Be aware of your managed-care
It is important that you understand the limits of "managed-care". Most of our therapist's do not work with managed-care organizations. There are several reasons for this:
- Most managed-care organizations (MCO's) severely limit the number of sessions of therapy. In many cases they will only pay for three to five sessions of therapy. Even though your benefit may be for a maximum of 20 sessions per year, the managed-care organization will only authorize five sessions. Usually you will not receive true "therapy" but instead only crisis or "band-aid" therapy. Unless you are suicidal or very severely troubled you and your therapist will find it hard to get the managed care company to authorize more than 4 or 5 sessions.
- If a therapist works with a managed-care organization, they are required to tell the insurance company all details of your treatment. This means that information about your most private life will become part of the MCO's records, and be on their computers forever. Although they claim that these records are private, one must question whether information held on computers can ever be totally secure.
- The managed care company can make decisions about what type of treatment and how much treatment you require. These decisions are usually final, and do not always agree with what the professional believes. In many cases managed-care organizations will only pay for what we consider inadequate treatment. Our professionals prefer that treatment decisions be made in a collaborative way between the client and the therapist.
- Because managed-care companies contract with therapists who are willing to receive about 60 percent of the normal fees, they tend to attract only therapists who are having difficulty filling their practices. The best therapists are rarely on managed care lists. Like in any other area of life, you get what you pay for.