Email and Electronic Communication
Using email is often a quick and convenient method of communicating with me, but it has some risks that you should consider prior to using email. My email, firstname.lastname@example.org is HIPPA compliant and encrypted. I use G-Suite to assure the highest level of email communication. If you choose to communicate confidential information with me via email it is best to do that through my client portal which is PHI compliant. Once you schedule your first appointment I’ll send you a link to your portal for future communicaiton. If you do not send and open communication using this secure system, I will assume that you have made an informed decision and I will view it as your agreement to take the risk that email may be intercepted. Please be aware that email is never an appropriate vehicle for emergency communication.
You may also email me through the website portal located on the Contact Us page. Our website is also secured with https SSL encryption. This means that if you interact with us in responding to blog posts, or using our online forms, you are protected.
I can respond more quickly to email, as I can check email between my sessions and on weekends. I am unable to check my voice-mail as frequently, so I recommend that you try email first. Please be aware that email is never an appropriate vehicle for emergency communication.
Emails are returned within 24-hours on weekdays between 9am -6pm. If you call after 5pm on Friday or during weekends, I will return your call on Monday.
Sessions are 55-minutes. A double session is two 45-minute sessions —or 90-minutes. In some situations, it is useful to have longer sessions, especially for people coming from further away.
My fee is $210 per session. The fee for double sessions is $350.
Payment is due at the time of our session. I accept check, cash, credit and HSA (health savings account) cards. If paying by check please write the check before our session and make payable to Susan O’Grady, Ph.D. It is helpful to pay at the beginning of the session rather than waiting until the end as it frees up the time to end more simply. I will send an invoice at the end of each month that reflects your sessions, payments, and required codes if you plan to submit my bill for insurance reimbursement.
Cancellation and Missed Appointments Policy
We require at least 24 hours’ notice for canceled appointments in advance of your session. If you do not provide notice, you are responsible for the missed appointment.
It is important to know that if you use your mental health insurance for our treatment, it is necessary to include a psychiatric diagnosis on your claim form. Most of my clients elect not to submit to insurance to assure that our work is completely confidential. For this reason, I do not participate in managed care panels and do not accept insurance. As an out-of-network provider, some insurance plans will pay a portion of my fee. This will be sent to you directly after you submit my invoice for payment. I send invoices at the end of every month with information your insurance will need to reimburse you.
If you would like to use your insurance to cover our services, please check your benefit for mental health treatment with your insurance by calling the number listed for behavioral health located on your medical card. We recommend that you ask them the following questions to determine how much of the charges will be reimbursed.
- Do I have mental health benefits?
- What is my deductible for out-of-network providers?
- How much of my deductible has been met for the year?
- How many sessions am I allowed during the calendar year?
- Is approval or referral required from my primary care physician?
- What is the coverage for parity diagnoses such as Panic Disorder, or Major Depression?
- Where do I send claims for mental health? (Mental or Behavioral Health claims are often sent to an address other than the address on your medical card.)
I am not immediately available in an emergency. I will return your email and call you as soon as possible, but if you are in a life-threatening situation, please dial 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency department. Contra Costa Crisis line is available 24 hours a day at 800-833-2900.