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Vice President, Mental Health and Wellness

Primary Location Oakland, California Worker Location Onsite Job Number 1234148 Date posted 11/29/2023
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Job Summary:

The Medical Director, Mental Health and Wellness (MHW) is a leader within the national program office responsible for Health Plan quality oversight, ensuring all members and patients in the California markets seeking mental health and wellness services receive high quality, excellent care and service, delivered in compliance with laws and regulations. The Mental Health and Wellness portfolio is inclusive of the continuum of emotional, psychological and psychiatric health as well as Autism care and psychological elements of Transgender Care. This leader will leverage  extensive clinical and medical expertise in mental health and wellness to identify areas of risk and care gaps to improve the clinical outcomes for Kaiser Permanente patients and members. The MHW Medical Director will provide clinical and medical expertise to create and/or maintain evidence-based practices and serve as a subject matter, medical expert and advisor to legal counsel and the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals Board of Directors in surfacing issues and creating and/or reviewing system-wide changes to mental health care services. The incumbent in the position will design, direct and implement the Mental Health and Wellness Quality Assurance Program, a program that will ensure performance across all California mental health units is routinely monitored, documented, and issues are escalated appropriately. The MHW Medical Director will work with appropriate Health Plan departments to deploy assessments on relevant behavioral and mental health areas/functions and to ensure care providers follow statutory timelines, laws, and regulations. The position will report directly to the Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, Health Plan and Hospitals Quality with a dotted line to the Northern and Southern California markets- Vice Presidents of Safety, Quality & Regulatory Services  to ensure coordination, collaboration and quality protection as needed. This position will have frequent interactions with national and local executives and leaders, regional KFH/HP,TPMG and SCPMG executives and other regional partners (Quality, Legal, etc.).

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Under the direction of the Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer and matrixed direction from the Northern and Southern California markets- Vice Presidents of Safety, Quality, and Regulatory Services, and in collaboration with key KFH/HP stakeholders, SCPMG and TPMG partners, the MHW Medical Director will: 
  • Provide strategic, medical and clinical expertise to Kaiser Permanente Behavioral and Mental Health teams to identify and resolve complex and cross-functional operational issues associated with access and quality of care. This requires initiating, leading, coordinating, and supporting a broad range of regional strategies to achieve industry-leading quality, service, patient safety, and risk management.
  • Develop the California Mental Health and Wellness Quality Oversight program strategy in coordination with the National, Northern California and Southern California quality and mental health and wellness teams.
  • Understand global, national and state trends and emerging methods that inform the development and deployment of performance reporting systems and oversight processes to surface relevant performance issues in a timely manner, including development of appropriate metrics required to strengthen the performance of Mental Health and Wellness in partnership with California market leadership. 
  • Perform medical case review for quality and risk evaluation and surface opportunities for improvement and considerations for peer review.
  • Develop, deploy and manage a comprehensive system for monitoring and evaluating access and network adequacy, including policies and procedures for identifying and addressing problems with operational leaders that may develop.
  • Co-chair the Behavioral Health Quality Oversight Committees (BHQOC), subcommittees of the regional KP Northern California Quality Oversight Committee and KP Southern California Quality Committee. The Mental Health and Wellness Medical Director will also serve as a voting member on both the KP Northern California Quality Oversight Committee  and the Southern California Quality Committee which report to the Board Quality and Health Improvement Committee (QHIC). 
  • Provide input for the Mental Health and Wellness Joint Operational Northern California and Statewide committees.
  • In collaboration with Legal, Compliance, and regional leadership, the Mental Health and Wellness Medical Director will be responsible for providing leadership and promoting compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements related to the provision of mental health and wellness services to Kaiser Permanente members and patients. 
  • Partner with Member Services and Experience leadership to surface and resolve issues related to member mental health services experience, complaints and grievances and denials.
  • Provide consultation, guidance and assure compliance with regulatory standards associated with the review of appeals, denials and Independent Medical Review (IMR) and share lessons learned.
  • Contribute to the regional policies, procedures, and practices for mental health and wellness policies. Develop and/or advise on new policies and procedures, as needed.
  • Partner with national colleagues on Non-Quantitative Treatment Limits (NQTL) comparative analyses.
  • Actively look to find synergies and best practices with colleagues in California and in other KP markets. Regularly perform external scans for best practices and benchmark performance.
  • Participate in the development and execution of a statewide and national mental health strategy.
  • Oversee and direct the following quality functions within Mental Health and Wellness:
    • Clinical effectiveness
    • Consumer Experience and Member Journey
    • Process improvement management
    • Mental Health quality data management
  • New and emerging therapeutics and technologies (eg Brexanalone, intra-nasal Ketamine)
Basic Qualifications:


  • A minimum of fifteen (15) years of experience in Behavioral and Mental Health Care.


  • Professional medical degree (MD).

License, Certification, Registration

  • Doctor of Medicine License (California)

Additional Requirements:

  • Current Board Certification in Psychiatry with significant clinical practice experience.

  • Expertise in understanding national and international mental health models of care based on research, experience, or association.

  • Experience working effectively with physicians and health system leaders in the provision of care.

  • The ability to communicate, establish credibility, and work collaboratively with a diverse range of professionals.

  • The ability to organize and mobilize resources toward achievement of goals within a matrix environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in senior operational management and/or leadership role in large complex delivery systems, 5-10 years of experience preferred

Primary Location: California,Oakland,Ordway Scheduled Weekly Hours: 40 Shift: Day Workdays: Mon - Fri Working Hours Start: 08:00 AM Working Hours End: 05:00 PM Job Schedule: Full-time Job Type: Standard Worker Location: Onsite Employee Status: Regular Employee Group/Union Affiliation: NUE Executives|NUE|Non Union Employee Job Level: Executive/VP Department: Po/Ho Corp - Office of the EVP Quality - 0308 Pay Range: $292500 - $365625 / year Travel: Yes, 15 % of the Time On-site: Work location is on-site (KP designated office, medical office building or hospital). Worker location must align with Kaiser Permanente's Authorized States policy. At Kaiser Permanente, equity, inclusion and diversity are inextricably linked to our mission, and we aim to make it a part of everything we do. We know that having a diverse and inclusive workforce makes Kaiser Permanente a better place to receive health care, a more supportive partner in our communities we serve, and a more fulfilling place to work. Working at Kaiser Permanente means that you agree to and abide by our commitment to equity and our expectation that we all work together to create an inclusive work environment focused on a sense of belonging and wellbeing.

Kaiser Permanente is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, parental status, ancestry, disability, gender identity, veteran status, genetic information, other distinguishing characteristics of diversity and inclusion, or any other protected status. Submit Interest