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Bullied by therapist


RGrannus
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I was seeing a psychiatrist for depression and also went to a local peer-support group. After the meeting, one of the therapists at the center talked to me and pressured/tricked me into going to a local hospital. I told her I didn't have health insurance, but she said that didn't matter. It turned out to be an ordinary ER. I didn't even see a doctor, just a "screener." They also pressured me into admitting myself to the hospital, saying I would recover more quickly. I got no treatment from a psychiatrist, nurse, or therapist at the ER or hospital. I did get about $30,000 in bills. I was taking an antidepressant. Don't these people realize they take time to work? They were really aggressive and I was in a vulnerable state. I later learned that hospitals often pay bounties to people who get patients for their psych ward.

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That is not right :( That therapist and whoever was involved are not professional whatsover. This happened tp me when I was a teenager. But, it was a school counselor that I trusted. Instead of helping, he actually drove me to a mental hospital ... OMG, i was so scared, and did not even know about hospital and what they were for. It was not an ER though. ERs can only determine if the patient needs to be on a 72 hour hold, then typically are transported in an ambulance. Yes, this has also happened to me, once was after i saw a nurse practioner at a clininc in town. She persuaded me to go to the local ER. My brother took me that time, and the ER doctor forced me to be on anther hold. This is really nOT fun stuff. I will admit that I do self harming behaviors, that sometimes need to be lookd at by a DR, yet The MD, sees Self harm as a way to hurt oneself badly , then makes the decision to place the patient on a psych hold. Well I live in a very small town . Their are no hospitals here. In the next town over, their is a hospital , but their are no psych. places, so when this happens the nearest place is even further away.

Now, i just do not go to get any medical treatment at all for the Self harm , because i know what could happen. I think that maybe sometimes, these professionals over react , and then think they are helping the person. Thsy have no idea what the circumstances are.

30, 000 just for going to a ER? That is too much .

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Rgrannus,

Actually, I am not aware of hospitals paying bounties for getting people on to psych wards. In fact, it's really difficult to get patients admitted. The reason is that insurance companies will not pay, not unless they can prove the need for hospitalization. The hospital can even be forced to close if the do such a thing.

Also, if you have no money then you cannot pay. That's it. That's a loss for them. When they took you in they knew you had no insurance. You have to be at "death's door," as the old saying goes, to get admitted without insurance. Are you sure you are not covered by Medicaid or Medicare?

One las thing: The hospital can apply for "emergency medicaid" to cover this hospitalization. You should talk to the hospital accounting office.

What do you think?

Allan

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I did a little checking up and found out how common abuses like this are. Investigations found that some screeners and doctors were getting bounties from psychiatry hospitals and wards for directing patients to them. The hospitals get paid one way or another--through insurance, by the patient himself if not insured (and they charge the uninsured much more), or by charity care paid by the government for impoverished patients. The psychiatrists just approves whatever the screener recommends since that's also in their own interest. As that CNN report a few months ago found, most of the time the insurance companies don't find it worth the money to dispute the bill. To qualify for charity care, your TOTAL assets (including house and car) must be less than $7500 in NJ. You are definitely individually liable if you're not covered by either. Check the law. Hospitals and doctors will send the bills to a collection agency if you don't pay. They have even had liens put on people's houses.

Here are excerpts: "U.S. Representative Patricia Schroeder of Colorado held hearings investigating the practices of psychiatric hospitals in the United States. Her committee's summary: "Our investigation has found that thousands of adolescents, children, and adults have been hospitalized for psychiatric treatment they didn't need; that hospitals hire bounty hunters to kidnap patients...that psychiatrists are being pressured by the hospitals to increase profit; that hospitals 'infiltrate' schools by paying kickbacks to school counselors who deliver students; that bonuses are paid to hospital employees, including psychiatrists, for keeping the hospital beds filled.

"The supposed experts responsible for these "diagnoses" are usually biased in favor of commitment because of their personal economic concerns or their affiliation with the psychiatric "hospital" or ward where the "patient" is or will be confined. Psychiatric "hospitals", like all businesses, need customers. In the case of psychiatric "hospitals" [or wards], they need patients. They not only want patients, they need them to stay in business. ..Keeping all those psychiatric beds filled is critical, and administrators are aggressively ensuring that they will be. Some facilities even resort to paying employees and others bonuses of $500 to $1,000 per referral. Combine this intense competition with America's poorly written involuntary commitment laws and judges who refuse to impose protection from unwarranted commitment that bona-fide due process requires, and the result is a lot of people being deprived of liberty and suffering psychiatric stigma unjustifiably."

"Some psychiatric hospitals made a practice of admitting adolescents in distress, using the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The federal government finally intervened, charging the hospitals with fraud and assessing fines of millions of dollars. Many of these children did not have bipolar disorder at all, but were acting inappropriately because of stresses in their families, with their friends, and at school." --Edward Drummond, M.D., Associate Medical Director at Seacoast Mental Health Center, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in _The Complete Guide to Psychiatric Drugs_ (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 2000, pages 13-14.) Dr. Drummond graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine and was trained in psychiatry at Harvard University."

http://www.antipsychiatry.org/unjustif.htm

http://reason.com/archives/2002/05/01/ill-treated

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=26154

http://www.antipsychiatry.org/unjustif.htm

http://reason.com/archives/2002/05/01/ill-treated

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=26154

While in theory, a patient is entitled to a hearing before a judge

before longer term involuntary commitment, in practice this provides

little protection.

1. In most states, you can be held for 3 days just on the recommendation

of a "screener," who need not even be a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists

just rubber stamp the screener's recommendation.

2. You can be and many people are involuntarily committed if they are

considered a potential danger to themselves, i.e., if they've had

thoughts of suicide. But thoughts of suicide are a common symptom of

depression; indeed, it's one of the standard DSM-IV diagnostic criteria

for clinical depression.

3. For the reasons noted above, it's in the financial interest of both

screeners and psychiatrists to commit people.

4. It often 3 weeks or longer to get even a preliminary hearing before a

judge, during which time the person remains committed and the bills pile up.

5. Judges usually just follow the recommendation of the

psychiatrist/screener, who have a vested interest in commitment. Unless

you can afford to hire your own lawyer and psychiatrist, you may stay

committed.

6. The person is often released before a hearing can be held, which is

often weeks. That still amounts to tens of thousands of dollars in

hospital and other medical bills.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This propaganda hurts many people in the world like you and it has also harmed me in the past. They have no interest in you as a person. They want money. LOVE makes depression go away. HAPPINESS makes depression go away. Find out what is hindering you in achieving happiness and when you do, seek to eliminate the cause (without violence). Therapist want money. They are "supposedly" "skilled" at what they do. This is not always the case. Getting a second opinion on these matters (popularity) isn't always effective either. As long as I am able, I will try to come up with more solutions to ease your pain. Tell me what's on your mind.

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  • 2 months later...

In my experience there are sadly too many unscrupulous out there who prey on the desperate and confused. But there are also dedicated and ethical professionals who are doing their best.

At the very least file a complaint with the therapists' employer or board if there is one. Google that and your city and see what comes up. If nothing much does, then modify your question/search and keep trying.

30 grand, that's insane!! The health care system in this country really needs work!!! >_<*

Good luck to you and let us know how it goes, to help others who might have this problem later!

Jane

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Guest ASchwartz

Again, having spent many years working in psychiatric hospitals, partial hospitals and their outpatient clinics, I have not seen any of this. In fact, because financial constraints, psychiatric hospitals keep patients a very short amount of time. Also, running these hospitals is a financially losing proposition.

These hospitals face another problem, if they discharge a patient and they commit suicide or kill someone they are fully liable.

Because these serious mental illnesses are chronic and many of these abuse drugs and stop their medications, the same patients return over and over again. They tend to be brought to the ER by the police.

This system is not some monolithic monster pumping money from people.

As for psychiatrists, most stop wOrking for hospitals be ause they earn too little.

Your opinions?

Allan

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Guest ASchwartz

So, JaneE, Borntoperish, Rgrannus and others,

I am wondering what your thoughts are about what I wrote? You certainly do not need to agree with me nor do you need to worry that I want you to have my opinion.

By the way, I have no idea why the "angry" face appeared on my last comment? It was not meant to be but it seems to happen sometimes and I can't remove it. I hope none of you think I'm angry.

Is it safe for me to assume that many of you have had bad experiences with the mental health system? Can you talk about it?

Allan

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So, JaneE, Borntoperish, Rgrannus and others,

I am wondering what your thoughts are about what I wrote? You certainly do not need to agree with me nor do you need to worry that I want you to have my opinion.

Is it safe for me to assume that many of you have had bad experiences with the mental health system? Can you talk about it?

Allan

I detailed my experience in my post. The therapists and pdychiatrists I encountered were either uncaring or unhelpful. One case doesn't prove much, but I researched the matter extensively and found that it's a common problem: Hospitals were paying bounties to people to get them patients. The hospital gets paid in any case--by insurance, by charity care from the government, or by the patient (and they will send bills to a collection agency if you don't pay). I provided references for all this.

The DoJ not long ago a crackdown on fraud, which they found was most prominent amonh psychiatrists:

Health care fraud to be targeted, especially psychiatrists, DHHS says

Healthcare Reform

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 10:22 ET

In shift, feds target top execs for health fraud

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press

"...in a shift still evolving, federal enforcers are targeting individual executives in health care fraud cases that used to be aimed at impersonal corporations.

...

Department of Justice will crack down on crooked doctors

The Great Waste

Up to $40 Billion per Year in Psychiatric Fraud President Obama

Announces Upcoming Justice Department Task ...

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.health/u2x6p6WLNwk

The Basic Fraud

Obama Justice Dept is going after crooked "shrink" doctors

Although psychiatry is the smallest faction within the health care industry, authorities have estimated that psychiatric fraud accounts for 20 percent of fraudulent health care claims paid annually. This places the annual cost of psychiatric fraud in the tens of billions, ranging up to $40 billion per year, as described at the start of this article.

Investigators routinely find psychiatrists responsible for a disproportionate share of the fraud and corruption within the health care industry.

As far back as 1985, a U.S. Justice Department probe found that while psychiatrists represented only 8 percent of the physicians in the country, they accounted for 18 percent of the crooked doctors suspended from Medicaid programs over a 15-year period - the worst performance of any group in the medical field.

Crimes included charging for therapy when they had only doled out drugs; billing for patients who did not exist; falsely billing for up to 24 hours of therapy per day; and having sex with patients and billing the government for their lust.

Florida Medicare investigators found that 40 percent of all mental health outpatient service billings in 1994 were fraudulent.

And if fines collected by the federal government are an index, psychiatry is responsible for nearly 90 percent of the health care fraud in the United States. Of the $411 million paid in health-care-related fines in 1994, $379 million were paid by psychiatric hospitals."

[in my opinion, they should start with NJ. The state's mental health program is a mess. You probably won't even be examined by a psychiatrist but by a "screener" if you go to a "crisis center." They can involuntarily admit you and hold you until you get a hearing before a judge, which takes up to two weeks. Then you'll get bills from the hospital and every other doctor and lab involved. A 1-week stay typically costs around $50,000. To qualify for charity care in NJ, your total assets must be less than $7500. The hospital gets paid in any case.

Meanwhile, the state continues its hypcritical treatment of the mentally ill. It has a lot of Web pages saying they shouldn't be stigmatiized, that they are rarely violent, etc. But if you're ever treated in a psych ward, even voluntarily, your name goes into a state and federally accessible database. You can't buy a gun, get certain jobs, and are generally a second-class citizen. And you have to give permission to search your medical records when applying in such cases. Even if you've recovered, it will cost you thousands of dollars to hire a lawyer and get your name removed. I don't doubt that there are *some* good mental health workers, but in my case it was my primary care physician who did me the most good. The mental health workers did not help or did me harm.]

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Guest ASchwartz

Most certainly there is corruption in every field, including this one. But, do you really believe all of these allegations? what about my experiences which I have had? Yes I have seen some uncaring therapists, ut isn't t this always true?

Again, what I saw were repeat patients.

What are you really angry about? Aren't you basing you r opinions on your individual experience?

Allan

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest GingerSnap

Allan: Seriously, the world has changed so much just over the last couple of decades. Every profession has a lot of losers. It used to be that people went into a job, field, a career, whatever and they had a sort of "calling" and it was not to $$$$$$$$$. You just rarely find that anymore. So many career choices are also based on one's ego. Try to find a decent medical doctor (we practice herbal and homeopathic medicine) and I am guessing it is the same now in the mental health field. Everything is rush, rush in order to keep the profit coming in and non-profit doesn't mean that someone doesn't get a bigger salary if they cut costs either. Everyone thinks non-profit isn't in it for the profit but that extra money grows their program and helps those raises and bonus money come in. With government programs, they make up for getting less per head by increasing the number of heads - I have this thing about government spending, wasteful spending, and I have been watching the activities and stats. And, they chose insurance codes that get the bills paid as that appears to have some "play" involved. I watched every young girl on Medicaid that I saw get a sonogram because she might be carrying twins and in that case, Medicaid did pay. How many young girls do you truly think have twins? And, if your insurance will pay something, it is the same thing. Often, funding is not available because of changes which leaves the patient holding the bag. I heard that like 70% of those that file bankruptcy because of medical debt had health insurance. I am not being critical of you but it really is bad out there in the world right now. Compassion is pretty much dead anymore and has been replaced by selfishness and greed.

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The healthcare system is in a giant tug-o-war between the medical field and the Insurance companies. There is a giant pot of money sitting between the two (aka the patient) and both of these very powerful establishments need to acquire those funds in the most economical and ethical ways possible. WHAT?! A giant pot of money?! Well there goes 50% of your 'ethical' out the window.

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  • 3 months later...

Oops, I didn't see your question Allan before now, but I do agree very much with what you said, I used to work in the medical arena too, so I have some understanding of the financial constraints and the practices to deal with it.

It all makes me wonder if the medicine for profit model can work, particularly in mental health, but to some extent all health is mental!

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My take after almost 50 years, on and off, as a mental health patient is that most professionals are well-meaning but many don’t really know very well how to help. And when they make things worse there are no financial consequences for them, so . . .

I think Jane had a good question, wondering if the medicine for profit model can work, especially in mental health.

Does anybody have a better idea of how to do it, though?

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And when they make things worse there are no financial consequences for them, so . . .

Tell me about it. The Auburn NEC is such a place. I'd been going to the NEC for roughly 4 years. In February of 2010 I was extremely depressed and suicidal. I went in on the morning of 02/03/10 and asked not once but twice to be admitted for a few days. My Case Facilitator told me to go home both times. I told the "Professionals" that were assigned to me treatment that I was going to look into filing a lawsuit against them. They not only booted me but had an Attorney obtain restraining orders against me so I couldn't file a lawsuit. I called every Attorney in Northeast Indiana and not one would touch them. People's deeds have a funny way of catching up to them. Not long after I was booted other Staff Members started walking out on the NEC as did some clients. The NEC even forced clients out. Those clients are now getting services at the exact same place I am, the Bowen Center.

In the end I guess them doing themselves in is good enough for me. The NEC keeps saying it's due to cuts in Medicaid. If that was true then the Bowen Center would be having the same problem and they don't.

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