From the monthly archives:

January 2009

I came upon a blog regarding an ER clerk having trouble reaching a Kaiser doctor. She seemed very unhappy with the automated phone tree and the fact one needed to push a button for English or Spanish. My first thought was it wasn’t Kaiser that annoyed her, but the fact that we offer so many language options rather than just sticking with English.


When I call Kaiser the system starts with English and then in Spanish quickly states press 2 for Spanish (in Spanish).


She also complains about how difficult it was to reach a Kaiser members doctor. If the member had his Kaiser ID card with him there is a phone # on the back that would have connected her with the doctor or a  person who could help her  right  away.


This card should be carried with the member all the time or at least the phone #. However, if the member should not have it the clerk can call the phone tree # listen to the options it will tell you to leave a message for doctor press the # a human will come on the phone very quickly and help you with the issue.

I understand that the patient must give written permission  to satisfy HIPPA requirements.

I also understand that member’s services will talk to the clerk on how to handle these types of situations.

I have had two emergency visits outside of Kaiser and had no problems.

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I read in my local paper that the Kaiser Permanente earned top grade in HMO
Seeing how this is the open enrollment period, I find it good to know that my HMO
received the top grade rating.
I also read that there is a web site that lets one view the 2009 health care quality
report card as well as a phone #. or 888-466-2219. I found the site to be informative and easy to
I should add that the Kaiser rating was for health care in general not just for Medicare.

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I was recently asked not only why I volunteer but why – hospice and bereavement.

The first thought that came to mind was, I don’t know!  I know I am not paying back or paying forward.

I am a wife, mother, grandmother (the best part), I have had a career, needless to say all of that gave me purpose.

Then came retirement, lunch with the girls, shopping, travel, cleaning closets garden clubs and on and on. I found all of that entertaining, with no sense of purpose.

A Chaplin I know suggested I become a volunteer with hospice/bereavement.

He seemed to feel I had good listening skills and knew how to” just be.”

Some people would say it was a calling. I took six weeks of training and an internship. I have been doing this for over ten years and I receive far more than I give.  When I sat with a very sick or dying person or I am with a person who is grieving a loved one I am in a sacred and spiritual place and I consider it a honor to be there.

I have a purpose, some people would say it was a calling.

More on this at a later date


I find that when I buy my OTC”s antacids, vitamins. pain relievers, etc at big box stores  the amount is so many it will expire before I can use them up. I don’t save any money if I have to throw out half a bottle of whatever I am using. Because, I am a Kaiser member, I can use there pharmacy for my OTC’s, I not only can buy in smaller amounts I get a very good price. The price is even better if I don’t buy brand name. I need to watch my budget carefully now days, anything I can do to save is a big help.