|Welcome||FAQ||About Melinda||Fees and Confidentiality||Directions||Contact and Office Hours|
Fees, Insurance, Confidentiality, and E-Mail Correspondence
Fees: My fees are in keeping with the rates my colleagues are charging, and fall within the "usual and customary" range of many insurance companies.
If You Plan to Use Health Insurance: I will help you prepare a list of questions you can ask your insurer to help you learn more about your benefits. I will also provide you with a statement at the end of each month containing all the information your insurance company requires to process your claim.
My Policies Regarding Participation in Insurance Plans: You might be able to get reimbursement through your insurance plan even if I do not participate on your insurance company's panel. I will help you prepare a list of questions to ask your insurer to learn more about your benefits.
- I am a Medicare "provider."
- I perform EAP assessments for Ceridian LifeWorks, Business Health Services, and National EAP.
- Due to my commitment to protecting your privacy and your control over your own treatment, I do not participate on insurance company "provider panels." As I explain below, I believe such participation would conflict with my commitment to you.
Using Insurance: As you are deciding whether or not to use your insurance benefits to cover your psychotherapy, you should take into consideration the following:
- In order to be reimbursed for services rendered, you must have a diagnosis proving you are "ill."
- All insurance companies require information such as your diagnosis and the dates and length of your therapy sessions. Some insurers require brief notes about the concerns you are addressing in therapy and what progress you are making. Other insurers also want to know about your history of symptoms, your family life, work life, and so on.
- There is no such thing, really, as confidentiality! Your information is seen by employees at your insurance company. Your data is now being stored in increasingly large information systems. Although mechanisms to protect your personal information are put in place, breaches to security do occur. In addition, release of your personal information is legal under certain situations. For example, your insurance company is allowed to release some of your data, without identifying information, without your knowing when or to whom it is being released, or for what purpose.
- Many insurance plans do not cover marital therapy.
Who Makes Decisions about Your Treatment? I believe the authority to make decisions about your therapy rests with you, not your insurance company. Many insurance companies require periodic reports about your therapy in order to decide whether or not to authorize continuing treatment, or to determine what type of therapy they will approve. These decisions are made by employees at the insurance company who have never met you, nor been involved in your therapy. While some of these employees are experienced clinicians, many have limited training.
Due to my commitment to confidentiality and my belief that you should be in charge of your treatment, I do not participate in managed care panels or accept assignment of benefits. I will help you formulate questions you may want to ask of your insurance company to determine your benefits, and help you decide whether or not you wish to use your insurance benefits to cover your therapy.
Confidentiality: I will make every effort to protect your personal information. You must sign a consent form before I release any information about your therapy. However, please be aware of the following considerations:
- There are some exceptions to confidentiality, as mandated by law, such as my duty to report negligence or abuse of persons in your care, my duty to protect other persons should you pose a threat of violence to them, and my duty to protect you from self-harm.
- There is no such thing, really, as confidentiality! If you use insurance benefits to cover the cost of your therapy, your personal information will be seen by employees at your insurance company and your data will be stored in large information systems. Although mechanisms to protect your personal information are put in place, breaches to security do occur. In addition, release of your personal information is legal under certain situations. For example, your insurance company is allowed to release some of your data, without identifying information, without your knowing when or to whom it is being released, or for what purpose.
E-Mail Correspondence: E-mail is not a secure medium. Therefore, I suggest that you phone me to learn more about how I work or to ask any other questions. I recommend that you convey any sensitive information to me by letter rather than e-mail.