Governor Newsom Statement on Kaiser Mental Health Settlement
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom issued the below statement after the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) announced a settlement agreement with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. (Kaiser Permanente) to make significant changes to the plan’s delivery of behavioral health care services.
The settlement agreement includes a $50 million fine and requires Kaiser Permanente to take corrective action to address deficiencies in the plan’s delivery and oversight of behavioral health care to enrollees. Kaiser Permanente has also pledged to make additional significant investments, totaling $150 million over 5 years, into programs to improve the delivery of behavioral health services for all Californians, beyond Kaiser Permanente’s existing obligations to its members under the law.
“This settlement agreement aims to provide Kaiser patients with the care they are entitled to in a timely manner. Today’s actions represent a tectonic shift in terms of our accountability on the delivery of behavioral health services. Accountability of the private sector is foundational to ensuring our entire system of behavioral health care works for all Californians,” said Governor Newsom.
REAL IMPACT FOR PEOPLE: This settlement will mean Californians with Kaiser will have full access to the behavioral health care services they are entitled to under California law. California law says that enrollees must be offered a first mental health or substance use disorder treatment or support appointment within 10 business days of request, and a follow-up appointment, if needed, within 10 business days of the prior appointment.
More information regarding the settlement can be found here.