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.




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by Dr. Leo J. Borrell, featured in Assisted Living Consult for November/December 2006. A HealthCom Media Publication