On March 4, 2011, a small group of independent clinicians from Albuquerque and Santa Fe gathered around a phone to learn about how we could and should organize as a group of Behavioral Health Providers in New Mexico.
We thought antitrust laws prohibited us from coming together as a group!
At first, there wasn’t much energy from the clinicians around organizing. There was a lot to learn about this process, much like learning a foreign language. All the ideas and words were completely new to us and we had to learn how we could utilize a “messenger” to discuss contracting with insurance companies and avoid antitrust violations.
Independent providers started getting more interested, especially with the continuing changes in health care, such as the Affordable Healthcare Act, that influenced trends in behavioral health provider networks and reimbursements. On February 7, 2012, a small group of providers became the Steering Committee for what is now known as the Southwest Behavioral Health Independent Practice Association.
We have been working hard ever since….
We have not stopped growing and now have over 200 members in our organization. We incorporated, hired administrative staff, work with our messenger to develop contracts with insurance companies, assist providers in the rigors of setting up their own practice, provide useful continuing education opportunities and are developing networking and referral platforms for our growing membership.
We are no longer isolated, uninformed and without resources. We have found doors opening, where we had before seen only walls.