Getting Started
You can start by contacting me at joan@joanlavender.com or by phone at 212-866-0461. In a brief phone conversation, I will gather basic information about the nature of your situation. Any practical concerns or preferences you may have can be addressed at this time. All information will be confidential and in accordance with state and federal regulations governing mental health care. 

While I have treated a wide range of problems, I may recommend that you need specialized help for certain types of difficulties such as more serious drug/alcohol, legal issues, immediate high risk or violent behavior. 


Please note that I am an Out of Network Provider ONLY I am not an In Network Provider with any insurance company. I am glad to provide you with an itemized bill suitable for you to present to your insurance provider, but I will ask you to pay me directly. For your own sake I strongly suggest contacting your insurance company and other financial resources before you start psychotherapy.
Helpful Hints About Insurance Reimbursement

Always consult your insurance company starting your psychotherapy!

In order to make sure that you have the financial/insurance support to start and continue treatment, clarify in advance what type of mental health benefits your insurance offers for psychotherapy treatment. Insurance companies have complicated procedures that change without notice so you should document every contact you have with your insurance providers. This will help you to protect your ongoing treatment. It is federal law (Parity Law) that your insurance company cannot charge you a different copayment for behavioral health treatment, nor limit the number of sessions, if they meet the criteria for medical necessity.

1. Call your insurance company customer phone number on the back of your insurance card. Tell them you need to know the details of your mental health coverage. 

2. There are two categories of mental health coverage: In Network and Out of Network providers. Ask for the Out of Network benefits. These are the ones you will need in order to start treatment with me.

3. Does your insurance provide Out of Network (OON) benefits?

4. If yes, ask what is the Deductible? 

5. What is the Percent of Coverage? Is it 50/50, 70/30, or some other ratio? Make sure you know exactly which side of the percent ratio you will be receiving. 

6. You will hear the terms R & C (Reasonable and Customary). R&C is the fee or price that your insurance company has decided to pay for your sessions with me. Different insurance companies have different prices for the same treatment. I am a clinical psychologist (not psychiatrist). There will be a specific R&C listed for services provided by a clinical psychologist with a zip code of 10024.

7. My total fee will most likely be different than the R&C listed. For example, if I charge $200 per 50-minute session, the R&C might be a lower figure. You will be paying the difference between what I actually charge and what the insurance company is setting up as a fee on which to base their % of reimbursement to you. 

8. Precertification (Preauthorization). Some insurance companies require that you call them before you start treatment to precertify the treatment. If you do not do this, you could lose any chance of getting reimbursed for sessions with me. 

9. Ask about the maximum numbers of visits you are given for the year. For your lifetime? And, does the payment year start in January, or at some other point? 

10. If your insurance company asks for the CPT Code, this refers to the length of the session with me. Individual sessions that are 45-50 minutes are coded CPT 90834. Your insurance company may ask for this number, so keep it handy.

11. Ask for the specific address where you will need to send your claims. Is a special form needed to submit claims? How long does it take to receive your reimbursement cheque? 

12. Be prepared for more changes re insurance coverage. Your place of employment can switch insurers, you can move employment and start with a new insurance, or your benefits can change without notice. Try to plan ahead.

If you would like a free 15 minute phone consultation with me, please be sure to leave your name and email on my website and I promise to get back to you soon.  
 
(If you are a website designer looking for new business, DO NOT leave a message here.  I DO NOT need website services.)
Stay Connected With Joan