What person can I pay to find my sister a therapist who takes medicaid?
October 7, 2017 9:00 AM   Subscribe

So my sister is very poor in NYC and had a mental breakdown. One of the reasons is that the therapist she was going to stopped taking her insurance. And she can't find one. So she just keeps getting worse. I tried for a bit but I'm out of my depth here. I need a pro. Who can I hire to be a middleman for her and find someone that takes her insurance, that prescribes her medication and will accept her as a client? Are there agents for this sort of thing? I WILL throw money at it.
posted by rileyray3000 to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Callen-Lorde is sliding-scale and their intake therapists can refer you to someone who takes Medicaid. They do insurance navigation as part of the intake service and don't turn anyone away. You need not be in the LGBT community to use their services; they will refer you to someone if you need help. It looks like they may not be taking new patients, but they can refer you to someone who is.

If you can throw money at this problem, One Medical costs about $200 a year. I am not sure they take her insurance, so try calling and find out. I have them and they are an excellent middleman to insurance.
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:08 AM on October 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm a little surprised her old therapist didn't help with this. I wonder if a couple of sessions out of pocket with the old therapist to find new services might help, supposing the relationship ended on a good note. But really the Callen-Lorde idea above is a good one.
posted by Smearcase at 9:17 AM on October 7, 2017

I haven't called any of these numbers but it looks like you have some leads on Medicaid-participating urgent mental health care. Best of luck; I have been in a similar situation and it sucks.

In an emergency, she should go to her nearest public emergency room. Mental health emergencies count as emergencies.
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:34 AM on October 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Figure out her nearest HHC (public) hospital and find out when they do intakes. Any HHC hospital will accept her insurance. Bellevue used to have walk-in hours. I can't find any info online but call the out-patient clinic and ask. My impression of the Bellevue psychiatric department is pretty positive, so I'd suggest trying to get her in there unless travel time would be an impediment.

Callen Lorde is a good place. I've also had a lot of Medicaid clients who went to Karen Horney Clinic. Their intake process is described on their website (on phone or I'd link).
posted by Mavri at 10:32 AM on October 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would call NYC Well for referrals. English: 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355), Press 2
At any hour of any day, in almost any language, from phone, tablet or computer, NYC Well is your connection to get the help you need. We can provide:
* Suicide prevention and crisis counseling
* Peer support and short-term counseling via telephone, text and web
* Assistance scheduling appointments or accessing other mental health services
* Follow-up to check that you have connected to care and it is working for you
posted by lazuli at 10:43 AM on October 7, 2017

Just to offer some more info about some of the suggestions above:
Bellevue does have a walk in clinic. They will give medication refills and a little crisis management but will not provide ongoing therapy.
The wait times at HHC clinics is around 6-8 weeks right now but probably worth getting on a wait list.
If she visits a psychiatric ER at an HHC hospital and is assessed there to get a referral for outpatient psych care her wait time will be shorter (within 5 business days if she's deemed high risk, or within a few weeks otherwise)
1-800-LIFENET is an excellent resource for a referral to a provider who takes her insurance.

Brightpoint Health takes many Medicaid plans and has locations in the 5 boroughs. Wait time is likely also 6 weeks, but you can call and find out for sure.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 10:48 AM on October 7, 2017

I can recommend Blanton Peale Counseling

I just called to confirm that they do participate in Medicaid.

They have licensed psychiatrists and therapists on staff.
Hours Mon - Sat
Phone 212 725 7850
7 West 30th Street @ 5th Ave, NYC 10001

I believer her prior provider has a responsibility to her in regard to meds, certainly, until
a new provider can be on board. Continuity of care?

Good luck.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 10:51 AM on October 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I would suggest contacting the Jewish Board Mental Health Program. They offer both therapy and psychiatric services (among many other programs) and take Medicaid. (And despite their name they care for people from all religious backgrounds.)

The public system is very difficult to deal with and I would only work with them as an absolute last resort. They can be particularly difficult to contact by telephone, which would be key for you from out of the area. Though, for someone in immediate crisis who needs psychiatric emergency room/hospitalization services they may be a reasonable option for that. But for outpatient services, I would go with some place like the Jewish Board instead.
posted by Jahaza at 12:23 PM on October 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

In addition to the suggestions above, try contacting the NAMI NYC HelpLine.
posted by D.Billy at 6:24 PM on October 7, 2017

I'm a little surprised her old therapist didn't help with this.

I've had five therapists stop taking my insurance , and not a one has ever offered assistance or advice (or provided it when asked) about finding a new one. They generally don't know who takes what insurance, who is taking new patients, etc. Their advice has unfailingly been to check my insurance company's provider directory.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:35 PM on October 7, 2017

Try the Audubon Clinic. Columbia has some as well.
posted by snickerdoodle at 7:52 PM on October 7, 2017

If you're willing to throw money at it, can you help her pay for her old therapist out of pocket?
posted by yeahlikethat at 8:36 PM on October 7, 2017

I've been doing that but unfortunately now she's raising the rates at the same time as I'm leaving the city and it's just unsustainable. Also? She's a therapist who's really against medication as part of treatment. I'm not saying she's wrong but it seems more philosophical than diagnostic.
posted by rileyray3000 at 8:22 AM on October 14, 2017

A very belated answer, but National Institute for the Psychotherapies is another option for sliding scale and low fee therapy, near Columbus Circle:
posted by secretary bird at 4:38 PM on November 18, 2017

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