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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!


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 restrictions.


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.


Entire Article:



For Further Information Contact:

Russell M. Holstein, Ph.D.
170 Morris Avenue, Long Branch, NJ 07740
732-571-1200 or brholstein@aol.com


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