Kaiser, Don't Deny
Patients need access to timely and consistent mental health services
I’ve repeatedly requested a Kaiser psychiatristPublished Friday, February 22, 2019
My family selected Kaiser in large part because we were told you didn’t need a referral for psychiatry. I immediately requested a psychiatrist for care of my previously diagnosed anxiety and OCD. I was told I didn’t need a psychiatrist because my PCP could manage my medications, but I could see a psychologist. At my first visit, the psychologist agreed that I needed consistent and frequent therapy, but said that Kaiser could not accommodate more than one session per six weeks. I missed one appointment and was removed from the system. I was given a referral for care outside Kaiser. I was given one therapist to call and it didn’t work out. After repeated attempts to obtain a psychiatrist, I was finally referred out of network to a physician an hour away. This physician only did video appointments. I was billed for more than $500 in fees that I would not have been responsible for had I been allowed to see a doctor at Kaiser. I currently monitor my own psych meds with a PCP calling in my refills. In more than three years, Kaiser has refused to provide me a psychiatrist at all, let alone one I can see on a regular basis. I’ve repeatedly requested a Kaiser psychiatrist and have been repeatedly told I am “on a different system and only qualify for outside referrals.” After the last nightmare, I refuse to go down that path again.