How frequent are visits?
Most of my clients begin by attending sessions once a week. They may switch to a less frequent schedule after they see an improvement in their situation or are making the transition to ending therapy. Together we will develop a plan that fits your needs while allowing you to meet your other important life obligations.
How long should I be in therapy?
The length of time someone is in therapy largely depends on the nature of the problem and the identified goals. Some clients want to target a very specific issue that can be worked through in a brief course of therapy that may last 5-10 sessions. Research supports that about half of the people who come to therapy can address one problem effectively with short-term therapy. Individuals with significant trauma histories or more deeply challenging issues often opt to pursue therapy on a longer-term basis to work on change at a deeper level. In my professional experience, you get out what you put in.
Do you offer video or phone sessions?
Yes, I offer tele-therapy through HIPPA-compliant video and/or phone to my clients. For more details on how to access video sessions please read the “Telehealth Sessions Instructions” section located under the New Clients tab.
What do you charge?
$160 for the first session
$150 per 50 minute session after that
Longer sessions are pro-rated at the $150 rate
There is a $100 fee for missed appointments or cancellations made without a 24 hour notice.
A good faith estimate of anticipated charges is available for clients who self-pay rather than use insurance coverage.
What payment methods do you accept?
Payment is due at the end of each session by cash, check, or the Zelle app.
Can I use my health insurance for your services?
I am an in-network provider for BCBS PPO through employer-sponsored plans. If this is your insurance I will submit the necessary paperwork for payment. You will be responsible for any co-payments or deductibles for each session.
A significant portion of my services are covered by most major insurance plans. Coverage varies but most plans will reimburse clients for our sessions ranging from 25% to 90% of the total fee. If you would like to use your insurance, please contact your insurance company and ask what coverage you have when seeing an “out-of-network” provider. You will pay for the sessions as we go, and if requested, I will provide you with monthly itemized statements for submission to insurance companies or health savings account (HSA) plans.
In addition, many of my clients choose to pay for therapy themselves as a way to secure their privacy and for increased independence in choices. Please be aware that should you opt to use insurance benefits, I will need to provide a diagnosis to your insurance company. This diagnosis and treatment becomes part of your health insurance record.
What questions should I ask my insurance company when checking my benefits?
- What are my mental health benefits for outpatient psychotherapy in an office setting (insurance codes 90791 for initial assessments and 90837 for on-going therapy sessions)?
- Are telehealth sessions also covered? If so, do they pay at the same rate as my in-person sessions?
- What is my annual deductible for health care (including mental health) and how much has been met?
- Is there a co-pay or co-insurance amount I need to cover per session?
- Are there any restrictions in terms of diagnoses covered or number of yearly sessions allowed?
- Is Birch River Wellness/Pamela Bell considered an in-network provider for my plan? If not, how much will my plan reimburse me when I work with an out-of-network provider?
What about questions I have that aren’t addressed here?
Please feel free to call or email me for more information.