Payment for services

Why Payment is Important

Payment is an important part of the therapeutic process.  It does several things.  First it keeps our relationship professional.  I hope that we become close and comfortable, and yet, in order to challenge you toward your goals I must stay your treatment provider, not your buddy.   In addition, research shows that clients who have an investment in their recovery (pay for it) get better faster, and get better results.

Note:  We first responders can be a stubborn lot at times.  I often meet first responders who feel that their job "messed them up" it should darn well pay to fix me.  While I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment, pragmatically it leaves you with only Worker's Compensation, Employee Assistance Programs, or your private medical insurance as options.  Each come with their own pros and cons; they all come with limitations and restrictions.  Don't be too quick to rule out paying out of pocket.    I'll explain why below:

Private "Out of Pocket" Pay

The most secure and private way of paying for your treatment, there is no one else involved with your treatment decisions other than you and I.  In all of the above 3rd party payment plans the insurance company can decide to stop paying or authorizing additional sessions any time they want to.  When using insurance of any kind the insurance company has access to your mental health records.  Once they leave my office I can no longer guarantee your privacy.  When paying out of pocket you get to stop when you are ready, and your treatment is no one else's business.  You can't go wrong investing in your own self.

Employee Assistance Programs

These programs were designed to head off mental health problems.  They require less documentation for the provider and are less intrusive than other kinds of third party payment.   Stress is a good example.  If you notice that you are becoming stressed you probably only need 4 or 5 appointments to learn some great relaxation techniques.  The down side is that because it's supposed to be preventative Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) only provides a few sessions (usually up to 5).  At that time the employee may be able to get some more authorized, but it often must be for a "different issue".  I am only on two of the better EAP panels: Claremont, and M.H.N.  

Worker's Compensation

I am one of the few providers that takes Worker's Compensation cases.  There are very few advantages to Worker's Comp., and many, many disadvantages.  If you must use Worker's Comp I will ask you to sign a special "Informed Consent" form when we discuss some of the more common disadvantages and risks.  The reporting and billing requirements for Workers Com mean that for each I get to spend with you I must spend at least another hour on frivolous paperwork for them.  I simply cannot work with companies that won't pay my standard rate.  Let me also mention here that the stress of the worker's compensation process almost always becomes a more extreme treatment issue than your original mental health injury.

Health Insurance

Right now I am not on any health insurance panels.  The Affordable Care Act required medical insurance companies to cover mental health care at the same levels as physical problems.  Few do, and others try to skirt the regulation by providing psycho-educational groups combined with monthly individual visits to a mental health care provider.  

Some of the better medical insurance plans allow you to submit statements from an "out of network" provider.  I can provide you with such a statement.  However, I will not write reports, or provide information other than what is on the very basic statement.  Those requirements and reports are the reason I'm not on insurance panels to begin with.