ElishaCo~Mod: DepressionModerator: Heart & Cardiovascular Diseasehttp://www.healingwell.com/donate
Well, it would be hard to get around your PCP without a referral on that one due to insurance companies these days . I have seen both and actually right now am seeing both a psychiatrist and psychologist (who is basically a counselor with an advanced degree minus the MD).
The only problem with not being assesed by a psychiatrist is 1). your not going to know what your firm diagnosis is which is necessary to know when a doctor of any kind is prescribing medications. 2). you may run into a break down of communication between the psychologist and your primary doc since all of your psychiatric records are keep confidential even from your PCP. Then 3). psychologists can make recommendations on what they see during your sessions and some may even recommend to you a change in medication but since they are not MD's they can not by law recommend a specific medication or what might work better for you during that time. So in my opinion that is where psychiatrists very much out weigh the psychologist.
Plus keep in mind that you dont have to see just one or the other, you can see both. If you went to see a psychologist who is in a private practice you could always ask to see one of their psychiatrists for medication maintance. Of course that isnt all they do for you but the psychologist could push your PCP for a referral once your in the door. You have many options open to you here.
Please do keep us posted...Take care dear
Your right TexasJen that you can sign a consent form to allow your Psychiatrist or Psychologist to release information to your PCP, or whatever doctor who may have interest in your care. However, they would only receive diagnosis and a short summary explaining this not their full notes they take during your visit. Plus once your doctors have received the initial notes usually the psych offices dont continue to update each visit.
As for insurance companies they are not allowed what so ever to have anything related to a mental health visit other than diagnosis and the related codes for billing these. It is against the law for insurance companies to require or inquire the full visit notes that these doctors take.
There is a law in place called HIPAA (health insurance portability and accountability act) which went into effect in 2003. Granted there are like 8 or so states that dont provide coverage for HIPAA I believe? But, you can research online if your state is covered under these provisions...if it is then your health information regardless is confidential and your psychiatric info is even more protected. Here is a good link on it...