I am available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
To schedule an appointment or to ask questions, call me directly at 281-494-8666. I do not answer the phone when I am in session with a patient. Instead, you will be connected to a voice-mail system to leave information for a return call. I usually return calls on the same day (with the exception of weekends and holidays), often between noon and 1 p.m. or after 4 p.m.
Psychotherapy sessions last 45 minutes unless other arrangements have been made. The majority of my patients attend between one to four sessions per week. Appointments begin promptly and, in consideration of others, end at the specified time.
Fees, Billing, and Payments
My fee for the hour long initial evaluation session is $275.00. My psychotherapy fee for all subsequent sessions is $225.00 for 45 minutes. In addition to appointments, I charge this amount for other professional services you might need, broken down into 15 minutes increments. Examples of other services include preparation of records or treatment summaries you request, telephone conversations lasting longer than 10 minutes, or filling out lengthy documentation for third parties, such as worker’s comp or FMLA. My standard practice is to send you a bill at the end of every month for services rendered, along with a Statement of Service which has all the information an insurance company needs to process the claim and reimburse you.
Dealing with Insurance and Managed Care
Health insurance is a contract for reimbursement between you and your insurance company. Many of my patients choose not to utilize a third party payer, for concerns about the privacy of their electronic health records (my records are old fashioned paper and never leave my locked files) and its use in future employment, pre-existing condition clause and life insurance matters.
Your contract with your insurance company requires that I release information about the service that I provide. This information includes a diagnosis indicating that you have an “illness,” how the “illness” affects your daily life, treatment goals, and treatment approaches. Occasionally, a copy of your entire Clinical Record will be requested. I release the minimum information that is necessary for the purpose requested. Information that is released will become a part of the insurance company electronic files. All insurance companies claim to keep such information confidential. Once information leaves my office, however, I have no control over what is done with it. In all likelihood, a computerized record will result and become part of your permanent insurance record as well as a national medical information databank. These records are available to other insurance companies.
As mentioned above, my standard practice is to send you a bill at the end of every month for services rendered, along with a Statement of Service which has all the information an insurance company needs to process the claim and reimburse you.
Coverage varies greatly from insurance policy to insurance policy; it is your responsibility to call your own insurance provider and find out what your particular policy covers. Some have no mental health benefits. Some “carve out” mental health policies and sell them to another insurance company (in this case, your mental health benefits are not covered by the same insurance company as the rest of your medical benefits.) Some have large deductibles, and others have none. Some reimburse for 15 sessions, and other have unlimited sessions. Some managed health care plans require pre-authorization before the start of treatment, and every few months thereafter.
Most health insurance companies will reimburse you for a portion of my psychotherapy service.
Dealing with Emergencies
In the event of a life-threatening emergency, dial 911 for assistance and go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room. For non-life threatening but urgent matters, call my office (281-494-8666) and leave a message indicating you need a call back as soon as possible. Urgent matters are handled by phone or by scheduling an emergency session, and are charged as regular office visits if they exceed 10 minutes in length. We have a rotating “doctor on call” arrangement on weekends. Just call my office number and it will give you the name and number of the doctor on call that weekend.
From time to time you might need to cancel or reschedule your appointment time, and you are certainly welcome to do so. Excepting emergencies, which happen to us all, please provide notice of at least 24 business hours; i.e. do not call Friday at 5pm to cancel a Monday morning appointment. This gives me the opportunity to fill your time slot with someone on a waiting list.
When you schedule an appointment, you have reserved an amount of my clinical time. If you do not show up for your scheduled appointment, and you have not notified my office at least 24 business hours in advance, you will be charged for the appointment. Given the requested minimum notice of 24 hours, I can often fill your time with a client on the waiting list.
I work in an office with several excellent clinicians. We share a common name (Sugar Land Psychology), a common office space and business expenses, and a common goal to make a difference. We are not, however, a group practice, but operate independent businesses. We have different specializations and approaches to patient care. Each clinician is responsible for her/his specific clinical decisions and business practices. Additional information can be obtained from www.SugarLandPsychology.net.