The New York Times recently reported that the Obama administration was completing the final steps in ensuring that healthcare insurers placed mental health and drug addiction treatment on equal parity as treatment for physical illness. Although there will be obstacles still to overcome, all insurers will now be providing coverage for mental health. These policies are likely to have ramifications beyond the borders of the United States. For example, Canada, which prides itself on being more progressive than the United States, long ago reduced the need for profit-based health insurers by providing provincially-determined, tax-funded health insurance programs. However, provinces such as Ontario do not cover mental health needs. With these changes in covered health care in the United States, there is a good chance that provinces like Ontario will begin to re-examine the coverage their plan provides for Canadian citizens.
All of this is good news for health care users. For many, the out-of-pocket cost of mental health care has placed it beyond their grasp. If they received any treatment, it would have been through their primary physician, an individual qualified only for administering pharmacotropic solutions that only treat symptoms rather than the underlying causes. In a world filled with fiscal crises, economic inequalities, rumours of war or warlike behaviour, increased violence and massive unemployment or underemployment, this sea of change will open the doors for those who have been suffering in silence so that they can get the treatment that will put them on the path towards life where they feel that they can begin working towards and achieving their goals.
These changes may pose a mixed blessing for mental health care providers. Making your services more readily available to those who need them is a good thing. However, if you already have your time booked solid and are putting potential clients on waiting lists, you will undoubtedly feel the pressure to move them through more quickly. Furthermore, as insurers adopt and push a tougher outcomes model for physical medicine, they will certainly apply the same model for psychotherapists.
Almost as if anticipating these changes in health care, MyOutcomes is the solution that therapists will be seeking to help them address this increased demand for their services. As the technologically advanced, web-based development of the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS), MyOutcomes offers the two, ultra-brief, easily implemented scales that have been repeatedly demonstrated to improve the effectiveness of all therapists regardless of theoretical orientation. The Outcome Rating Scale, or ORS, provides a session-by-session measurement of therapeutic outcomes, while the Session Rating Scale, or SRS, provides a session-by-session measurement of the strength of the therapeutic alliance.
As insurers and government programs move more and more to an outcomes focused treatment model to reduce health care costs, MyOutcomes is there to help therapists easily make this transition. As research has clearly demonstrated that PCOMS can reduce the length of stay in psychotherapy by as much as 50%, MyOutcomes is the ideal tool for those therapists who are focused on helping their clients achieve their therapeutic goals in a timely manner. This, of course, means that therapists can dramatically reduce the length of time that potential clients sit on waiting lists.
Category: Mental health insurance