I would like to outline my policy regarding managed care and to explain why I decided to drop my participation in all of the insurance panaels (wit hthe exception of medicare and medicaid).
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HMO'S
Almost all HMO's are in business to make money. They limit the money spent on treatment for financial, rather than clinical reasons. The main, and actually only advantage for the consumer is that they pay less money out of pocket for psychotherapy services.
So what is so terrible about managed care for the consumer ?
Many studies have confirmed that the CEO's of managed care companies make millions per year through creating obstacles to assessing care. Thus, your access to care and what is in your best interest may be a secondary concern to the company. Managed care, for example, may sell your medical records to third parties without your consent. Concomitantly, the all important element of privacy and confidentiality becomes minimized or even destroyed when you choose to utilize managed care insurance. Did you know that many surveys have found that as many as 17 people may view your mental health treatment records when they are sent to the company? That you must have a diagnosis in order to be covered for what are considered "medically necessary treatments"? Or that it is managed care bureaucrats, often with little or no training other than in saving moneywho make ultimate choices about your treatment rather than your trained therapist?
When you agree to use managed care benefits to payfor therapy, in reality there are now three people in the therapy room- you, your therapist and the managed care company. This assumes that the therapist that you prefer and feel comfortable is even allowed for you to see.
Although it may costyou more to see a therapist outside your managed care insurance, remember, we get what we pay for. The advantages in seeing a therapist outide such insurance companies are many:
- You can choose your therapist.
- You evaluate if the therapist is helpful to you.
- You choose the amount of treatment that you feel is appropriate.
- You choose the type of therapy.
- You receive a guarantee that this information will not be shared without your permission except under certain conditions of state or federal law.
- You can be assured that your therapist is working for you rather than for the managed care company.
Many therapists are willing to offer payment options that may make therapy affordable for you. Many studies have shown that when therapy is effective it tends to pay for itself in terms of much less stress related doctor visits and bills, greater earning of money in one's profession through increased self esteem and productiveness and ability to go after what you want.
I would be happy to discuss these issues with any prospective patient. Carpediem.