Using the information I found on the web site of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, I called the office of Dr. J. Joseph Prendergast (the only one I could find in 20 miles around zip code 94303).
I was a bit scared to find out that they don’t take insurance… and the appointments go into the hundreds of dollars… SICKO the movie brought to you live. :S
Can anyone recommend a good endocrinologist I could start seeing in the area? Sounds like I will be commuting to San Fran to see one.
I go to Marc Jaffe, at Kaiser Permanente in South San Francisco. UCSF also has a Diabetes Center but I don’t personally know any of the endo’s there.
My advice would be to ask some people on the Insulin-Pumpers list, which is based in Milpitas, California, on San Jose’s Northeastern border. Not only are many Bay Area people with diabetes (PWD’s) on the list, but many are in the immediate area and can recommend endos they have used personally. Also: a word of advice about choosing a healthcare plan: you may wish to consider avoiding Kaiser Permanente, which is the biggest healthcare provider in California. Kaiser’s model is that they provide all services in-house at their own medical clinics (you’ll have access to endocrinologists, CDE’s, nutritionists, ophthalmologists, etc. who work for Kaiser, but you may not see the same doctor twice in a row), and they operate their own pharmacies and hospitals. That model makes sense from a cost standpoint, but many people have struggled to get insulin pumps covered and the appeals process can be difficult at best. If you have an alternative choice, you may wish to consider that, but I’m not sure what options you’ll have because it depends on the company.
Thanks for the advice, Scott.
I don’t remember the name of the plan I will have at Ning, but I am pretty sure it’s not Kaiser. Since I saw SICKO, I have not been able to forget their name. :\
I have Kaiser. They cover my pump, pump supplies, and test strips 100%, and I use a lot of test strips (sometimes >10 per day). Despite my initial cynicism, I have been pleased. My endo is excellent (was one of the leaders at Santa Clara TCOYD Conf) and despite the fact that Humalog is not on the formulary (as well as Symlin), they have covered both with a $20 copay. I saw the same CDE for 5 years until she just recently retired. I am sure there are many negative things to say about many insurances, including Kaiser, but my experience with Kaiser has been surprisingly good. You are restricted to certain doctors, and I’m not crazy about my primary care physician, but she gets the job done. Lab tests are free and the pharmacy system is well-organized and easy to manage.
Plus, in interacting with Kaiser from a provider stand-point (I work at another medical institution), they are actually one of the very few insurances that pays when they say they will pay.
Having a centralized system can have its disadvantages but for me, at my stage in life (no complications), I am happy with Kaiser. I do wish I could seek coverage for outside physical therapy, because I wasn’t too happy with it when I was injured several years back. Most of the people I have met who work there are as dedicated and competent as anyone else, I would guess.
Just my 2 cents! Maybe my coverage is better than normal. I don’t know. I haven’t seen SICKO.
I have Kaiser and have had it since i was a child. My daughter’s Pediatrician is the same one she has had since birth. I have had my GP for the last 15 years. and my endo since i was diagnosed. regarding having things covered, it all depends on the plan that you have. Make sure you have durable medical coverage. With Kaiser, My CPAP was covered, and i pay nothing out of pocket for my meter or testing strips. My Lantus, normally priced at almost $400 for 3 months worth was $15.
I had Kaiser when I lived in the Bay Area, and I have to say, I was generally pleased with the care I received and the cost of insulin, test strips etc. was definitely a LOT less than I paid with a regular PPO if you get it from a Kaiser pharmacy (and that was a great benefit because it was soooo cheap). But I was not using an insulin pump at that time, and I did hear from many people who had difficulty getting coverage, including Jon Schlaman’s son (of DiabetesTalkFest) Chris just this year. I’m glad if others had less difficulty with that, its possible that a recommendation from your Kaiser endo can make that easier, or if you’re already on a pump, they will continue covering supplies.
I had Kaiser Northeast in 1998 and their diabetes treatment was HORRIBLE. They wouldn’t officially diagnose me as diabetic despite my repeated very high blood sugars (Mid 200s in the doctor’s office several hours after breakfast) and refused to pay for any testing supplies. One reason I had to low carb for so long was that I could not get ANY treatment from them at all because my fasting blood sugar was not elevated enough. My A1c was in the mid 6% range which they said proved I wasn’t diabetic!
My daughter also lost most of the hearing in one ear thanks to the pediatrician refusing to give her any antibiotics, also a Kaiser guideline.
Maybe they are better now, but I remember reading a lot of horror stories on alt.support.diabetes about Kaiser’s poor treatment of Type 2 diabetes back in the late 90s early 200s.
Manny, sounds like you are making a HUGE move. Did you get a great new job?
Also, an endo who doesn’t take insurance–wow! I wonder if it is just enormous greed or that the insurers know something about him we can’t. Whatever it is, I’d never see a doctor with that kind of policy.
I agree with you: when they gave me their rates to see the doctor, I was like… no, thanks! :S
As for the move, yep!
I have Kaiser and I love it. I pay only $10 for any prescription unless it is less than that amount. My nurse practitioner and endo are awesome. I have learned that with kaiser you have to sometimes hunt for a good doctor. Some of them wont do anything until it is almost too late to do anything. That is why you have to look for a good one. I have know people with good experiences and with bad experiences. Basically it comes down to the fact that you cant rely on the computer to pick the best docs for you. Keep trying different ones until you find the one you like! Good Luck Manny!
I did a new search on http://www.aace.com, using “San Jose, CA” and “Mountain View, CA” as the key and found many more results.
THX to everyone for your suggestions!!
Wow! I’d missed that news. It sounds like a great opportunity and I wish you all the best with the move!
I am scheduled to have an appt. with my new endo at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation on Feb. 7… and they take insurance!
that’s awesome! i can’t wait to hear how it goes.
You are kidding me, right? You’re going to be right near Stanford University, w/one of the best medical centers in the world.
Can’t wait to see you!
Just wanted to share the news about my first appointment with my new endo here today. I was VERY impressed with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and Dr. Linde!
Hey Manny. I recently moved to Mountain View and am looking for a good endo out here. Are you still seeing Dr. Linde? Anyone you can recommend?
After this, I went with Kaiser for a few years (while I was still with the Diabetes Hands Foundation). When I left the foundation and joined Livongo (also in Mountain View), I went back to Palo Alto Medical Foundation, to reunite with Dr. Linde. I barely made it on time to see it before he retired.
So I started looking for a new endo. I ended up going with Dr. Anthony Yin, in SF. I am not sure if he is taking new patients, but his office has many endos. I recommend trying with one of them: unfortunately, there’s typically a long wait period.