Fees and Policies
If you are not using health insurance to pay for therapy, you will be expected to pay for each session in full at the time it is held. You may pay by cash, check, or credit card.
My fee ranges between $160.00 – $190.00 per session. The first session, a diagnostic assessment is $190.00.
Telephone services lasting longer than 10 minutes will be billed to you at a pro-rated amount of my usual hourly charge. Report or letter writing will be billed at 15-minute increments at the stated fee schedule rate. Please ask me what the current rate is for those services. Please note that health insurance companies do not reimburse for telephone sessions, report, or letter writing, so you will be responsible for those fees.
I am a provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield, Preferred One, and Health Partners (Tier Two). For other insurance companies my services are covered as an out-of-network provider.
If you are using insurance to pay for therapy and you have a co-payment, you will be expected to pay for each session’s co-payment at the time it is held. You may pay by cash, check, or credit card.
What to Ask
Your health insurance may help to pay for therapy, but it is important to note that you are responsible for all dealings with your insurance company, and you will remain responsible for the timely payment of your bill weather or not your insurance company covers any of the charges.
If you are not sure about your insurance benefits (for example: if your insurance covers therapy with me, if you have a co-payment or a deductible) call the number on the back of your insurance card (typically listed as “member services”) to get answers to the following questions:
Once an appointment is scheduled, you will be expected to pay for it unless you provide 24 hours notice [unless we both agree that you were unable to attend due to circumstances beyond your control]. Please note that insurance companies will not pay the fee for a missed appointment or cancellation. On very rare occasions I am forced to reschedule appointments due to an emergency or unforeseen circumstance. When this happens, I will make every attempt to reschedule your appointment as soon as I can and at a time that is convenient for you.
In general, the privacy of all communications between a client and a psychologist is protected by law, and I can only release information about our work to others with your written permission. But there are a few exceptions:
- There are some situations in which I am legally obligated to take action to protect others from harm, even if I have to reveal some information about a client’s treatment. For example, if I believe that a child or a person considered a “vulnerable adult” is being abused or neglected, I am mandated to file a report with the appropriate state agency.
- If I believe that a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another, I am required to take protective actions. These actions may include notifying the potential victim, contacting the police, or seeking hospitalization for the client.
- If the client threatens to harm himself/herself, I may be obligated to seek hospitalization for him/her or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection.
- Information may also be released when required by law or Court Order.
Consistent with professional standards, I do engage in continuing professional education and consultation. I may discuss your case, but I will not use any identifying information without your permission.
You should also be aware that most insurance companies require you to authorize me to provide them with a clinical diagnosis. Sometimes I have to provide additional clinical information such as treatment plans or summaries, or copies of the entire record (in rare cases). This information will become part of the insurance company files and will probably be stored in a computer. Though all insurance companies claim to keep such information confidential, I have no control over what they do with it once it is in their hands. In some cases, they may share the information with a national medical information databank. I will provide you with a copy of any report I submit, if you request it.
I hire a biller to help track and collect my fees. Information provided for this purpose is limited to name, address, phone number, dates of visits, and amount owed.
Minors & Confidentiality
If you are under eighteen years of age, please be aware that the law may provide your parents the right to examine your treatment records. It is my policy to request an agreement from parents that they agree to give up access to your records. If they agree, I will provide them only with general information about our work together, unless I feel there is a high risk that you will seriously harm yourself or someone else. In this case, I will notify them of my concern.
Clients under the age of 18 generally must have the consent of their parents or guardians to receive psychological services. Normally, information is shared with parents or guardians, but minors do have the right to request that their record be withheld. This request must be made in writing and needs to state the reason for withholding data and to demonstrate an understanding of the consequences of doing so. I will make a clinical decision about whether or not to honor such a request. The law does permit minors to withhold information from parents without a written request under certain conditions (e.g. sexually transmitted diseases, chemical dependency, pregnancy and their related conditions).
Confidentiality is an issue that will be discussed during your first appointment and you should feel free to ask questions. My preferred policy is to extend confidentiality to adolescents as I find that it creates a safer atmosphere for them to participate in therapy. If an issue arises that I believe should be shared with parents, I will talk with the adolescent about it first before sharing with his/her parents. Of course, if I am concerned about the adolescent’s safety, including threats of suicide, harm to self or others, or abuse, I will break confidentiality and report this concern to the appropriate party.