In a recent national study on medical coverage efforts in regards to varying medical specialties, mental health coverage is falling short of offering adequate care for those suffering from mental health illnesses. A vast majority of those exploring the options that their medical insurance offers is not giving enough cushion for them to be able to afford to see a mental health professional for their illness. Even worse, the only options available for these patients is far more expensive than anyone should pay to be treated.
From 2016 to 2018, patients were 10 times more likely to pay for outside care in regards to their mental well being than to take the care offered by their providers. This is due to the fact that reimbursement rates were lower for mental healthcare providers than say surgical care, or primary care physicians for that matter. Looking into the matter further, more people are seeking this treatment than ever before, and for networks to push this matter to the side is just as bad as denying a person who has a broken arm treatment as well. Just because you can’t see the problem, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
Focusing now on the field of mental health, and the doctors that focus their efforts in this field of study, mental health professionals are paid far less than primary care physicians. A recent report from the American Psychiatric Association stated that “Primary care doctors were paid as much as 23.8% more than a mental health professional,” in 2017. That’s ridiculous!
In-network mental health professionals, and those just coming out of med school, are being steered cleared of offering any further assistance in the area, specifically due to the payment problem they are facing. The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchasing Coalitions conducted a study on child mental healthcare, and came back with a report showing that a child was 10 times more likely to seek out of network care for behavioral health office visits, as opposed to primary care doctors. This is double the amount of people seen in comparison to adults seeking the same treatment.
Behavioral healthcare is just that, HEALTHCARE! No matter what the case is when it comes to people needing help with their health, it should be taken care of by the insurance agencies that offer it. All aspects of a person’s well being should be taken seriously, and covered adequately. Just because it is not as likely to be seen in day to day doctors visits, doesn’t mean that it won’t be seen. This is an ever evolving matter in the field of medical care, medical coverage, and medical insurance practices. It’s time to take this seriously, and put it on the front page. #EndTheStigma