SACRAMENTO -- State investigators say Kaiser Foundation Health Plans improperly denied some patients timely access to mental health care, which may have worsened their conditions.
More than 6.8 million Californians get their health care through the nonprofit, which is regulated by the state Department of Managed Health Care.
The Sacramento Bee reports (http://bit.ly/11esq8F) the department found numerous problems with Kaiser's mental health care in a survey released this week.
In one Northern California location, investigators found by January 2012, the average proportion of patients waiting 15 days or more for an initial mental health appointment rose from 7 percent to 60 percent in eight months.
By law, mental health care has to be as easily accessible as physical health care. The report says Kaiser blamed low staffing and increased demand, but acknowledged the seriousness of this issue.
Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com