Kaiser, Don't Deny
Patients need access to timely and consistent mental health services
This is not the standard of carePublished Friday, March 29, 2019
My husband suffers from severe anxiety and went to see his doctor for both medication management and therapy. He was given a list of community therapists, none of whom were accepting new patients. After I filed a grievance, he was finally offered an intake appointment with a mental health clinician for therapy — nearly four months after seeking care. The therapist saw him once and scheduled a follow up in four weeks, which is not the standard of care. I am a primary care physician myself and for a clinic of 2,000 patients, we have two full-time behavioral health clinicians who see patients in warm handoff on the same day and schedule them for therapy within a week. If they qualify for longer term therapy, they get a timely referral. And I work in the safety net! My Kaiser premiums (luckily shared by my employer) are about $1500 per month — you would think they could afford to help my husband with the one medical problem he has. It is shameful.