This obviously has to change.
There are no easy answers, but as someone who has all too often seen critical treatment decisions be dictated by whether or not this or that level of care can be paid for, I believe that there is a better system on the horizon.
We have to reach a system where a caregiver (doctors, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, etc) can make decisions based ONLY on what they feel is in the best interest of the patient. Anyone who is responsible for your care, should be able to treat you with the only concern being finding the best way to get you on the road to recovery. That should be the gold standard for any type of healthcare, whether it be mental or physical health. "Can it be paid for?" should never be part of the decision making process. That it is creates doubt in the efficacy and legitimacy of your treatment.
There may be a better medication that would seem to be a better fit for your specific condition, but the insurance company has reached a deal to only allow the prescription of another (albeit similar) medication which may prove less effective. There may be a type of treatment that would be a better fit for your particular situation, but when insurance declines to pick up the tab because they are unconvinced that it is necessary, the patient is left to their own devices.
So I believe that there are two sides of the coin that must be seriously looked at in order for this vision of healthcare to come to pass: payment and regulation.
Unfortunately, healthcare providers can't live on love alone. They have to be provided a living. Might it be a good idea to provide this for them, and make it illegal for them to handle money whatsoever? I don't know. (though I certainly wish this would come to pass for some of our loot loving politicians!) But we must remove "incentives" at some point. Healthcare providers should not have to worry over money. They have enough to worry about with the care of their patients. That should be enough. The fact that there are numerous cases out there of people getting filthy rich by defrauding the government is a nice bullet point for this argument.
Regulation plays another role in how patient care is determined. In the various managed care organizations I worked at, we were buried in regulations, and put patients through various processes and assessments that were unnecessary and time wasting in spite of being in an emergency triage situation. However, it is the law that we do so. And the threat of litigation looms too large. Healthcare professionals know what is and isn't necessary to properly care for patients. Hanging unnecessary regulations over our heads does little to progress patient care, and takes away from the efficiency that we could otherwise conduct.
How we get to this goal has no easy answer. However, I believe it is a worthy conversation. And one we must have soon.
Counseling and Therapy in Dallas
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