Physician Survey Reveals Worries about America’s Mental Health System
5/19/2016 12:00:00 AM
Physician Survey from LocumTenens.com Reveals Worries about America’s Mental Health System
Alpharetta, Ga., May 19, 2016— Research from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) showed that in 2014, 45 states had fewer psychiatrists practicing than in 2009, despite the fact that the National Institute of Mental Health reports one in five Americans live with a mental illness.
Matching the supply of mental health services with growing patient demand has long been a challenge, but a recent survey of physicians and advanced practitioners by healthcare staffing firm LocumTenens.com revealed that even with higher state mental health budgets and more equitable insurance coverage, access is not improving for patients seeking treatment for mental illnesses.
The data, outlined in a new eBook called “America’s Mental Health Access Crisis: Healthcare Providers Weigh In,” shows that clinicians have little faith in a system long in need of reform. Among psychiatrists and mental health advanced practitioners, 90 percent felt there are not enough beds for patients needing inpatient treatment, and 83 percent felt there are not enough practicing psychiatrists in the U.S. to meet current need. You can read the full eBook here.
In the survey, which received more than 2,300 responses, clinicians commented on the insurance limitations around length of stay, the lack of integration with primary care providers and the lower reimbursement mental health providers often receive from insurance companies.
“Let medical providers do their jobs. Mental health doesn't have a recovery time like a fracture or appendectomy,” one physician wrote. “Adequate resources are needed for inpatient and outpatient care.”
“This survey reinforced the feedback we receive from our providers and clients that we need more attention and resources focused on mental health treatment,” said Kevin Thill, executive vice president of LocumTenens.com’s psychiatry division. “With statistics showing that the average delay between onset of symptoms and intervention is around 10 years, patients with mental illnesses are going far too long without the care they need to lead healthy lives.”
LocumTenens.com is a full-service healthcare staffing agency, specializing in the temporary placement of physicians, CRNAs, physician assistants and nurse practitioners at healthcare facilities across the U.S. As the industry’s most-visited job board, LocumTenens.com helps healthcare organizations connect with the professionals they need to ensure patients have access to quality care. Founded in 1995, LocumTenens.com is part of the Jackson Healthcare family of companies. Learn more here.