FAQ

INFORMATION & FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE

You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your health care will cost!

Under new 2022 federal law, health care providers need to give patients who don’t have certain types of health care coverage or who are not using certain types of health care coverage an estimate of their bill for health care items and services before those items or services are provided.

  • You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any health care items or services upon request or when scheduling such items or services. This includes related costs like medical tests, prescription drugs, equipment, and hospital fees.
  • If you schedule a health care item or service at least 3 business days in advance, make sure your health care provider or facility gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing within 1 business day after scheduling. If you schedule a health care item or service at least 10 business days in advance, make sure your health care provider or facility gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing within 3 business days after scheduling. You can also ask any health care provider or facility for a Good FaithEstimate before you schedule an item or service. If you do, make sure the healthcare provider or facility gives you a Good Faith Estimate in writing within 3business days after you ask.
  • If you receive a bill that is at least $400 more for any provider or facility than yourGood Faith Estimate from that provider or facility, you can dispute the bill.
  • Make sure to save a copy or picture of your Good Faith Estimate and the bill.
  • For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises/consumers, email FederalPPDRQuestions@cms.hhs.gov, or call 1-800-985-3059.

What is the treatment approach? What are Dr. Baum’s specialties?

I am a Licensed Psychologist, trained in counseling/psychotherapy as well as psychological evaluations/assessments. I was originally trained in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a treatment approach that I still heavily use when working with clients. Over the past years, I also received training/education in so-called “third wave approaches” of CBT, primarily mindfulness-based therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), which I find incredibly useful and powerful. Since 2021/2022, I am also trained and educated in providing Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a powerful tool to provide emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal effectiveness.

I truly believe that my work is most effective when my training and experience matches your needs. I am most comfortable utilizing CBT, ACT, and DBT tools for anxiety, specific phobias, and ADHD. While not the primary focus of my practice, I also work with issues related to mild depression and sexuality (e.g., sexual “addiction”, coming out, questioning and accepting sexuality). I am comfortable working with individuals and with couples (where I primarily use ACT tools to help couples understand negative schemas and develop more effective coping strategies). I also provide psychological assessments and tests (however, I do NOT provide court-ordered assessments and tests as I am not trained in this area).

I am also very comfortable working with clients who feel “stuck”, clients who feel like they need help with a transition in life (e.g., from working life into retirement, from being married to being single again, etc.), clients who want to explore negative schemas and coping styles, and – last but not least – clients who want to work on general men’s issues (e.g., relationships, masculinity, aging, life transition issues, self-esteem issues).

What is “Thrive in Life LLC”?

Thrive in Life LLC is the name of my private practice. I chose this name because I see it as my primary mission to help people thrive in life.

Client Portal / Telehealth

I utilize a HIPAA-compliant client portal (SimplePractice). With this portal, you have access to my calendar, you are able to see all of my up-coming openings and you can conveniently “self-schedule” and cancel sessions online. I also use the client portal to share documents and bills with you, so everything is stored in one place; even our Telehealth sessions are done within the client portal. At the time of your appointment, you can log in and start sessions with a browser, or with an app on your iPhone or iPad.

How to get started with me?

The best way to schedule your first intake session is to contact me via email office@thriveinlifepsychology.com . I will provide a link for you to sign up for my client portal. With the client portal, you are able to see all of my upcoming openings online, and you can self-schedule your first (initial) consultation session online as well!

If you call me, please note that I usually am not able to take phone calls right away. Unless I am on vacation or out of the office for continuing education seminars, I will try to respond within a week. If you do not get a call back, please send an email to office@thriveinlifepsychology.com.

What can you expect for your first (intake) session?

Congratulations! It takes a lot of courage to take the first step towards change, and you did that first step by sending an email and scheduling a session. Before your first intake (consultation) session, you probably already provided some information on your intake and consent forms online in the client portal. I usually use this information for some initial screening, to see if your issues match my expertise and skills.

Before your first session with me, try to think of any questions you may have for me. It is a good opportunity for you to get to know me, to ask questions about my therapy style, and to see if you feel comfortable working with me. I will also ask questions about your answers from the intake forms; it is a good opportunity for me to see if I am the right expert for you. I will also explain my role as a psychologist, the rules and limits of confidentiality, and I usually also discuss the fees and methods of payment.

Towards the end of a first session, I usually have a good idea if I am the right expert for your needs. Sometimes, I determine that I am not the right expert (for example, if the nature of your struggles or concerns is outside the scope of my expertise or experience). However, I will always try to provide you with appropriate referrals.

If you need immediate help:

Please do NOT call my office if you need IMMEDIATE help. As a single private practice provider, my office is not suited for emergencies, and I usually am not able to answer my phone right away. If you or a loved one need immediate help, please call 911.

Do I take insurance? What are the fees?

I chose to not be in-network with any health insurance provider for a few reasons: I take confidentiality very seriously, and if you see a health service provider through insurance, your insurance provider is entitled to receive a copy of your records if they request it. Since I am not in-network with any insurance, your records cannot be shared with anyone unless you specifically request it. I also prefer to invest the time that is usually spent with submitting claims and following up on claims on what matters most – my clients.

You may have certain mental health out-of-network benefits included with your health insurance provider (it means that your sessions with me may be partially or even up to 100% covered by your insurance!). To find out more information about your out-of-network benefits, I recommend that you call your health insurance provider, and ask them the following questions:

  • Do I have out-of-network mental health benefits? Is there a deductible I have to meet before reimbursement?
  • What is the covered amount or percentage per out-of-network session?
  • How many sessions per year are covered?
  • Is any approval required from a primary care physician?

My regular professional fee per session is $ 175 for individuals, and $ 195 for couples. I will happily provide so-called “super bills” that you can submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement if you wish to do so. Please note that couple counseling sessions are usually not covered by insurance providers.

What are my fees for psychological assessments/evaluations?

The regular assessment fee (including final reports) depends on the purpose of the assessment, and the tests needed for the assessment (For example, a standard ADHD assessment is around $ 1400, including all tests and the final assessment report). You may schedule an initial consultation session to discuss your assessment needs, and I will be able to give you an estimate of the fees. Usually, the first 50% of the total assessment fee is due at the first day of the assessment, and the other 50% is due at the last day of the assessment (when you receive your assessment report).

While some assessment fees are not covered by insurance providers, some specific tests may be covered. The final fee always includes a feedback session with a detailed report!

Methods of payment

I accept cash, check and credit card payments. Unless other arrangements were made, all payments must be made before the session starts, but no later than the end of the session!

Cancellation and no-show fees

Please note that your session time is reserved for you, and you only. I take each client very seriously, and I dedicate time to prepare for sessions with you. If you need to cancel and reschedule a session, please provide a 24 hours’ notice (health insurance providers do not provide any reimbursements for missed or cancelled sessions).

If you miss a session, or you forget to cancel with less than 24 hours before the session starts (e.g., you forget to show up, or you put it in your calendar at the wrong time or day), it is my policy to charge a no-show fee of $ 50 (automatically withdrawn from your credit card on file). It is at my discretion to sometimes waive this fee (e.g., if it was a family emergency, etc.). To avoid no-show fees, please utilize reminders in your client portal (text- and email-reminders) so you do not forget any of the appointments you scheduled.

If you have any further questions, please kindly give me a call or send an email.