Frequently Asked Questions
What does the DNP, PMHNP-BC credentials mean ?
DNP, Doctor of Nursing Practice. This doctoral degree represents the highest degree a nurse can earn. It is awarded after rigorous coursework and prepares them to translate research into practice and improve patient outcomes. The curriculum follows nursing’s holistic approach including physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being.
PMHNP-BC, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).. It is an advanced practice nursing specialty in psychiatric care. This is not a medical doctor specialty; it is a nursing specialty, including prescribing medication and ordering diagnostic tests. PMHNP-BC certified practitioners use a nationally accepted nursing care model that differs from the medical care model in a few ways. Nursing is whole person-focused while medicine is disease focused.
What will our first meeting look like?
Before your first visit, you can request your intake paperwork to help make your first appointment run smoothly. We will utilize this alongside what we discuss within a 60-minute session to assist in the formulation of a treatment plan that fits you and your goals. While we will discuss probable diagnoses, these can change as we move forward in treatment. We do not always recommend medications at the first appointment; you may not wish to trial any medication, or we may not feel that you are a good candidate for medication management at this time. Therapy is an effective way to help with treatment. We will also answer as many questions as we can during this session. We may discuss ordering labs to rule-out physical health concerns, finding a talk therapist, and collaborate on the best place to start.
Are you able to coordinate care with my PCP or therapist?
Yes, we prefer to do this as much as possible, as coordinated care has been shown to produce the best outcomes for patients. If requested, you will be able to sign a release of information (ROI) while in our office; this will allow for the release of information, allow me to contact other providers, etc. Please note: if you have been referred by your PCP, a psychiatric provider typically will manage all psychiatric medications.
What is pharmacogenetic testing?
Within psychiatric care, providers are utilizing personalized genetic testing services. Because our practice will focus on holistic practices, we attempt to gather as much information about every patient that we see, so that every treatment plan is individualized, evidence-based, and comprehensive. Genetic testing is an additional piece of the puzzle that tells us more about your makeup and heritage than I can see from the exterior. It can tell us what medications might cause more side effects, what medications could potentially be helpful, and if there are any genetic anomalies that would influence your care; it cannot, unfortunately, point us to the absolutely ideal medication for you. It is generally affordable, and we utilize Genesight services.
Will my insurance cover my visit?
Our office will verify your benefits and help with information on your copay, deductible, coverage and possible financial responsibility. Services are provided with the understanding that you (not an insurance company) are ultimately responsible for the cost of your treatment. Insurance plans vary and not all services may be covered. It is also important to verify with your specific plan that we are in-network as they sometimes outsource to a third party for mental health services. Coverages can change at any time even with in-network plans. Please share with us any updates to your insurance coverage.
What questions should I ask my insurance when I call?
- Is my provider considered an in network provider? If so, ask them about your “In-Network Benefits.”
- What is the co-pay amount or co-insurance percentage specifically for ‘outpatient mental health office visits’?
- What is the annual deductible and how much has been met?
- Are there limitations on the number of outpatient mental health visits covered?
My insurance is out of network with your office, can I still start the intake paperwork?
Our office can bill your insurance if we are out of network, however, keep in mind that deductibles and copayment amounts are different.
Do you take private pay/cash?
Yes, please call the office at 714-226-9770 for the rate from the initial evaluation, follow up sessions and any ADHD testing.
Other Important Information:
Prior approval (if required) from your insurance company must be completed before your visit. Please call your insurance company to help determine your coverage as well as your deductible.
Copays are sometimes a fixed amount, or they may also be a co-insurance which is a percentage of what is billed. Please be sure to verify your patient responsibility with your insurance to avoid any surprises.
Payments: Our practice accepts all major credit cards, cash, and personal checks. We sometimes require a valid credit/debit card on file when setting up an appointment time.
Please do not miss your appointment as the time will be reserved for you. Appointments must be cancelled at least 24 working hours in advance in order to avoid missed appointment charges.
As is the standard of practice in this area, if you cancel your appointment with less than 24 working hours’ notice, you can be charged for that time. Please note your insurance will not cover a missed appointment.
Lateness: We understand that there are circumstances beyond your control that may cause you to me late. We will do our best to accommodate and if it is not possible to see you, you will be rescheduled for another time. We understand that sometimes it is just not possible to keep an appointment, and we will always listen and record the circumstances for the postponement or cancellation. In certain circumstances the charge for the appointment time may be waived at our discretion, on a case by case basis.
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