INFORMATION & FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I included this section to make sure that you are able to find some answers to most frequently asked questions about me and my practice here. If you have any further questions, please kindly give me a call or send an email.
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 ultimate goal to help people thrive in life.
Client portal and Telehealth
I offer services in-person at my Wilton Manors office, and also online via Telehealth. I utilize a HIPAA-compliant online-based client portal. With this portal, my clients benefit from transparent process of online accessible forms and assessments, online scheduling, messaging, and payment, using my HIPAA- and HITECH-secure portal. If you see me via Telehealth, you simply log in at the time of your appointment, and start sessions with a browser, or with an app on your iPhone or iPad.
How to get started and what to expect
Congratulations! It takes a lot of courage to take the first step towards change, and you successfully mastered that first step by emailing my office and setting up your first consultation or intake session. You may feel anxious or nervous when you’re about to meet with me for the first time, and that’s perfectly normal and okay.
I offer free consultation sessions (30 minutes), to give you the opportunity to ask questions about me and my therapy approach, and to make sure I am the best expert for your challenges.
The best way to schedule this first session is to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . I usually answer within a couple days (as long as I am not on vacation or out of the office for conferences), to provide you with a link to sign up to my client portal, to schedule your session at a day and time that works best for you, and to provide all of your information on my intake forms online.
Please note that – generally – I respond faster to emails than phone calls; if you call me and leave a message, I will try to respond within a week (unless I am out of the office – in that case, I will provide information on my voice mail when you can expect me to be back to the office).
When we meet for the first time, you probably already provided some information about you on my intake forms (most of the forms are legally required to be signed before we meet). I use this information for an initial screening, to see if whatever you want to work on matches my expertise- and skill-set (please note that while I was originally trained in providing treatment for a variety of mental health conditions, I now focus on dedicated areas of expertise). At the end of the first session, I usually have enough information to discuss whether or not I am the right expert for your issues. Sometimes, I am not the right expert for the issues presented; however, I will always provide appropriate referrals for you.
What to ask in a first meeting?
In general, whenever you meet with a counselor or psychologist, I usually recommend that you also ask the following questions:
- What type of therapy do you typically use, and why do you think it would be effective for me?
- What experience and training do you have in treating the issues that I am facing?
- How long do you expect treatment to take, and what goals should I have in mind for our sessions?
- Can you explain the confidentiality policies and limitations of our sessions?
- How frequently should I expect to have sessions, and what is the fee for each session?
- Are there any potential side effects of the treatments you suggest?
- How do you plan to track my progress and measure the effectiveness of our sessions?
- Are there any resources or tools I can use outside of our sessions to support my treatment?
- What should I do if I am experiencing a mental health emergency?
- Is there anything else I should know or be aware of before we begin our sessions?
Feel free to ask any additional questions that may help you to feel more comfortable or better understand the counseling process. I usually try to explain all of the above in the first session, and/or you will find the information in my intake forms as well.
If you need immediate help
Please do NOT call my office if you need IMMEDIATE help. As a solo private practice provider, I do not have the resources or expertise to provide immediate help, I do not typically answer my phone right away, and my office is not suited for emergencies.
If you or a loved one need immediate help, please call 911 immediately.
Does my office accept insurance?
This is probably one of the most important aspects for many clients – the costs, and if I am in-network with their insurance.
The short answer is, no, I am not in-network with any health insurance companies. I chose not to be in-network so I can provide better care because I do not have to adhere to the strict restrictions and limitations that come with accepting insurance, such as:
- Administrative Burden: Accepting insurance creates a significant administrative burden for mental health professionals. Insurance companies often have complex billing requirements and may take a long time to reimburse providers. This is time that I rather spend providing quality care, clients are able to receive more personalized and individualized attention from me.
- Lower Reimbursement Rates: Unfortunately, insurance companies often reimburse mental health professionals at very low rates, lower than what they charge for private pay clients. This can make it difficult for providers to cover their costs and make a living, especially if they have to see a high volume of clients to make up for the lower rates, which may in turn impact the quality of care.
- Limits on session lengths: In many cases, insurance companies only pay for 45-minute sessions. Sometimes, that’s not enough time to talk about everything. I do not want to be put in a position where I have to end a session after 45 mins., especially if we discuss something important. As a private pay provider, it is at my own discretion if a session lasts 50 minutes, 60 minutes, or even 75 minutes if something important comes up.
- Limited Control over Treatment: Insurance companies often have strict requirements for the types and length of treatment that they will cover. This can limit a psychologist’s ability to provide the best possible care for their patients.
- Privacy Concerns: Some clients may be uncomfortable with the idea of their mental health challenges being recorded in their insurance records. By choosing to not be in-network with insurance providers, I can ensure that your privacy is protected.
- Flexibility in Treatment: I have more flexibility to offer a wider range of treatment options that may not be covered by insurance. This allows me to tailor treatment to your specific needs without being limited by insurance requirements (e.g., I may be able to invite your spouse to a session; to provide specialized assessments; to exceed a session length at my own discretion if there is a need; etc.).
Out-of-network statements for insurance reimbursement
You may have certain mental health out-of-network benefits included with your insurance (it means that your sessions may be partially or even fully covered by your insurance). If you submit out of network statements to your health insurance provider, please note that I have to add a mental health diagnosis code which may be recorded with your health insurance provider.
Before you meet with a health care provider that is not in-network with your insurance, I strongly recommend that you call your health insurance provider and ask 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 fees typically range, depending on the time spent with clients (between $ 175 and $ 250) for individual/couple counseling sessions. I will always discuss the fees in our consultation session. I do not offer sliding scale fees.
For regular psychological tests, evaluations and assessments, the final fee depends on the purpose of the assessment and the tests needed. As an example, the fee for a standard ADHD assessment (including all tests and a final report) is appr. between $ 1500 and $ 2500. If you want an assessment, please schedule an initial consultation session with me so we can discuss the purpose, and I will be able to give you a final fee estimate.
For out-of-network reimbursement, some assessment fees may not be covered by your health insurance provider!
Cancellation and no-show fees
I intentionally operate on a small scale to embrace a client-centered philosophy; please note that your session time is reserved for you – and only you (I do not over-schedule). I take my time with you seriously, and I dedicate time to prepare for sessions with you.
If you need to cancel and/or reschedule a session, please provide a 24-hours’ notice.
If you forget to cancel and you miss a session, it is my policy to charge the full fee of the agreed-upon session. It is at my own discretion to sometimes waive this fee (e.g., if it was a family emergency, etc.).
If you are coming to a session too late, please note that the session still needs to end on time, and you are still responsible to pay the full fee. If I am late to a session, I may ask to extend it if possible, or I suggest a lower one-time session fee.
To avoid no-show fees, please utilize ALL reminders in your client portal (text- and email-reminders) so you do not forget any of the appointments you scheduled.
GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE
You have the right to receive a “Good Faith Estimate” explaining how much your health care will cost!
Under 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.