February 19, 2010

Kaiser reverses decision to end after-hours urgent-care services at facility

Kaiser Permanente has reversed a decision to stop offering its heavily used after-hours urgent-care services in Kensington after members protested, a top Kaiser executive said Thursday.

The HMO, which has nearly a half-million members in the Washington metropolitan area, sent a letter to members three weeks ago informing them that urgent care at its Kensington Medical Center would end effective Feb. 28. The after-hours services were to be relocated to Kaiser's Shady Grove facility, about 10 miles away, Kaiser said.

The Kensington office serves about 125,000 members in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring, Kensington and parts of the District, and offers basic health care after standard work hours, officials said. Members said they were angry about the inconvenience and lack of notice, coming two months after open enrollment had ended.

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