Emergency mental health practitioner accessibility

Contracted mental health practitioners are expected to be available at any time to assess and stabilize members in their care. If you plan to be unavailable, you must arrange for coverage.

If you are unable to meet the following initial access standards or the member's requested time frame, refer the member to the Mental Health Access Center for referral to another practitioner.

  • For members needing routine, non-urgent care, meet with the member within two weeks of member contact.
  • For urgent care, you must meet with the member within 48 hours.
  • For emergent care, you must meet with the member within six hours.

When you have reason to believe that a member requires a higher level of service than you can provide, contact the Mental Health Access Center (MHAC) at 206-630-1680 or toll-free at 1-888-287-2680, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to determine the course of action. MHAC staff will assist in determining the need for urgent or emergent care and will work with the member and practitioner to assure adequate stabilization appointments are available.

If after-hours, on holidays, or weekends, contact EPRO for notification. Authorizations are not provided after-hours, on holidays, or on weekends. In these cases, contact EPRO (Emergency Patient Resources and Options) at 1-800-337-3197 to inform Kaiser Permanente of admission. The MHAC will review on the next business day.

If the member is at immediate risk of harm to self or others, follow appropriate clinical protocol and, if necessary, call 911.

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