One thought on “How Psychiatrists Are Failing the Patients Who Need Them Most

  1. A seriously mentally ill man with a history of substance abuse and criminal conviction for drug and firearms possession, fails to
    attend the substance abuse program that was a condition of continuing psychiatric treatment.
    He was admitted for 6 weeks to a private inpatient psych facility in Long Island in 2013. The “system” did not ignore him and instead spent tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on his care.
    When he failed to meet treatment obligations, his case was closed and he could not find anyone else to treat him. His mother takes him to ERs and he gets a short supply of his psychiatric medication and a handout of local mental health clinics. The clinics have a wait list. He runs out of medication and ultimately kills his mother and himself.
    His mother refused to call 911 and insisted on looking for an outpatient psychiatrist.
    The implication is that private psychiatrists are failing “the sickest patients” by refusing to see such patients in their private
    outpatient offices.
    Setting aside the reimbursement issues, what private psychiatrist would want to be in an un secure office one on one with this man?
    Who would suggest that cardiologists are failing their sickest patients by insisting that patients with heart attacks be
    treated in hospitals and not their outpatient offices?
    Mr. Ward and his mother would be still alive had the mother called 911, accompanied him to ER and applied for involuntary psychiatric admission for Mr. Ward.


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