Kaiser Permanente’s new Santa Rosa behavioral health center is ready to receive patients.
The giant health insurer has leased 60 offices at 2235 Mercury Way, which will be staffed by 47 clinicians and 10 physicians. The center was shown off to VIPs on Thursday, and the center officially will open July 31.
“Mental health is no longer a separate part of the way we view total health. That we have this facility speaks volumes as to how much we value and how important behavioral health is to us,” said Camille Applin-Jones, medical group adviser at Kaiser.
The newly renovated space features state-of-the-art offices plus one-way-mirror observation rooms, separate waiting areas for families and individuals and a subdued color scheme. There is a secondary waiting area for those waiting for family. Other design features are education classrooms and a kitchen for helping treat those with eating disorders.
The center also has its own specimen-collection lab on site, which will help increase treatment compliance, said Sheila Clancy, services director.
The facility also has security enhancements that include surveillance cameras and on-duty security officers.
Kaiser also is building a $50 million, 87,000-square-foot medical office building at 2240 Mercury Way, across the street from the behavioral health center.
The new three-story building will offer a wide-range of primary and specialty care services, including pharmacy, lab and imaging. It’s expected to be complete in early 2018.
The behavioral health center comes as Kaiser and California insurance regulators announced a settlement agreement to correct issues with the plan’s oversight of and access to behavioral health services for its members.
The agreement follows warnings dating back to 2012 by the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) that Kaiser was violating state law by failing to get patients into appropriate treatment soon enough. As a result, Kaiser in 2013 agreed to pay a $4 million fine — one of the largest ever paid by an insurer in the state.
Under terms of the agreement, Kaiser will continue to revamp its Behavioral Health Quality Assurance Program to ensure that problems are quickly identified and addressed.
From 2012 to 2017, Kaiser hired 850 additional behavioral health physicians statewide.
Cynthia Sweeney covers health care, hospitality, residential real estate, education, employment and business insurance. Reach her at Cynthia.Sweeney@busjrnl.com or call 707-521-4259.