Hello everyone! Happy New Year.
With the new year comes new updates. 2020 has been quite a ride for everyone but we will make it through together.
The office is re-opening on January 4th after a two week break. This gave us time to refresh and renew our efforts to serving clients and also to make some administrative adjustments to how we do things. This post is meant to discuss some of those things more. Without further adieu:
Remember: insurance deductibles and OOPs generally change on Jan. 1st. I will be going through and re-verifying everyone's insurances. If you have changed insurances after the new year, please let me know ASAP.
I am now INN with AvMed private plans, after they have migrated over to Optum providers. I am still learning how to bill/submit claims for them but another panel means I can serve a wider variety of clients. Still working on Aetna.
Because I am now more experienced and taking more insurance panels to see more clients, I am going to be raising my private pay rates slightly. My new sliding scale is $85-150 a session. Note that for current clients your rate will not change. If you break services and return private pay at a later date, then you will be subject to the increase. This rate takes effect 1/1/21.
After a federal law passed in Nov 2020, come April 2021 medical records will be required to be stored online in a way that clients can freely access as needed. This is fine for regular medical records, but psychotherapy records obviously have particular information contained within that some clients may not feel comfortable with being online and accessible. To comply with this change, I have set up a patient portal through Office Ally, a well known EHR system. For clients who wish, I will be setting up a patient portal for them to login to and access records, and I will upload their records to this platform. A few things about this: a- For now, I am only doing this for adult clients and young children. For my teens, who likely request more privacy, I will be refraining from setting up the portals for parents for now. b- There will be a form for everyone to sign that either consents for me to upload documentation to the patient portal or to keep things the way they are now, with clients requesting records from me directly. c- I will generally be uploading things once weekly: still trying to work out the kinks with this, so please be patient.
Administratively, that is most of what has adjusted.
Clinically, here are a couple changes implemented:
I updated my clinical paperwork a bit. Most of it is in line with federal open records law changes. Feel free to ask about it if you're interested.
With everything happening with COVID-19 infection effects and post-infection recovery, I may start collecting basic vital sign data for you to have available for your medical providers. Still debating on this.
Speaking of COVID.....
I deep cleaned the office thoroughly while we were closed. It is immaculate (for now) and I did some organization. You won't notice much difference but everything is much more cleaned up. I have also restocked all proper disinfecting and COVID supplies (masks, hand sanitizer, aerosol sprays, wipes, etc.)
Over the break, Collier County enacted a mask mandate for businesses. We are part of that. I have required masks for many months so obviously this will not change, but not that we are now liable to fines for not enforcing a mask policy.
I am getting the COVID vaccine on Thursday, 1/7 @ 11am. This will be my first dose and I will be scheduled a follow up dose. I have rescheduled all morning clients that day already but if you are scheduled later in the day, be prepared to be flexible in the event it takes longer than intended or I have a reaction to it. This will also help me protect you as you see me in office.
As time moves on, we will likely continue making more changes and I will keep everyone updated. Any questions can be directed to my phone or to my e-mail.
Looking forward to seeing everyone after the new year! Stay safe and we will talk soon.