Behavioral Health Workforce Shortage Is Exacerbated by Poor Reimbursement

The behavioral health workforce isn’t large enough to meet current demand, according to experts, and it is particularly under-resourced for LGBTQ+ patients and people of color, who are not adequately represented in the current workforce despite disproportionate need for treatment. Meanwhile, poor pay and too-high workloads offer little incentive for behavioral health providers to enter insurance networks, driving up costs for patients and stymieing plans’ attempts to comply with mental health parity and network adequacy requirements.

George Washington University (GWU) researchers maintain the only comprehensive database tracking the number of behavioral health providers in the US. They released their first data in 2022 and published an article in Health Affairs that August. According to an April slide deck prepared by GWU researchers Clese Erikson and Randl Dent, Ph.D., there are currently 1.3 million mental health care providers in the U.S. — a figure that includes over 600,000 prescribers of psychotropic drugs and medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD).

0 Comments
© 2024 MMIT
Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has been a reporter for nearly a decade. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered a wide variety of topics in his hometown of Seattle, where he continues to live. Peter’s work has appeared in publications including The Atlantic and The Stranger. Peter attended Colby College.

Related Posts

a-family-looking-at-bills
January 20

Medicaid Faces Behavioral Health Provider Shortage, but MCOs Can Help

READ MORE
washington-dc-united-states-capitol-on-capitol-hill
January 13

Federal Funding Law Introduces New Compliance Challenges in Telehealth, Mental Health, Medicaid

Read More
molina-logo-on-phone
July 1

Behavioral Health Network Issues Lead to $4.6M Fine for Molina

READ MORE

GAIN THERAPEUTIC AREA-SPECIFIC INTEL TO DRIVE ACCESS FOR YOUR BRAND

Sign up for publications to get unmatched business intelligence delivered to your inbox.

subscribe today