Psychiatry is one of the few specialties that doesn’t typically cost the patient thousands of dollars to see a doctor unless hospitalization is necessary.
Once I get my patients stabilized, I will often turn them over to the care of their primary physician under their insurance plan if their physician is comfortable prescribing the medications.
I do not accept insurance except on an out-of-network basis. Many of my patients are reimbursed by their insurance company through this policy.
I used to be on several insurance panels. I found that in order to sustain a medical practice, just to break-even; psychiatrists have to see a large volume of patients – sometimes at the cost to the patient in time and care. Because of the inadequate insurance payout rates for psychiatry, the need to increase the number of patients becomes a stress on a practice. I began to see that my patients were just a number and lost in the system. More and more psychiatrists are moving towards this policy as well.
I love my practice and the joy of working one-on-one with each and every patient; most importantly seeing them return to a life of peace and harmony by giving them the highest standard of care possible. I went to medical school to practice medicine – not to struggle with insurance companies and spend hours of time in an account’s jungle of paperwork.
I made a decision to no longer be on insurance panels which has freed me up to spend the time necessary to provide the level of professional care that I feel a patient deserves. I am pleased with the care that I can now provide versus when I was on several insurance panels. You can still see me and submit the bill to your insurance as an out-of-network provider.
As with any decision there are trade offs and while I am missing out on a lot of business – the patients that I do have receive the very best standards of care I can provide. I also have more time to increase my continuing education in order to maintain cutting edge knowledge on the latest treatments. Please consider the following:
1. The costs of treatment with a psychiatrist include the initial evaluation, follow-up appointments, and medication. If you have insurance, the medication is usually covered. You can determine the out-of network benefits your insurance company provides by contacting them.
2. Once I get my patients stabilized I only need to see them once every 3 to 6 months; these costs are relatively affordable when you consider quarterly or semi-annual office visits.
3. I will often turn you over to the care of your family practice doctor if possible after you have been stabilized, if he or she feels comfortable in prescribing these types of medication.
4. Your medication coverage is usually the most expensive component of psychiatric care; these costs usually are covered by your insurance company regardless of my insurance policies.
5. My practice has a limited number of patients and you will never be just another number. I truly believe in quality care vs. quantity care. I know that treating patients with mental illness is different than treating other medical illnesses. This is what really drew me to this specialty – I have a passion for healing, not accounting.
6. I have been in practice since 1997 and I have a lot of experience in working with some of the most challenging cases. I have completed a rigorous 4 year residency through one of the most challenging programs in the country.
7. Count the costs and weigh them against the benefits: consider the cost of an initial evaluation and office visits and then weigh these against the quality of medical care you will receive from me. Mental hygiene is a very important component in our overall health and is one of the few areas of life that you don’t want to cut corners and short change yourself.
I hope I can be of benefit to you and look forward to working with you through these challenges.