Frequently Asked Questions
The American Psychological Association created the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct which each member is obliged to follow. Mental health professionals are required to discuss confidentiality and its limits with all of our clients at the beginning of therapy.
Limits of confidentiality in therapy relate to ensuring the safety of the client and the safety of vulnerable populations like the elderly and children. Most of our clients find these limits make a lot of sense, and we find those limits very rarely a concern.
In California, state law requires that clinical psychologists follow the APA ethics code and its provisions around privacy. At the national level, HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a complex piece of legislation that has very specific rules for managing patient data. These rules apply to the entirety of your health record. If you have seen any health care professional in the last several years, you have received their Notice of Privacy Practices which explains to you how your health information may be used and how it is protected.
To help facilitate out-of-network claims, we give our clients a superbill. This is a receipt for services that clients can submit to insurance companies for out-of-network benefits.
If you call your insurance company to find out about your out-of-network benefits, they might ask for a procedure code. Most psychological services like the one offered at Palo Alto Smart Therapy falls under the procedure code: 90834. Many insurance companies will give you a percentage that they cover. This is often a percentage of an “allowed amount,” which is often under the rate clinicians charge. If you can get them to tell you their “allowed amount,” you’ll have a better idea of what your insurance will cover.
For more information on how to handle insurance claims:
It’s important that you genuinely feel your therapist can relate to you and will give you meaningful feedback. Because of this, we offer a free 20-minute consultation for people wishing to explore working with us.
Our therapists are skilled at working with their clients to find out what is happening when they already “know” what to do but find that they aren’t implementing those changes. We can help you find out what’s holding you back and help you move past the barriers (internal and external) to feeling better and achieving what you know is possible.
At Palo Alto Smart Therapy, we work with high-functioning people. These people are looking for a professional to help them move to the next level and get more out of the choices and meaning their life offers. We feel the term “clients” more accurately reflects the intelligence, strength, and resilience of the people we work with.