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. I used to accept insurance, and found that in order to sustain a medical practice, just to break-even; psychiatrists have to see a large volume of patients – often at the cost of time and care afforded to the patients. Many of my patients see me and get reimbursed from their insurance companies as an out-of-network provider.
Because of the inadequate insurance payout rates, the need to increase the number of patients becomes a stress on a practice; I felt that my patients were just a number and part of the system. 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 accept insurance which frees me up to spend the time necessary to provide the level of professional care that I feel a patient deserves. 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 over 13 years experience in medical practice 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 the times of troubled waters.