Insurance or Private Pay?
Our Thanksgiving dinner this year yielded a very interesting discussion about mental/physical health and current medical insurance system in the United States. It started with an elbow and blossomed from there.
I won't share other people's medical experiences that were discussed, so I'll just share an example of my own. I was describing for my Mother-in-Law, who is a nurse, some instability and pain I was experiencing in all of my joints. I made an appointment with an Orthopedic doctor to see if there was something bigger going on here since it's all of my joints, and was quickly informed that the doctor would only see me for one body part at a time. That means having to make multiple trips, spend a great deal of time juggling appointments just for this issue as well as other responsibilities, and multiple financial payments.
We also discussed how you have to be incredibly careful in what you say and ask now at any doctor appointment. Patients are apparently only allotted 10-15 minutes (or less) by insurance, so many doctors' offices move us in and out like fast food restaurants. If you ask a question not directly related to the narrow focus of your visit, you could be double charged without notice for your appointment.
So, the questions started mounting in my mind. When did the clock and the numbers become more important than the experience of the patient? What if all of the physical symptoms are interrelated? What if I didn't have the financial means to get to the bottom of this? What if I was elderly or physically/financially unable to get myself to multiple appointments? Why would a doctor address a part of a person and not the whole presenting issue? When did doctors become slaves to insurance companies?
There have been many instances where I have felt badly that I cannot accept insurance as a Hypnotist in this country. After this conversation, I no longer feel that way. Not being "allowed" to accept insurance has actually been a blessing. I feel free of the barriers insurance puts on it's providers. I set my own time frames when working with clients. I CAN address the whole person and see the connections between mental, physical and emotional health. My clients aren't numbers or cattle I move through my office as quickly as possible. My goal is client healing and growth, and that isn't achieved with speed in Interactive Hypnosis work. If I go over the specified session time, I do so for the highest good of the client. I only accept two New Client Consultations and three Hypnosis session appointments a day to allow for optimal time with each client that comes into this office. I don't want to sacrifice quality in my private practice, and it's sad that many doctors and therapists have had to do so to play the insurance numbers game.
I hope no one ever leaves my office feeling like they're fast food customers or cattle.
Side note, I am aware that I probably have some emotional healing work to do if all of my joints are acting up. I'm curious to see if anything shows up with medical evidence while I work to address the emotions hanging out in this body o' mine. As I often tell my clients - pay attention to the patterns. My joint pain/injury pattern just recently came to light for me.