FAQS

 

HOW DO I BECOME A CLIENT?

Selecting a psychotherapist is a highly personal decision and requires time and thought. The therapeutic relationship is collaborative, involves trust and the fit between the client and therapist is one of the most important factors in the success of the therapy. To see if I might be the right person for you to work with, I like to talk at some length before scheduling an initial appointment. This usually takes about thirty minutes, is done on the telephone, and there is no charge. We will discuss why you are seeking therapy and my professional approach to the issues you describe. If it does not seem to be the right match, either for clinical or practical reasons, I will suggest other options. When we meet for our first session, we will continue to assess if the fit is right and will decide together whether ongoing therapy with me is right for you. If necessary, I will help you seek other options.

ARE MY SESSIONS CONFIDENTIAL?

I will protect the confidentiality of all information obtained in the course of therapy, except for compelling professional reasons, and in accordance with the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and the Laws of Maryland and/or the District of Columbia. The general expectation that social workers will keep information confidential does not apply when disclosure is necessary to prevent serious, foreseeable, and imminent harm to a client or other identifiable person. In most situations, I can only release information about your treatment to others if you sign a written authorization form.  However, there are some circumstances in which no authorization is required.  Federal Law (HIPAA) specifies these circumstances. A copy of your specific rights as a patient and health care recipient will be provided.

DO YOU PARTICIPATE WITH ANY INSURANCE COMPANIES? DO YOU HAVE A SLIDING SCALE? NEW INFORMATION ON GOOD FAITH ESTIMATES

I do not participate in any insurance plan as an in-network provider. After sessions, I provide a statement of service with codes and diagnosis required by insurance companies for out of network reimbursement for you to submit yourself. Check with your insurance provider for details about what your out-of-network mental health benefit is and whether you need to fulfill a deductible to receive reimbursement for out-of-network mental health coverage, how to obtain a mental health claim form and where to submit claims.


On a case by case basis, I do offer consideration with my fees and encourage you to raise any concerns about the fee when we speak.


As of January 1st, 2022, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) instigated a new Federal rule to protect patients from unexpected medical bills and to increase transparency between health care clinicians and patients. This rule requires all medical and mental health clinicians (including LCSWs) to give a “good faith estimate” (GFE) to patients estimating the cost of services and how long services may last.  I am also required to inform you that I am an “out-of-network” provider meaning that I do not submit claims to insurance and do not get paid by insurers.


Specifically, under Section 2799B-6 of the Public Health Service Act, health care providers and health care facilities are required to inform individuals who are not enrolled in a plan or coverage or a Federal health care program, or are not seeking to file a claim with their plan or coverage both orally and in writing of their ability, upon request or at the time of scheduling health care items and services, to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” of expected charges. In summary, under the law, health care providers need to give patients who do not have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the bill for medical items and services.

Some important details from the act to be aware of include:


• You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency items or services. This includes related costs like medical tests, prescription drugs, equipment, and hospital fees. 


• Make sure your health care provider gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing at least 1 business day before your medical service or item. You can also ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule an item or service. 


• If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill. 


• Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate.


Links to downloadable PDF versions of the relevant appendices regarding the act are provided here: 

For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises 

HOW DO I PAY? WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

Payment is required at the time of service unless we specifically make another arrangement.  I accept cash, checks or payment through Paypal (if you wish to use Paypal please discuss details with me). Rates are agreed upon before we begin therapy; I review and revise my fees on a yearly basis in January. Cancellation notice is required twenty-four hours prior to an appointment to avoid charges for a missed session.

HOW LONG DO THERAPY SESSIONS LAST? HOW OFTEN WILL WE MEET? HOW LONG MIGHT I BE IN THERAPY? WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO THERAPY LIKE?

A therapy session will last for 45, 60 or 75 minutes and we will decide together what makes the most sense for your needs. Couple and family sessions often require 60 or 75 minutes. Sessions are usually scheduled on a weekly or biweekly basis, but sometimes meeting more frequently is useful when working on issues requiring more support. Commitment to therapy with regular attendance is important and will help you get more out of the process.  I work with my clients in both short-term and long-term counseling. Often clients can feel better after a few months, but length of time in therapy varies based on your specific issues. I work eclectically drawing on techniques from several modalities including psychodynamic psychotherapy, the strengths based model, family therapy, and mindfulness techniques used in cognitive behavioral therapy. We will work together to tailor a plan for your therapy to meet your needs.

WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY

If you have a crisis which needs immediate assistance and you cannot reach me, please go to your local hospital emergency room or call 911.