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Oakland-Based Kaiser Agrees To Pay $4M Fine Over Access To Mental Health Services

OAKLAND (CBS/AP) — Health care giant Kaiser Permanente has agreed to pay a $4 million fine over allegations it denied some patients timely access to mental health services.

The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reports that Oakland-based Kaiser has dropped its appeal of the fine issued last year by the state Department of Managed Health Care.

The department said Kaiser patients faced long waitlists to see a mental health professional. It also accused Kaiser of having educational materials that discouraged patients from seeking medically necessary care.

Kaiser, which disagreed with many of the state's findings, said in a statement it wanted to focus all of its energy on its continuing efforts to improve mental health care service.

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