Kathy Robertson, Senior Staff Writer – Sacramento Business Journal
Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 6:43am PST
State regulators have ordered Kaiser Permanente to stop denying members access to physical, occupational and speech therapy services.
The cease-and-desist order — issued Monday by the California Department of Managed Health Care — follows member complaints that Kaiser denies coverage for these services for non-physical conditions such as developmental delays, stuttering and autism without determining medical necessity.
“Kaiser Health Plan’s policy to deny physical, occupational and speech therapy services for non-physical conditions is not permitted under the Knox-Keene Act,” Anthony Manzanetti, DMHC’s chief of enforcement, said in a news release. “The DMHC is taking this action to ensure Kaiser follows the law.”
The DMHC action was applauded Tuesday by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents more than 2,200 psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, marriage and family therapist and other mental health clinicians in California.
The union — which is in the midst of contentious contract negotiations with Kaiser — released a report in November that blasts Kaiser for denying patient care for certain mental health conditions.
“DMHC’s action reinforces what we’ve been saying for months about Kaiser’s failure to provide its patients with timely and appropriate mental health services,” Clem Papazian, a licensed clinical social worker who works for Kaiser in Oakland, said in a statement.
Weekly Workers’ Roundup: Bay Area Nurses Walk Out, Puget Sound Truck Drivers Protest
by: Patrick Glennon, Working In These Times
ABC Sacramento San Jose Mercury News (Photo Essay) ABC Fresno Washington Post, 89.3 KPCC (Audio), Marin Journal, the California Report (Audio) . KFOR (Video) FOX40 Sacramento (Video) Kaiser Fontana: San Bernadino and Inland Empire Sun
Chanting “Kaiser profits THRIVING—Worker Benefits DIVING!” more than 50 workers picketed Kaiser President Bernard Tyson outside Embarcadaro Plaza in San Francisco last night. Read more about the workers’ protest here!
Dear Brothers and Sisters, After we released the findings of a survey of more than 300 Kaiser mental health care providers that showed that Kaiser understaffs its mental health services at the expense of our patients, Kaiser management did what they’ve always done. Kaiser tried to blow us off. They said our concerns for our patients […]