Last night a public forum was held in Santa Rosa to discuss the issue of mental health parity. Most of the attendees, speaking about their own personal experiences, focused their criticism on Kaiser Permanente’s substandard mental health services.
“Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Services Under Fire at Forum”
by Martin Espinoza, September 24, 2014
Kaiser Permanente’s local mental health services were strongly criticized Wednesday evening during a public forum in Santa Rosa aimed at spotlighting laws that require insurance providers to offer equal coverage for both mental health and physical health conditions.
A majority of the at least 40 speakers who addressed a panel, which included state and federal health care officials, blasted Kaiser, saying the HMO had failed to provide adequate and timely mental health services.
Jessica Birrer, 34, of Santa Rosa said she has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder for 12 years. Birrer said she has not received sufficient care from Kaiser mental health professionals, whom she has seen only three times in the past two years, twice related to medication services and once for therapy treatment.
“I have done everything I can to receive the treatment that I need,” Birrer said. “Until I get the treatment I need, I won’t give up on myself. As far as I’m concerned Kaiser has given up on me.”
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