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COMMON QUESTIONS

These are a few common questions people have about therapy. If you are interested in therapy with me and have additional questions, please reach out and schedule a phone consultation

Click here for the patient portal.

Click here for the virtual waiting room.

What will my first appointment look like?

The purpose of the first meeting is to help me get a good sense of what has brought you to therapy. While understanding the root causes of your difficulties may take much more than one session, we should have a good sense of what your goals and aspirations are for treatment, as well as whether we may be a good fit for each other. During our first session we will discuss a treatment plan, which includes collaboratively-set goals, expectations you have for me and I have for you, how we plan to work together, and anything else you feel is important to include. The treatment plan changes and evolves as you progress in therapy. 

Many people going to therapy for the first time (or even those who have been to therapy before) feel nervous and anxious. Therapists are often a little nervous too. My office is quiet and comfortable, and you are welcome to come in a few minute early and relax before we meet. I may ask you to arrive a little early to fill out some paperwork if you have not completed the paperwork digitally. The first session generally feels a little structured and directive to relieve any anxiety you have about what to talk about, as well as review logistical matters. Click here to learn more. 

 

 

What is confidentiality?

Confidentiality is a respected part of the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association (APA). I believe that for you to feel comfortable talking about private and revealing information, it is crucially important that your disclosures do not leave the therapy room. In specific situations, however, I may have to share information without your written consent. A few exceptions are:

  • When your safety or the safety of someone else is at imminent risk. 

  • Abuse or neglect of a child, an elder, or vulnerable adult.

  • Court order. For example, this might happen if your mental status came into question during legal proceedings or if your records are believed to be relevant to a case. 

  • Patriot Act

In addition, if you plan on using your health insurance for therapy, certain aspects of your treatment, including your diagnosis, will be shared. Some insurers may audit care, in which case they may request information about dates of service, treatment plan, and goals, among other information. Your insurance company is bound by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which means they will keep your information confidential. Lastly, psychologists and counselors can release the names of their patients to debt collection agencies if the patients do not pay, although the agency is not allowed to receive information about why the patient was in therapy. Please click here for other exceptions.

As a psychologist, it is standard, ethical practice to consult with other health professionals about my work with patients. During these consultations, I make every effort to avoid revealing the identity of the patient by obscuring and omitting identifying details. The professionals with whom I consult are legally obligated to keep the information confidential. 

What will therapy cost?

Initial consultation and fees

I offer a no-cost 10-15 minute phone consultation to speak briefly about the concerns you are bringing into therapy and to answer any questions you have. This can also be a time for us to arrange our first appointment if we feel we are a good fit for one another. If you have additional questions, you are welcome to come to my office or meet with me virtually for a consultation (pro-rated charge) to discuss your concerns, goals, and/or aspirations for treatment or to ask me any questions about my practice or experience. 

 

My fees range from $180-$225 per session.

Insurance

I currently accept Medicare.

 

My practice operate primarily within a fee-for-service model and am also an out-of-network provider. Many insurance plans will cover a portion of the session fee once your deductible has been met. If this is the route you prefer, the cost of therapy will initially be your responsibility, but you can submit a receipt (called a superbill) directly to your insurance company for reimbursement. There are a few questions you may want to ask your insurance company about out-of-network coverage and benefits. 

  • Do I have behavioral health or mental health benefits?

  • Does my particular plan have an out-of-network benefit?

  • How do I access the form(s) needed to submit a request for reimbursement?

  • Does my insurance company have my home address so I can receive the reimbursement check?

  • How should I submit my superbill? 

  • Do I need an authorization to begin outpatient therapy?

  • How many mental health sessions per calendar year does my insurance plan cover?

  • Do I have a deductible, how much is it, and has it been met?

  • After my deductible is met, what percentage of the fee does my plan cover (called co-insurance)?

  • What is my out-of-pocket maximum? 

  • Does my primary care physician/provider need to grant approval?

You may be asking why I am not contracted with more insurance panels. This decision was not taken lightly. Psychologists (and patients) working with insurance companies are constrained in several ways, including decisions about treatment and care. For example, the insurance company can dictate the frequency of sessions and duration of treatment, and in some cases, the type of treatment. Treatment needs are different for each patient and I fervently believe that these decisions should be made collaboratively by you and me without the influence of the insurance company. This allows us more freedom in our work, gives you and I more choices, and no health information will be submitted to the insurance company. 

Payment

Payment for services is an important part of any professional relationship. Unless we make other specific arrangements, payment is due at the time of service. If you choose to seek reimbursement from your insurance company, I will provide you with a superbill after each session. You can use money from all three types of health spending accounts to pay for your therapy sessions – health savings accounts (HSA) and flexible spending accounts (FSA). You can also pay with cash, check, debit/credit card. Please note that it is always your responsibility to pay our full agreed upon fee for services at the time service unless other arrangements are made prior to your first session.

Cancellation Policy

If you have to cancel or reschedule your appointment, the best way to reach me is by phone 414-454-9736 or the patient portal. Cancellation and rescheduling policies will be agreed upon prior to your first appointment and will be reviewed in detail at your initial appointment. Insurance companies will not pay for missed appointment fees or late cancellation fees.

Can you prescribe medication?

No. Psychologists in the State of Wisconsin are not afforded prescription privileges; however, I can provide you a referral list for providers in the area that can prescribe. If you already have a provider, I am happy to collaborate and work closely with them, with your permission, to ensure that your treatment goals are being met and to ensure therapy and medications are tailored for you. Medication can be an important part of your treatment and many studies suggest successful mental health treatment with medications is most effective when they are combined with psychotherapy.

What is a Good Faith Estimate of the cost of services?


Under the No Surprises Act, health care providers are required to provide patients who do not have insurance or who are paying out-of-pocket an estimate of the bill for medical items and services. 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. You have a right to receive a Good Faith Estimate in writing at least 1 business day before your appointment. The Good Faith Estimate will be discussed with you via phone at the time that you request services. The estimate will be mailed/sent to you at the time that you set up your initial appointment. If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more than your Good Faith Estimate, you can dispute the bill. Save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate for your records. For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, click here or call 1-800-985-3059.

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