California's managed-care regulatory agency found that many Kaiser patients seeking mental health services had to wait weeks for care. Kaiser's Sept. 9 response indicates it disagrees with that analysis, while accepting the $4 million penalty nonetheless.
The organization tracks wait times, which many plan providers aren't able to do, so Kaiser is claiming the department is applying unfair standards. In addition, new policies are in place, for example, to better utilize electronic tracking of appointments rather than handwritten waiting lists.
It is the second-largest penalty ever handed down by the department.