Policies and Fees
The Clinic at Virtually Better is a behavioral health outpatient practice, staffed exclusively with psychologists who specialize in providing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for children, adolescents, and adults. We have morning, afternoon, and evening appointments available, with some limited weekend hours, depending on the psychologist. We do not have a psychiatrist or medication-prescribing physician on staff, nor are we equipped to provide frequent or ongoing crisis management services. Therefore, we are not available 24/7 for medical/psychiatric emergencies. If you do have an emergency, please go to your local emergency room or call 911.
For patients who want to involve their health insurance, please view and download the Insurance Tips and Information document. Our patients often take advantage of filing with insurance as many managed care organizations (MCOs) allow for reimbursement of a percentage of fees for an “out-of-network” provider or, in certain circumstances, “Single Case Agreements” that are treated more like in-network coverage. Since you will be seen by a psychologist who is providing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), insurance companies are likely to reimburse some portion of service fees as they recognize CBT to be a cost effective and time-limited treatment approach for psychological problems. Whether or not you choose to file for reimbursement with your insurance company is an individual decision; some of our patients go through their insurance companies for reimbursement while others choose not to involve their insurance company. We are happy to talk with you further about these issues.
New Patient Enrollment
For any new patients, we offer an initial no-cost, brief phone screen that can be conducted prior to scheduling the initial diagnostic evaluation session in order to determine the appropriateness of the referral question, likelihood of fit for our services, and to answer your questions not covered in these materials. For some patients, this phone screen will not be necessary but still remains an available service for anyone interested.
For all new patients, we conduct an initial diagnostic evaluation, charged at the rate of $200. This evaluation typically includes a clinical interview lasting 60-90 minutes, with a review of key background information (e.g., prior treatment/hospitalization history, onset, course, and duration of primary symptoms, family psychiatric history), a discussion of current resources and stressors that will impact treatment, a review of responses your diagnostic evaluation forms, a summary of initial diagnostic findings, and a discussion of your treatment goals. Some preliminary forms will be sent to you for completion prior to your first appointment by email or, if you prefer, they can be completed in our waiting room prior to the initial evaluation session.
Depending on your treatment needs and complexity of historical information, the first two sessions may include the initial diagnostic evaluation, and will be charged separately at the rate of $200. However, all appointments after this evaluation phase will be charged at our regular service rates.
For child referrals, parents may be asked to attend one or more sessions without their child in attendance.
If a patient is home-bound, or services require on-site observation (e.g., school), the initial assessment will include additional fees for travel time.
Please see Insurance Tips and Information document for more information.
Fees for the clinic are charged by professional time and have been determined in a manner that takes into account factors such as regional psychotherapy rates, levels of expertise, and the scope of focus of our specialty services. The base fee for our Cognitive-Behavioral psychologists is $175 per 50 minutes standard session.
All fees are prorated in 10-minute increments for services of lesser or greater time (e.g., family meetings and initial exposure sessions can sometimes take longer than 50 minutes; booster check-ins can be much shorter). The prorated rate for any 10-minute increment is $35. Therefore, a planned 30-minute session is at a rate of $105. A 70-minute session is at the rate of $245.
Any additional fees (e.g., possible admission fees to places for community based exposure therapy for yourself/family and, if necessary for the psychologist to accompany, the psychologist’s fees) will be your responsibility. Additional charges will be discussed ahead of time in planning sessions with your psychologist.
Clinicians’ full rate, prorated in 10-minute increments, will be charged for:
- In-office therapy
- Home/community-based therapy
- School assessment or IEP meetings
- Requested report writing, letters of opinion, or other documentation services not already included in assessment services
- Phone Consultations with school or other professionals
- Phone sessions/phone calls
Note: Brief contacts, defined as: 5 minutes or less, usually for scheduling or for therapy homework purposes (e.g., pre-arranged check-in calls, clarification of therapy assignments) do not incur any charges
- We are also available to speak by phone with an insurance representative for a pre-approval process (see Insurance Tips and Information document for more information). This summary and/or phone contact needs to be requested before or during the first 6 weeks following your original assessment appointment to be considered part of the evaluation package service fee. Any requested documentation outside of this initial process (e.g., communications during appeals) will be handled per our usual policies for letters and communications and billed pro-rated at your clinician’s usual rate.
Services reimbursed by insurance companies can vary. Please check with your individual policy
50% of the clinicians’ full rate, prorated in 10-minute increments, will be charged for total travel time to and from home/community-based sessions, schools, etc. Please note that these charges are rarely reimbursed by insurance.
Crisis Calls/ Between-appointment Phone Calls/ Phone Sessions will incur charges prorated in 10-minute increments at that clinicians’ determined rate. Brief contacts, 5 minutes or less, (usually for scheduling or for therapy homework purposes such as pre-arranged check-in calls, or clarification of therapy assignments) are not considered Phone Sessions. Please note these charges are rarely reimbursed by insurance.
Cancellations and Late Charges
To remain available for all of our patients, we request that cancellations be made at least 24 hours in advance. Appointments that are not cancelled in advance of 24 hours may be subject to a charge up to the regular session price and late charges may be assessed at our discretion. Please note that these charges are rarely reimbursed by insurance
Payments are to be collected at each session We accept cash, checks, all major credit cards (Visa, MC, Discover, and Amex) as well as healthcare flexible spending accounts. Any returned checks or late payments may be subject to a $35 fee. Ongoing noncompliance with payment terms may incur collections charges.
**The policies and fee structure above are in effect as of January 18, 2013, and are subject to change.