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In response to the HMO comments, I thought I'd add my
experience with Kaiser, a very large HMO.  I believe
HMO's are very different depending on which you have
and also very different depending on which area you
live and which doctor you choose.  That said, I would
say my very extensive experience with Kaiser (11
years, at 6 different Kaiser locations, many doctors)
has been both good and bad.  Comparing it to others
experiences from this sight, Kaiser has been better
and worse than what I've read about. The main problem
I have is all the TIME I have to put in to getting the
health care I deserve.  It's like having a part time
job.  I have to follow through on everything, I rarely
get return calls (recently I called with large ketones
and it took 2 days to get a call back), the left hand
NEVER knows what the right is doing, and everyone
tries to pass the buck to another department, doctor,
etc.  It gets frustrating waiting on hold for
20+minutes only to be transfered, hung up on, restart
the whole process, and be told to call the original
place again because "It's not our department's
responsibility."  EX: I'm traveling to London and
needed a letter from my doctor.  Well, it's been 2
months since I requested it and my primary care
physician and endocrinologist have been essentially
"fighting" over who's responsiblity it is to write the
letter.  I still haven't received the letter (I'm
leaving in 5 days) and apparently when I do get it all
it will say is, "She is diabetic".  I asked for my
Rx's to be written and a section stating my insulin
needs to be cold (my airline requested this).  These
two doctor's also pass the buck on who's to write my
Rx's.  That's an entirely diffent story though. 
Kaiser is good about putting people on pumps and about
keeping up with new technology.  I'm sorry if this
sounds like ranting, Kaiser is good (especially if
you're working with the right people, you just have to
find them) but time consuming.  On a more positve
note, I didn't have these problems at every Kaiser
center, mainly the larger facilities.  Please continue
to search for a doctor that meets your needs, this
should make having an HMO a much more pleasant

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