PsyQ, a mental health institution with 33 locations, invites patients from the waiting list for an intake interview when it is known that no treatment is available to them.
In order to be able to hold these intake interviews, as was the plan in Rotterdam this month, appointments had to be canceled with patients who are already under treatment. The extra intakes, practitioners say to NRC, are needed to generate additional income and to meet production standards – an intake interview is billable for PsyQ at the insurer.
PsyQ practitioners do not agree with this method. Patients have to pay a deductible for the intake interview and explain personal problems during the interview, while it should be clear in advance that they will not be helped because of a waiting list that is too long.
PsyQ is reorganizing due to financial problems and too long waiting lists. A ‘change program’ is aimed at shorter treatment times, faster diagnoses and many more patients to be treated by mainly providing group therapy. This leads to a lot of dissatisfaction within the organization. “We understand the great financial pressure our organization is under, but notice that by doing even more intakes (…) we are reaching our ethical, disciplinary and qualitative limits,” warned employees recently in a letter to the management.
According to parent organization Parnassia, the organization is in the midst of a major change. “We are fully aware that the board and management should have done a number of things better and that this change is difficult for a number of colleagues and/or teams and/or has happened too quickly,” Parnassia writes in a response.
Also read: ‘Your depression is taking too long, our treatment stops here’
Board chairman Stephan Valk of Parnassia denies that patients are invited ‘declaration-driven’, without there being room to treat them. He does acknowledge that the scheduling of conversations is not in order at some branches. “We should have stopped the intake there earlier. That is now recovering and improving.”
PsyQ director Annet Spijker says it is “a difficult transition in a difficult time”. “We wanted to offer a faster response for complex patients. That requires a different approach from therapists mindset.”
Your treatment stops here Page 24-27
A version of this article also appeared in NRC Handelsblad on 3 July 2021
A version of this article also appeared in NRC in the morning of July 3, 2021