Requesting Out of Network Coverage for Psychiatrist

Peter Forster Costs of Treatment, Policy

EXTENDING MEDICAL BENEFITS TO NON-PREFERRED PROVIDER PHYSICIANS Some of the most heartrending calls that we receive  from potential patients have to do with  people who are unable to find  psychiatrists  who are covered under their insurance plan. One solution may be to request out of network coverage for a psychiatrist. Background There are several problems that make this a common …

Where is the Outrage About Suicide?

Peter Forster Major Depression, Policy

A wonderful editorial in JAMA Psychiatry highlights the overwhelming evidence that stigma is continuing to drive underfunding for treatment and prevention of suicide deaths. Suicide and “accidental” overdose deaths are an epidemic in this country. Since 1999, the rate of suicide deaths increased by 28.2%, and this probably underestimates the increase because there is evidence that coroners are categorizing more and …

Depression Screening Recommended

Peter Forster Best Practices, Major Depression, Policy, Testing

Although it seems like nothing more than common sense, we were very pleased to see that the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which is the major organization responsible for guidelines for public health interventions in the United States, added depression screening for adults, in particular for pregnant women and women who recently given birth, to its short list of …

Mental Health and Violence Conference

Peter Forster General, Policy

I am very pleased to share an announcement for a conference for mental health professionals and psychiatrists sponsored by the Northern California Psychiatric Society . The topic is both an important one and one about which there is much confusion and strong conflicting opinions. I’m proud that our local district branch is not walking away from it but has arranged …

Parity Website

Peter Forster Policy

We ran across information about a new website that is drawing attention to the issue of mental health parity and that is dedicated to helping people get the behavioral health treatment they need – Paritytrack.org. The essence of the federal law that requires mental health parity in insurance coverage is not that mental health needs to have a certain level of …

Integrated Medical and Mental Health Care Works

Peter Forster Physical Conditions and Health, Policy

 Integrated medical and mental health care works. And this may be psychiatry’s moment to shine. That’s the suggestion made by an expert in the field of health management in a lecture that he gave at last week’s institute for Psychiatric Services Meeting in San Francisco. He cites increasing focus on managing people with chronic medical conditions and high cost — …

Prior Authorization Form – New Law in California

Peter Forster Costs of Treatment, Policy

Prior authorization forms for medications, and the entire prior authorization process, can be a nightmare. In my experience, with at least one company, the rule seemed to be, if you filled out a form you were told that you needed to call to obtain the OK, and if you called you were told to fill out a form. It was …

Huge Victory on Mental Health Parity in California

Peter Forster Costs of Treatment, Policy

On September 10th the California Supreme Court let stand a California Appeals Court decision that the California mental health parity law requires coverage of treatment that may have no equivalent in other medical specialties. Specifically, the Appeals Court held that Blue Shield of California must cover residential treatment for eating disorders. The Court noted that residential treatment was among the …