Continued from our last post.
In August 2013, I sat down and made a decision to begin building a group practice. And not just any group practice. It was important that we meet certain ideals.
1. Immediate Availability
We all know that when a client is making a call for psychotherapy, they’re often in dire need of support. Their marriage, their lives, and/or their emotional well-being are collapsing. They want help yesterday. For that reason, our group is able to see 90% of new clients within 24 hours and 98% within one week.
2. Accepting All Insurances, Including Medicare and Medicaid.
We want to do all we can to remove cost as a barrier. With that in mind, we have worked hard with our partners in the medical community and with our insurance providers to earn group contracts with insurances.
As a result of our efforts, we have our therapists paneled with all major commercial insurance providers as well as Medicaid and Medicare.
One of the consequences of the Affordable Care Act has been the expansion—better described regionally as an explosion—of Medicaid usage. This has led to a dramatic shortage of Medicaid providers in our region.
By accepting Medicaid, we have become, and remain, the only Medicaid provider with immediate availability in our entire region. This has allowed us to provide mental health services for clients whose need would otherwise go unmet.
3. Coverage for All Areas of Expertise.
One of our goals was to integrate a blend of therapists that allow us to offer counseling support regardless of the need.
We have therapists on staff who specialize in eating disorders as well as DID. We have therapists who use a wide range of modalities to help with trauma, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. We have play therapists and art therapists and offer animal-assisted therapy.
We also work with children of all ages, adolescents, adults, the elderly, couples, and families.
4. Experienced Care
Almost all of our staff have over 10 years of experience, and many have over 30 years of experience. We’ve worked hard to put together a remarkable group of people from across the U.S. to join us in Fort Collins.
What We Provide for the Community
1. Community Involvement
We’ve been very active in meeting a wide array of community agencies in and around Fort Collins, looking for arenas where we can collaborate and support.
We are working to meet both unmet and emerging mental health needs community-wide. Our collaborations range from the Department of Human Services to affordable housing agencies to Probation to Safe Houses.
2. Integrative Care with Physical Health
We are currently growing our year-and-a-half partnership with UCHealth, the largest health care provider in Colorado, to integrate physical and mental health.
Currently, we have one of our therapists co-located at a family care practice, and we are working on a model for both widespread and deeper integrative care.
3. Community-Wide Coordinate Care
We work closely with our community partners to make sure that shared clients don’t disappear into a “black hole of psychotherapy.” With client consent, we follow up with our referring agencies to inform them of placement of client referrals.
As needed, we provide monthly treatment plan updates to support collaboration with our community partners.
4. Co-located Services
In addition to co-locating therapists with our medical partners, we are experimenting with locating some of our therapists in the school system and the affordable housing agencies in town. We are hoping to further reduce barriers to accessing mental health care through co-location.
[To be continued…]