Kaiser – An HMO Experience


At Kaiser, I had an EKG and chest X-rays, Dr. Klayton commented on my pacemaker with a sarcastic tone.   His nurse asked me why I had a pacemaker and whether I carried it around with me. They told me everything was normal.

I feel insignificant every time I visit Kaiser. Their doctors and nurses are skilled at belittling their patients’ issues.  Their process is bureaucratic, leading with several steps of form filling and identity verification, as if I change persona from week to week.  The laborious documentation and investigation process is followed by a lengthy waiting room visit. Just when I feel I can take no more, the nurse calls me into the examination room. She checks vital signs and then I wait some more for a doctor to appear.

After an hour, sometimes more, filling forms and waiting, I see a doctor for no more than 5 minutes.  That is the quality of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).  While I accepted this silly process when I was in good health and had to visit Kaiser infrequently,  I can’t stand it now that I have a serious condition requiring frequent visits.

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