Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mental Health

Soldiers returning from war are finding it more difficult to get mental health treatment because military insurance is cutting payments to therapists, on top of already low reimbursement rates and a tangle of red tape.

The problems with government run health care continue . . .

Wait lists now extend for months to see a military doctor and it can takes weeks to find a private therapist willing to take on members of the military

Waiting lists? That sounds like socialized medicine.

Oh, yeah. I forgot.

Tricare's reimbursement rate is tied to Medicare's, which pays less than civilian employer insurance. The rate for mental health care services fell by 6.4 percent this year as part of an adjustment in reimbursements to certain specialties

Is it any wonder why providers are limiting the number of Tricare patients they will see? Who wants to work for LESS money than they did last year?

Psychologists who treat active duty troops are paid 66 percent of what Tricare views as the customary rate. So a psychologist eligible for a customary rate of $120 per hour would be paid $79.20 for the hour by Tricare, even if the psychologist's standard rate is $150 per hour.

Maybe those who work for the government need to consider a pay cut. Wonder how quickly the workers would revolt if their pay was cut in half but they were expected to perform the same amount of work as before?

In a limited study by Tricare released earlier this year, about two out of three civilian psychiatrists in 20 states were willing to accept Tricare Standard clients among their new patients, the lowest acceptance rate for any specialty.

This is an injustice to those who have served their country.
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