Staking a Claim on Treatment That Works
The Coalition for Psychotherapy Parity, formed at the request of Harriet Wolfe, MD, president of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), and comprised of leading researchers, clinicians, and advocates for psychotherapy, recently released “Clinical Necessity Guidelines for Psychotherapy, Insurance Medical Necessity and Utilization Review Protocols, and Mental Health Parity.”
The Austen Riggs Center’s Director of Biopsychosocial Advocacy Dr. Eric Plakun, a member of the Coalition, remarked, “What this document does is lay out the evidence base for psychotherapy as an effective form of treatment that helps move people toward recovery (not just crisis stabilization) and actually decreases overall medical costs. . . . It stakes a claim based on our expertise around the generally accepted standards of clinical care for mental health and substance use disorders that insurance companies use to determine medically necessary treatment. Psychotherapy is essential for many patients working toward recovery, and access to it should not be limited, restricted, or eliminated based on bias or misinformation about it.”
The Austen Riggs Center, among other organizations and individuals, has signed on in support of the document. Dr. Plakun explains, “For Riggs, it’s about advocacy for biopsychosocial treatment, but we’re really interested in having a broad range of clinicians sign on, including those practicing cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and interpersonal psychotherapy.”
You can read the Coalition’s piece in its entirety in Dr. Plakun’s Psychotherapy Column in the May 2018 issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Practice.