This notice is to inform my clients of a new service I am offering and the way I will be charging for this service. Many of you have taken to contacting me by e-mail to discuss events or problems that pertain to the work we are doing together. Some have also sent me documents to read and comment upon, or asked me to find resources for you. I try my best to respond to each of these requests with the care I give to our individual sessions, despite the fact that within the health insurance funding structure that we are subjected to, all these services are considered non-billable. Non-billable services also include interfacing with your insurance provider, preparing and billing for your sessions, making collateral calls to other types of providers in your life including physicians, attorneys, school teachers, parents (in the case of clients who are minors), as well as keeping up my web presence and professional development.
Many therapists have been driven off the insurance panels by the financial burden of agreeing to less than half their fee for the “privilege” of taking insurance. This is what is referred to as managed care. Insurance corporations are managing what medical and psychological professionals can charge for our services. I have decided to incorporate these services more intentionally into my practice by attaching a fee to them. Here is how this would work. I will still remain on the insurance panels for the time being (indefinitely, really, although that could change). This will allow me to collect only the co-pay from you for face-to-face sessions, rather than applying my full-fee, $175.00 per hour, which I am sure would be prohibitive for many of you. In addition, however, I will continue to work with those of you who prefer it (between sessions, not exclusive of in-person sessions) by e-mail at a rate of $85 per hour. This comes out to $21.25 per 15 minutes, or $42.50 per half-hour. I have acquired software that will allow me to keep accurate track of time spent at my computer or telephone by client name and convert that information to an invoice. I will need a credit or debit card number on file to charge for these services at the time of delivery. I will not be able to carry balances forward. Additionally, for those who need these services during a specific time window, 15 minute phone / email consultations for new or existing clients, as well as 30 minute phone / email exchanges and 60 minute telephone / Skype sessions for existing clients, are now bookable online through my scheduling site.
Please understand that I am not imposing these charges to discourage anyone from contacting me in this way. Indeed, I believe some of the most helpful interventions can be made in this day and age through technologically-assisted media. The immediacy, while containing some psychological drawbacks, can also allow us to capture insights and avoid the problematic ego mediation that results from waiting for your in-office session. It is simply that this is what is developing in my practice and I have decided to honor it and find a way to integrate it with the many useful principles and structures from my training so as to create a new model of coaching/psychotherapy that is responsive to the times we live in. There is evidence that Telemental health services are the wave of the future in human services. We have an opportunity to be on the vanguard of this movement. If you have questions about what you are reading here, you are encouraged to discuss them with me so that you can make your own choices about when and if to contact me for consultation through e-mail.