The Ravenswood Clinic is the private psychotherapy practice of Anthony F. Werth Jr. and friends offering outpatient psychotherapy and substance abuse treatment serving consumers living in Milwaukee's East Side, Northshore, River West, East Town, and surrounding neighborhoods.
The Ravenswood Clinic is located at 2266 North Prospect Avenue in Suite 326, Milwaukee Wisconsin, 53202.
Appointments or inquiry can be made at (414) 224-0492. Our fax number is (414) 224-8112.
Established in 1998, the Ravenswood Clinic has seen several evolutions all dedicated to a fresh and progressive approach to psychotherapy and outpatient addictions counseling.
Anthony's philosophy is one of individual empowerment where consumers are given a safe place to discuss problems that prevent living a happy and productive life. Consumer's develop strategies to help resolve adverse issues in their lives allowing for personal growth.
The Ravenswood Clinic offers individual therapy, group therapy, intensive outpatient programming (12 hours per week) as well as a day treatment (20 hours per week) for substance abuse. Crisis intervention and consultation services available.
We are dedicated to providing services to our community today, tomorrow and the years to come. No insurance, we'll keep it affordable.
Anthony F. Werth Jr., MS, LPC, SAC, ICS
A psychotherapist with an interest in trauma exposure resolution, stress management and substance use problems, Anthony brings unique experiences to his clinical skills having completed 25 years as an EMT-Paramedic, Police Officer and Crisis Response Professional. Anthony provides critical incident debriefing services, clinical assessment, psychotherapy and/or education in support of the behavioral health needs of consumers. Anthony is a presenter and trainer in areas related to emotional survival, trauma resolution, substance abuse and a law enforcement officer's response to individuals with intellectual disabilities. Other clinical areas of interest include grief counseling, problems of life-cycle or situational adjustment due to catastrophic illness or injury and post traumatic growth. Anthony can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Maria Ema Veloz
Ema serves as our administrative assistant and truly runs the RavenCenter. Her work is very valuable. Consumers seeking to make appointments or to check on an appointment can telephone Ema at (414) 224-0492, Monday through Thursday (9:00 AM to 4:00 PM) or Friday (9:00 AM to 12:00 PM).
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A word regarding DHS 35, the new outpatient clinic rules.
In my 15 years of practicing psychotherapy, I have never seen a more convoluted and prescriptive set of rules governing the profession of psychotherapy as is now in place with DHS 35. DHS 35 is bad policy for consumers, bad practice in that it mandates a particular treatment approach and self-serves the interests and agenda of State Bureaucrats at the Department of Health Services. What is more outrageous is the manner in which this rule was developed and placed into law. As many of us recall, we were successful in getting this rule tabled in 2004 because of the same issues that are presented today. We were fortunate at that time to have a serving Secretary of Human Services (then Secretary of Health and Family Services) who had the fortitude required to table the rule. The process of rule making this time around included published misstatements and misrepresentations by DHS personnel in support of this rule change. Here are some examples:
Untruthful statement #1: DHS personnel claim they have strong support for this rule. Not true. There have been several stakeholders who oppose much of this rule. At the Senate Hearing in Fall, 2008, nearly 50% of the presented testimony was in opposition to this rule. It became clear at this hearing that DHS 35, in its revised form from 2004, strongly favored large corporate interests and was unfair to the smaller independent psychotherapy clinics. Documented discussions and correspondence with key personnel with organizations reportedly in support of DHS 35 by the DHS revealed a significant resistance and dissatisfaction to this rule. In truth, many stakeholders expressed little support for this rule but also felt there was very little that could be done to make significant revisions that are needed. The DHS pushed this rule through too fast for adequate revision.
Untruthful statement #2: The DHS reportedly included many stakeholders in the development of this rule. Not true again. The most affected group of behavioral health professionals were the small independent psychotherapy clinics. When the Senate Committee returned the rule for revision after the 2008 hearing, no small clinics were involved in the revisions. I know. I tried to offer assistance to the DHS but did not get any response. The DHS simply hedged their bets and excluded those who were most vocal against this rule.
Untruthful statement #3: Strength-based requirements, as is now required in the writing of treatment plans, are not mandates for a particular treatment approach or clinical orientation. Completely untruthful. Strength-based approaches are derived from strength-based social work theory and is a recognized clinical approach. The DHS has been in the process of integrating strength-based social work theory in all aspect of behavioral health and DHS 35 is a prime example of this prescriptive mandate. At a meeting in Milwaukee regarding DHS 35, a DHS representative stated the Department of Regulation and Licensing supported DHS 35 and did not see the strength-based requirements as a mandate to a particular clinical orientation. My follow-up with the joint board at DRL revealed the joint board has given no statement in regards to DHS 35. In fact, in a letter written by the DRL counsel, the joint board has taken no official position on DHS 35. The DHS has clearly exceeded their authority in rule making by mandating a particular clinical approach.
Untruthful statement #4: The Senate Committee who reviewed this rule accepted the revisions returned by the DHS. Wrong again. A majority of the Senate Committee expressed dissatisfaction over the revisions and were prepared to send DHS 35 back to the DHS for further revision. Written correspondence from one Senator clearly revealed the dissatisfaction that the revisions offered by the DHS were cursory at best. Unfortunately, the leader of this committee would not allow for further discussion or a vote. The time elapsed for revisions resulting in the rule moving forward. It was politics at its best.
In an interesting twist, Vendorship was signed into law this year that will allow licensed psychotherapists to practice without the prescriptive mandates of the Department of Health Services thus ending the controversy. This is not true either. Psychotherapists will have to comply with Medicaid rules for prior authorizations and these are replete with prescriptive strength-based requirements. There is no research I can find that indicates strength-based approaches are better than the cognitive behavioral therapies currently being utilized. When I asked for an explanation from a DHS representative as to why the push for strength-based approaches, he responded, "It is policy."
There are those at the DHS who feel the voice of outrage concerning DHS 35 will fade now that Vendorship is law. They are most certainly incorrect. There will be persistent prolonged efforts to revise DHS 35 of the prescriptive and unnecessary agendas pushed through by DHS personnel. A complaint has been filed with the US Justice Department to address the anti-competitive clauses within DHS 35. The legal challenges to mandating clinical approach and orientation is already in the works. What could not be done in collaboration or cooperation will be addressed in our legal system. It is truly unfortunate that we, as clinicians, must utilize our limited resources to advocate for better rules.
This is just the beginning. Those of us familiar with the difficulties of authorizations for treatment for consumers struggle with the redundant mandates of the DHS and the hidden rules that appear to have little more design other than to discourage providers from offering services. These mandates impede consumers from seeking out treatment as many providers now refuse to see consumers with Medicaid insurance due to the complexities of getting authorization from the State. And with the implementation of Badger Care + for adults with no children, options for behavioral health services are restricted to prescribers. This means no psychotherapy or treatment for substance abuse if not rendered by a psychiatrist.
This issue will never die until revision is accomplished. We will continue to work with all resolve to revise DHS 35 and other Medicaid rules to a more appropriate and sober level of function that will allow consumers real choice in their treatment and not the narrow prescriptive mandates offered by DHS's vision of care. It is time to protect our consumers who are being administratively pushed away from services because of rules like DHS 35.
Lastly, many, including trusted colleagues, ask me why all the effort? Why not just comply and leave it alone?
This is about professional freedom. This is about years of education, practice and experience that is not recognized by the administrative paranoia of the DHS. This is about the profession of psychotherapy and allowing the psychotherapist to practice their craft without governmental mandates and redundant procedure as we aid consumers through difficult times. This is about helping a consumer who is living a nightmarish hell on earth in the most efficient effective way so we can assist in their resolution of the difficult times and then to reach out and aid others. This is what the practice of psychotherapy as evolved into, something the DHS doesn't seem to understand.
Anthony F. Werth Jr. Executive Director
06/14/2010. An offer of compromise has been forwarded to Secretary Timberlake to have an independent jurist examine the issue of strength-based mandates as it relates to mandating treatment orientations. This should get interesting.
12/16/2010. As further predicted, DHS remains silent on this issue. We shall remain patient and wait for the next administration to start in 2011.
05/09/2011. We continue to voice our concerns of DHS 35 but it appears the mass exit of certified clinics to vendorship is making it's own statement. Our efforts in the legislature has been derailed by the actions of the Governor and other politicians over their union busting efforts and the global devaluing of government workers and all that they do to help our communities. None the less, we are talking to some elected officials and hope to have an active dialog with the DHS Secretary sometime in the near future.
12/05/2011. Attempts to get DHS to consider a revision or to at least hear complaints regarding DHS 35 have failed. The Ravenswood Clinic, as with over 700 other clinics, has opted for Vendorship and not renew DHS certification for behavioral health until there is revision of this rule.
08/15/2013. Greater frustration continues as a local government sponsored payer insists that participating providers work within a state certified clinic and practice, for some contracts, within a strength-based modality. This means that very qualified psychotherapists are being excluded from targeted populations due to government sponsored thinking.
03/21/2014. Although I am not a real fan of the politics occurring in Madison of late, I do applaud a movement to place the operational control of behavioral health in Milwaukee County to a board of professional who understand the complexities of the business of behavioral health. It has been far too long for unlicensed bureaucrats making rules for licensed professional that only adversely effects treatment issues for consumers.
04/16/2014. I want to personally thank all of the local behavioral health clinics who are refusing to see consumers with Medicaid insurances which is giving my clinic more opportunity to serve this community.
08/20/2014. Changes to the provider network for Milwaukee County are being considered that would mandate clinics to have dual treatment capability. The door is apparently open for private clinicians to enter the network, which is a really good thing. There may be a board of providers who will write the rules. This would be a grand opportunity to demonstrate to WI DHS how to write rules that ensure quality assurance while embracing the diversity of treatment approaches. Finally, something really positive here.