Insurance & Diagnoses

Lots of people ask if The HAVEN Place accepts insurance. The short answer is no, for a variety of reasons listed below. However, The HAVEN Place will provide information and assistance so you can file a claim for reimbursement with your insurance company if you wish.

Restricted Choice
Which would you rather have, 1) an insurance or managed care company (MCC) representative dictating / restricting your treatment based on cost or 2) a highly qualified therapist offering you a range of therapy options based on your specific needs? Most people choose option 2) if they’re given a choice.

MCCs often restrict what therapies are offered and how many sessions you can receive, even if research shows MCC-approved therapies are ineffectual.

Some problems in life, especially relationship/family issues and past trauma, may require more than a handful of visits to successfully resolve. Brief therapy meets the financial criteria of MCCs but may not afford you the opportunity to get the information and therapy that you want and need. This can result in your quality of care being compromised and your needs going unmet.

Professional Expertise
Do you want access to the full range of mental health professionals and available therapy according to your needs?

MCCs often restrict the professionals that people are allowed to work with, preferring to refer you to therapists who provide short-term therapy rather than to therapists who may provide better results or offer a different packaging of services.

Recovery
Do you want to return to your original level of functioning, or perhaps an even higher level? My focus is on your life-long recovery without medication or other artificial assistance.

While this goal is not always 100% achievable, time limits and restrictions imposed by MCCs and other outside sources often does result in maintenance / stability (e.g., lifetime medication) instead of your actual recovery.

Medication
Some people may need medication for initial stability, but no one needs medication for life. Research has consistently shown that medication for mood problems, such as depression or anxiety, is most effective when combined with psychotherapy. Psychiatric medications can and do cause more harm than good for a wide range of problems. And all medications have side effects; some can be very severe and health threatening.

Nevertheless, MCCs frequently approve only medication rather than permitting you to also work with a therapist.

Costs
I want to keep your costs as low as I possibly can and do so by charging a flat fee for my various services.

If I billed MCCs or insurance companies, which includes extensive time to secure authorization to provide treatment, I would have to recoup those associated labor costs from you. Further, MMCs or insurance companies typically pay only a percentage of an actual bill, which forces agencies to further raise their fees.

Time
MCCs require therapists to justify and convince utilization review professionals before treatment is approved or continued. This is expensive and time consuming for me. It’s also time consuming for my clients who may be required to continue their therapy in “fits and starts.”

Unexpected Bills
I don’t like unexpected bills, and I’m sure you don’t. Nobody does.

I’ve worked with MCCs in the past who approved some of my clients for multiple sessions with minimal co-pays, only to surprise them with very large and unexpected bills months later. Clients in those instances had to abruptly terminate treatment and pay the bill they received or lose all of their health insurance.

I don’t want to place anyone else in this position.

Privacy / Confidentiality
Do you want to share your deeply personal information with potentially dozens of total strangers?

If I worked with MCCs or insurance companies, it’s likely I’d be required to do just that with gatekeepers and utilization review professionals. You are entitled to as much privacy as the law allows.

Conflicts of Interest
My primary concern is for your well-being and I am ethically bound to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Therapists, working under the constraints of a MCC, are sometimes put in the position of having to choose between what is in their own best interest with a MCC and what is in their clients’ best interest. I do not want to be put in that position.

Contractual Limitations
You should have the right to full disclosure of any arrangements, agreements, contracts, or restrictions between any third party and myself that could interfere with or impact your treatment.

If I disclose this information to you MCCs may label my efforts as “Managed Care Unfriendly Behaviors” and take such actions as they deem fit. Typically, “violations” such as these can result in therapists being removed from MCCs’ provider panels or censured in other ways.

The result can be serious disruption in your therapy and recovery.

Diagnosis and Stigma
And lastly, do you want to be labeled with a mental illness for life? Diagnoses based on psychiatry’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) can negatively affect you in a variety of ways for the rest of your life.

I can provide psychiatric diagnoses if you request, but prefer to not provide diagnoses for the reasons listed below:

  • The DSM focuses on “sickness” and problems. My focus is on your personal growth, a renewed sense of enjoyment and purpose in life, autonomy, self-acceptance, and positive relations with others.
  • All the DSM-diagnoses are based on a medical model – what’s wrong with you – vs. a trauma-informed model – what’s happened to you.
  • The DSM explicitly states it ignores context, social environments, and human interactions in its diagnoses, which are often the root cause of emotional or behavioral problems.
  • All DSM-diagnoses are categorical concepts; they are not physical illnesses or diseases but merely subjective opinions of what is normal or abnormal.
  • There are numerous physiological, nutritional, social, spiritual, relational, and environmental causes of psychiatric “symptoms.” These symptoms do not identify any specific “disorder” or “illness” but often point toward underlying causes that the DSM ignores.
  • There is extreme overlap between DSM-diagnoses which often results in multiple diagnoses. These multiple, overlapping diagnoses increase stigma and renders DSM-diagnoses largely meaningless and unhelpful to both clients and professionals.
  • The American Psychiatric Association itself, in their latest version – the DSM-5 – states their categorical diagnostic approach doesn’t work (Introduction, page 13), e.g., people and their problems are unique and don’t fit neatly into categorical niches.
  • The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has publicly stated they are moving away from the DSM-categorical approach towards a brain-mapping/systemic approach as they say the DSM approach has failed.
  • Over the past 40 years the field of psychiatry has failed to identify a single marker or gene that is useful in making a diagnosis of a major psychiatric disorder or for predicting response to psychiatric medications.
  • Psychiatry and pharmacy companies commonly promote the idea of “chemical imbalances,” focusing on only a handful of neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, GABA, epinephrine, norepinephrine, etc.). No one knows the “ideal” or “normal” level of over 100 identified neurotransmitters within the human body, let alone at discrete points within the brain or nervous system. The technology to measure such “imbalances” in the human body or at discrete points within the brain has never existed.
  • MCCs/insurance companies typically cover only those services they deem “medically necessary.” This means they require a DSM-diagnosis of mental illness before they approve care. In many cases they will not pay for trauma-informed or trauma-specific care but do demand a diagnosis of a purported mental illness when perhaps that’s not the issue at all.
  • DSM-diagnoses will remain in your medical record your entire life and may result in a variety of life-long legal, work, and social problems, regardless of your recovery.
  • DSM diagnoses cannot be refuted or challenged by clients as they are all based on subjective opinions of clinicians in an “expert” position. Clients’ attempts to refute or challenge a diagnosis is often assumed to be proof of that diagnosis and may result in yet another diagnosis.