Phantom Mental Health Services at Kaiser Permanente?
Kaiser Papers Hawaii received the following press release
from Dr. Russell M. Holstein regarding Kaiser Permanente's failure to
deliver quality mental health care services. Unfortunately, Kaiser
physicians are taught to label anyone with an undiagnosed illness as
"depressed." Don't expect much real help after the
antidepressant prescription is written, however, because as Dr. Holstein
found out, you may never see a treating clinician again!
HIDDEN LIMIT ON MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT AT KAISER
In an article appearing in the current psychological journal, The
Independent Practitioner, author/psychologist Russell Holstein, Ph.D.
reveals that Kaiser Permanente has hidden policies that keep
beneficiaries from obtaining weekly individual psychotherapy. In a
survey of Kaiser mental health treatment facilities in each geographic
location in which Kaiser operates, all but one facility had hidden
Kaiser requires that each clinician accept such a large number of new
patients that weekly psychotherapy is almost impossible except in the
most unusual circumstances. In most facilities, therapists were required
to accept six to ten new patients a week. One of the treating clinicians
at Kaiser summed it up with the statement that, "Kaiser treating
clinicians are more like greeters than treaters."
Dr. Holstein's article, "Triage as Treatment: Phantom Mental
Health Services at Kaiser-Permanente" points out that patients are
routinely assigned to group psychotherapy. He criticizes the use of this
method as a way of absorbing more and more patients with inadequate
numbers of clinicians because group therapy is not the treatment of
choice for most patients. Moreover, Kaiser literature indicates that
patients have a right to as many individual sessions as needed up to 20,
50, or unlimited. These benefits are simply impossible to obtain when
staff must constantly accept such large numbers of patients.
The article questions whether Kaiser's plan benefit description is
misleading because it offers care that is in effect not available to the
bulk of their mental health patients. He points out that many Kaiser
clinicians are aware of Kaiser's deficiencies but are no doubt fearful
of criticizing their employer openly.
For Further Information Contact:
Russell M. Holstein, Ph.D.
170 Morris Avenue, Long Branch, NJ 07740
732-571-1200 or email@example.com