In Tuesday’s Expert Perspective, Ron Manderscheid outlined three common kinds of challenges to accessing mental health care: insurance-related, provider-related, and distance-related challenges. Yesterday we heard from Jennifer, who experienced the first of these roadblocks, and tomorrow we’ll hear yet another story from someone who experienced these barriers first-hand.
Today’s story is from Doug. His provider-related challenges may sound familiar to you: he was denied access to quality care because a provider stopped seeing individuals on Medicare.
As of late, I have found that more and more psychiatrists are collectively dropping Medicare patients. This is and will become a big problem for individuals on disability for mental illness, and for society as a whole.
This issue hits far too close to home. I was with a psychiatrist for 10 years who stopped accepting Medicare, while still accepting other forms of insurance, so now I am under the care of a nurse practitioner who doesn’t have nearly the expertise as a doctor of psychiatry.
There are not enough state-mandated resources to handle all of the mentally disabled individuals without the help of private psychiatric practitioners. There should be laws put in place that require all psychiatrists who accept insurance to accept at least a certain percentage of Medicare recipients. Otherwise, there will be many individuals that WILL fall through the cracks.
People on Medicare disability for mental illness need the best and brightest more than other patients, otherwise they would not be on disability for mental illness. Furthermore, if they do not get that premium health care, they most likely will be on disability for life, putting an obvious burden on themselves, as well as society as a whole.
What do you think of Doug’s ideas? Does his story sound familiar? Comment below and let us know!