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A strike involving 2,000 mental health clinicians that began Monday at a Kaiser Permanente facility in Northern California led to the cancellation of more than 1,000 behavioral health service appointments, according to unions and systems.
About 1,600 follow-up treatment appointments have been canceled so far this week. The medical system was confirmed to Healthcare Dive by email on Wednesday.
Some patients opted out of visiting with other therapists if their previously booked therapist was on strike and unavailable, the system said.
Retired people include psychologists, therapists, chemical addiction counselors, and social workers, especially those with a more manageable caseload, according to the National Federation of Health Professionals, which represents these workers. We hope to take steps in the new contract that will allow us to do so.
Unions say they are too skinny to provide adequate care to patients with mental health conditions.
Workers sounded alarm about canceled appointments ahead of the strike, citing internal emails and communications. Complaint to state regulators filed Thursday.
under california lawwhen timely access to mental health care services from in-network providers is not available, health plans should arrange for care to be provided out-of-network.
The system said it is currently contacting each patient scheduled to be affected while the strike continues and is prioritizing emergency and emergency cases. It also said hundreds of therapists didn’t quit their jobs, according to the emailed statement.
The strike is unlimited and has no end date.
The California Department of Managed Health, which regulates the system, said on Monday that it Access monitoring to mental health services for patients with Kaiser health insurance who may be affected by the strike;
of The workers and the system had been negotiating for over a year and had nearly come to an agreement before the planned strike date. The clinician accepted an offer of wages from Kaiser, but was unable to obtain provisions regarding staffing and waiting times, according to the union.