Frequently Asked Questions

CLIENTS

How long does a session last?

The initial session lasts 60 minutes to allow for a comprehensive social history. Treatment sessions are booked in increments of 45, 60, 75, 90 or 120 minutes. Fees are assessed based on the length of each session.

What is an “Affiliate”?

An Affiliate is a licensed clinician who shares space at the Center, but is not an employee or owner of the Center.  All affiliates are private practitioners and carry their own liability insurance. Affiliates must meet certain training standards in order to see clients at the center and receive weekly individual clinical supervision from Mary Pat McGeehin, MSW, LCSW.

Do I need to call the insurance company before I come in for my session?

YES! The Center is an “out-of-network” provider and can not obtain pre-authorization/pre-certification for your treatment. We are also unable to find out deductible, co-insurance or “usual and customary” reimbursement amounts. In fact, the insurance companies will not release any client information to the Billing Manager except a confirmation that a claim was received.

Why do I have to pay the whole fee up front?

Lighthouse and its affiliates are all “out-of-network” providers, which means we can submit claims for your sessions but the insurance companies will only send reimbursement checks to your home address. We submit sessions as a courtesy to our clients, but the fees are the responsibility of the client.  To assist with budgeting, we accept Mastercard, Visa and Discover Card.

 My insurance company hasn’t sent me a check yet.  How long should it take to get my reimbursement check?

Our Billing Manager electronically submits all sessions once per week. We have no control over the reimbursement process after we submit each claim. Historically, it takes 4-6 weeks for each check to be sent home. If you have not received a reimbursement check six weeks after your initial session, contact your insurance company immediately. Our Billing Manager does not know whether or not you receive a reimbursement check, so it is your responsibility to inform her if there is a problem.

If you are more comfortable being in control of the billing process, please ask your therapist for a weekly receipt for services and you can submit on your own.

My ex-spouse is the “responsible party” for the insurance and I am paying for the full fee and he/she is cashing and keeping the reimbursement checks because the checks are sent to his/her house. What can you do to stop that?

Sadly, we have encountered this issue several times. Our recommendation is that you contact your lawyer and discuss legal options. There is nothing the Center can do to change the reimbursement process.

I left a message for the Billing Manager a few days ago and she hasn’t called back.  Should I call her again?

Our Billing Manager is only in the office once a week. At that time, she checks all her voicemail and email messages. If she has a question, or if you request a call back for a specific reason, she will contact you. If you request something that is simple (billing statement, resubmit a claim, receipt, etc.) she will complete the task without calling you back.

It’s April 14th and my accountant wants a receipt for all psychotherapy treatment we had the last year by tomorrow. Will the Billing Manager be able to make this happen?

NO! Any specific requests for year-end statements should be made at least 30 days in advance to allow for printing, corrections and shipping.

My insurance switched to a new deductible on January 1st. I am short on money this month so can you bill that session for December 31st even though I was here on January 3rd?

NO! Billing on a day you were not at the office is insurance fraud.

Why are you charging me a full fee if I do not cancel within 24 hours?

Your session time is reserved for you, and if you do not cancel with enough notice, your therapist will be unable to fill the time slot.  If the therapist can not fill the appointment time it results in a significant financial loss, and the client is responsible to cover that loss.

Insurance will not reimburse for failed sessions.

My spouse and I are in the middle of a contentious divorce. I would like you to provide evidence that he/she is a bad parent and does not deserve visitation? Will you write a letter supporting me?

The purpose of psychotherapy for your child is to provide a free and protected space for the processing of trauma. If the child believes his/her sessions are being recorded, evaluated or used in any legal proceeding it damages the fabric of the therapeutic relationship. We will recommend a court appointed evaluation or a Guardian Ad Litem to assist in custody matters.

How long will it take me (my child) to get better?

Every client has a unique healing process. Factors including: early life trauma, developmental delays, environmental issues, divorce, grief, addictions and medical illness all impact the length and frequency of therapeutic sessions.