Friday, July 8, 2016

Kaiser Permanente's phone people need training

We are Kaiser members.
DH's Mom has been a Kaiser member for decades and decades.
So silly us thought Kaiser, which is normally awesome and forward thinking and convenient would be all those things and a bag of Xanax.
Nope, nope, nopey, nope. Well at least on the phone.
DH has seemed to fix for now the problem of the dropped Medicare Part D (thought it was part B) that was due to sister in law not paying the bill back in January of this year. Because he is the conservator he is trying to get electronic access to her Kaiser account so he can make her appointments, check on her meds, see test results, all the normally cool stuff you can see on KP.org .
Well yesterday DH discovered that:
1) West Coast Kaiser computer systems don't talk to East Coast Kaiser computers
2) The people on customer service phone lines give contradictory information and need more training

DH has been on the phone with West Coast Kaiser (California Northern) asking how to get online access so he can manage Mom's health care from the Mid-Atlantic region. First encounter, the computers were down or the system was down and they couldn't make it happen. Fine, we understand as we've experienced computer problems in our own work. Call again, then they discover we're all members so he is told all he needs to do is go to a local Kaiser facility and talk to the in person customer service. So DH takes his forms proving he has conservatorship and his ID to his local Kaiser, and the customer service is not open. So then he went to the one downtown, because there are several Kaisers in the DC metro area. They are open, but the Mid-Atlantic Kaiser computers don't talk to the Northern California systems. This was discovered when they looked for Mom's patient ID number in the system and could not find it in the system. So he was told to get a form we saw online to request access and mail that in. *Sigh*

When DH came home he was upset and frustrated. Part of it relates to other things he's trying to do, part of it Kaiser related. Regarding getting Mom's meds for her Parkinsons and diabetes and getting access to all of her current and past medical information he has been told conflicting information. He believes the people who do customer service via the phone should have more training.

As I wrote, normally Kaiser is really good and this has been terribly disappointing.

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