Long Wait Times Typical for Psychiatry Appointments
http://www.psychiatryadvisor.com; October 16, 2014
Residents of major U.S. locations who need a psychiatrist will often be likely to have difficulty securing a meeting, regardless of ability to pay, according to research published in Psychiatric Services.
For the research, investigators tried to get a scheduled appointment with 360 outpatient psychiatrists operating out of either Boston, Houston, or Chicago. All were classified by the database of an major private insurer, and a maximum of two attempts were made.
The researchers found out that, in the first attempt, four in 10 calls were answered. However, not every answers triggered a connection having a psychiatrist's office, since 16% of the numbers placed in the database were incorrect. Unanswered calls, meanwhile, were returned a tad bit more than one- third with the time, with return calls more widespread in Boston in comparison to Houston.
Yet even with two calls — and despite having insurance or declaring a willingness to pay out of pocket — appointments were secured with just about one-quarter of the doctors. And the average waiting time was 25 days for a first visit.
Additionally, they note, about one in five psychiatrists weren't accepting any new patients. In 5% of cases, the patient's intended kind of payment/reimbursement wasn't accepted, and another 5% of offices wanted more information before booking an appointment. But sudden expenses the time (55%), failure was because of a basic inability to achieve the physician, often for the reason that phone number given was incorrect.
The findings support other national research indicating that two-thirds of primary care physicians can't secure outpatient mental health services because of their patients who are required them, according to the researchers.