Tag Archives: group therapy

KQED: Therapists, Patients Criticize Kaiser Over Long Delays for Therapy

Kaiser Bldg OaklandKQED has published the second of a two-part series on problems with Kaiser’s mental health services. The reporter, Jon Brooks, spoke to “some two dozen current and former Kaiser clinicians and mental health patients as well as outside therapists.” He found that the vast majority of the people he talked to complained that Kaiser overly relies on group therapy even when individual, one-on-one therapy would be more effective, and that patients continue to wait for weeks or sometimes months for therapy appointments.

One Kaiser therapist expressed her concerns: “I feel unethical when I go home at night, and feel really guilty,” she said. “People are suffering, and I fear some of my patients will commit suicide for lack of ongoing treatment, but I’m powerless to treat them because I don’t have return visits available.”

One patient, suffering from panic disorder, recounts her experiences being slotted into group therapy. The reporter relates, “she was sent to a group, where she says the discussions triggered her anxiety attacks. She estimated the number of patients in another group at about two dozen — “like cattle in there, how can anyone’s needs be met?” she said. So she quit.”

To read the full article, click here: KQED: Therapists, Patients Criticize Kaiser Over Long Delays for Therapy.

State regulators examining Kaiser’s mental health services

The Department of Managed Health Care, one of the state agencies responsible for regulating Kaiser, is currently conducting a follow-up survey of Kaiser Permanente to determine whether or not the HMO is complying with state law. In June of 2013, the DMHC fined Kaiser $4 million for violating multiple provisions of state law, including California’s Timely Access Regulations and the California Mental Health Parity Act. The DMHC’s investigation was triggered by a complaint filed by NUHW in November of 2011 in the form of a 35-page report entitled, “Care Delayed, Care Denied.”