What to Expect?
Our staff will talk to you by phone to:
1) Answer all of your questions about the practice and fees;
2) Get some info about you and your situation to determine whether our practice may right fit for you, at least for an initial evaluation. We do not turn anyone away based on financial need, provided that we deem that the patient is an appropriate fit in terms of obtaining sufficient benefit from our services. To be able to sustain this model, we reserve financial assistance only to individuals or families who lack the resources to otherwise obtain high quality care. In these cases, fees are set by our office manager who will work with you to find a fee that is not negligible to you, but manageable, such that we work together in a collaborative spirit where we feel you and we both are investing significantly into your treatment.
3) Guide you on which questions to ask your insurance company (upon your request). Most of our patients with good out-of-network benefits receive 60-100% reimbursement of our fees.
4) If you, or your referring doctor, would like to speak to the clinician with whom you are scheduled, let our staff know so we can set up a time for that communication.
5) Set the appropriate session length for your needs. Typical intake sessions are 90 minutes and include time towards the end for a discussion of our impressions and treatment recommendations. If medications are warranted, in most cases, medicines are not prescribed on the first visit and a follow-up is required where medication is discussed in depth before prescribed.
a) For most adults, the typical intake format is sufficient.
b) If the appointment is for a young child, it may make sense to schedule a 45 minute parent session first, then schedule a 45 min session with the child on another day, and then schedule a 45 min follow-up session with parents to discuss assessment and treatment recommendations in depth.
c) If the appointment is for a teenager, we may do the 90 minute session and meet with teen alone for the first part and then parent(s) alone for the second part, while other party waits in reception area. Initial assessment and treatment strategies may be briefly mentioned in the 90 min meeting, but typically a follow-up 45 min session is needed with parent(s), with or without teen, to discuss assessment and treatment recommendations in depth. For some teenagers, they may prefer to come independently for a 45 min session, while parent(s) attend a separate 45 min session on another day, followed by a 45 min follow-up on another day.
What should I complete before my appointment?
What happens during the appointment?
What happens after the appointment?
1. If after the initial consultation, you will be accepted into our practice, we can work together in at least four possible ways.
- Psychotherapy: Typically, appointments are once weekly (but could be twice weekly) as less than this tends to be insufficient. If your goals are met, but you would like to continue for maintenance sessions, you may speak to your clinician to request adjusting the frequency.
- Psychotherapy and Medication: All of our clinicians are trained to work with you in psychotherapy, while also managing medications simultaneously during treatment. Appointment frequency is same as that of psychotherapy sessions.
- Medication management: If you choose to include medication as one of your treatment strategies (lifestyle/behavioral/preventative health is always a part of any treatment), we would typically see you at least monthly in the beginning, but with time could transition to every 3 months if all is stable. If medication doses are being adjusted, it may be necessary to meet every other week, and in rare cases, weekly. When medicine has been started, we would like you to update us on how you are doing within a few days of starting, even if things are going well. Often, we will schedule a follow-up appointment, but if you have a concern or question, or we can make a slight adjustment before your appointment that would save time or help you feel better sooner, we are happy to touch base briefly by phone between appointments. Phone calls are charged only when they run over 10minutes.
- Medication Management and outside psychotherapy: If you are in psychotherapy with someone outside our practice, we are happy to collaborate and communicate with that person. The frequency of medication sessions tends to be the same as if you were only in mediation management, however, at times, you may need to come in to see us less often because we know that a professional is working with you who could alert us to any changes in your health.
2. Follow-up to complete consultation. If you will not be continuing in our practice, we may still meet an additional time to discuss treatment options in depth. We will also speak to your ongoing doctor to pass on our assessment and recommendations. In cases where you would like to continue with your current MD, but would like to see us for expert consultation on a infrequent basis, we are happy to collaborate with your MD and pass on our ongoing recommendations. This is most common in cases where patients are travelling quite a distance to get to our office, or when patients have an ongoing relationship with another doctor and its not in the patient’s best interest to transfer care.
Fees and Billing
Credit or debit card is required to be kept on file for appointments. Fees are charged prior to time of your appointment.
What is billed to your card?
- Missed sessions/late cancellations (less than 48 hours in advance) are charged the full typical appointment fee.
- Phone calls longer than 10 minutes are billed at a rate proportional to appointment fees.
- If we need to fill out paperwork outside of session time that requires longer than 10 min, you are billed at a rate proportional to appointment fees.
- If you request communication with outside parties (school, work, clinician, etc) that takes greater than 20 minutes, you are billed at a rate proportional to appointment fees. We reserve this fee only for lengthy conversations as we do not want fees to interfere with our ability to collaborate with others in your care.
Out-of-Network with Insurance Companies
We are not in network with any insurance company. If you have a PPO plan that has out-of-network coverage, you may choose to submit our statements to your insurance company and depending on your plan, you may receive reimbursement. If you would like to call your insurance company to inquire about possible benefits, you may download our document that would guide you in asking the appropriate questions.
Please note that our billing and fees are not contingent on any insurance reimbursement you may or may not receive. You will be charged the fee for your session, even if you do not receive reimbursement. Please note that missed sessions tend not to be reimbursed by insurance companies. Also, if you arrive late to your session, you may receive less reimbursement from your insurance company as the billing codes on our statements are specific for face-to-face time spent with patient, and insurance companies tend to reimburse varying amounts based on billing codes used.
Statements are emailed to you after the end of the month, or upon your request for specific dates. We find that the majority of our patients request emailed statements but If you would like to receive statements in another form, rather than email, please let us know.
The statements you receive include all the info necessary to send to your insurance company. You will send two forms to your insurance company- our form and a form that your insurance company will provide you. See link for sample form. Fill in the top part (patient portion) and then write “see attached” on our portion, and also send in our statement.