Summary: Terrible service and sub par care provided by nice people in a clean office that costs a small fortune and is always out of network. Our full experience below.
After reading their reviews their practice seemed to check all the boxes we wanted including a more holistic approach to medicine and vaccines.
We scheduled our first appointment 3 days after bringing our son home. We had hoped to have him seen a day earlier. I asked if we could bring him to their offices, but we were told that the first visit was ALWAYS an in home visit. That was fine with my wife since she was still recovering from the c-section.
A day before the scheduled appointment we were told that one of the new born screenings had come back positive for a rare metabolic disorder (citruline transcarbamylase deficiency). The physical symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, seizures, unresponsiveness and lack of appetite. Our baby had NONE of these symptoms. Regardless, we were told that we must get blood work done immediately. We rushed our newborn to the lab at 7AM the next morning (for an ammonia test). This was not a simple heel prick. The lab had to draw blood intravenously.
By the time we got home from the lab (around 10AM) we had received another email from Getzwell saying that the original lab slip was incomplete and we needed to have more blood tests done. I was furious and spoke with the nurse practitioner from Getzwell. I was told that these instructions were coming from the metabolic specialists at UCSF and this was their protocol. If it was protocol you would think that the battery of tests would be standardized. We were told (again) that we needed to get these other tests done ASAP. We were scheduled to see Dr. Glynn later that afternoon and since our son showed none of the physical symptoms we decided to wait on the extra blood work to see what she thought we should do after looking him over.
Dr. Glynn completed her evaluation and said that he looked pretty good (still had a little jaundice), but his weight could be a little low. She told us that his ammonia test came back perfectly normal, but we still had to go get the other blood work done. She said that we could possibly wait a day to do it, but that we still needed to get it done. She also said that we needed to bring him in the following day to get weighed to make sure he was gaining weight. While our baby seemed to be in good health it was tough to hear that we needed to bring him back in for more blood work. We scheduled the follow up appointment for the following morning at their office on Union St. and would head over to the lab if necessary afterwards (we were hoping to be told that we did not need the additional tests done).
We saw Dr. Getzelman the next morning. She weighed him and that was it. He had gained 0.2 ounces over 18 hours! Great news, although it did seem kind of arbitrary since none of us knew if he needed to pee or poop and Dr. Getzelman never asked us when or how much his last feeding had been. We then asked her about the additional labs and if they were truly necessary. She said they were necessary even though our son showed no signs of the disorder. I asked her to call the specialists at UCSF to make sure that we weren’t missing anything. She tried calling but said that she couldn’t get ahold of anyone (it was 10:00AM on Thursday). She also couldn’t tell us anything about the disorder and what that would potentially mean for our son if he did have it. We knew as much as she seemed to after doing a days worth of internet research. We headed back to the lab for another excruciating experience.
The next day we hoped to hear from Getzwell regarding the lab results. No lab results, but we did receive receipts for the in home visit, follow up appointment and membership fee. $780 for the in home visit! $280 for the follow up visit (weighing only)! $310 membership fee!
After getting some sleep and time to reflect upon the whole experience we can’t help feeling taken advantage of and being treated like a cash register. I’m writing this review 12 days after we saw Dr. Getzelman and we still have not heard from them regarding our son’s lab results! Considering that we were made to feel that getting these tests done ASAP was imperative to our son’s well being we are shocked by the lack of follow up from them. Getzwell never seemed to advocate for our baby or us. They clearly do not have a handle on “specialists” they use and defer to. And they certainly did not provide anything close to concierge service.
We found another pediatrician and promptly received an email from Getzwell telling us it would be $25 to transfer our son’s records and may take up to 2 weeks to complete the transfer! They charged our card before they transferred the records. After some back and forth with their office manager they sent them over same day, but only after they rung our register one more time.