Rising insurance costs have put the entire mental health industry, and the clients we serve, in a tricky position. Even if a client has insurance, the co-pays are high, and rising, and many healthcare providers limit the number of sessions that a person can attend in one year. Paying out of pocket has become untenable as those seeking mental health treatment bare a minimum of $100 per session, a cost that cannot be absorbed by clients already struggling in a poor economy. Open Path Collective, a non-for-profit started by Paul Fugelsang, MA, LPS, is attempting to address this:
Open Path is the first nationwide movement of mental health care professionals actively addressing economic disparity in the mental health field. Search for therapists in your area and receive in-office or online video mental health care for $30 to $50 a session. At no cost to the clinician, Open Path helps therapists market their practice. We do this while offering valuable benefits designed to support therapists in their efforts to provide greater access to affordable therapy.
In other words, Open Path is trying to do what the insurance companies are supposed to be doing which is creating a stable mental health market that benefits therapist and client alike.
Insurance and pharmaceutical companies already influence mental health in disturbing ways by forcing clinicians to diagnose clients in ways that conform to reimbursement codes. The therapeutic community cannot continue to practice ethically if treatments are being mandated from for-profit organizations who do not operate on principles that are supportive of mental health or client’s rights. Having an outside mental health network might alleviate that pressure and allow clinicians to resume a more ethical and helpful brand of practice.
For more information checkout Open Path @ http://openpathcollective.org/
Written By Matthew Cohen, MSW
SJS Staff Writer
Our authors want to hear from you! Click to leave a comment