Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Your primary may be your shrink--kinda

Melinda Beck, WSJ, Sept 25, 2013, writes that some medical practices may have one psychiatrist per 500 or more patients--with the primary doctors or "care managers" actually dealing with the patients.

The new laws require that insurance plans provide mental health services comparable to physical ones--which is hard to do when a psychiatric appointment may be almost an hour and 15 mins is allotted for doctor time.

Also, there is a shortage of shrinks (I can call them that because my father was one).

About a quarter of primary care patients are estimated to need or want mental health services.

What do you think of this idea?


Anna Maria said...

I had my regular checkup on Oct 1st and found out firsthand what "mental" health services are now being provided. I was asked to fold a piece of paper in half, lay it on the floor, and then pick it up and place it on a table to see if I could follow directions...I suppose.

This and a couple other simple tasks were supposed to determine if I had dementia...I suppose. I had to check off a piece of paper with questions on depression such as, "How often do you contemplate suicide?"

Unfortunately, they didn't have a box to check off, "Only when I'm subjected to stupid "mental" tasks in a doctor's office a Kindergartener would have no problem with.

There was a time anyone could have someone institutionalized in an insane asylum but those laws were changed due to inhumane treatments. I have no idea what the answer is to mental health being properly cared for but I'm thinking those who dreamed up the latest tests have a ways to go. :D

Star Lawrence said...

That last sentence made me laff. Yes, I have read that the docs are being told to do all sorts of lame tests--like can you get out of a chair without touching the arms. I have my primary so freaked, he does not ask me. Isn't this stupid, all this? They get paid more if they can make us take these tests. Mom could have done the test you had and she could not think or remember a lick.

Anna Maria said...

Star...if he had told me to get out of the chair without using the arms, I would have probably told him, "Hell no!...I'm 75 years ood with arthritis in my hips, why should I risk falling or straining more than I need too...I'm not crazy yet!"

My primary doctor is leery of me also and usually lets me diagnose myself or else sends me to a specialist. He only knows how to "prevent" illness...not treat it. :)

Star Lawrence said...

I hate those armed chairs squeezing my bodacious rear anyhow--wise up, docs, we have rears!