Psychiatrists Moving Away from Managed Care: New Practice Puts Patient Care First

Dr. Robin Stone, who graduated from University of Missouri Medical School and who completed her Psychiatry Residency at Wake Forest University, Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has opened a new practice, Insight Psychiatry, at 13123 Rosedale Hill Avenue in Huntersville, North Carolina. A health care professional for more than 14 years and now in solo practice as a psychiatrist, she welcomes new patients from throughout the region, including the greater Lake Norman area. One of the few psychiatrists offering therapeutic care in the region, her practice emphasizes the importance of the relationship between doctor and patient.

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the patient always comes first; I don't want to be restricted in any way by the possibility of interference by a third party in the very important relationship between doctor and patient. If the patient has insurance they may, in some cases, be eligible for reimbursement. But as an independent practitioner, I am free to provide the patient with all the time and attention they need.

Huntersville, NC (PRWEB) March 20, 2007

Dr. Robin Stone, who graduated from University of Missouri Medical School and who completed her Psychiatry Residency at Wake Forest University, Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has opened a new practice, Insight Psychiatry (http://www.insight-psychiatry.com), at 13123 Rosedale Hill Avenue in Huntersville, North Carolina.

A health care professional for more than 14 years and now in solo practice as a psychiatrist, she welcomes new patients from throughout the region, including the greater Lake Norman area. One of the few psychiatrists offering therapeutic care in the region, her practice emphasizes the importance of the relationship between doctor and patient.

She is also part of a growing trend. More and more physicians across the U.S. are no longer accepting managed care patients. She does not accept payment from private managed care companies and does not participate in provider panels.

However, a growing number of health plans are providing reimbursement for out-of-network physicians, but like other doctors who have chosen to opt out of the managed care system, Dr. Stone deals only with patients, not health plans.

Federal legislation is now pending -- and is likely to pass in some form -- that may also lead to a greater opportunity for patients to be reimbursed when seeking mental health treatment. Earlier this year, the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pension Committee voted 18-3 in favor of S.558, the Mental Health Parity Act of 2007. This bill would expand parity with other health coverage by including deductibles, co-payments, out-of-pocket expenses, coinsurance, covered hospital days and out patient visits. The full Senate is expected to act on the bill within weeks.

"In my practice," said Dr. Stone, "the patient always comes first; I don't want to be restricted in any way by the possibility of interference by a third party in the very important relationship between doctor and patient. If the patient has insurance they may, in some cases, be eligible for reimbursement. But as an independent practitioner, I am free to provide the patient with all the time and attention they need."

The National Survey of Psychiatric Patients, conducted in 2002 by the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education's (APIRE) Practice Research Network (PRN), found that a surprising 52 percent of psychiatrists are not on any managed care panels. That number has grown to include even more psychiatrists in recent years.

William Callahan, M.D., a California psychiatrist in independent practice, told the Psychiatric News that while in residency working in a university system with many managed care contracts, he saw the interference in patient care those plans entailed. "I know countless physicians who are unhappy doing 10- and 15-minute med checks," said Callahan.

Since Dr. Stone offers both psychotherapy and medical management, she is among those psychiatric physicians who are returning to the practice of providing a level of patient care that was standard before the advent of managed care. Physicians across the country are again beginning - in larger numbers -- to take back control of their practices in a variety of ways from opting out of managed care plans to returning to an emphasis on integrated treatment. Dr. Stone believes that patients should be able to receive the benefits of psychotherapy and medication from a single provider if they choose. In many cases, this means establishing an independent practice given that insurance companies will often split treatment between a psychiatrist and non-physician therapist due to cost factors.

"Having autonomy allows me to practice in the way I feel I can best serve my patients," said Dr. Stone. "I believe that patient empowerment is the cornerstone of successful treatment, and that physicians are obligated to foster a healing relationship which goes beyond making a diagnosis and following practice guidelines. Sometimes this means believing in your patient's ability to recover, even if they cannot…being able to inspire hope." Her philosophy of offering hope to patients in extreme distress, and her experience in having guided patients toward recovery in many settings helps her achieve exceptional results for those she treats.

At Insight Psychiatry things are done a bit differently. Dr. Stone sees patients as people, not merely diagnoses or conditions. As an experienced and highly skilled care provider, she has spent her entire career helping others to free themselves from pain -- physical or psychological. She listens carefully to patients and responds to them as individuals, not as a diagnosis or part of a daily quota of patients that need to be seen. She takes the time necessary to provide effective treatment.

There are other ways that Insight Psychiatry is different. Dr. Stone primarily provides psychotherapy, which is less widely available from psychiatrists in today's environment, a treatment that in many cases can get to the root of the problem more effectively, in contrast to the practice of routinely prescribing medication for symptoms. Most patients require integrated treatment, which can be difficult to provide under current mental health financing procedures.

About Insight Psychiatry

Insight Psychiatry is the independent medical practice of Dr. Robin Stone. At Insight, there are no managed care constraints to interfere with patient treatment. Dr. Stone provides an environment that assures complete privacy and is currently accepting new patients.

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