Describe at least three of the professional issues presented this week.
The field of mental health counseling is evolving and growing, and with that growth comes change. The pioneers of this change should be commended as they brought about three very important enhancements to the field of mental health counseling that those of us who are just getting into the field can reap the rewards from. Managed Care, licensure and entrepreneurialism were the three things from the material this week that most caught my attention.
Explain how each may positively or negatively impact clients, counselors, and mental health counseling practice.
Manage heath care is the middleman that all the furniture commercials say they are trying to eliminate. Their job is to dictate which services should and should not be paid for by a third party payer. Many services that are needed by clients are not covered by managed care organizations (MCO’s) and this breeds possible corruption. If a patient needs treatment but they are not covered, that may motivate a counselor to place an incorrect billing code on an invoice to get paid for an non-covered service. While the counselor may believe this to be the best thing for the client, it is not ethically or legally allowed. This behavior actually hurts the industry as more regulation will be placed upon the counselor who will have to take more time to prove their compliance. That time they are using to prove compliance is time they are not seeing clients or generating revenue.
One aspect of counseling that is very helpful is the licensure that is granted to counselors by the state. This licensure establishes the viability and credibility of the counseling profession. Counselors are among the few licensed state health practitioners who do not require a PhD or a doctorate. Fortunately licensure establishes a level of trust with the public at large as well as other mental health professionals. Licensure also grants mental...