During the 2020 COVID-19 National Emergency: Telehealth is being used for all client sessions. This is for everyone’s well being and safety. I’m as flexible as possible with the schedule to accommodate sessions. Telehealth is a combination of audio and video per Maryland law.
Both locations offer comfortable space, free parking and plenty of amenities nearby for errands, banking, and shopping before or after appointments. I have offices in the Kentlands area of Gaithersburg and in Easton, Maryland. I have limited after school and evening hours, and Telehealth has become the new norm in 2020 while this pandemic lingers.
For those coming to my Easton office, be sure that you see the photo and rely upon this website’s directions for 119 North West Street as Google and map apps have taken clients the other direction. My office is close to Bay Street.
So that you have a full understanding of policies in detail, I send paperwork via PDF files. This enables you to thoughtfully review and fill out forms necessary for your sessions. Every question has been carefully chosen to assist you, and if you must use insurance, your due diligence with this information means less you must pay out of pocket. It is the client’s responsibility to understand and communicate benefit/insurance coverage with proper authorizations, if needed.
I accept: Blue Cross/Blue Shield; CIGNA, Johns Hopkins EHP and several employee assistance programs (EAP).If you are using an employee assistance plan, I must know that at the outset. To know if I am in your network, please call the number associated with your benefits. Sometimes, an EAP will specifically reach out to me if there are few providers in your area so be sure to mention to them your preference to work with me.
All completed paperwork must be faxed or sent ahead, preferably two days prior to your first session. I ask that you also bring originals to your first in-person session. Paperwork must include authorizations. I provide a HIPAA secure fax number and you may also choose to send your paperwork using a password protected file.
For those with a very high deductible plan who do not foresee meeting that deductible, it’s possible that coaching (which cannot be submitted to insurance and contains no diagnosis) could be appropriate depending upon what help you require. We can discuss this. Parents calling for a minor child can fill out the paperwork, alongside them if they are older. For those over age 18, the person coming to counseling or coaching must initiate contact due to HIPAA.
With insurance, I accept the member’s payment portion by the Zelle app, check or cash at time of service, at the beginning of or prior to our session so that we don’t run into another client’s time. If you are using telehealth, Zelle is often the simplest to use.
A credit card as a backup payment method is a part of your paperwork, and unfortunately, I must insist on having a back-up payment method. This is kept safe and will be shredded once counseling is completed and charges satisfied. If this concerns you, we may discuss; but it’s a policy of my practice (and many others) and is essentially non-negotiable.
I can provide you with a quarterly statement for HSA or flex spending accounts. These are treated just like credit card payments with fees associated with them. Counseling/coaching practices, unlike large medical offices, have no staff, and paperwork draws time from client care. Thus, your cooperation by paying at time of service and collaboration is much appreciated if you wish to use employee or insurance benefits. Otherwise, clients are billed for administrative time to resolve discrepancies. Itemized statements can be provided every 6-8 weeks, upon request.
WHAT YOUR INSURANCE OR EAP DOES NOT COVER Your insurance or your EAP will not cover missed session. You will be responsible for the full time of your session ($155 for one hour or $85 for an EAP session). Out of session time necessary for proper case coordination with physicians, school counselors, other treating providers, attorneys and anyone else is billed at my hourly rate, pro-rated. Should a client require inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization or substance abuse treatment, there will most always be outside consult necessary for discharge or treatment planning. Much effort is made to keep this time as minimal as possible for financial reasons.
Outside of quarterly or yearly statements, administrative fees may apply for paperwork/invoicing because payment is due at time of service. Therefore, once again, please know your benefits as this knowledge empowers you as the consumer. Paying any member responsibility (copay or coinsurance) at the time of your visit keeps your bill to a minimum.
CANCELLATION POLICY is 48 hours in advance of your appointment OR FRIDAY in advance of a Monday appointment. Reminders for appointments are not guaranteed; in fact, they are rare. Should you miss or cancel scheduled appointments within this 48-hour window, it cannot be billed to your insurance company and you will be responsible for the charges at my usual and customary fees.
Please note that regrettably, though communicated in a myriad of ways, billing issues and misunderstandings regarding the 48-hour or Friday-before-Monday notice sometimes wreaks havoc on the therapeutic relationship. I always want to avoid that.
True emergencies mean a death in the immediate family, documented ER or hospital visit, a bed-ridden or seriously contagious illness. During the coronavirus national emergency, late cancellation fees will be waived if patients miss their sessions due to a positive COVID-19 medical visit, test or treatment. Sports practice, games, having to work, or a babysitter cancelling are not exempt from this policy. Immediate family consists of spouse/domestic partner, a child, or a parent. Using telehealth is often a valid alternative to an in-person session if you forget or have an unexpected circumstance.
I do understand that life happens; in return, my clients understand that scheduling an appointment with me is much like purchasing a ticket to a scheduled event. If you miss that event, it doesn’t particularly matter why you missed it, what came up or even if you never missed something like this before. You cannot return a ticket for a refund. By joining my practice and signing off on your informed consent, you agree to abide by the missed session fee that will be billed to and/or paid by you as well as billing for communication with third-parties involved in discharge or treatment planning as well as any mental health crisis.
Communication: Avoid hassle/fees by setting reminders, keeping in close communication of potential problems in your schedule. Email as a means to communicate with me is preferred; phone messages may help but I cannot always attend to these as easily; and please text only during business hours and ONLY for scheduling snafus or if you do not have email access.