How long are appointments?
The initial visit will last up to 90 minutes. Follow-up visits will be scheduled to last 50 minutes or 25 minutes, depending on your needs. I try my very best to run on time. Out of respect for the next patient, I will end sessions on time, even if you arrived late.
Do you accept insurance?
No, unfortunately I do not accept insurance.
However, if you have a PPO plan with "out-of-network" benefits, you may still be able to use your health insurance to offset some of the cost of our sessions. I will provide an itemized receipt (a “super-bill”) that you can submit to your insurance company directly for reimbursement. Be aware that insurance companies do not reimburse my full fee, but rather a percentage (typically 50-80%) of the “usual and customary” fee, which is determined by the insurance company. Please check with your insurance company about your plan’s mental health coverage, as policies can vary considerably.
Please contact me to discuss fees.
What happens in the first visit?
The first visit is an opportunity for us to get to know each other and to begin to generate a treatment plan. I set aside 90 minutes for the visit so that we can cover everything without being rushed. During our time together, I want to hear your story: what brings you into treatment, what your history has been, and what your hopes are for our work together. I will ask questions about your medical and psychiatric history, your past psychiatric care, and your family and social life. At the end of the visit, we will determine together whether therapy and/or medication makes sense for you, and make a plan for ongoing treatment.
Is there paperwork to complete?
There are several forms that need to be completed at the time of the first visit. These can be completed electronically through my secure patient portal, and will be sent to you after your appointment is scheduled.
How can I reach you?
If you need to reach me between appointments, please call my office phone at (949) 734-4912. Any messages left are confidential and will be heard only by me. Your privacy is important to me. Since text messaging is not perfectly secure, please do not email or text me for any clinical matters.
For non-urgent matters, I use a secure messaging system called Luminello.
How do I log on to the Patient Portal?
When we schedule an appointment, I will send an email invitation to my secure patient portal called Luminello. Please create a username and password. This portal is used for initial visit paperwork, email communication and billing. You can access the portal here.
What is your cancellation policy?
The time of your appointment is reserved for you. If you are unable to come to the appointment, please provide at least 24 business hours notice, or you will be charged the full fee for the missed visit. Please be aware that insurance companies typically will not reimburse for a visit not attended.
Will my treatment be confidential?
I exercise the highest degree of confidentiality and privacy in my clinical work. I do not have a secretary; you will always be talking directly to me. Everything that you say in the course of treatment is kept confidential. I will not disclose any of what we discuss to anyone except with your written permission. There are some very limited exceptions to confidentiality, as required by law:
- Reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect, or abuse of an elder or dependent adult;
- Threats of violence to self or others;
- Subpoenas or court orders.
In order to ensure that I am providing the highest level of service, I do sometimes consult with other professionals, but never use names or identifying details in these discussions.
Do you accept Medicare?
I have opted out of Medicare and am not a Medicare provider. This means that if you are qualified for Medicare and would like to see me for treatment, we must enter into a private contract in which you agree not to bill Medicare for my services. You may still be in treatment with other Medicare providers even if you sign a private contract with me.
Notice to Consumers
Medical doctors are licensed and regulated by the Medical Board of California. For more information, call 1-800-633-2322 or go to www.mbc.ca.gov.