Frequently Asked Questions
What is your new patient procedure?
Start by clicking the button below. From there, you’ll be taken to my patient portal where you’ll be able to submit a request a diagnostic assessment.
Afterward, I will contact you to discuss what the appropriate next steps might be.
Initial visits occur over one 90-minute session for adults or one to two sessions lasting 2-3 hours for children & adolescents. During these visits, I will hear your story and begin to formulate a treatment plan.
At the end of the evaluation, we will discuss the relevant diagnoses and any recommendations for treatment, which may include therapy, medications, non-medication interventions, or a behavioral plan.
Are you seeing patients in person?
Yes. I am seeing patients in person in my office in Menlo Park on Mondays and Wednesdays. I also offer telehealth on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
What ages do you see?
2 years of age and up, but I also treat parents of infants.
What is the difference between a psychiatrist and psychologist/therapist?
Psychiatrists (MD or DO) are physicians who have completed four years of medical school and then completed a residency to specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions. Other providers are not physicians, rather have completed non-medical training programs and have degrees such as masters level Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT/LMFT) or Social Worker (SW/ASW/MSW/LCSW) or a doctorate level Psychologist (PsyD or PhD). All are potential options for therapy.
However, as a physician, I can perform physical examinations, neurobehavioral examinations, make medical diagnoses, order and interpret brain scans, laboratory tests, and neurophysiological tests, prescribe (and de-prescribe) medications, and perform psychotherapy.
When can I consider you my doctor?
I can be considered your doctor only after we have mutually agreed to a treatment plan after our initial evaluation or first sessions together where we figure out whether we are a good fit for one another.
Therefore, visiting this website, initial email or phone communication, initial evaluation, or any other contact prior to agreeing on a treatment plan does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship.
Do you take insurance?
I do not accept insurance. There are several reasons for this policy. Insurance companies often demand high administrative requirements and set limitations on how psychiatrists can practice in a way I feel would help people the most. Rather than spending time billing, filing, and negotiating with insurance companies, I instead use this time to collaborate, teach, and build relationships within the community. I acknowledge that this policy prevents me from being the best fit for some people’s financial situations, and I’m sorry for that.
Through my online portal, you can generate a medical service receipt (superbill or invoice) for each visit, which has the information you need to submit an out-of-network claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. From this medical service receipt, many people choose to pursue reimbursement for any out-of-network benefits for which they are eligible, but I consider that a private decision between a person and his/her/their insurer.
Do you accept any Employer Assistance Programs (EAP)?
I see patients through Lyra Health for medication management only. Lyra is an EAP that covers many major tech and biochemical companies. Some major local company that uses Lyra benefits are Meta, Genentech, Genesys, LinkedIn, Pinterest, SpaceX, Uber, VMware, and more. Ask your HR department whether your company is contracted with Lyra Health.
If your company offers Lyra Health, please let me know when you submit the initial patient portal so I can check your eligibility for mediation treatment as not all those who have Lyra qualify for medication management.
What are your fees?
The price of sessions varies depending on the length of your appointment. Please submit a new patient request to inquire about my fees.
Forms of payment?
Payment is by debit card (including employer-sponsored HSA/FSA/HRA accounts) or credit card through the online portal, which utilizes Bluefin as the confidential service provider. I can also accept cash and check.
Will my insurance reimburse?
I am an out-of-network provider for insurance plans. I will provide a receipt (superbill) for each visit, which you can submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement. Please ask your insurance provider for details and reimbursement rates.
Please note that insurances usually do not reimburse for fees outside of appointment times, which includes no-show fees, late or cancellation fees, paperwork fees, refill fees, and possibly other fees.
How do I get out-of-network reimbursement?
To use this benefit, call your insurance company and ask them the following:
- How much does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?
- What is my out-of-network deductible and has it been met?
- What is my out-of-network annual out-of-pocket maximum?
- What is the maximum coverage amount (sometimes called the “UCR,” or “usual and customary rate” or “allowable amount”) for the procedure codes listed here (in bold)?
- Is approval or a referral required from my primary care physician?
- Are my benefits on a calendar year basis, or a plan year? If on a plan year, when does it start?
Once you have paid your balance in full, you simply submit your receipt (which shows all necessary diagnostic and procedural codes and that you have paid) along with your insurance company’s claim form (typically found on their website) through the insurance website and they will mail you a check or direct deposit into your bank account. Insurance companies may not accept claims for dates that have not been paid.
For your convenience, my practice is subscribed to Reimbursify‘s concierge plan to help simplify your process of getting reimbursed. This means all my patients receive:
• Free, unlimited OON claims filing through Reimbursify
• Priority claim support through Reimbursify by emailing email@example.com.
The amount they send you, once you meet your out-of-network deductible and assuming you have obtained any necessary prior authorizations, is based on the percentage of out-of-network coverage your plan authorizes. This is typically 40-80%, but for some even up to 100% after you meet your annual deductible of the allowable rate, which varies based on plan. Please note insurance plans typically do not cover time spent in your care in between sessions.
What is a network gap exception?
As an out-of-network provider, I understand that many insurance plans require patients to see in-network providers in order to receive coverage. However, there are exceptions that may allow for coverage even when seeing an out-of-network provider, such as when there is a shortage of in-network providers who specialize in treating a particular condition or when a patient’s medical needs cannot be met by an in-network provider. In these cases, patients may be able to receive coverage for my services through a “network gap exception.”
As most insurance plans will not be able to provide you with access to a child and adolescent psychiatrist within an appropriate time frame, you should be able to get this approved to see me. I encourage patients to check with their insurance company to determine if they qualify for a network gap exception before scheduling an appointment with me. You may to appeal an initial denial however. I can help file gap exceptions for ongoing care.
Are there any advantages to being seen out-of-network?
- Quality: You are free to get the best clinical care possible, without any interference from the insurance company.
- Access: Appointments can last as long as they need to and can be as frequent as necessary.
- Privacy: If you do not seek reimbursement from your insurance company, your chart is completely confidential and will never be released without your permission.
- Financial: Many who do choose to seek reimbursement are surprised to find that the process is relatively simple and the benefits higher than assumed.
What is your cancellation policy?
Once we schedule your time, I hold that specially for you. As a courtesy to other patients who are wanting that time slot, please call me at least two business days before to cancel. For example, if your appointment is on Monday at 4pm, please cancel no later than the previous Thursday at 4pm.
If you do not give two business days notice, you will be responsible for the full session fee. “No shows” or being frequently late to appointments are a significant obstacle to treatment. I am willing to commit to helping with your problem, but as this is a collaborative process, I require the commitment to be mutual.
Unfortunately, no insurance company reimburses for this. Emergencies are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Do you charge for filling out forms, writing letters, talking with other providers, or calls and messages between appointments?
Yes. Brief phone calls will not be charged, but calls lasting 5 minutes or longer are charged for each 15-minute increment. This includes all calls deemed medically necessary including collaboration with other providers and schools during the intake process or afterwards. All forms, paperwork, prior authorizations, emails, and letters requiring more than 5 minutes will also be charged at the same rate.
Do you have any financial conflict of interests in your practice?
I do not take any money from drug or medical device companies. You are welcome to search for my name on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Open Payments web page to confirm. The federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires that detailed information about payment and other payments of value worth over $10 from manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and biologics to physicians and teaching hospitals be made available to the public.
What are your official HIPAA privacy policies?
Click here to read the Notice of Privacy Practices
Where can I find the Medical Board of California’s Notice to Patients?
Click here to see the Notice to Patients.