Q. What is the process for a new patient?
A. The behavioral health industry mirrors the medical model. The experience is similar to the primary care setting. To book an appointment you must supply your insurance information to the provider's intake department, and then a welcome packet will be sent to you. Just as in the primary care setting, the provider does not make contact with you until the first meeting. This reflects some of the guidelines that are set forth by both your insurance carrier and current standards and practice relating to tele-therapy.
Q. Do you provide tele-therapy services?
A. At this time we are not contracted with any insurance carrier or employee assistance program to provide tele-therapy sessions. We offer this service on a private basis. If you are seeking this service, we will be happy to discuss the tele-therapy services that we provide, as well as the fee schedule.
Q. Can the provider call me to talk about her clinical background and experience and find out if this is a good fit?
A. The current practice of the behavioral health industry follows the medical model closely. Thus the standard practice is that you meet with the provider at the first scheduled session. We have a detailed overview of the provider's clinical experience, broken into sub-groups of diagnoses that are considered specialties. Please click on the “About Jacqueline” link at the upper-left of this page so you can have an overview of the provider's experience.
Q. Is it possible to have a fairly brief conversation with the provider?
A. Following the medical model, we schedule all sessions for our patients, and try to honor our patients by being prompt, and impromptu calls would disrupt our schedule and conflict with our core value of adhering to our commitment to all of our patients to honor their time and their commitment to treatment. The current practice within the behavioral health industry is having care covered by insurance carriers only if it meets their “medical necessity” criteria, so consultative and educational services are not covered benefits. Our experience has been that questions that relate to clinical or diagnostic issues always arise, which would lead us into engaging in some form of tele-therapy, which we are not contracted for. However, we look forward to meeting you at your first scheduled session, and during the first two sessions there will be ample time to discuss any questions about the behavioral health standards and practices.
Q. What is the difference between therapy and behavioral health?
A. People often think of therapy as a kind of free-flowing process, with an emphasis on speaking about their family of origin and their past. Behavioral health is a covered benefit through your insurance carrier and is focused on symptoms and addressing an acute situation and requires your provider to create a specific treatment plan to address these symptoms and/or issues. Your provider is able to accept your insurance benefit by adhering to the insurance carrier's guidelines, primarily focusing attention on limiting symptoms that are interfering with your ability to function on a daily basis. Any treatment and treatment plan must address these symptoms. The provider is required to document the patient's current functioning level, submit a comprehensive treatment plan, and then must adhere to the submitted treatment plan going forward.