U.S. News & World Report (9/22, Schroeder) reports that due to a psychiatrist shortage and increased insurance coverage under the ACA, “increasingly many psychiatrists aren’t taking new patients because they’re at capacity.”
Figures released by the American Medical Association reveal “the number of adult and child psychiatrists increased by just 12 percent from 1995 to 2013, from 43,640 to 49,079, lagging far behind the 45 percent increase in total physician numbers and population growth in the US.”
The article advises patients who need to see a psychiatrist to speak first with their primary care physician, obtain a list of covered psychiatrists from their health insurer, check with academic medical centers, and if in the middle of a mental health crisis, head for the emergency department.
Renée Binder, MD, immediate past president of the American Psychiatric Association, explained, “All emergency rooms have access to psychiatric care,” which includes “a mental health team that’s on call and supervised by a psychiatrist.”
— “What to Do If You’re Having Trouble Getting in to See a Psychiatrist,” Michael O. Schroeder, , September 22, 2016.