Why I Got Paneled to take Medicaid Counseling Clients
A lot of therapists bitch about Medicaid, and I get it. It’s government, it’s convoluted, especially in New Mexico, the documentation is daunting, if you mess it up they can audit you three years from now and ask you to give back a bunch of dough. Is it a pain in the ass? Sort of, but for the most part, only if you let it be, or decide it is. It is neutral–it is what it is, as they say. That’s the position I am trying to hold, anyway.
But now with ACA/Obamacare, a lot of people rely on Medicaid to get basic emotional and psychological support. There’s no longer a stereotyped Medicaid clientele—it can be a graduate student from Southwestern College, or a therapist who makes low pay, or a homeless guy, or an only occasionally employed 64 year old landscaper who can no longer do that hard work very often. It can be Anybody who does not earn a lot of income. That’s a lot of Anybodys these days.
And all those Anybodys are Somebodys. Not one of them said “I choose to have pain in the assy insurance coverage.” They got what they could afford. Do I want clients who can afford to pay full fee, and are doing really well financially? You bet I do. Send ’em my way. But not just them. (I work the Principle of Attraction pretty hard–a lot of good stuff comes my way anyway–it just does…)
I’m a grad school president, but I’ve been on unemployment more than once, have benefitted from Food Stamps, once applied for Welfare (and luckily found work before I had to go on it.) I’ve slept on people’s couches, and did not have money for a coffee and a smoke. (OK, back then, those were the priority over ham and eggs…)
I get it. Now I got it. Medicaid paneling, that is.
You give back. It’s what you do.
—by Dr. Jim Nolan
Licensed Psychologist NM #1382