My current regular fees are as follows. You will be given advance notice if my fees should change.
$160 for initial intake assessment
$135 for a 50 minute session
*As of April 1, 2017 there will be a rate increase to $170 for intake and $145 for individual sessions.
You should be aware that if you are utilizing insurance, there can be limits imposed by the insurance company as to how many visits are covered and that approved visits must be considered "medically necessary" as determined by a documented diagnosis determined by me through our initial evaluation. Insurance companies advocate brief therapy which is goal directed and problem focused. Treatment is planned with specific goals in mind and progress is made toward accomplishment of that goal in a time efficient manner. You will take an active role in setting and achieving your treatment goals. Your commitment to a treatment plan is necessary to experience the most successful outcome. I will employ empirically supported interventions to support your work and growth.
I currently only accept some insurances (BCBS of WNY, IHA, & Aetna). I encourage you to call your insurance company to have a clear understanding of your behavioral health benefits - copay, deductible, session limit, etc. My fee may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance as an out-of-network provider. I will directly submit claims to your insurance company only if I am an in-network provider. Otherwise, I will provide you with statements that you can submit for reimbursement after paying for services upfront.
Please check your coverage carefully prior to scheduling an appointment by asking the following questions:
- Do I have mental health benefits?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
- How much does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
Cash and checks are accepted for payment. Payment is expected at the time of service.
Paying for psychological therapy out of pocket minimizes the exposure of your protected health information (PHI). Whenever you use insurance benefits to cover therapy, the provider, albeit with your consent, has to release certain types of information to the insurance carrier in order to a) verify your eligibility for coverage, b) pre-authorize services (if applicable), and c) to process claims to obtain payment. As the result, the provider informs the insurance carrier of such personal matters as the nature of the issues you struggle with (presenting problem), psychiatric diagnosis, your treatment plan and prognosis. With Self-pay, your therapy remains completely private (with the exceptions to confidentiality such as in the event of harm to self or others, etc.) and there is no session limit determined by a third party.
Self-Pay includes the fact that no records of therapy exist in the Medical Information Bureau, which could potentially compromise your ability to get current or future life, health, disability, or long-term care insurance. Therefore, self-pay therapy does not require a psychiatric diagnosis code (unless your insurance requires this to provide out of network benefits). If, however, you were using your insurance benefits, you would have to be assigned a psychiatric diagnosis in order for the provider to justify the medical necessity for the services provided. Once such diagnosis code is recorded by the insurance, it becomes part of your health care record.
Self-pay permits you to have control over your treatment. For instance, certain treatment modalities such as couples and group therapy may not be covered by your insurance. Self-pay allows you to also determine the counselor of your choice instead of having to choose from in-network providers, and the length of your treatment based on your needs rather than on the basis of the allotted session benefits.
Out of pocket medical expenses are in-part tax deductible.
If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, and you have not notified me at least 48 hours in advance, you will be required to pay $135 for the missed session. Insurances will not pay for missed appointment fees and you will be responsible to cover this cost.
If there is any problem with my charges, my billing, your insurance, or any other money-related point, please bring it to my attention. I will do the same with you. Such problems can interfere with our work. They must be worked out openly and quickly.
An appointment is a commitment to our work. If I am ever unable to start on time, I ask your understanding. I also assure you that you will receive the full time agreed to. If you are late, we will probably be unable to meet for the full time, because it is likely that I will have another appointment after yours.
*As of April 1, 2017 the cancellation fee will be $145.
INCLEMENT WEATHER AGREEMENT
Your physical safety is very important to me. If you do not feel safe traveling to my office due to inclement weather conditions please refrain from traveling. Your safety takes precedence over the Cancellation Policy (i.e., you will not be billed the session fee for canceling due to inclement weather). I do still ask that you contact me by 8:00am the day of your scheduled session.