Calif. Fines Kaiser Health Plan $4M After Mental Health Care Delivery Delays

Regulators said the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan delayed treatment -- sometimes for more than 14 days -- for patients who needed mental health care, which is a violation of the law.

Modern Healthcare: California Fines Kaiser $4M For Violating Mental Health Laws
The Kaiser Foundation Health Plan was fined $4 million by the state of California for failing to correct violations of mental health laws, including publishing materials that wrongly said the organization could deny long-term mental health care services to some plan enrollees. The health plan, which is part of the giant, not-for-profit Kaiser Permanente integrated delivery system, also was accused of violating state law by making some patients wait more than 14 days for an initial mental-health appointment (Carlson, 6/25).

Sacramento Bee: Kaiser Mental Health Care Lacking, State Says; HMO Hit With $4 Million Fine
Imposing the second-largest fine in its history, the California Department of Managed Health Care on Tuesday slapped Kaiser health plans with a $4 million penalty for failing to provide mental health treatment in a timely manner. The department also issued a cease and desist order to Kaiser, forbidding the health plan from continuing practices in violation of state law, which ensures equal care for mental and physical health (Craft, 6/26).

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