Tag Archives: Diagnosis

NWA Marriage & Family Therapy, Google and the Self Diagnosis

Welcome to the age of Google and information.  I see more clients  more confused now about their situations with all the information they research or read in an  attempt to apply everything to themselves, in hopes of a quick resolve.  Information sometimes applied correctly and successfully and sometimes applied very inaccurately and excessively with unexpected consequences, or not with the desired results

Younger folks are much more willing to rely and use the internet to self diagnose or treat others.   If its accurate and effective, you might save some money but since the biggest predictor of any one getting better is the relationship a client forms with their therapists,  all the information in the world can not substitute face to face  sessions with a professional.   As well as  not all therapists follow the medical model, even thought all insurance companies do, and that is the bulk of what most people find.

Even experts in the mental health field can disagree as to the how’s and why’s of diagnostics and therapy or of the various mental health issues,  which are in a constant state of change and advancement as they are approached from many view points and with new advancements in the filed.

Often times clients self diagnose or diagnose others in their family with various personality disorders without ever having gone to see any one in the mental health field.  Google has made their decision for them.   Everything can sound so similar too, clients tell me.  Sometimes finding issues they did not know were even issuesSo you may consider trusting the face to face process of using a therapists in real time, hanging in there and seeing what happens, rather than amass  information that leads to many clients to feel less than or  more anxious.

Counseling and mental health therapy in one form  or another, through various healers  has been around since ancient times, even before the mental health field developed to what it is today.

Even thought face to face therapy is still considered the gold standard, its good to know that other options now exists.

Thanks Again.

 

Insurance, Couples Counseling & the Affordable Care Act

Insurance, Couples Counseling & the Affordable Care Act

There was a time where insurance companies and your employer knew a lot less about what you did in your health provider’s office.  Now with the Affordance Care Act more and more people will get insurance and more mental health services are being covered.  Sometimes couples counseling is covered as such, sometimes one of the people in the couples session must be the “identified patient” for insurance billing purposes. Many clients do not know this.  If you use your insurance to covers your mental health services one of you probably will get a diagnostic code in order for you or the mental health care provider to be able to get reimbursement from the insurance company. No diagnosis code, no reimbursement. You may or may not be told or know what your diagnosis that you are being billed for.

Depending on the diagnostic code that might determine how many sessions you will be allowed, sometimes it can vary depending on your needs. Often time’s insurance company or employer will need an update as to your progress on your diagnosis, in order to determine if more sessions will be given.  All this information about you and your diagnosis is given to the insurance company and sometimes as to your employer.

In the past health care information would be kept for five or seven years.  In the paper days, this information would be kept by your health care provider, perhaps shared if referrals were made and then later destroyed. These days it is being most likely stored in the cloud for ever. This information will follow you along with the rest of your medical records, probably for life.  This should  clearly be explained to you.

This is one reason why many people still prefer to keep their mental health care outside of the insurance providers reach.  Having to meet insurance deductibles, having a high co pay and needing an “identified patient” for diagnosis makes using insurance less than appealing for some people.

A more attractive alternative model for many is to have an affordable, non diagnosis model as far as their mental health care. Many people thus prefer to keep their mental health information out of their employers or insurance company’s hands by not using their health insurance.

Remember that if you do use your insurance, be sure to inquire about the following contract details to make a better informed decision as a consumer as to which choice is best for you:

  • Is outpatient mental health covered? Is Couple’s counseling specifically covered? Or only individual?
  • Any preauthorization requirements before you begin?
  • What is your co-pay?
  • Is there a deductible that must be met yearly, before benefits will begin? What is it?
  • What credentials are required of the therapist? There are many types of mental health credentials; will my particular therapists be covered?
  • Will it be in either in network or out of network?
  • How many visits will be given per year?

Ask your therapists to explain your diagnostic code that they are using for insurance billing purposes, it could be one or several codes.  If you have any questions or need clarification ask.  It is important to be fully informed and protect your confidentiality. You have a right to know and make an informed decision.