one of her clients was diagnosed with breast cancer and encouraged my sister to always be alert and know her body. She advised her not to take any change lightly. My sister had a small lump and knew in the back of her mind that it was not normal, she decided to do something about.
To this day she feels that she owes her life to not only God but to her client for encouraging her to go get a mammogram. In June 2016 I talked to my doctor and got approved for a mammogram. I never knew you had to have a referral from your doctor if you are not 40. I was bothered by that because, my sister was not 40 and she got it. It seemed a little ridiculous but I got a referral from my doctor and I was under the impression that I was ok to go every year now. On Friday the 26th I had lunch with my best friend, seen her was so amazing she didn't want anyone to see her. She has been going through a lot and cancer is doing the best it can to kick her butt. We talked a lot about what she was going through and about how she skipped a mammogram for one year and went she went in two years from her previous mammogram she was diagnosed with stage two cancer.
I went from not personally knowing anyone with breast cancer to the two closest people to me having it. On Sunday the 27th I am taking a shower and you better believe I am really checking, especially since my friend tells me she never felt anything because her lump was deep. I felt a small lump on my right side and thought to myself "It probably nothing". Being that I was a few days away from a year since I had a mammogram I called Kaiser to see if they can reach out to my doctor for an approval for a mammogram. I received a voicemail and an email with an appointment date and time for that same Wednesday the 31st. I arrived at Kaiser South Sacramento checked in filled the paper out. I waited to me called thinking I know it's nothing, but the other voice in my head "you never know."
When the tech called me and walked me in to the room I was nervous and scare not about the discomfort or the fact that my boobs are tiny and almost impossible to get in between the two plastics that will squeeze the you know what out of them, but of what will happen if I do have cancer? I am not brave, I have never been seriously sick and who will take care of my daughter? It's hard to explain how your mind goes crazy and you are just in a fog, unless you have been there. The tech confirmed all the information I had filled out, she gave me a gone and a wipe to clean my armpits since I had deodorant. She said she would be back in a few to do my mammogram.
When she got back she informed me that she would not be conducting a mammogram because my doctor had not felt anything in my last doctor’s appointment a few weeks back. That I would have to go to the women's clinic and have an exam that if they felt I need a mammogram that I could come back for it. I was so confused why are you asking me to do that? Didn't my doctor give me a referral? All she said was that it was protocol nothing she can do. I couldn't believe what she was saying. I was undressed for the waist up and sitting in a cold dark room. I usually don't cry easily but I felt it coming. She didn't care that I was going to break down.
I asked her for the paper I filled out when I checked in and for the receipt that prints out at checking. She rolled her eyes and said that is for me to keep. I was in a fog I couldn't believe what was happening I wanted to run and leave but I am not dressed. She just kept going on and on about protocol, I didn't care about protocol. I want to leave I probably yelled I don't remember. On my drive home I had to pull over I was so upset I didn't know what to do. I called my sister and my friend and vented and cried. This might not seem like anything big to some people but it was a big deal to me. I can pay to go to another facility and get a mammogram, I don't have a lot of extra money but could figured it out. What really bothers me is how many women have slipped through the cracks? How many women are made to believe that the doctor knows your body more than you?
I have had Kaiser since I was 16 years old. I gave birth to my daughter at Kaiser. I already put up with 10 to 15 minute doctor visits, but will not put up with this. I know this happens in other hospitals and not just at Kaiser. I know that me being upset is not going to change anything but I want to share what happened to me and encourage others to speak up.
I have filed a complaint with member services, I had not heard back from them as of today. I called to follow up and requested a letter explaining why they refused to conduct a mammogram even though it runs in my family. I also request to be refunded for a weight management program I joined since I really don't want to step into a Kaiser facility unless I have too. The lady at member services that I had the pleasure of speaking with today destroyed any hope I had of rekindling my relationship with Kaiser. She made me feel worst. Open enrollment can't come soon enough. Thank you Kaiser for making me feel like I don't matter.
Kaiser Permanente expert review by Joseph Burns
Kaiser Permanente is a unique health care management program that is located mainly in the western United States. In California, Colorado and seven other states, patients who have Kaiser coverage get health care services, including hospital stays, at Kaiser health facilities.
- Offers low-cost health plans: Kaiser offers several different levels of service with varying premiums, deductibles and co-pays.
- Kaiser offers all services itself: This company provides health care services as well as health care coverage, making it easier to get needed services and file claims.
- Online application process: It’s easy to get a quote and sign up for Kaiser.
- Best for: Students, employees, heads of families
Health Insurance Contributing Editor
An independent journalist, Joseph Burns is the health insurance topic leader for the Association of Health Care Journalists and contributes to AHCJ’s Covering Health blog. He has also written about health policy and the business of health care for a wide variety of publications, including Healthcare Finance News, Hospitals & Health Networks, Managed Care magazine, Ophthalmology Management, TaxACT.com, and The Dark Report.
Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company Information
- Company Name:
- Kaiser Permanente