I live in DC area (Arlington, VA) and I can clearly say that the last 6 months of my life is teribble because of Kaiser Permanente. They were not even able to do a simple meniscus surgery and I'm now a limping disabled person because of Kaiser Permanente!!
I had a left knee meniscus surgery on 22th May, 2012. I was able to visit doctor A (I don't want to give
name, so I'll refer to him/her as Doctor A) who did my surgery, but the weird thing is that I had a chance to see Doctor A only one time after the surgery (only 10 days after the surgery to follow up visit). After one month, when I had some problems with the surgery knee, I tried to reach doctor A, but she was on vacation, and they directed me to another doctor. But he didn't actually see me, only contacted me by e-mail, and even if I sent emails to both doctors one week later, asking them for a visit, nobody returned my call, neither doctor A nor other doctor.
One and a half month passed, I again sent an email to doctor A (because you can never reach them by phone) about my ongoing problems, daily pains, she didn't even see me, she referred me to another doctor by email, saying that doctor B does more knee surgery than her!! (If she is not confident about herself and refers me to someone else right after a problem occurs, why did she do the surgery!!!).
I visited doctor B, he was unwilling to accept me as a patient, because, with his words ''He didn't do my surgery, if I have further questions I can contact with doctor A''!!!. So Doctor A didn't want to talk with me and referred me to doctor B, doctor B didn't want to talk about the surgery, saying he wasn't the one who performed it and again referred me to doctor A for further questions, what a wonderful health insurance company!!! Everbody refers to each other, nobody tries to find a solution, this is how Kaiser works!!!
Doctor B checked MRI and wanted me to wait 3-4 more months to determine whether the surgery was succesful or not, even if I have had a lot of pains, couldn't walk, couldn't sit at that time. This is another big question mark about the Kaiser services!!! They don't want to say that there is some problems about other doctor's surgery to protect each other. But the thing is he didn't seem that he cares about my pain, my uncomfortable situations.
One month later I visited doctor B, I called him again and told him I had a problem on my right knee this time. Because I can not use my left knee (surgery knee) properly and put all body pressure to right knee, I had terrible pains on my right knee as well. I visited him on 4th September 2012, he said he would refer me to the physical therapy (PT) for 4 weeks, and if I had a lot of pain after that, he would make the surgery on the right knee. The thing was that I had already been going to PT for 5 months!! When I asked him that my left knee even didn't recover and had still ongoing problems, pains everyday, how can I do right knee surgery and use my left knee until right knee recovers?? He said it was ''alright'' for left knee. When my husband tried to ask questions about the left knee, he snapped and said he had talked this issue with me before. I visited him twice, and every time he was like he was in a hurry and didn't have time for me. And now I was scheduled for RIGHT KNEE surgery on January, even if I'm dying with the pain of LEFT KNEE.
So, I got confused and one week later (on 15th October) I visited an outside doctor whom my friend recommended, paying 250 dollar from my pocket. This doctor C told me that he said that right knee can heal without surgery but left knee had a big problem. He asked me whether I use inflamation pills. I told him that doctor A and B asked me to use it when I need it. He said ''NOOO! You had to use it everyday for the inflamation. You had a lot inflamation''. When I showed the pill doctor A gave me, doctor C said that it was not good for me becaue I was very thin. He prescripted another pill and stricty advised me to use it everday, and he hold ''If the pill doesn't work in 3 weeks, it means there is something inside that prevent you from healing, because you have already been continuing PT for a very long time, You should have been much better now''. Kasier's doctor B wanted me to wait 3-4 MONHTS, doctor C said only 3 WEEKS. And doctor A and B didn't lead me about using pills. They said that ''when need/ or as necessary'', but I had to use it. After I started to use that doctor C gave me, I was getting better, but whenever the pill finished, the situation came back. It meant doctor A and B had malpractice. By the way, I can trust doctor C, because he knew that my insuarance wouldn't cover his surgery and I can not afford outside surgery. So, he didn't say that to convince me to change my doctor.
I waited 6 weeks to make sure, not 3 weeks. And I called Kaiser customer services about my complaints and to get advice. I talked on the phone more than 40 minutes, and somebody called me 2 days later (on wednesday or Thursday on 5 or 6 December) for extra questions, and she told me that she would call me next Monday (on 10th December) to give me the best doctor's name on this field. But nobody called me.
I waited 2 more days and I called customer services again on Wednesday (12th December), I explained whole situation again, talked 45 minutes, but no help!!!! and then I requested from costumer service agent to direct me to the manager. Manager told me that someone would call me in 1-2 hours, and if not she asked me to call her back. After nobody called me after hours and hours. I called the manager again but she didn't respond and never called me back.
I've been paying a lot of money each month to Kaiser. When I need their services for an important issue only once, they failed immediately and they even didn't make any effort to correct it. And THEY MAKE ME A DISABLED PERSON.
I wasted at least 6 months of my life and I need to find another surgent from outside with paying from my pocket. and I already paid more than 2.000 dolars for just the PT. They are waste of money. I was a normal person before the surgery, now I can't even leave home, can't walk with my dog, even can't cook or sit on the table more than 30 minutes because of pains and, I'm limping when I walk. Because of all this I'm depressed now.
IF YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO BE UPSET AND NOT TO DEAL WITH THEIR MALPRACTICE, NEVER GET HEALTH INSURENCE FROM KAISER PERMANENTE.