I am currently accepting new patients. Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your first appointment to fill out the usual insurance and privacy paperwork. If a conflict arises please call and cancel your appointment so that another person can use that time.
Payment is required at the time of service, by cash or by credit card, for new as well as established patients. Please read the information that describes why I do not participate with insurance companies or government health plans. Requiring payment at the time of service allows us to reduce the number of time that people avoid payment completely, which in turn allows us to keep our costs below industry standards.
Our billing staff will submit claims to your insurance company for all services you receive if you bring your insurance card. But we do not participate in insurance networks, PPOs, Medicaid, or Medicare. Some insurers provide partial benefits for non-network physicians– usually through payment directly to the patient/policyholder. You will reimbursed any payments that are sent to our office. Realize that the copays, deductibles, and non-allowed expenses that reduce insurance costs also reduce insurance coverage. Patients are responsible for the costs of their treatments.
We do not accept Medicaid or Badger Care. Patients covered by those plans will be billed at regular charges and will be responsible for the entire amount of the bill.
All medical records will be held in strict confidence. We do not use outside transcription services. If you have forms you would like filled out, please schedule sufficient time to complete them during your appointment.
Initial Appointment, 90 minutes: $330
Follow-up, 30 minutes: $200
Follow-up, 60 minutes: $250
Payment options include cash or credit card. Personal checks are accepted only under certain situations that have been discussed in advance.
Fees, Confidentiality, and Insurance Coverage
In the past, medical care was provided according to each patient’s specific needs. Patients and physicians worked together, perhaps with the input of family members or specialists, in an attempt to provide appropriate, personalized care. Patients took comfort in the fact that their doctor knew them, and had their best interests at heart. I have been dismayed at how psychiatry has changed in recent years. Instead of scheduling enough time to develop a relationship with patients, appointments are scheduled to maximize volume. Patients feel like guinea pigs, as medications are prescribed in random order. Patients are not aware of the treatment plan, let alone aware of the personality or unconscious issues that affect their symptoms and direct their treatments.
My practice is different in this important respect. I want to take time to know you, and to develop a relationship with you over the years. After your current issues are resolved I want you to know that there is a place where you can return, where the psychiatrist doesn’t change, where the psychiatrist understands you even before you arrive. I want you to feel safe at my practice, and to understand any medications that I prescribe for you. If you don’t understand something I want you to feel comfortable asking me about it. If you disagree with my treatment suggestions I want you to feel comfortable telling me so! There IS a better way to practice psychiatry, by returning to the type of practice that we used to enjoy years ago when we saw our physician and knew we were more than just a number. I see at most 2 follow-up patients per hour, while many other practices see 4-6 patients. I always have the full 60 minutes for your first visit instead of rushing through your story in half that time. I promise you that this type of psychiatric care works better. Patients often need fewer medications when they thoroughly understand their symptoms—and where they are coming from.
In order to practice differently, I have to deal with insurance differently. My office is not complicated. It is designed to allow me to spend the great majority of my time in patient care, rather than on the phone or doing paperwork. I do not design care according to managed care programs, and I do not participate in most of the managed care contracts. I particularly avoid those plans that attempt to limit contact between patients and the specialists of their choosing. But I encourage you to broaden your options beyond your ‘in network’ psychiatrists, as the difference in costs may be less than you think. I invite all patients to understand the nature of their insurance plans. Because of deductibles, copayments, and caps on coverage, In many cases the difference in coverage between participating and nonparticipating physicians is insignificant. Plus, spending more time with you allows us to get the medications right the first time, ultimately saving you money through fewer appointments and fewer missed workdays—not to mention the other benefits of talking about ALL of your concerns—not just the most important one! Resist the constant push of insurance companies to provide you with medical care from the lowest bidder. Better care DOES make a difference, particularly in the field of psychiatry.
Our office will bill insurers for covered services. But we ask patients to be prepared to make full payment of fees at the time of service. Any payments from insurers will be refunded to you or placed on account, according to your preference.
Finally, both minor and significant mental illnesses continue to carry an undeserved stigma in society. Any insurance submission leaves a trail of information through several layers of a health network- an issue avoided by choosing an independent physician. I do not share patient records or invoices with any other parties unless explicitly authorized by the patient. Patients should be aware that insurance claims can unfairly contribute to later denials of life or disability policies, and can even raise barriers in some professions. For that reason, some patients may choose to pay for services outside of their insurance plans. Please feel free to discuss any of these concerns during our appointment—we will have time.
I hope to meet you soon,