Facing the shortage of mental health professionals.
Growing demand for mental health care plus a slow supply of new psychiatrists equals the perfect storm for America’s mental health care crisis. Over half of practicing psychiatrists are nearing retirement age and fewer medical students are interested in pursuing psychiatry. JAMA reports that fewer students are interested in the field because students have a:
- Negative perception of the field before entering medical school.
- Believe insurance reimburses providers for mental health conditions at a lower rate.
- Think that psychiatric treatments are not effective, despite evidence to the contrary.
Current compensation trends reflect the diminishing numbers of available psychiatrists. Psychiatrists reported the highest increase in total compensation of any physician specialty in one year – a whopping 16 percent.
Here are some stats:
- Nearly 1 in 5 Americans has a mental health condition.
- More than half of U.S. counties have no psychiatrists.
- Over 60 percent of practicing psychiatrists are older than 55.
Without adequate psychiatric coverage, patients may be visiting your ER causing lost revenue and financial burden to your hospital. Additionally, general practitioners may be writing your patients’ mental health prescriptions. Inadequate psychiatry coverage can lead to physician burnout and Medicare compliance concerns.
Sources: CNN, Health Resources & Services Administration, Mental Health America, National Council for Behavioral Health, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics