Finding a good psychiatrist must have two major considerations: find one that can help you with your particular problem and one that you can afford financially.
In times of emotional stress, when searching for the right psychiatrist; no one wants to be reminded of the high cost of psychiatric services, but psychiatrists see patients with severe or long-term problems and that requires long-term help.The service quickly adds up to a great expense. If you don't consider the cost upfront, you could get stuck with a horrendous bill.
If you have health insurance and depend on your insurance to pay their portion of these services, its important to know that many health insurance companies, in a cost management move, have cut the services that can be obtained and paid for psychiatric treatment. This is true for the United States in particular.
These preliminary steps are good health practices in finding a psychiatrist. If you have an emergency, skip the preliminary steps and get the patient to ER (emergency room) as soon as possible.
Visit your Doctor first:
It is highly recommended that you go through your primary care physician, for a complete medical examination. A reputable psychiatrist will want to see your medical history before evaluation and prior to prescribing medication.
If you have HMO insurance you must obtain a referral for a psychiatrist within your network or the insurance will not pay. Without a doctor referral, you will be obligated to pay for the services.
1. The doctor will be able to rule out other medical conditions. Mental distress symptoms can have underlying biological or physical conditions. Conversely, mental conditions can cause physical problems, such as cardiac conditions associated with high stress.
2. You need a list of current and past medications so that medication does not interact with medicines the psychiatrist prescribes.
3. Your physician can provide your health treatment in line with your psychiatric treatment. He will be able to manage your medication safely.
4. The insurance and billing department in your doctor's office will help you find out what psychiatric services your insurance will pay and the rate or percentage of coverage. Ask about co-pay and deductibles also.
Finding the psychiatrist:
Your primary care physician is a good place to start. If you have established a good trust relationship with your doctor, he can probably provide you with the best choice of psychiatrists. Doctors see their patients in hospital settings and have association with doctors in all other disciplines, including psychiatry.
Having worked in my doctor's office for a number of years, I would trust her to provide the very best information and referral for a psychiatrist.
Experts say the best source of information comes from word of mouth. If you have friends or colleagues that know of a psychiatrist with a good success rate, you can speak with them if you feel comfortable in asking.
You can find psychiatrists on the Internet and in the yellow pages. You'll be able to check their credentials through your state licensing board.
Once you've found a potential list of psychiatrists, you will need to call each one and determine if they will be a good fit for you. When you choose a psychiatrist, give it a trial relationship for a few weeks before you make a long term commitment. Psychiatrists are usually comfortable and familiar with this arrangement.
If you take the time to follow the preliminary steps, you will be on the right track to finding quality mental health care.