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Psychotherapy With Med Checks


Many psychiatry stakeholders decry the lack of "therapy" with those too-short med checks, but some patients benefit from medication indefinitely. Does that mean all need psychotherapy indefinitely?

Psychotherapy can effectively treat some psychiatric disorders without meds. For some of those disorders no other effective treatment exists. But for some disorders meds do the job quite well. Should those patients have to undergo mandatory psychotherapy to keep getting their meds whether they want/need it or not? Who really benefits from such a policy, the patient or the provider?

In my opinion many medication management encounters serve no clinical purpose. Both patient and prescriber know that continuation of the drug makes sense. Providers require encounters only to satisfy arbitrary guidelines, including so-called "standard of care" to avoid liability, and to get paid for continued prescribing. 

All patient encounters should include adequate communication, and that takes time. But providers should not bill for psychotherapy unless the patient needs it and the provider actually provides it. And it should continue only until it has served its purpose.