Is it necessary for psychologists and counselors to get credentialed?
Our experience with mental health credentialing has shown us that getting on insurance panels is especially vital for practitioners within the fields of psychology and therapy. Below are some reasons why:
If you are a counseling professional working for a large practice or hospital, you are probably able to bill insurance to patients because your employer is on the right panels. If you leave, you may unpleasantly discover that you are not credentialed, which means you can no longer accept insurance from your new clients.
Getting credentialed provides psychologists and mental health professionals with the flexibility to start their own practice or move to a new location without losing access to insurance panels that support their services. Additionally, it gives you leverage to negotiate a higher salary with your employer, since you are not as dependent upon them for billing insurance.
In the past, it was suitable for psychologists to rely on PPOs (preferred provider options) being used by their new clients. They allowed mental health professionals to avoid the need for being on insurance panels and accepting HMOs.
Times have changed, however, now that people use HMOs far more than PPOs, which have become increasingly scarce. Even if a potential client does use PPO, you will still encounter penalties and fees if you are out of their network. PPOs are not financially viable options anymore, and that doesn’t change the public’s demand to use their insurance as they seek therapy and other services.
The Affordable Healthcare Act in the U.S. has cultivated a new environment where everyone (essentially) can see a counselor. This is excellent news for counselors in-network with insurance companies, but a detriment to everyone else relying on cash-only clients.
This is because universal healthcare gives everyone the ability to rely on insurance for anything medical, including mental health. The Mental Health Parity Law has also made an impact, since it specifically establishes mental health as medical health coverage, though it used to be optional.
Panels are Closing
Another consequence of universal healthcare is that other practices are vying for the same insurance panels, which means they are closing fast. Insurance companies cannot afford to be in-network with everyone, since administrative costs would make them lose money.
Getting credentialed should be a huge priority for psychologists and mental health professionals that want to open up their client base to patients their competition can’t service.
That said, getting on insurance panels takes a lot of time and resources, things you may not have at our disposal. That is why our team at Credentialing.com offers full-service credentialing for psychologists and counselors.
We’ve helped hundreds of practices across the country get on their ideal panels so that they can grow their practice. Whether you want to go it alone or find out more info on what our team can do for you, call us today to talk about your options.