I have been trying to make an appointment with Dr Karen Earle, but despite several attempts I was unsuccessful.
I wasted a lot of time and got frustrated with their lack of service; they were unprofessional and far from being client-centered.
It is disappointing that they are part of Sutter Health as I have never experienced a similar situation with them.
To make a long story short, after several phone calls and submitting all requested information, they refused to offer care. However, to my amazement, 3 months after my initial contact and 2 months after their refusal, I received a call from the office telling me that they have a referral for me and they want to proceed with my appointment!!
Here is the outline for those interested in the details:
I was referred to Dr Earle by my Ob/Gyn when I was looking for an Endocrinologist for my annual thyroid check up. I was initially discouraged by the reviews but I decided to proceed anyway, after also consulting the Consumer’s Checkbook.
Mid of December:
I contacted the office asking for an appointment. They asked for paperwork (referral, previous exams and primary physician reports) before deciding to accept me or not. The referral stated that the appointment needs to be done within a month but they would not commit unless it was an emergency. I sent the documents and waited for a phone call, as instructed.
End of December:
I never received a call, so I contacted them again. They said they had received my paperwork but they were not happy with the wording of my referral, so I should provide a new one. It would have been more professional to let me know as soon as they decided there was a problem. I then emailed my provider and she made it available electronically (they are both on the same health network – Sutter Health).
Beginning of January:
Still no contact, so I called Dr Earle’s office again! The lady on the phone told me that they could see the new referral but again they were not happy with it. She did not seem very interested in answering my questions about the problem, so I had my physician send the referral for the third time. It was done via fax the next day.
Mid of January:
Another week passed without contact, so I called and they said “We don’t accept new patients from your insurance”. When I replied that somebody should have let me know, she said “I am not sure who was supposed to call you.”
They were aware of my insurance provider, Blue Shield, since the very beginning (December.) In January, Blue Shield and Sutter announced a 6-month extension to their contract, while negotiating new terms. Maybe they somehow got confused, despite the numerous announcements on the matter from both Sutter and Blue Shield.
In the end, it all boils down to a dysfunctional front desk. Being misinformed about the agreements with Blue Shield, their inability to follow through with my case, and the 3 month delay to finally call me were all very disappointing!