As of January 1, 2024, changes have been made to the Medicare program that are designed to allow healthcare providers to serve more patients needing to access mental health services. Before 2024, only advanced social workers were eligible to bill for Medicare insurance. Now, licensed clinical professional counselors and licensed clinical marriage and family therapists are eligible to bill Medicare for their clients. More than 65 million Americans currently rely on Medicare for their healthcare coverage.
The longer a person lives, the greater is the time span in which they may have had a traumatic experience that they never fully recovered from. Classic examples are traumas suffered in war, catastrophic car accidents, sustaining severe injuries in a natural disaster, being a victim of a violent crime, etc.
In the area of mental health services for Coloradans, at least three forces are altering the landscape at once. One is the mandate that insurers must offer parity between mental and physical health coverage. Another is the severe ongoing shortage of mental health professionals to meet growing patient demand—including the increasing numbers of older Coloradans who are dealing with mental health challenges. And a third force is the emergence of various technology “substitutes” for patients to consult in lieu of seeing professional therapists in person.
…Despite the fact that research indicates up to 15% of people age 65 and older who live outside of nursing facilities have a diagnosable anxiety condition. An editorial in the journal JAMA Psychiatry stated only about one-third of seniors with anxiety disorders receive treatment. Which is concerning since such disorders can have links to stroke, adverse heart conditions, and neurodegenerative problems such as dementia. Other anxiety disorders in seniors can include phobias, panic disorder, social anxiety, hoarding, fear of falling, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Half of Us Will Be Diagnosed with a Mental Illness or Disorder at Some Point in our Lifetime. Watch this video and learn about many of the helpful mental health resources available to you and your family to help everyone age well, age wisely, in Colorado
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy that can be an alternative to taking sleeping pills, antianxiety medications or antidepressants. It can also be used to complement medications when they are prescribed. Dr. Ava Schumacher is a Denver-based clinical health psychologist who works with people who are struggling with a variety of difficulties, including medical challenges,