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December 1, 2014 at 6:38 pm #816241
Any thoughts on the Providence Swedish Alliance Network? It’s open enrollment and I have the option to choose Providence Swedish or UW Medicine networks instead of a PPO plan to save on monthly contributions. My current providers are all with the Polyclinic which is aligned with Providence Swedish. I don’t have complicated medical needs, occasional PT when I get over excited about endurance sports and dermatology. It worries me a bit that things like Seattle Cancer Care is only with UW. No Cancer history in my family but a step parent recently had a major case coordinated by UW/SCCA as well as a colleague. So it concerns me to cut off a resource like that to save $300 a year. There was also a lot of noise about Swedish bending for some of Providence’s conservative views, but maybe that’s largely blown over? Swedish is pretty much the only provider in our part of town, so I’m curious how folks feel about that system since I’m not as familiar with them on a broader scale. I do know all the mom’s in my previous office wanted to all have their babies at Swedish even though it wasn’t in our plan, not that babies are in my immediate future. If I didn’t totally love my primary care doctor at Polyclinic I would probably have just started over with UW.December 1, 2014 at 9:27 pm #819876
I have, at one time or another, used all four – Providence before it merged with Swedish, Swedish, UW, and Polyclinic. I’m now with Swedish and like it, although I won’t be making any childbearing decisions.
My experience with UW came years ago. I followed a doctor from Swedish to UW. Suddenly, I could no longer get a response when I left messages that a new medication wasn’t working. After several weeks of steadily increasing headaches, I went back to Swedish. Then I finally got a response from UW. They blamed me for the problem. A friend of mine was dealing with her mother’s medical issues at UW at the same time. She said she also had great difficulty getting answers from them, that they’re more a research hospital than a patient hospital.
I think Swedish has excellent non-doctor staff, which makes a big difference in one’s experience. They also have email directly to the doctor. That cuts out the game of telephone when you need information, but don’t need to go in.
I went through cancer treatment at Swedish in 2000. I’m still alive.December 1, 2014 at 10:29 pm #819877
Katherine thank you for the insight! UW definitely is a giant hectic maze, I went to the on campus clinic a few times as a student and have been a friend’s “person” at UW ER a few times for various ailments which always end up as a minimum 5 hour ordeal and for him a mountain of messed up bills and paperwork. Polyclinic uses the same online messaging system as Swedish and I’ve really enjoyed that contact over the last few years. I feel like I’ve been able to at least establish a relationship with my doctor over the last 6 years. It’s so easy to email and ask a question and if medication needs adjusted it can be called in to your pharmacy. So simple.December 2, 2014 at 2:58 am #819878
while I’m on Medicare, and not reg. insurance, I deal with Polyclinic and Swedish(had kidney transplant there in 2013). They work side by side, so all my records are shared between them, and with me, via a website called My Chart. I love the docs and personnel at both places, it’s the best of both worlds. Wonderful care.December 2, 2014 at 3:03 am #819879
tricky..about 10 years ago I was going to Country Doctor Clinic, and had a doc there that I adored. Then she upped and moved to New Mexico. She missed Seattle, and finally moved back, and is now in the Family Clinic at Polyclinic. I see her again now. She basically “saved my life” 10 years ago, by getting me a mammo for free(I had no insurance at the time). They found cancer, and the rest is history. We both cried when she left. It’s great to be seeing her again…she’s a terrific doc, as are all that I see there.December 2, 2014 at 6:04 am #819880
I use Minor and James for my primary care and mostly Swedish for specialists. I’ve used UW in the past for detailed work up of a back issue and hand surgery and was very satisfied. I’ve also worked in healthcare so I’m probably more comfortable dealing with the organizational structure of a hospital/system. One thing is that some specialists who appear to be part of Swedish are actually not, they are affiliated. That means the medical records they have are not accessible through MyChart, the online database Swedish uses. One thing about using UW Med is that you’re more apt to have physicians who are on top of the most current development in their field (yea or nay as the case may be). It’s likely you’ll have fellows involved in some of your care through UW, mostly for follow up, even though a staff attending physician may be providing the primary direction.
Whatever you do, the most important thing is to have a primary physician you can have a connection with based on mutual respect and good communication.
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