Don’t bother unless you have a LOT of patience and determination. They really do not want your business.
I was a patient of Dr. Fong Towie when he was at Kaiser so I was excited to see that he was an in-network doctor with my new health plan.
The problems started as soon as I made the appointment.
A few minutes after having provided my insurance information, I got a returned message which rudely stated the insurance had been declined.
Not, “I must have saved the number incorrectly” (which of course is what happened) but “your insurance was declined”.
Perhaps a minor point but it’s a key factor in how the business is run and how potential customers are treated.
On appointment day, I showed up 15 minutes early as instructed.
Another bad sign: the waiting room, for this one-doctor office, was full.
Checking in at the counter, my arrival seemed to create a lot of confusion with the staff who, after conferring back and forth a few times, informed me it would be $180 for my first visit.
One of the staff members told me with a smirk, “I tried to call you to explain this”, a bold-faced and stupid lie.
I guess she’s not familiar with phones that record every incoming number.
I presented my insurance form which prompted the visit with clear instructions that the visit would be billed as preventative.
The staff ignored this and insisted I’d have to pay for the first visit.
I consented and sat down to wait for forms and/or the usual pre-visit screening.
After 20 minutes, I checked back at the window to see what was going on.
They informed me, only THEN, that I’d have to pay FIRST.
At other medical providers, I’ve always paid for services after an appointment, but they seemed to expect me to know their policies without being told.
It also wasn’t clear why they didn’t explain this but let me leave the window and then sit waiting for 20 minutes.
A fun office game with new patients? Anyway I wanted to see Dr. Fong so I handed over my credit card, only to be told, oh no, we only take CASH.
This is rather important information to inform the customer BEFORE arrival at the office.
Since I don’t walk around with that much cash and since I was feeling completely disrespected and mistreated, I decided this medical relationship was not going to work out for me.
Dr. Fong is a good doctor, but he’s still just an allopathic doctor, not a real healer.
No western doctor is worth that kind of hassle and abuse.