Health News Florida has posted a collaborative report that reveals a perceived shortage of therapists from insurance companies' perspectives and a shortage of viable insurance-eligible jobs from the perspectives of therapists. The report includes interviews with both therapists and insurance representatives.
Therapists are quoted as being either unable to get in touch with insurance companies through automated systems or told directly by insurance representatives that there are no insurance-covered therapy slots available in their area. They furthermore express concerns that insurance companies do not pay psychologists a living wage that would suffice in urban settings. Average wages from insurance groups are $70 to $140 lower per hour than market rates for private practice according to the report.
On the other hand, insurance companies believe psychologists are unreasonably unwilling to participate in insurance-covered care. One CEO of an insurance trade group voices his view that "you're either in the system, or you want to do concierge service outside of it and just pretend our health care system doesn't exist... Our job is to find providers that are willing to be part of the solution and willing to provide coverage to those of low and moderate income." But those willing, or able, therapists appear to be in short supply.
NPR, Kaiser Health News, and KQED of Northern California contributed to the report. To view it in full, visit the Health News Florida website.