Is Your Psychiatrist Not Taking Insurance�Why?

January 12, 2014

Reuters recently published a story called �Psychiatrists less likely to take insurance than others" . The story is based on a recent study by the journal JAMA Psychiatry that only 55% of psychiatrists accept insurance. With a high demand and lack of psychiatrists, these two things factor in to why most psychiatrists do not accept insurance. In areas where psychiatrists are far and few between you will find less and less psychiatrists that take insurance. If you look at states like Massachusetts, where the ratio of psychiatrists to the population is much higher, you will find a much easier time finding a psychiatrist who accepts insurance. The reason being is because there is more competition which forces psychiatrists in Massachusetts to accept insurance whereas, in other states there is less competition and they can charge whatever and however they like. This is a big reason why the mental health care system in the US is lacking and why you hear in the news constantly about the mentally ill taking the lives of themselves or others. We need an abundance of mental health providers in our school systems and community mental health centers yet it is far more profitable for them to practice solo.

The solution is simple; a very effective way to curb this dilemma is by using telepsychiatry. Telepsychiatry can help alleviate a lot of the problem in many different ways. Telepsychiatry is very appealing to most psychiatrists and lets doctors work out of their home while not have to move to a different part of the country in order to get a job. Schools and community mental health centers can have a psychiatrist on hand through telepsychiatry without having to staff them full time and only use them when they need them. This alone could have a huge impact on mental health care in this country but the biggest impact would be patients having the ability to receive mental health treatment from home. This would force psychiatrists to become competitive with their fees and accept insurance that covers treatment through telepsychiatry.

There are few states that have laws which make it difficult to provide services through telepsychiatry but the Co-Founder of e-Psychiatry, Richard Maddaloni, states �it will be only a matter of time before states and the federal gonernment see the many benefits telepsychiatry will bring to their mental health care system�. e-Psychiatry has taken a proactive approach in the launching of their services by starting out and providing telepsychiatry soloutions to community mental health clinics, schools, emergency rooms and other mental health facilities that are having a difficult time staffing a regular full time/part time psychiatrist or other mental health provider. e-Psychiatry currently has clients all over the country where they have established psychiatrists at mental health facilities through telepsychiatry. e-Psychiatry is also gearing up their individual program where patients can receive in-home treatment from a psychiatrist licensed in their state. They will be contracting with various insurance companies so patients won�t have to pay out of pocket. e-Psychiatry estimates they will be providing all their telelpsychiatry services to nearly all 50 states by the end of the year. This will have a huge impact on mental health care in this country and help millions who need treatment.