Kaiser has been under fire for a few years now with not providing adequate mental care and this appears to be a continuation of the process here with the union now bringing it to the forefront again, with the firing of a psychologist who blew the whistle on some aspects of this.
When you read around the web you can see where Kaiser is shifting some behavioral health areas over to Optum as contracts are signed. You can see it on the web pages themselves for some of the contracts they hold, go to Optum as a covered entity for mental health care, it’s right in plain sight. One hospital executive recently told me they took the easy way out with signing such contracts versus more in house coverage.
So again, keep an eye on the “too big to fail” big insurer, UHC/Optum as you may find their subsidiaries in places you may have never thought of. BD
For years, Kaiser Permanente, the largest HMO in the Bay Area, has been criticized by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents mental health care professionals in Kaiser facilities around California, for providing insufficient mental health services for its members. In 2013, the California Department of Managed Health Care vindicated those complaints when it fined the HMO $4 million for "failing to provide mental health treatment in a timely manner," according to the Sacramento Bee. The DMCH also ordered Kaiser to cease and desist from violating state law, which requires HMOs to provide mental as well as physical health care.
Kaiser was supposed to fix the problems, but in February of this year, the DMCH issued a report slamming the company for continuing to fail to meet the legal standards for mental health care, according to the LA Times.