I know you have heard it by now.

Anyone thinking about being in private practice will soon hear…

“DO NOT accept health insurance”
“Insurance companies will end your business”

You will be given the litany of complaints around complications and unpaid claims.
You will hear that your decision to accept insurance might mean you have some hidden fears or devaluing issues that you have to work through.

But you won’t hear the voice of a mother on the phone seeking someone that will accept insurance for the child that is having behavior problems. You won’t hear the perspective of clients that are seeing in-network counselors OR of the mental health providers turning away clients but still having openings on their calendar.

You may not even hear the voice of the mental health professional uses insurance themselves when they visit health care professionals.

I get it…reimbursement rates are lower than cash pay and billing requires extra effort…but there is another side to the story that I don’t think we are exploring.

We have one view as a consumer and another view as a provider.

As a consumer, we want to have the services be available… We want to be able to use our insurance when we have a need, but as providers we don’t want to make ourselves available on the very “find a doctor” websites that we scroll through. What if other health care providers decided to opt out of accepting insurance? Do we see our services as just as essential to someones well being. If you are a plastic surgeon primarily working with cosmetic surgery…then sure..opt out of accepting insurance. If you are a plastic surgeon in reconstructive surgery for clients with breast cancer…that has other implications.

There has to be a better way.

Clients are frustrated trying to find providers. Providers are frustrated trying to get clients. There has to be a happy medium where we are all able to get our needs met.

First, I want to tell you from personal experience, that it is altogether possible to learn how to navigate the insurance maze and work with them to build practices that serve the community.

The real question on the table, is how do we make it work?

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Cynthia says:

    It would be great to know the best insurance companies to deal with; Companies that reimburse fees timely, and for a realistic amount. Therapists should be able to sustain their business with reimbursed amounts.

  • Art Wagner says:

    I’d like to hear about what you do (and what I can do) to avoid problems with insurance audits, especially with Medicaid and Medicare.

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