FAQ-Medication Management2020-10-20T14:41:41+00:00
I’m curious, do you have a couch for people to lie down on during therapy?2020-05-29T17:52:18+00:00

Some providers, such as Dr. Morris, do utilize psychoanalytic treatments with appropriate patients and make use of lying on the couch.

However, lying on the couch isn’t for everyone. If you are curious about it for yourself, here are some things to consider

  • The couch is used when the patient feels ready for it; there is no pressure.
  • There isn’t a “right” way to use the couch. It’s a different experience for each patient.
  • The couch can allow for levels of honesty that can refresh a patient’s life.
  • The couch can facilitate self-acceptance and reduce inhibitions.
  • The couch can be a place of freedom to discover deeper aspects of one’s pains and passions.
  • The couch can help a patient become more aware of tension in their body.

One patient said that it helped her feel “freer” so that she could discover the sources of her shame. “I can say all kinds of things now that I wouldn’t be comfortable saying to your face,” she said, “Now, I’ve been able to explore things that I really needed to—stuff I avoided talking about with my last therapist. ”

If a person finds they are holding back honest thoughts, if they feel stuck, or if they are seeking to unlock unconscious motivations, perhaps lying back on the couch is just what is needed.

What’s the difference between different types of mental health providers?2020-05-29T16:55:16+00:00

Since each of these professionals can provide mental health services, it can be confusing to figure out which one is right for you.  The best way to explain it is by breaking down the services they provide.

Psychiatrist:  A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (MD) who has done extra training in psychiatry.  Psychiatrists are able to diagnose a mental health issue, such as schizophrenia, and prescribe any necessary medication.  Some psychiatrists provide therapy to their patients, but due to the shortage of psychiatrists, they usually  provide diagnosis and medication management.  Psychiatrists may refer their patients to psychologists, social workers, or other counselors for therapy.

Clinical Psychologists:  Psychologists have a doctoral degree and have completed 5-7 years of graduate training. They are qualified to diagnose mental health issues, but not prescribe medication.  They are trained to conduct psychotherapy and psychological testing. Testing may be personality-based, educational-intellectual, neuropsychological or a combination of those areas. Psychologists also conduct the vast majority of research done in psychology.

Psychotherapists:  Psychotherapists are a combination of different degree types.  Regardless, they all have earned a Masters degree in psychotherapy, which takes 2-3 years to complete. This would include: Clinical Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Professional Counselors.

Why Should I Invest in Therapy Myself, Rather Than Use My Insurance?2020-05-29T17:59:34+00:00

When you pay for therapy yourself, there are a few very important benefits:

No Mental Health Diagnosis goes on your medical record. When using insurance, a mental health diagnosis is required to be recorded in your medical record which may concern patients with certain sensitive jobs, or those buying life insurance or seeking other medical treatment.

Complete Confidentiality. When using insurance, your insurance company has the right to know the details of your therapy, including to see any therapy notes that exist. When you choose to pay yourself, your therapy is completely confidential, and the details of your therapy are only known by you and your therapy, not any third party.

Freedom in treatment. When using insurance, your insurance company can determine how may sessions you can receive, how long they are, what methods are used, which therapist you can see, and sometimes even the time of your session. When you pay yourself, you are in control of your own therapy and your therapist has the complete freedom to treat you as an individual. You get exactly what you need to reach your goals.

Can I use My Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for Therapy?2020-05-29T16:25:14+00:00

Absolutely, and we think that it is very important to maximize that benefit.  An HSA is a special tax-free account that can be used to pay for medical or health services. Usually you will have a debit card linked that this account, and we will gladly accept an HSA card.

Do I really need therapy? I should be able to handle my own problems.2020-05-29T16:26:42+00:00

People who decide to seek out therapy are taking responsibility for their lives by accepting their situation, demonstrating self-awareness, and showing the courage to act. Everyone encounters challenges in life, and sometimes a person’s skills and knowledge can meet that challenge. Sometimes a helping hand is needed. It shows courage, not weakness to accept reality and make a commitment to make positive changes in your life.

Also, we are hard-wired to be in relationships. So, it’s not realistic to think we can solve our problems independently. Self-help books just won’t cut it.

George Carlin, the late comedian, stated it well when he said, “If you’re looking for self-help, why would you read a book written by somebody else? That’s not self-help. That’s help! There’s no such a thing as self-help. If you did it yourself, you didn’t need help.”

Do you work with Autistic children/teens?2020-03-24T19:42:13+00:00

Yes!

Dr. Morris has worked with people on the autism spectrum for over a decade and greatly enjoys doing so.

What should I expect for a pre-surgical evaluation?2020-05-29T15:40:51+00:00

Pre-surgical psychological evaluations help physicians and insurance companies determine eligible candidates for bariatric surgeries and spinal cord stimulators.

For bariatric surgery the most difficult part of this process happens after the surgery.  

Given the immense amount of time, effort, and cost involved, it’s important for patients to mentally prepare before undergoing their weight loss or bariatric surgery.  A bariatric psychological assessment allows a licensed psychologist to identify any current mental health conditions that can affect post-op outcomes. These pre-surgical psychological evaluations also pinpoint emotional barriers that may prove challenging after surgery. A healthy mindset is an integral factor of a successful weight loss journey.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • 60 – 90-minute initial interview with a licensed psychologist
  • 1-2 hours of test administration
  • 1-2 days to score and process test results
  • 1-2 days to analyze and write the final report
  • 30-minute final feedback session to review report (if desired)

Total Time for completion = 7 calendar days or less

____________________________________________

For spinal cord stimulator surgery the most difficult part of this process happens before the surgery.  

You may be thinking, “Why do I need an evaluation to relive my pain?” A pre-surgical psychological assessment allows a licensed psychologist to identify any current mental health conditions that can affect post-op outcomes. These pre-surgical psychological evaluations also pinpoint emotional barriers that may prove challenging after surgery especially ruling out any concerns about paranoia or psychosis that may be exacerbated by having an electronic device implanted on their person.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • 60 – 90-minute initial interview with a licensed psychologist
  • 1-2 hours of test administration
  • 1-2 days to score and process test results
  • 1-2 days to analyze and write the final report
  • 30-minute final feedback session to review report (if desired)

Total Time for completion = 7 calendar days or less

Your fees seem too high!2020-03-24T18:38:49+00:00
GET INFORMED!

Here’s an important thing everyone with insurance needs to understand: Insurance companies use some “creative” ways to determine the basis of what they’ll cover. It’s not just that your plan says it’ll cover, say, 80% of the cost of psychotherapy — it’s 80% of what they say psychotherapy costsThat’s an important number.

(They get crafty about how they come up with that number, and even what they call it, by the way. Sometimes they use something called Usual, Customary, and Reasonable (“UCR”). Or reasonable market value… a number they can basically just make up. Or they’ll use a percentage of Medicare rates as the basis for how much they’ll pay — even if you aren’t eligible for Medicare, which is specially negotiated insurance for people 65 or older, younger people with disabilities, and people with End Stage Renal Disease.)

Keep in mind that they use that number — what they say psychotherapy costs — to calculate your reimbursement. For example, if your insurance plan says it covers 80% of psychotherapy fees, what that really means is they’ll pay 80% of what they say the typical fee for psychotherapy is.

The catch is that there are very few regulations for how they determine that number. And, they usually won’t tell you (their customer!) what that number even is — calling it “proprietary information.”

Good news, though! Thanks to numerous class action lawsuits, and legislative work on healthcare laws, there are consumer rights websites where you can see what an objective source says the typical fees are in your area.

The sites are Healthcare Bluebook and Fair Health Consumer. Here’s how to use it to look up the Typical Provider Charge (another term for UCR) for psychotherapy in our area:

    1. Enter our zipcode
    2. Enter the procedure code; 90834 is the procedure code for individual outpatient psychotherapy, 45 minutes, or you can ask your therapist what code they’ll use.
    3. If given an option, click “Out-of-Network Reimbursement.”
    4. Look for “Cost Breakdown” (ignore the first few rows you see on the page — those includes other charges like hospitalization).

There you have it! Now you know the real typical cost for psychotherapy in our area.

For those not wanting to do the legwork, Healthcare Bluebook listed a “Fair Price” for 45 minute outpatient therapy in Salina as $215 (April 2020).  

Do you offer a sliding scale or reduced fees?2020-03-24T18:45:09+00:00

Not often.

Here’s why: our philosophy is that psychotherapy is an investment in your future, like buying real estate or saving money in a 401K.  Just like those forms of investment, therapy can yield a great return on investment, so our associates charge accordingly. With that said, we realize that not everyone can afford to work with us.  We’re happy to refer you to other providers, agencies, and centers that can financially accommodate individuals that need sliding scale or reduced fee services.

Ascend does offer reduced rates for clergy and members of their family. Contact us for availability.

 

What forms of payment do you accept?2020-03-24T18:39:07+00:00

Generally, we accept cash, check, and credit/debit cards. We encourage people to utilize Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flex Savings Accounts (FSA) as well.

Due to legal and ethical requirements, patients are not allowed to carry account balances as doing so can muddy the waters of clinical work. This means that full payment is due at the time of service. For therapy, this means payment is due at the end of each session. For testing, this means payment is due when test administration concludes (and before the final feedback session).

What are out-of-network benefits?2020-03-24T18:42:33+00:00

Your insurance plan may have out-of-network benefits.  If it does, you may be able to work with our associates using it.  Here’s how it works:

You pay us directly and we provide you with a monthly statement of services (called a superbill).  Then, you submit  it to your insurance company if you decide to seek reimbursement through your insurance company’s out-of-network coverage. Your insurance company will process the superbill and will:

  • apply the amount you’ve paid to chip away at your deductible, or
  • reimburse you a percentage if you’ve already met the deductible

It is your responsibility to check your out-of-network coverage. Ascend Psychological Associates makes no guarantees that you’ll receive reimbursement (or how much reimbursement) from your insurance company.

Here’s a specific guide we created to help you determine and access your out-of-network coverage:

Out-of-Network Guide for New Patients 

Do you take insurance?2020-05-29T18:50:59+00:00

Ascend has decided to accept one insurance directly–Blue Cross/Blue Shield. This is solely due to the fact that many of Dr. Morris’ patients at his previous practice were on this insurance. In order to maintain continuity of care for them he opted to maintain his in-network status with BCBS.

We’re a private practice that seeks to offer high quality, individualized attention to each client and are firmly committed to each person’s privacy and confidentiality.  We cannot meet those goals being in-network with the majority of insurance companies.  We went into this field to help people, NOT help insurance companies and their investors make money.

However, if you don’t have Blue Cross/Blue Shield and would like to use your insurance you can still work with us. You would use your insurance’s out-of-network benefits. We will provide a superbill for you to send to your insurance company for reimbursement. For more information about this, see our handy guide: Out of Network Guide for Patients

For more information, see our page: Why Ascend Does Not (Usually) Accept Insurance

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