Amid heightened demand for mental health care, a new study finds that nearly two-thirds of Medicare Advantage psychiatrist networks contain less than 25% of all psychiatrists in a given service area.
The research published today in the July issue of the journal Health Affairs.
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older. Medicare Advantage, which covers 28 million Americans through private insurance plans backed by Medicare, has an even narrower network of psychiatrists available to patients than those covered by Medicaid managed care or by insurance plans in the Affordable Care Act. Insurance plans often contract with sets of providers -; considered “in-network” -; to deliver services to their enrollees.
The researchers built a nationwide data set of health plan networks, their service areas and their participating providers in 2019.
In a recently published study, researchers shed light on the alarming lack of access to mental health care services. The findings underscore the urgent need for improved coverage and support for individuals struggling with mental health issues. The study, “New Study Highlights Lack of Coverage and Access to Mental Health Care,” serves as a wake-up call to address this critical societal challenge.
According to the study, a significant proportion of the population continues to face barriers when accessing vital mental health care resources. These obstacles, including limited insurance coverage, scarcity of mental health professionals, and a lack of mental health facilities, contribute to a widening gap between those in need and the support available to them.
The researchers emphasize that these challenges have severe implications for individuals grappling with addiction. Substance abuse often co-occurs with mental health disorders, making access to comprehensive care even more crucial. Fortunately, help is available for those in need.
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No one should have to battle addiction or mental health issues alone. Together, let’s bridge the gap in mental health care accessibility and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to receive the care they need to heal and thrive. Make the call to rehabnear.me today and take the first step toward a brighter, healthier future.