ACA Blog

Kimberly Beck
Jun 23, 2011

When Money Gets In The Way of Treatment

I am writing on this topic because it so relevant to my group practice right now. I had a large caseload. The counseling was going well where clients were happy with their treatment and getting better. There are 6 counselors in our group and we all had solid caseloads. Then came the big dip in caseloads… they plummeted! In May, mental health month we did a survey for our clients to fill out about their treatment, their results were that they were very pleased with treatment and their counselor.

What was suspected is that recently billing sent out a notice to those who had balances and said that anyone with a balance over $100.00 would not be seen until their bill is paid. We each got a list of our clients over $100.00 there were several with really huge balances. It is our responsibility as counselors not to let the client get into financial difficulty we trusted that our billing department was doing their job, it was found that this person was not collecting co-pays or even letting the client know they owed money.

So what to do? I am frustrated with this situation and have little control over it. I did everything I could when I began counseling the client and told them about co-pays being due etc. They should have never been scheduled if their bill was getting high. The person who was in charge when this was found out quit.
The person in charge now is on top of things! But I am at a loss as to my 2 pages full of clients with outstanding bills they aren’t paying. I wanted to share this to let other counselors know to be on top of the bills, I am now very vigilant about the bills and make sure the person in charge now lets them know about their bills and co-pays.

Kimberly Beck is a counselor and a doctoral candidate with a special interest in Self-injury. Other interests are PTSD, trauma, and Borderline personality disorder

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