- When Kaiser's mental health workers went on strike to protest what they claim is Kaiser's policy of understaffing their facilities in order to boost their profits, it left a void for the thousands of patients who relied on Kaiser's staff for mental health services. Acting as a real-time testimony to the power of telehealth, eTherapi announced a plan last week to task its 10,000 online therapists to fill that gap, even offering Kaiser patients a discount, according to a company press release.
- The online services are available through the eTherapi platform, which accepts about 95% of all health insurance plans in the state of California. The service allows patients to have their insurance coverage verified immediately when they call to book a session.
- In the meantime, the National Union of Healthcare Workers is keeping up the pressure on Kaiser, with a pugilistic Huffington Post op-ed from president Sal Roselli, who wrote, "Clinicians call that gap a patient care crisis. Kaiser calls it a profit margin." Kaiser health workers were back on the job on Monday.
Kaiser was starting to gain some ground in the telehealth field before all this happened. Now, eTherapi steps in to take care of the patients that, according to the union, Kaiser has consistently under-served for the better part of a decade.
Kaiser has not commented on the development, perhaps because their PR team is trying to keep its collective head down.