Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make an appointment?
You can either call me at (716)698-0196 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Why do you send your policies and forms through email? Why can’t I just fill them out at the office?
I send out policies and forms through an email as a convince for my clients. If you thoroughly go through the forms and policies it takes approximately an hour to do so. I have sat in Doctors’ offices myself and it can be a bit stressful to have to sit with a clipboard in hand and fill out forms, Especially when you are already experiencing some nervousness for having to be at the appointment to begin with. For those clients that would rather sit in my waiting room or do not have the means to complete forms for some reason at home I do make arrangements for them as well.
How quickly should I respond to an offer of an appointment day and time?
Please respond as quickly as you can. I schedule appointments on a first come, first serve basis. If I am offering you options for appointment days and times and you don’t respond quickly, I find myself in a dilemma as to if you plan to schedule an appointment at all.
What do I need to bring with me to the first appointment?
Please bring with you a government issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, insurance card, completed forms (if not returned ahead of the appointment), and a method for payment if any be due.
Why do you want me to email the forms back to you?
I ask for forms to be emailed back to me if the person is comfortable in doing so. There are several reasons for this. The first, so that I can have a chance to review the forms and get an idea about who you are and what you are looking for help with prior to coming into the session. The second, so that during the first session we are not only discussing the issues that brought you in for counseling, but also starting to work on solutions.
Do you take insurance?
Yes. I am a contracted provider for Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Independent Health, Nova, Fidelis Care NY, and Medicare. I would be considered out of network for all other insurance programs.
If I am out of network can I still be seen?
Yes, As an out of network provider, We will come to an agreement on a fee for you to pay me and I will give you what is called a “superbill” to use when you file a claim for reimbursement from your insurance company. I do not send claims in on behalf of my clients and they would be responsible to pay me at the time of the session.
DO I have to have insurance or use insurance to be seen?
No. If you don’t have insurance or don’twant to use your insurance I also provide services on a “Fee for Service” basis. Contact me for details on how much I would charge you per session.
Do you have to report information to my insurance company?
Yes, some information has to be reported to your insurance company. This is a reason why many people wish to not use their insurance. The information that is reported is mostly demographic in nature. What is included beyond this is dates of service and a diagnosis code. The diagnosis is necessary for your insurance company as it is a justification for you to be seen. All providers must submit a diagnosis if they intend to get paid for the services they provide. On rear occasions, an insurance company may do an audit of accounts in an effort to make sure the services being claimed were in fact rendered. In these cases, the whole file is submitted to the insurance company. Once again, this is very rear.
Do I have to pay anything for the visit?
For some, yes, for some, no. This depends on what your insurance plan is. If you have a Medicaid plan there is no cost share. For most other insurance plans there is either a copay or a deductible. This is another reason to have you send me your information ahead of your visit. It gives me an opportunity to look up your insurance. If you are unsure about your specific insurance I highly encourage you to contact your insurance company and enquire as to what you will have to pay for seeing a provider. This is a good rule of thumb for a visit to any healthcare provider. Just like any other health care professional I will be expecting payment at time of service. If you are a “Fee for Service” or “Out of Network” client expect to pay the full agreed upon amount at the time you are seen.
What will my copay be?
There are many different insurance plans and insurance companies out there. There is no way for me to know what any one individuals copay will be. Please contact your insurance company for this answer.
I have a high deductible plan. How does this work with paying for counseling?
Many people when they sign up for insurance plans do not understand what a deductible is. They are only seeing that up front the cost for the insurance they are purchasing is lower than the other plans being offered. In a nutshell, a deductible is an amount that must be paid by you prior to your insurance company begins to pay for any services you may need. The benefit of a deductible plan is the low upfront cost for the insurance. The disadvantage is that if you use your insurance you will be responsible for paying the provider upfront for the services he or she is providing until the deductible is met. Having the deductible insurance plan is still in a lot of cases better than not having any insurance at all as it caps the amount a provider can charge for services. When I know someone has a deductible plan I ask for payment at time of service. I then submit the claim so that it will go against your deductible amount.
What if I don’t know what my deductible is?
In most cases I can look up your insurance information with your full name, date of birth, and insurance card identification number. You can also contact your insurance company directly and ask.
How do I know when my deductible has been met?
If you know what your deductible is and keep track of how much you are spending on appointments it can be easy to figure out. You can also call your insurance company and ask, or even look up this information on line. In some cases I will inform someone that their deductible has been met and that they have a credit with my office. They then use that credit to pay any copays for upcoming sessions.
What happens if I have a credit and am no longer being seen by your office?
I will notify you that you have a credit with my office and work to refund the credit as soon as I am able.
How do you accept payments?
I accept cash, check, credit cards, Debit cards, and HSA/HFA cards.
What should I expect at my first session?
I will great and introduce myself to you in my waiting room. I will ask you for your photo ID and insurance card along with forms if they haven’t been emailed to me. I will then excuse my self for a few minutes to make a copy of your insurance and photo IDs and look through the paperwork. I will them come out and escort you to my office. I will have you sign several documents and any consent forms if you wish me to share information with other providers. We will then have a conversation about why you are seeking help at this time. I will give you feedback on what I believe your diagnosis is and then offer a plan of how to resolve it. In most first sessions I am able to offer helpful strategies that you can use to cope with whatever issues you are dealing with.
How long is an appointment?
I usually schedule appointments on the hour. Appointment are usually a between a 52 and 55 minute hour.
Will I be seen on time?
I do my best to make sure clients are seen on time. I have had experiences myself in which I have had to wait hours to see a provider and years ago decided this is not how I will ever run my practice. Your time is valuable and you shouldn’t have to wait around. The only time this doesn’t happen is if there is some sort of emergency I am responding to. These cases are very rare though.