MADISON, Wis.—May 15, 2023—WPS Health Insurance answers the call for mental health care providers in response to growing needs. In 2022, it added 1,037 mental health providers to its networks; in 2023, it has added an additional 808 so far for a total of 8,022. These numbers are in addition to the mental health care practitioners available through Teladoc® telehealth services. Included in these numbers are all types of mental health care providers, from therapists and alcohol and other drug abuse counselors to midlevel nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and psychiatrists.
WPS reports show the need for mental health services peaked in 2021 but remains high. From 2020 to 2021, WPS received 11% more claims for mental health services, a 23% increase in total charges for mental health services and a 15% increase in total customers getting mental health services.
“WPS has focused on growing our mental health networks by seeking out providers with cultural competency to treat customers who have historically been underserved. We know that we need to offer not only enough providers but also a diverse provider population to meet the needs of our communities,” Heather Oliva, WPS Senior Director of Provider Contracting and Strategy, said.
Oliva added, “WPS takes into consideration the complexity and variety of customer needs. To effectively meet these needs, we are always evaluating whether we have the right mix of providers, including substance abuse practitioners and other types of counselors. WPS further focuses on recruiting providers with the knowledge, expertise, and lived experience to best serve underrepresented and underserved communities, including, but not limited to, people who are LGBTQ+, have limited English proficiency, or are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). Hiring culturally and linguistically competent providers coupled with establishing trust leads to better health outcomes, thus making health care easier for the people we serve.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness each year, and more than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. A Kaiser Family Foundation brief, “The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use,” found 50% of young adults (ages 18–24) reported anxiety and depression symptoms in 2023, making them more likely than older adults to experience mental health symptoms.
As one of the largest health benefits providers in the state, Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corporation (WPS Health Insurance) remains not-for-profit and offers high-quality health plans to the public and private sectors. Headquartered in Madison, Wis., WPS Health Insurance offers Preferred Provider Organization health plans for individuals and groups, third-party administrator services, and Medicare supplement insurance plans. Visit wpshealth.com for more information.