|John Nelson, Kaiser's VP of Public Relations|
Today, SEIU-UHW’s Dave Regan suffered a smackdown that leaves little doubt about who butters his biscuits.
Two months ago, as 3,500 Kaiser employees prepared for a weeklong strike to protest the understaffing of Kaiser's mental health clinics across California, Regan took the unprecedented step of teaming up with John Nelson (Kaiser Permanente's Vice President of Public Relations and Communications) to launch a coordinated P.R. attack against the workers.
An article in "Modern Healthcare" featured matching quotes from Regan and Nelson dismissing clinicians’ claims about the understaffing.
Members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers are accusing healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente of understaffing its mental-health services, and they're threatening to strike if their issues aren't resolved… But Dave Regan, president of the SEIU-UHW, which represents 45,000 Kaiser employees across the state, dismissed NUHW's concerns, saying that the staffing problem “was a limited one and is completely solved.” (Modern Healthcare, “Kaiser Mental-Health Staffing under Fire Again,” December 4, 2014)
This morning, government investigators released a 33-page report detailing the results of their months-long investigation into Kaiser's mental health services. They cited Kaiser for multiple violations of state law, including understaffing its mental health clinics and forcing patients to endure lengthy, illegal waits for care. Investigators are contemplating additional fines against Kaiser – that’s on top of the $4 million fine that Kaiser already paid last September.
In an article published today by the Los Angeles Times, Shelley Rouillard (the Director of California’s Department of Managed Health Care) directly refuted Regan's earlier statement:
For the second time in two years, California regulators have faulted HMO giant Kaiser Permanente for causing mental health patients to endure long delays to get treatment… In Northern California, patients didn’t get initial or follow-up appointments within the required time frame of 10 to 15 business days in 22% of the records reviewed… “That is not a good performance,” Rouillard said. “Fundamentally it comes down to there are not enough providers in the Kaiser system to serve everyone who needs mental health services." (Los Angeles Times, “State again faults Kaiser Permanente for mental health treatment delays,” February 24, 2015)
So… Regan not only pimps for the Boss, he knowingly lies for the Boss, and gladly throws patients and healthcare workers under the bus.
If you're a member of SEIU-UHW, wouldn't that make you a bit nervous?