Last year Kaiser was fined $4 million by the state of California that stated patients were not getting timely care and access.  The California Department of Managed care was the agency who assessed the fine.  I have read other accountings on the web here and there about this imagetopic so this is nothing new and even some prior employees have said the same.  Kaiser replied they are fixing things up and hiring more therapists to make the system better.

2,500 Kaiser mental health clinicians belong to the National Union of Healthcare Workers and this is the group today that is claiming things are not getting any better.  In some areas and I don’t know how long ago the contracts were signed but you can see where Kaiser has partnered with the “too big to fail” healthcare insurer, United via their Optum subsidiary and they are not alone as when you view a page from the University of California, Health net, Kaiser and Blue Shield also appear to have Behavioral health benefits there. 

In addition, Kaiser provides their “Life Connections” Health Center arrangements for services outside of Kaiser facilities and you find Optum there as well for behavioral health and this appears to be something that comes along with employer provided insurance as there one page that lays it out for Cisco employees you can find on an open search.  BD 

EMERYVILLE -- Psychologists and therapists on Thursday demanded that Kaiser fix what they say is inadequate mental health care, with patients sometimes having to wait more than a month for follow-up appointments.

"We're so understaffed that patients are having to wait upward of two or more months to get in for an appointment. The average wait is four to eight weeks," said Marcy Reda, a Kaiser Walnut Creek clinical social worker.

Kaiser issued a statement saying the workers were misstating the facts: "We have hired hundreds of therapists in California over the past several years, and are working to hire more," the HMO said in an email.


  1. As a Kaiser member who has certain mental health "challenges," I can attest to the problematic state of the Kaiser mental health backlog. I make constant jokes about getting appointments. It's difficult to get appointments with psychiatrists or therapists that's any sooner than 45 days away. And for people who need intense therapy, that's simply useless.

    I consider Kaiser to be the best health care system in the country (which is a low bar indeed). I love how integrated everything is, and my primary care and psychiatrist can interact on an almost holistic approach to my health. However, I can get an appointment in 24 hours with my PCP, but waiting months for a shrink is bad medical care. And as much as I pay for Kaiser (I pay platinum premiums under the affordable care act), I can't understand why they don't provide more focus on mental health.


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