Kaiser to invest in telehealth as part of plan to correct mental health wait times

The California Department of Managed Health Care and Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Foundation Health Plan reached an agreement to correct issues hindering patient access to behavioral health services.

The department identified issues related to both access to behavioral health services at the health plan and issues with information Kaiser provided to enrollees regarding behavioral health services in 2015 and 2017. The agreement confirms Kaiser's commitment to resolving deficiencies.

The agreement builds on Kaiser's recent investments in behavioral health access, which have included hiring additional mental health providers and creating a mental health awareness campaign.

Kaiser Permanente also plans to expand the facilities where it offers behavioral healthcare services, according to a statement released by Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. The service expansion includes adding and updating therapy rooms with videoconferencing technology.

Failure to meet deliverables and benchmarks noted in the agreement may result in financial penalties, according to the DMHC.

Click here to view the full agreement.

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