Hours:

  • Appointments Monday through Thursday
  • Other times may be available by special arrangement
  • Telephone hours Monday through Friday 9 AM to 5:00 PM

Rates: *

  • Initial assessment
  • 45-minute individual session
  • 75 minute individual session
  • Family/couple/partner session
  • 90 minute group session
  • Case Management (per hour)
  • Court Appearances (per hour; min. 2 hrs.in advance)
  • Letter Writing; report preparation (per 1/4 hour)
  • Assessments (per hour)
  • $ 200.00
  • $ 125.00
  • $ 150.00
  • $ 150.00
  • $   55.00
  • $   90.00
  • $ 250.00
  • $   35.00
  • $ 150.00

* Sliding scale available in exceptional circumstances


Telephone Consultations*
First 5 minutes are free; thereafter: $ 35.00 per 1/4 hour or portion.
Scheduling, billing, initial consultation and other administration calls no charge.
(*after-hours calls for established clients only)


Insurance
Services may be covered in full or in part by your health insurance or employee benefit plan. Please check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:

  • Do I have mental health insurance benefits?
  • What is my deductible and has it been met?
  • How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?

 

Fees and Insurance

 

Payment of fees is expected at the time of each appointment.  If you are using insurance, insurance company regulations require that copay and/or coinsurance charges be paid at the time of the service.  Deductible balances may be invoiced.  If you are paying privately, payment will be expected in full at the time of the session.  Note that in some circumstances modifications to the foregoing or following may be made at the discretion of Dr. Brechtel.

We accept cash, check and all major credit cards including medical flex spending account cards. You can have your credit card information securly stored with us in order to facilitate payment (we meet both HIPAA and banking regulations for secure storage of personal and credit card information).  We have a balance due limit of $300, meaning that if your account reaches $300 no further services can be offered until the balance is paid.  Up to a 3-month payment plan for outstanding balances can be arranged in very exceptional circumstances without violating banking regulations.

While many of our clients use insurance to pay for services, we want our clients to be aware of potential benefits of paying privately.  Firstly, by paying privately we are able to ensure a greater level of confidentiality for our clients.  Insurance companies by your contract require your consent to examine your confidential psychological records.  While they seldom exercise this right, it nonetheless represents a potential disclosure of your information into the "medical cloud."  Other entities (e.g., Life insurance companies, a new health plan you're attempting to acquire, and in some cases employers) can access this information, either by existing law or by requiring you to sign a blanket consent to access "any health information."

While licensed psychologists are granted very specific legal rights (not universally afforded to non-licensed mental health practitioners) to keep the most sensitive information out of the formal medical records, even the information required to be in the general medical record can provide information you may prefer to keep private (for example, your diagnosis, medicines you take, mental health treatment history, any letters i write and assessments i perform for you, even text messages you send to me, is always required to be in the general record if you use insurance).

 

Secondly, paying privately drastically reduces our administrative and billing overhead (which can reach 25% or more of the time spent actually providing services to clients).  This reduction allows us to help more clients, keeps our rates lower, and to have much more flexibility with our rates for those in financial need. 

 

Thus, if you have insurance, but choose to pay privately, we will be able to negotiate a rate apprecaibly lower than standard private payments rates, and brings the private pay rates much closer to the rates clients might pay in copay/coinsurance when they use their insurance.

In order for insurance to pay for any services, they must be "medically necessary."  this means that services for many marital conserns, problems adjusting to changes,

If i am not on your insurance panel, you may still be able to utilize your coverage to obtain services under the "out-of-network" option.  You will need to contact your insurance carrier to determine if this coverage is available.  With this option, full payment is due at the time of service and we will provide you with a 'super-bill' or specialized statement of services rendered that you can use to file your own claim.  In this case, covered charges will be reimbursed from the insurance provider directly to you.  It is important that you contact your insurance provider before your first appointment to determine if you need to have pre-approval for your sessions.  Our office manager or intake coordinator will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding this procedure.

Please note that we are also willing to negotiate our fees when necessary and appropriate.  You may contact our intake coordinator for more information regarding reduced fees and alternate payment options.

What are the major differences between private pay and using insurance?

Self-Pay...

Complete confidentiality: Your case record is the property of the center; information would only be released if legally required or you gave your consent.

Type of treatment: Treatment can focus both on specific crises and on changing long-term patterns.

Unlimited number of sessions: You won't need to worry about being denied sessions; because treatment can be growth-oriented, there is no time limit.

Life insurance policies: No medical record will exist that could interfere in gaining other policies.

Payment: Many times, fees can be equal to a co-pay that increases over time; if a pre-tax account is used, you may even pay less than some co-pays (see below).

Medical expenses flex account: Some employers allow you to set aside annual pre-tax dollars to pay for medical expenses, which can reduce your costs for counseling even more; depending on your tax bracket, you could save approximately 25% of the cost of treatment; check with your employer to see if they offer such a plan, as many require sign up at the beginning of the year.

Using Insurance...

Lack of confidentiality: A case manager and billing staff at the insurance company will be aware of your diagnosis and treatment plan; many mental health benefits are also contingent on periodic updates from your therapist; your therapy may become part of your permanent medical record.

Type of treatment: Treatment is crisis-oriented and required to be brief, focused and behavioral only; growth-oriented treatment is not covered.

Limited number of sessions: A case manager at the insurance company will decide how many sessions are covered; longer-term treatment is only allowed if it's "medically necessary" with a more serious diagnosis, and your mental health contract still determines the maximum number of sessions covered.

Possible denial of life insurance: Some life insurance policies have been denied to those using their mental health coverage, which is seen as a risk.

Initial low co-pay: Many mental health plans do offer a low co-pay; however, a large deductible may first need to be paid out-of-pocket and/or the co-pay may increase over time.