The mere fact that managed care companies continue to reduce the reimbursements to providers, while increasing both the costs and limitations in coverage to their subscribers, is reason enough not to continue to participate in managed care programs. But that is NOT why we do not participate.
Our main concern is our patients’ well-being, and many patients, as well as professionals, are expressing a deep concern about a patient’s right to privacy. These rights have frequently been violated by some managed care companies- in some cases, with disastrous consequences for the patient. (Programs on “60 Minutes” and articles in Newsday, for example, have clearly spelled out these outrageous violations.)
It is unacceptable that therapist/patient confidentiality, which is so necessary for those seeking psychological services, has been compromised. Here’s how this happens:
Insurance companies require participating, “in-network” mental health professionals to divulge very personal and confidential information about a patient in order to obtain approval for a limited number of visits which they, the managed care companies (without knowing the patient or the patient’s needs) determine. Then, once these allotted sessions are up, participating providers are forced to provide even more information (and “justification”) to get their approval once again for another limited number of sessions. If granted, treatment is allowed to continue. If not, the full financial responsibility for payment falls on the patient, many of whom are then forced to prematurely end treatment.
Experts in the mental health profession view this invasion of privacy as totally unethical, inappropriate, unnecessary… and even dangerous. Deemed as “a method of containing costs”, in reality these practices are enabling these managed care giants to totally eliminate costs by not certifying much-needed sessions… and increasing their own bottom line.
Because many people are still unaware of these “insurance company requirements”, and because we are so appalled that a patient’s right to privacy and proper treatment is being jeopardized, we feel it is our duty and responsibility to provide this information to our patients. This will enable each person to choose whether they want to obtain treatment under these conditions, or consider other options. Here is what The Coping Counselors at the Center for Coping do to rectify this problem:
Our Coping Counselors offer:
- Programs and services to meet the needs of those individuals who choose not to obtain treatment under their managed care programs, or choose to obtain services from out-of-network providers (us), deciding to keep their personal business personal!
- Services including sliding scale private counseling, reduced-fee group programs, and a variety of other services, any of which will enable participants to truly keep their involvement in professional services confidential. . . all without being obligated to provide treatment-related information to their insurance companies, thus protecting their privacy.
- A number of different payment plans are available to make participation in our services as affordable and comfortable as possible.
We work hard to meet the financial needs of any individual who works with us. Please let us know how we can help.
If you have any questions, please call our billing department at (516) 822-3131.