Palo Alto Medical Foundation is a money-making setup at its core, and every facet of my experience here has reflected this.
Doctor visits consist of an uncaring doctor ordering you extra tests, procedures, meds and/or visits while doing nothing to actually treat you on the spot. There is no sense of urgency, efficacy or compassion - because that's not how PAMF is set up. To take more of your money, they keep you hanging on for as long as possible.
Prices here are ridiculous, and PAMF is consequently vague and evasive about it. I'm talking costs that are consistently 3-4x the norm - take a few short minutes shopping around your area for other options and you'll see exactly what I mean. It's astonishing. If out-of-pocket cost is at all a concern, then GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.
To obscure their ridiculous mark-ups, PAMF will keep you in the dark about your medical costs all throughout your experience, never telling you what the cost to you will be even when you explicitly ask and hand over your insurance information.
My doctor ordered me an MRI at PAMF's Radiology that cost almost $2000. Prior to the MRI, I asked two sources at PAMF how much the procedure would cost, and everyone either said "I don't know" or "You're covered" with no additional details whatsoever.
The cost for the exact same procedure just down the street? Less than $600. How did I find out? Cold-called their number I found on Google, was quickly received by a helpful and cheery employee, gave him my insurance plan info, and was immediately provided a clear and exact cost breakdown, down to the penny. The phone call took no more than 4 minutes total.
I truly wish I could say PAMF's mark-ups are justified, but my experience at PAMF has only deepened my distrust of the medical industry and PAMF in particular. If you are looking for competent, compassionate care that empowers and enables you and your family, I can honestly say I do not recommend PAMF because they simply are not on the same page as you. Their business goals are in direct opposition to your goals of getting healthy quickly, effectively and at minimal cost. They are in fact, on the page of keeping you stupid, keeping you sick, and taking your $$$.
The only remotely positive thing I can say about my experience with PAMF is that the nurses are generally caring and have great bedside manner - better than the doctors in my experience. Many assistants and desk staff are kind too although not always helpful, which I credit to PAMF's shady training practices that surely suppress their desire to help customers make informed decisions. I think for: (1) the middling, unsympathetic doctors I've visited at PAMF, (2) being strung along through unnecessary, time-wasting visits and extra steps that thin your wallet for minimal genuine progress, and (3) the tail-chasing, questionable operation of billings, I will gladly never return to PAMF again, and I will do my part to ensure others know why.
Review about: Palo Alto Medical Foundation Medical Examination.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $225.
Preferred solution: Full refund.
I didn't like: Fraudulent business practices, That patient relations blamed the patient, Obscuring patient costs, Ordering unnecessary services, Making zero progress on my condition.