► Sage Center is available to schedule appointments weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and limited weekend hours. Call 404-419-6221 for current fee schedule
► Sage Center may provide premium appointments outside of normal scheduling for a variable fee structure that can be discussed upon personal inquiry.
► Sage Center accepts cash, check and money orders. Some therapists may accept credit cards. Please check with your therapist regarding their accepted methods of payment and payment policy.
► Sage Center does not provide services under any insurance or managed care plans, but will gladly provide a receipt that you may file for any third-party reimbursement that may be available to you. Sage Center encourages you to be aware of reasons
Right to choose your own therapist: Managed care companies generally have a list of preferred providers that consumers choose from. You may not like the choices you have, or the therapist you want to see may not be included in this list. By paying out-of-pocket you have a much larger selection of therapists to choose from, so you are able to find the best therapist for you.
Right to receive appropriate treatment: Therapists are often required by insurance companies to practice outside their scope of practice, a highly unethical practice that means the therapist is not qualified to do the work. By paying out-of-pocket you can be more confident that your therapist is helping you in a way they are qualified and able to do.
Right to choose type and length of therapy: Research indicates that the longer a person is in therapy the more benefits are received; in addition research has also found that attending therapy for at least six months provides the benefits clients are looking for. When using insurance the managed care companies are the ones who determine the number of sessions and the type of therapy they will pay for. Although you may only have a $40.00 co-pay per session through your insurance, you will likely have a limited number of sessions they will pay for; in general this number ranges from six to ten. If you feel this has not efficiently helped you, you will either have to stop therapy, pay for it out-of-pocket, or have your therapist give you a diagnosis and negotiate with your insurance company for the need to continue therapy for additional time, again determined by the insurance company.
No need to be labeled: Another way to continue therapy using insurance after the original number of sessions runs out is to be diagnosed with a mental illness in order to determine medical necessity. Although receiving a diagnosis when appropriate can be extremely beneficial to the consumer it does come with its fair share of unfortunate consequences, such as compromising your ability to obtain life, health, disability, or long-term care insurance. Once you have received a diagnosis it, and the stigma associated with it, follows you the rest of your life. The few more sessions the managed care company allows you to have may not be worth living with this new label for the rest of your life. The advantage of self-pay therapy is that your information is not released to the Medical Information Bureau, so even if you do receive a diagnosis it is kept confidential between you and your therapist and shared only with who you chose it to be shared with, within the laws of confidentiality.
Minimize exposure of your PHI: Protected Health Information. In order for your insurance company to pay for services your therapist has to disclose, with your consent, your personal information in order to verify your eligibility, pre-authorize services, and process claims to obtain payment. So the therapist informs your insurance company of such things as the nature of your issues for counseling, psychiatric diagnosis, your treatment plan, and how long you will have the problem. With a self pay therapist there is no requirement to release this information and it can be kept confidential.
Keeping costs low for the therapist and in turn the client: When a therapist works through managed care they receive only a percentage of their fee requiring them to have higher fees in order to keep their practice open. In addition, there is extensive paperwork required by the managed care companies that takes a lot of time for the therapist to complete, thereby requiring more hours to be put in by the therapist and a need for them to increase their fees. By choosing not to go through managed care therapists can have lower rates and offer reduced fees while maintaining the income required to keep their practice alive. Consumers are then able to pay less for their therapy while at the same time avoiding the hassles of managed care.
The value of private-pay services over managed-care services are that they are more personalized, remove the stigma of the medical model and clinic setting, offer true privacy and are more effective. However, it is always a personal choice whether or not to use your health insurance to pay for therapy. For some, using insurance benefits is the best choice and others will find they like the freedom paying out-of-pocket gives them in their journey towards mental wellness
many therapists no longer accept private insurance.
The fee for missing an appointment or cancelling with less than 24 hours notice is the fee of session.
Sage Center is not equipped to provide 24 hours emergency service. In the event that you experience a mental health crisis and you cannot reach your therapist by phone you will need to contact the Georgia Crisis and Access line at 800-715-4225 or National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). If, at any time, you are experiencing a life-threatening crisis, call 911 for emergency. Sage Center therapists are available via telephone and voice mail; messages are retrieved and returned within 48 business hours. Messages left on Fridays are returned on the following Monday.
Sage Center will not release information that identifies you to anyone without your written permission. Exceptions include:
► Sage Center will release information necessary to warn or protect a person in imminent danger of being physically harmed.
► Sage Center will release to a court of law information required by court order.
► Sage Center will inform the Department of Family and Children Services about the possibility that a minor is being abused or neglected.
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