Press Release: New TV commercial running in Bay Area market blasts Kaiser Permanente’s shameful record on mental health care
Emeryville – The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) released a new commercial Friday running on cable television in the Bay Area that calls attention to Kaiser Permanente’s repeated violations of mental health access laws. Some of the giant HMO’s patients can wait months to see their therapists, according to state investigators and Kaiser’s own mental health therapists.
“The public needs to know that Kaiser’s 9 million members in California can’t get the mental health care they are paying for and legally entitled to receive,”NUHW President Sal Rosselli said. “It’s time for Kaiser to finally make mental health care a top priority — not the centerpiece of a public relations campaign that doesn’t improve patient care.”
Last December, Kaiser’s mental health clinicians, members of NUHW, conducted a five-day statewide strike demanding that Kaiser improve staffing levels inside its clinics to reduce months-long wait times for appointments and stop forcing patients needing one-on-one care into group therapy. However, Kaiser executives have refused despite reporting a $2.5 billion profit last year.
The TV spot, entitled “Kaiser is in Denial,” first ran in the Washington, D.C. market last month. It will be aired on both MSNBC and CNBC for the next week in the Bay Area.