The Managed Care Debate

Often we are asked why we do not accept insurance for counseling services. We absolutely believe that quality mental health care should be available for everyone; however it is our experience that managed care companies actually limit consumer options and often interfere with the quality of care that is appropriate for the needs of the client. I will outline below the three main reasons we have chosen not to participate in managed care.

The Right to Choose – We believe that every client should have the right to choose the mental health professional that best fits their particular needs.   Managed care companies often place restrictions on clients by requiring that they see the therapist who can provide care in the shortest amount of time.   They may also require that a therapist apply interventions that they deem to be the most effective, but perhaps not the most appropriate for the needs of the client. In short, the insurance companies, and not the therapist, decide what type of treatment that is best for the client.   In our opinion, this is not in the best interest of the client.

Confidentiality  - By contracting with insurance companies we are required to share information regarding a diagnosis and the work that is done in session to professional review boards, thus breaching our very importance confidentiality agreement. We believe in order for the counseling process to be effective, the client must feel confident that anything discussed in the session will remain confidential. Furthermore, diagnostic information will remain on your medical record, and might even impact other areas of your life, i.e. life insurance premiums, etc.

Diagnosis and stigma – Quite often people come to therapy because they feel overwhelmed by life situations.   This is not indicative of a pathological diagnosis.   However, managed care requires a diagnosis of some form of mental illness in order to be reimbursed.   Too often when a client receives a diagnosis they begin to identify with the symptoms and characteristics of the disorder which impedes their progress.

At Roots & Wings Counseling we are committed to providing appropriate, compassionate, individualized care for all of our clients. We also understand that with the rising cost of healthcare consumers must make smart decisions when it comes to their health and finances. Utilizing healthcare savings or flex accounts can be one way to finance therapy without needing to pay high deductibles or risk the loss of confidentiality. Your complete physical, spiritual, and emotional health is our main priority, and we urge you to consider all aspects of a mental health provider when choosing a therapist that is right for you. – by Susan Orlando, LLPC, NCC