Kaiser, Don't Deny

Patients need access to timely and consistent mental health services

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Patient Stories

Mental health really is life and death

Published Tuesday, October 8, 2019

When I was having depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, Kaiser made me wait for intake appointments and said a doctor would call me; however, I waited on those appointment dates and no one called me. When I called back, I had to leave voicemails and wait for them to call me back. When they called back, they said they did not know what happened and rescheduled the telephone intake. I couldn’t wait and needed to see a therapist ASAP so I started seeing one outside of Kaiser through Magellan. A therapist I had seen years ago. Now, Kaiser won’t pay for those therapy sessions because they said I hadn’t completed my intake and been approved for services. I explained the missed intake appointments, how no one called me, and how, when I called back, I had to leave voicemails and wait for a return phone call. Kaiser said there was nothing they could do about that and they can’t back-date the referral. If I had waited for Kaiser to do my intake, it would have taken too long for me to receive the mental health services that I needed immediately. So I have to pay out-of-pocket for those sessions prior to my intake that was delayed due to Kaiser’s mistakes. Kaiser treats mental health as though it is a scraped knee, when really it is life and death.