Elected officials back fight for better Kaiser mental health care

March 29th, 2019

We have seen growing political support for our campaign to win a contract that improves Kaiser mental health services.

Dozens of state senators, assembly persons, members of city councils and county Boards of Supervisors have written Kaiser CEO Bernard Tyson recently urging him to bargain in good faith for a contract that treats clinicians fairly and improves patient care. Just last week, the leader of the State Senate Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, wrote Tyson a joint letter that pulled no punches. They wrote:

“The issues identified over the years by the California Department of Managed Health Care regarding inadequate patient access to mental health treatment by Kaiser greatly concern us. We are certain you believe, as we do, that Kaiser members should not have to wait more than a month for return appointments…

 NUHW has raised a number of issues, including appointment delays, wages and increased staffing that we hope to see resolved in order to bring the negotiations to a conclusion.”

We are talking to legislators and top state officials about the importance of boosting clinician staffing to levels sufficient to ensure timely access to appropriate care along with the strict limitation and ultimate phasing out of the outsourcing of mental health services. This hopefully will ensure that Kaiser’s mental health patients receive the full benefits of reliable, accountable, integrated mental and physical health care across the full spectrum of their treatment.