Statement Regarding Managed Care
Joseph W. Ferrara, EdD
“Managed care” has caused an unfortunate change in mental health services by requiring licensed practitioners to pay membership fees to join their plan and to treat their clients at discounted rates in order to receive referrals–contrary to state licensing laws prohibiting “reciprocal referral agreements”.
Thus, practitioners are signing HMO/PPO insurance contracts, but they are finding that these plans dictate diagnosis and restrict type and number of therapy sessions, discounting quality of care and risking their staff membership if they do not comply with corporate policy. Most plans require you to use only their methods and doctors, who can be overloaded when you need them. This results in failure and disappointment for both patient and the mental health counselor/psychotherapist. As premiums increase and benefits decrease, proving need and liability for treatment is often humiliating and protracted, i.e., managed care is cutting benefits/costs to increase profits by denying and restricting claims. Inspection of patient files and information stored in computers as HMOs/PPOs are bought and sold is unprotected–compromising patient confidential and privileged information.
Consequently, as a viable option, I am an independent mental health practitioner. If one desires a higher standard of care, then you, a family member, friend, employee, colleague or loved one might be interested in the following website information. Also, if you want FREEDOM OF CHOICE in selecting a health care provider, you might write the Floridians For Health Security, 10340 S.W. 121 Street, Miami, FL 33176