Shortage Of Psychiatrists Causing A Growing Mental Health Crisis
Some of the following dates from 2018, some from 2019.
….The shortage of psychiatrists who accept insurance in the United States is a serious problem. Suicide rates are climbing in the U.S. and nearly one in fiveAmericans lives with mental illness.
Yet among the 43.4 million people with a mental illness in the U.S., only about 43 percent received treatment in the past year. Psychiatrists not accepting insurance is a major barrier to receiving treatment.
More people are seeking mental health treatment, but there aren’t enough psychiatrists to meet the demand. Learn what academic medicine is doing to help deliver care now and train more psychiatrists for the future.
…Against a backdrop of mental health crises from mass shootings to an increase in suicides, there’s an unprecedented demand for psychiatrists,new data and physician recruiters report.
…But mental health needs in communities across the country are becoming as critical, with no way of filling the void in sight. Behavioral health facilities, hospitals and addiction centers cannot find the psychiatrists they need.
….Yet despite the need for more psychiatrists, “mental healthcare in the United States is not treated in the same way that physical healthcare typically is treated,” Merritt said in a new report out last week looking at “supply, demand and recruitment trends” in psychiatry.
“While other medical specialties such as cardiology and orthopedic surgery offer healthcare providers profit center-based care where patient illnesses can be treated with medical procedures or tangible interventional care, mental health coverage often requires long-term management without a defined ‘cure’ that often is not profitable,” Merritt executives wrote in their report. “Thus, mental healthcare is not as desirable a service line for many hospitals and other providers as are other specialties.”
ROSLYN HEIGHTS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A shortage of mental health providers is keeping some patients waiting for months.
Many families are paying out of pocket to get help because healthcare providers are refusing to take insurance – saying reimbursements are just too low.
One quarter of Long Island families surveyed said they were unable to find a mental health provider who takes their insurance. Those families told CBS2 they’re angered having to wait for help.
“Sometimes it takes them days, weeks, months, even years,” Andrew Malekoff, CEO of North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center said.
Malekoff added the shortage means many families are giving up. Some are enrolling in a “clinics” that lack in privacy or – in Jenna Kern-Rugile’s case – footing the bill for each 45-minute session.
“It was $500 a visit, I was not doing well, I was desperate, but I was willing to pay that because I was desperate… Out of pocket and I wasn’t working because of the depression,” Kern-Rugile explained.
Ninety percent of primary care physicians reportedly accept insurance, but only 55 percent of psychiatrists accept insurance because of the low reimbursement rates.
“We are seeing a lot of kids coming in with anxiety depression being diagnosed with ADHD,” Dr. Michele Reed said.
Yet the family practitioner added that she struggles to find psychiatrists for her young patients.
“It’s devastating. Three of the highest burden illnesses for children (are) depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia. Those are the kind of things child psychiatrists treat and there just aren’t enough of us,” psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Perret said.
…Experts say medical schools need to graduate 30 percent more students in psychiatric medicine to meet the current demand.