Hard to believe it's been over a year since the last post. During the break, I channeled my pandemic-related angst into kitchen projects. I learned how to bake with sourdough, tried scores of new recipes, and enjoyed leaving goodies on the doorsteps of neighbors and friends. I learned that sharing home-baked treats with loved ones is a surefire way to reclaim joy.
I also spent a lot of time thinking about the ways in COVID has exposed the brokenness our systems and institutions: government, policing, education, and, of course, healthcare. It was the latter that inspired a conversation with the producer of a wonderful new podcast called "The Cost Of Care" The conversation is featured in episode 5, which is called "Burnout: The Vicious Cycle."
The Cost of Care takes an in-depth look at our insurance-based, fee-for-service healthcare model, which many believe is neither ethical nor sustainable. This episode addresses the prevalence of burnout among contracted mental health providers (i.e., psychologists, social workers, therapists, and counselors) who, after years of working twice as hard for half the money, feel the only sane, reasonable choice is to leave insurance panels altogether.
The net effect of this provider exodus is three-fold. The list of experienced contracted providers shrinks, the therapists on that list are full (thus, unable to keep up with new patient demand), and the patient pays the price, literally and figuratively. Patients who don't have the means to pay for counseling don't get the care they deserve. And the patients who do have the means don't get to utilize the benefits for which they pay so dearly.
Does this sound okay to you? Me neither. Hence the conversation with Cost Of Care. I hope you'll give it a listen.
Until next time...
Dr. Jill Gross is a licensed psychologist, therapist, and counselor in Seattle, WA. She offers grief therapy, divorce counseling, and other counseling services in the Phinney Greenwood area of Seattle, WA.
Dr. Jill Gross is a licensed psychologist, grief counselor, and dating coach. Her coaching and therapy practice is located in the Phinney - Greenwood area of North Seattle in Washington.