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Los Angeles Board of Supervisors passes resolution in support of Kaiser therapists

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors in March became the second elected body to pass a resolution criticizing Kaiser for making it harder for therapists in Southern California to meet the needs of their patients.

In a unanimous vote, the board expressed its opposition to Kaiser’s decision to reduce the amount of time clinicians have to perform critical patient care duties in addition to individual and group therapy sessions.

Currently clinicians in Northern California get approximately seven hours of “Patient Management Time” per week, while in Southern California clinicians get as few as two hours.

In their resolution, the supervisors stated that “Kaiser has the means to provide all Los Angeles County residents with high quality mental health care,” and that:

“Quality mental healthcare consists of more than face-to-face visits. It requires that therapists have sufficient time to respond to patient calls and emails, communicate with social service agencies, tailor treatment plans and chart appointments.”

Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath authored the resolution and released this statement after it passed:

 “The Board of Supervisors stands with Kaiser mental health professionals in their call for appropriate and sustainable Patient Management Time. “We call on Kaiser to reverse the cuts and provide every therapist with the time that is required to provide essential therapy services to the patients counting on them.”

Several allied organizations submitted support letters for the resolution, including the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, the Glendale Teachers Association, and Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. UNITE HERE Local 11 had a representative speak on behalf of the resolution during the supervisors’ meeting.

The resolution in Los Angeles County comes just three months after supervisors in Orange County passed a bipartisan resolution opposing cuts to Patient Management Time and calling on Kaiser to provide therapists in Southern California the same amount of time as their counterparts in Northern California.

Other elected officials demanding Kaiser reverse its cut to Patient Management Time include Congresswoman Katie Porter, State Senators Dave Min, Josh Newman, and Scott Wiener, and Assemblymembers Sharon Quirk-Silva, Cottie Petrie-Norris, and Avelino Valencia.

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