Friends, colleagues, consumers, interested members of the public,
Some years after taking down the original ‘Rate The Insurer’ web site, I continue to regularly field inquiries: Where is the web site? Any new information on insurance companies? How much is such-and-such insurance company reimbursing, really? How is that company to deal with?
The continuing questions are likely due in part to references to Rate The Insurer in mental health clinicans’ resources.
But I have come to believe that at least part of the reason for the interest is because clinicians want the information, and comparable resources may be lacking. And I am just altruistic to believe the public deserves the information, especially in this age of increased transparency and need to access care.
Mental health clinicians, in order to make sound business decisions, need to know whether a particular insurance company is terrible or a breeze to work with. Whether a company will impose onerous, invasive and burdensome credentialing, documentation, and “case management” reviews. Whether a company does not have enough clinicians and makes it easy to join the panel. And whether a company will provide reasonable reimbursement. Consumers deserve to understand how much insurance companies are looking in on their therapy, demanding records, requiring their therapist to continue to “justify” therapy.
Here is a news flash. Insurance companies will not tell the truth about what they are like to work with, how much or how quickly they actually reimburse, until a clinician is locked in to a contract, and the consumer is locked into a policy.
Now is the time for mental health clinicians to grade insurance companies, to report amounts companies reimburse, and to disseminate that information for the benefit of colleagues and in the public interest.
Consumers of mental health services
- Deserve to know how companies are viewed by the mental health professionals who interact with those companies on a daily basis
Purchasers of mental health insurance business owners and human resource departments
- Deserve to know how insurers treat their employees when they access services
- Deserve to know how insurers treat the professionals who interact with those companies
Mental health Professionals
- Deserve to know how their colleagues view companies with which they regularly interact
- Need to know how much these companies actually are reimbursing other professionals
- Need to have this information in a timely way
These are reasons why Rate The Insurer is back.
Grades and reimbursement rates will be obtained and be searchable in ‘real time’ on an ongoing basis. The “Therapists’ Insurer Profiling (TIP) Scale”© will be available for clinicians to grade their experiences with specific companies.
Watch here as we work together to build a national data base of insurance company quality ratings and reimbursement rates based on clinician experience, and disseminate this information to the public.
Gordon I. Herz, PhD