Kaiser Nurses Plan NUHW Sympathy Strike Jan 31 in Protest of Short Staffing of Mental Health Services
Kaiser nurses will be holding the sympathy strike on Jan. 31 to support their co-workers who are members of National Union of Healthcare Workers who charge that Kaiser Permanente, California’s largest HMO, systematically understaffs its mental health services in violation of California state law, leaving some patients to suffer delays in receiving treatment they have already paid for and urgently need.
The subject of articles in USA Today and the Huffington Post, A report by the NUHW “Care Delayed, Care Denied” documents the problem in detail. To learn more and see the report visit: http://www.nuhw.org/caredenied.
From the Executive Summary:
“With more than 6.6 million members, Kaiser Permanente is California’s largest HMO and plays a massive role in the state’s healthcare delivery system by operating more than 35 hospitals and several hundred clinics across the state. Less well known, however, is Kaiser’s role in providing mental health services to Californians. Ranking perhaps second only to the State of California, Kaiser is one of the state’s largest providers of mental health services. The Oakland-based company guarantees its members a full array of inpatient, outpatient and emergency mental health services provided by several thousand mental health professionals. Each year, thousands of Kaiser’s members seek treatment for conditions ranging from autism, anxiety and bi-polar disorder to depression, schizophrenia and suicidal ideation.
Despite Kaiser’s pledge to provide comprehensive mental health services to its members, an in-depth analysis suggests that the HMO’s mental health services are sorely understaffed and frequently fail to provide timely and appropriate care. Patients often experience lengthy delays in obtaining services, an overreliance on “group therapies,” and frustrating obstacles that push many patients to forgo care or seek treatment elsewhere at their own cost…
Kaiser’s substandard care also comes at the same time that the HMO is reporting record profits of $5.7 billion [emphasis ours] since 2009.”
View Statements of Concern by the National Association of Social Workers – California Chapter, California Psychological Association and CAMFT.