11/30/2022: CHANGES IN TELETHERAPY INSURANCE COVERAGE
The Covid pandemic is starting to wane, and we are starting to see changes coming from insurance companies. In case you are wondering about future insurance coverage of teletherapy, we wanted to provide you with some helpful information:
As you likely realize, insurance companies have been offering expanded coverage for teletherapy due to the Federal Declaration of Emergency related to Covid 19. The expansion of coverage is expected to expire on December 31st.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU
Whenever your insurance company ends the expansion of coverage for teletherapy, your benefits will return to the originally stated benefits. It is estimated that 80-85% of covered individuals already have teletherapy/telemedicine as a covered benefit in your policy, and therefore will not experience any impact to coverage.
However, for the other 15-20% of covered individuals, you may soon find that your plan no longer covers teletherapy, but will cover traditional in-person therapy.
HOW WE ARE PREPARING
We are checking for policy updates regularly so that we can stay ahead of any coverage problems. Unfortunately, it is difficult to check individual policies as this information is not generally available to providers automatically thru electronic eligibility checks. In addition, coverage benefits vary by plan, which means that it is impossible to predict which plans (out of hundreds) per major carrier will cease coverage of teletherapy.
For our new incoming clients, we will be asking about teletherapy coverage as we do our general account setup.
At present, we are being vigilant to any denials due to changing teletherapy coverage, and will alert you immediately so that we can arrange for you to have in-person services if you so choose. Please note that in most cases, if a claim is denied we will not know for 2-3 weeks following the date of service, thus potentially creating an unexpected client balance.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We encourage you to contact your insurance company so that you can have personal confirmation about continuing coverage for teletherapy. You may also be able to see coverage for this specific benefit on your insurance app or online account. If you are currently going through open enrollment for benefits at work, you may be able to ask your benefits/HR representative about telehealth coverage for behavioral health services.
If you receive information related to coverage of teletherapy, we would greatly appreciate you letting us know as soon as possible – please email that information to our staff at [email protected]. We will mark your account accordingly and keep tabs on the evolving level of need for in-person services. We will also make sure to communicate your needs to your providers so that appointments can be transitioned as needed.
The carriers/plan types that are most likely to not cover teletherapy include some out-of-state BCBS plans, some MedCost plans, and any plans that are self-funded and have less than 50 employees.
Most importantly, don’t panic! Rest assured our providers and staff will do our best to solve any problems arising from this upcoming transition. And if you do find that your plan will be terminating telehealth coverage, you still have the right to continue teletherapy at your own expense if that is your preference. Please let us know if you have any questions!
12/26/2021: For clients with appointments this week with Michelle Bruin, PMHNP
This message is for patients of Michelle Bruin, PMHNP who have an appointment scheduled this week. Unfortunately, there has been a family emergency making it impossible for Michelle to work this upcoming week. We are very sorry to have to share this, as we realize how important these appointments are.
Fortunately our other Nurse Practitioners are happy to step in this week and provide any urgent services needed, as their existing schedules allow. Please follow the following guidelines so that we can make sure your needs are met:
If you feel that you could wait 2-3 weeks for an appointment with Michelle, and do not have any urgent need for a medication refill, then please call our office this week at 919.303.0273, or send a reply to this message letting us know and we will contact you to reschedule your appointment.
If you have urgent need of an appointment, please reply to this email letting us know and we will work to find you an urgent appointment with one of our other Nurse Practitioners.
If you are in need of a medication refill this week and are not having any urgent medication issues, please reply with your refill request or submit one from our website at https://www.lifescapescounseling.com/medication-refills. Our staff will do our best to address your refill needs efficiently as medically appropriate.
As always, let us know if we can be of service. And thank you in advance for your understanding of this situation.
Wishing you a pleasant close to the Holidays,
Amy Moulds, Practice Director
12/10/2021: For clients of Brooke Trimble Krzos:
Unfortunately Brooke is experiencing a medical emergency and will be unable to work the entire week of 12/13-12/17. As such things can be a bit unpredictable, our staff will let her clients know of any updates to her work schedule different from this current plan. If you have further questions or feel you need to be seen urgently during the next week, please let our staff know at 919.303.0273 or by emailing [email protected] Thank you so much for understanding.
12/7/2021 IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT - Patient Portal and new Video Platform on the way!
We are happy to report that we are changing over to a new software system which will improve communication, increase efficiency, and provide transparency and convenience for you!
Please be on the lookout for two additional emails this week:
- Invitation to create your Patient Portal
- Invitation to complete important practice paperwork
The patient portal will be a big time saver for you in the future, as both an information resource and a method of secure communication. You will be able to see your appointment information, charges, payments, and balance, as well as summary care data. You will be able to quickly update insurance information and payment methods, as well as ask questions and request medication refills. Please note that patient balances will not be imported into the new system until 12/13/21.
We know your time is valuable, so we hate to ask you to spend time entering information. However, the electronic questionnaires you will receive are essential for the successful implementation of our new platform and are a great opportunity to update demographic and insurance information. Also, we know having the patient portal in place will ultimately save you a significant amount of time in the future.
Assuming you have quick access to your driver’s license and insurance card, it should only take about 5 minutes to complete. Please note that the race/ethnicity/personal information section is required by DHHS for certain federal health statistics but it is optional to complete. Feel free to select the response “I prefer not to answer” from the drop down for any question you do not wish to answer. The questionnaires will need to be submitted prior to your next appointment. No worries, it’s easy!
PLEASE NOTE: Our new platform includes an integrated video therapy platform that is very simple and higher video quality. Therefore, as of 12/13 we will no longer be using Therapy Sites. Instead, those of you with video appointments scheduled for Monday 12/13/21 or later will access the appointment thru a link on the patient portal or the link that is sent by text or email.
If you have any difficulties or questions about the patient portal set up, please let us know! Call us at 919.303.0273 or by email at [email protected].
To set up your portal initially, please use the link in the email invitation. But to visit the portal in the future, just go to: portal.kareo.com
8/1/2021: Still open for in-person sessions but preparing to return to all virtual if needed...
As the Delta variant and a lack of vaccination fuel another surge of hospitalizations and deaths, we must consider safety as we determine whether to continue providing in-person services. We are grateful to our clients and appreciate your adherence to our Covid policies (see below). Please know that in order to receive in-person services, you must wear a mask at check-in, while waiting in the lobbies, walking in hallways, etc... If you are fully vaccinated, you and your provider will decide whether wearing masks during session is warranted.
If you prefer not to wear a mask while waiting for your child's therapy session, please feel free to wait in your car and we will happily call you when your child's appointment is done. Anyone who refuses to wear a mask will be asked to leave our offices.
We hope that we will be able to continue providing in-person sessions, and your continued respect for our policies will help us be able to do so safely. However, should conditions continue to worsen, we may have no choice but to return to all virtual services.
6/1/2021: Open for in-person sessions on a limited basis
This month we are beginning to provide limited in-person appointments for most of our clinicians. We will be rotating our presence at the office to limit exposure so we cannot offer in-person sessions to everyone at this time. Below please refer to our Covid policies:
FOR IN-PERSON APPOINTMENTS:
Our goal is to provide a safe and respectful environment for all of our clientele and staff. As concerns about Covid vary from person to person, we ask that all clients and visitors/parents please wear an appropriate mask while in our lobbies, hallways, and at reception, regardless of vaccine status, as this will reduce anxiety for some clients. It will be up to you and your clinician to determine if masks are warranted or not during your session. To reduce the number of people in our common areas, we ask that family members of clients please wait in their car, outside, or in our outer waiting area if it is reasonable to do so. While checking in or waiting, please remember to practice social distancing and respect others' personal space.
If you have any symptoms of illness or have been exposed to someone with Covid, please let us know in advance so we can change your appointment to a virtual one for everyone's safety. Because they are no longer considered necessary at present, we will not be conducting temperature checks.
OUR SAFETY PRECAUTIONS:
For everyone's safety, we have revamped our client restrooms with no-touch soap, paper towel dispensers, hand dryers, and trash cans. There are hand sanitizer dispensers at various locations throughout the office. Masks are available as needed. Every room in the office, including lobbies, administrative areas, and clinical offices, are equipped with UV-C enabled air purifiers, and we are increasing air flow thru our HVAC system. We have increased the frequency of professional cleaning, and regularly wipe down high touch surfaces with disinfectant.
Thank you in advance for respecting our policies - We look forward to seeing you in person soon!
3/21/2020: We are VIRTUALLY open to see our clients!
Our plans are to remain available to our clients and patients throughout the coronavirus limitations. At present, all of our clinicians are providing video sessions for our existing clientele. This includes our Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners so you will continue to have access to needed prescriptions. There are some roadblocks with transitioning our psychological testing services, but we are working to provide whatever testing services we can via video.
Setting this up does take a little preparation, so if you would like to register for video sessions, please call our office at 919.303.0273 or email us at [email protected]m. Your therapist or our admin staff will also be reaching out to all scheduled clients a few days in advance of existing appointments to begin the registration process. Click on the TELEHEALTH tab for more information.
For any concerns or questions that arise, our staff is available by phone at 919.303.0273 or by email from 9am - 4pm beginning Monday 3/23. As most of our staff will be working remotely, we may not be able to answer every call, so please do leave a voicemail and we will return your call promptly. Thank you and stay healthy!
3/9/2020: We are prepared for illness - VIDEO SESSIONS AVAILABLE
As fears about corona virus and flu increase, we want to remind you that most of our clinicians are able to offer video services for existing clients. This means therapy doesn't have to pause because you are sick/out of town/stuck at home because of weather etc... Our Nurse Practitioners can also provide video appointments during which prescriptions can be renewed or changed.
Most insurance companies do cover these services, but some do not or require use of a specific portal/contracted provider. We will verify your benefits prior to beginning services.
Setting this up does take a little time and effort in advance, so if you think you might have an upcoming need, please call our office at 919.303.0273 or email us at [email protected]. Click on the TELEHEALTH tab for more information. Please note that not all issues/clients are well suited for video sessions.
2/21/2020: Winter Weather - We plan to be Open with limitations FRIDAY 2/21/2020
We will be opening at 10:30 for appointments on Friday. Your particular therapist may, however, have different plans and will contact you directly if those plans change. Our admin staff will be available on Friday, unless there are widespread power outages, for any general office needs or rescheduling you wish to take care of.
If you need to cancel your appointment on Friday, please do let us know, as we will assume you are coming as scheduled unless we hear otherwise . Letting us know via phone, email, or using the confirmation system will help our staff plan appropriately. Be safe!
2/19/2020: Winter Weather - We plan to be OPEN Thursday 2/20/2020
Based on the most recent forecast, it appears we will be able to stay open for our scheduled appointments. Your particular therapist may, however, have different plans and will contact you directly if those plans change or conditions worsen. Our admin staff will be available on Thursday and Friday, unless there are widespread power outages, for any general office needs or rescheduling you wish to take care of.
If you need to cancel your appointment on Thursday or Friday, please do let us know, as we will assume you are coming as scheduled unless we hear otherwise . Letting us know via phone, email, or using the confirmation system will help our staff plan appropriately. Be safe!
9/4/20198: HURRICANE DORIAN - We plan to be open Thursday 9/5/19
Based on the most recent forecast, it appears we will be dealing with a rainy day on Thursday, but we will be open for our scheduled appointments. Your particular therapist may, however, have different plans and will contact you directly, if they have not already. Our admin staff will be available on Thursday and Friday, unless there are widespread power outages, for any general office needs you wish to take care of.
If you need to cancel your appointment on Thursday or Friday, please do let us know, as we will assume you are coming as scheduled unless we hear otherwise. Letting us know via phone, email, or using the confirmation system will help our staff plan appropriately. Be safe!
July 25, 2019: TELEPHONE ISSUES
As we transition from one service provider to another, we are experiencing issues with some of our incoming calls. We are hopeful this will be rectified by Friday morning 7/26. Please feel free to email us at [email protected] , or just keep trying to call as some calls are able to get thru. We apologize for any inconvenience!
December 2018: HOLIDAY HOURS
We will be closed on December 24th and December 25th for the Christmas holiday. We will reopen for normal business hours at 9 am on Wednesday December 26th. We will also be closed on January 1st 2017. Please feel free to email us at [email protected] if you have a need that we can take care of for you on Wednesday. Have a wonderful and safe Holiday!
10/15/2018: TELEPHONE PROBLEMS
We are currently having a telephone service outage which should be corrected by Tuesday 10/16. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please feel free to send an email to [email protected] if you have a need that cannot wait tomorrow. Thank you for your understanding!
9/12/2018: HURRICANE FLORENCE update
Based on the most recent forecast, it appears we will not begin feeling significant effects of the storm until Thursday (9/13) evening. Therefore, we will plan to be open on Thursday. Your particular therapist may, however, have different plans and will contact you directly, if they have not already. Our admin staff will be available on Thursday for any general office needs you wish to take care of.
We will be closed this Friday 9/14 given the risk of flooding and power outages after the storm. Our plans are to reopen Monday 9/17 assuming we have power and the major roadways are safe for travel. *** DEE LITTEN PLANS TO SEE APPOINTMENTS THIS FRIDAY ***
If you need to cancel your appointment later this week due to weather, please do let us know, if you are able to, as this will help our staff plan appropriately. Be safe!
8/13/2018: Keshia Peloubet returns today! Please call us at 919.303.0273 if you would like to make an appointment with Keshia.
5/9/2018: Only good news to share today!