Rate Kaiser Permanente as a health plan

  1. Is anyone here a current or former Kaiser patient? If so, how do you like your care? Do you feel you are getting access to the types of specialists that you need, and getting appropriate care? What have your experiences with Kaiser been like?

    Thanks is advance!
    -Mark
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    The inpt care is good. The clinic care leaves a lot to be desired. My older kids went to a Kaiser clinic on their mother's plan and so many things didn't make sense. My daughter came down with Bell's Palsy and I had to take her to Kaiser because Hubs' insurance wasn't active yet. I had to argue with the pedi who tried to tell me there is no treatment for Bell's. I had to call and intervene when my son was diagnosed with a herpes outbreak on his arm that was being rubbed painfully by his clothes and the pedi (chief of peds!!) told his mother that there's nothing to be done for it. Daughter needed PT for her knee a couple of summers ago....their idea of PT is to have pts with similar complaints come in at the same time and have passive motion therapy. That was it. After her first session she spent the summer with her dad and me and I got her into a PT clinic here.....extensive therapy one on one with a therapist. Way different.
  4. by   Neveranurseagain
    Well, just so you know what you are getting into with Kaiser and many other HMO's. Let's say your husband dies from a medical mistake that is caused by both a Kaiser health care provider and another non Kaiser MD that your husband was referred to. If you pursue litigation, you have to present your case against the non Kaiser MD in court first as Kaiser is bound by binding arbitration and always follows after the court case. After court settles, then you can present your case again in binding arbitration. The implications? Well, the court costs and expert witness fees and attorney fees will be about 50% of the first settlement. Then you have to pay expert witness fees (about 25% of first settlement) again as well as the cost of binding arbitration (about $50,000) to recover from Kaiser. Statistically, you have a 70 % chance of winning in binding arbitration--no matter how wrong the error is--and if you lose you now have to pay the attorney fees and cost from Kaiser. Kaiser knows this and uses it to hide from errors caused by their employees. SO the moral of the story--know what you are signing when you sign up for a HMO ==by signing a binding arbitration form (many clinics, HMO and MD use it) you are signing away your rights guaranteed by the constitution--your right to a jury trial is signed away. You may not need to sign it--some clinics/MD will see you anyway if you don't sign it.
  5. by   NurseElaine
    I'll try to make it short because I could share stories from my own personal experience as well as friends and family members. I/we found the care to be very inappropriate. Did you ever get to see a specialist,and if so how long did you have to wait? Clinic visits--found that you practically had to diagnose yourself--go in there stating what the problem was and what the treatment should be. In-pt care was good only if you had someone at the bedside to advocate for you (in otherwords, raise he**!!!) to get the care you deserve.
  6. by   TazziRN
    I should clarify: there's only one Kaiser facility where I've heard the care is good. I don't know about the other Kasier hospitals, but I have had personal experience with three clinics because of my kids and I am not impressed. I heard someone describe it as the greatest system in health care for the healthy person, but if you've got a problem, good luck in getting treatment.
  7. by   prowlingMA
    ON the MA and NA side of things. Always take weeks to deliver med and supplies in LTC. If LTC pt has an emergency they only go to Kaiser hospital, though there are several closer to facility. At least that is how it is here.
  8. by   TazziRN
    Quote from prowlingMA
    ON the MA and NA side of things. Always take weeks to deliver med and supplies in LTC. If LTC pt has an emergency they only go to Kaiser hospital, though there are several closer to facility. At least that is how it is here.
    Oh yeah, that's everywhere. Unless transport to the nearest Kaiser might compromise survival, Kaiser pts have to go to a Kaiser. From the hospital I was just working at, the nearest Kaiser is nearly 100 miles away. If a Kaiser pt came into the ER with anything other than an emergent problem, we had to get permission to treat.
  9. by   CaLLaCoDe
    [font=book antiqua] another sorry note to the disappointments of the kaiser plan: my dear old mom, now 80 suffered an mi and received little practical care. a 12 lead ekg for starters and prescribed betablockers; she had to schedule a 2d echo for 3 months later and follow up care with a cardiologist.
    [font=book antiqua]at my hospital even the uninsured are granted 2d echo/ekg/chestxray/cardiac enzyme panel/and if this all does nothing to prove an mi ever happened a persantine thalmun stress test....mom's an ex school nurse and deserves better care...but she was given kaiser care.
    [font=book antiqua]so i would rate kaiser care a 6 out of 10.../ my hospital an 8 out of 10. yeah, i know no hospital/clinic's perfect!
  10. by   caliotter3
    I just qualified for Kaiser before I left a job. My only contact with them was a customer service contact about my new card and benefits. I was amazed at how pleasant and helpful the CSR was. Perhaps my positive opinion might have changed, had I the opportunity to actually use my benefits.
  11. by   Fiesta Red
    Anyone else?

    This thread seems to have died after it got moved.
  12. by   Fiesta Red
    Anyone else?
  13. by   Atheos
    I have had no problems with them whatsoever. Of course I am not terribly sick yet so I still have yet to rate them there.

    Do have problems with messaging a doctor. Takes a while to get a response but that is the doc not the company.

    My grandmother has had them for a LONG time. Had a mastectomy, cancer treatments broken hips and has never had a problem.

    Maybe it depends on the specific facility. In the DC area they are a major component and have a lot of gov't employees too. Never really hear anything negative.
  14. by   herring_RN
    Many of my family have Kaiser.
    They say if you are really sick but not ER sick to insist on talking to an advice nurse.
    Ask to ensure it is a nurse not a clerk.

    And as for any system don't go alone if you are sick.
    They always bring a sibling or adult child.

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