When you make an appointment with me you are paying for the combination of my time, effort and clinical expertise. Therefore, the cost of an initial evaluation will vary somewhat from patient to patient. However, in all cases, they are comparable to those of other adult psychiatrists in the Santa Monica Area and the standard fee-for-service rates charged at the UCLA psychiatry clinics. In order to help my patients control unnecessary costs, my stated rates include a 10% discount on ancillary services, for maintaining a valid credit card on file (i.e. rates are slightly higher when no valid credit card is kept on file). To get a better understanding of my fees please contact me directly at 310-744-5102. I charge a reasonable fee for spending the time necessary to provide the highest quality medical service. Providing you with this level of care make it impossible for me to accept consignment payments from any insurance plans. However, if you have a PPO type insurance plan I can provide you with a "superbill" to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement of out-of-network services. I would recommend speaking with your insurance company to verify your specific benefits and level of reimbursement for behavioral health services, however, rarely do they fully cover the cost of the care you will receive. Please keep in mind that irrespective of your insurance benefits, you are responsible for full payment at the time of service. For your convenience, I accept credit cards (Master Card, Visa, American Express and Discover), checks or cash as payment. A $75 fee will be charged for each returned ("bounced") check.
Appointments: Medication management (pharmacotherapy) visits are scheduled for 15-30 minute appointments, depending upon your needs. Ongoing psychotherapy sessions are scheduled weekly and last 45 to 50 minutes. Typically, I begin with 30-minute pharmacotherapy appointments, then transition to shorter appointments when there are no significant active issues and the medication or dose has not been changed for some time. The appointment time is reserved for you so it is important that you are on time. If you are late, your appointment may still conclude at the end of your scheduled appointment time. If significantly late, you may have to reschedule your appointment and will be charged my usual fees.
Cancellations: 48-Hour Cancellation Policy. The scheduled appointment time is reserved specifically for you and this is your time. Therefore, if you are unable to keep an appointment, please be sure to cancel at least 48 hours in advance or you will be charged my usual fee for that session. Please be aware that insurance companies generally do not reimburse for a cancelled session. Appointments canceled with less than 48 hours notice will be billed at 50% of the session cost, cancellations with less than 24 hour notice will incur the full session cost.
I maintain a clinical chart for each patient, as required by the standards of my profession. Information in the chart includes a description of your condition, diagnosis, treatment and progress. An entry is made for each appointment, as well as for phone communications. I keep records of any consent, information release, assessment, insurance documents, outside treatment/testing, and other records completed or collected during the course of treatment. Clinical records are kept in a locked cabinet and/or as password-protected files. Information contained in this record will not be released without your written consent except in the circumstances outlined below and as explained in the Notice of Privacy Practices.
Information shared between patient and provider is strictly confidential, with certain exceptions required by law. You hold the privilege of deciding with whom I may disclose information about evaluation and treatment. If you would like for me to share information with other providers, therapists, school officials, or other persons, please fill out an Authorization for Release of Information for each person/entity with whom you would like me to communicate.
I will release information only with your written permission with the following exceptions:
Most insurance companies require information about your diagnosis, the type of service provided, the date of the session, and fees (Click the "Fees" tab above for more information about the cost of evaluation and treatment). I will include this information on your statement, at your request. In some cases, insurance companies require that the physician send information about the patient's diagnosis and treatment plan, progress reports, and other records. Almost all insurance companies state that they will keep this information confidential, but I cannot assure this. For example, some may share the information they receive with a national medical information data bank for the purposes of deciding eligibility for future life, disability, health, and other insurance. Before I send any information to an insurance company, I will talk with you first, discuss the information to be provided, and obtain your written permission to do so. You have a choice about whether to release medical information requested by an insurance carrier, but if you refuse to have information released, most insurance programs will not reimburse for services.
It is my policy to only write and refill prescriptions for psychotropic medications when you are seen in person at a scheduled appointment. In emergency cases, I may authorize medication refills by phone or fax to your pharmacy, but generally I like to see my patients for regular appointments. If you need a prescription called in before your next regular appointment, please give me at least 48 hours to process your request. This will prevent any interruption in your medication use. It is best to contact your pharmacy directly when you need a medication refill, and they will fax me a refill request form.
If you need to reach me between appointments, please call 310-744-5102 and leave a message with your telephone number, even if you think I have it, and some times when you may be reached. Phone consultations lasting over 5 minutes are subject to a fee. Please consider the need for a more immediate appointment if a longer conversation is necessary.
You are welcome to send non-urgent information to me by e-mail, but I cannot guarantee the confidentiality or security of e-mail correspondence (for example, from hackers) despite my use of password-protected electronic mail.
"Texting" is not HIPPA compliant (1) Text messaging it is NOT encrypted, (2) Text messaging cannot show full audit trails of when the messages are received and read, and (3) Text messaging cannot ensure priority delivery; a message about a patient in critical condition could be in queue behind a teenager's "haha" text message. Therefore, text messaging is not appropriate for communications related to your clinical information, including, but not limited to your diagnosis, treatment plans, medications, lab results, side effects or symptoms, etc.
Urgent or Emergency Issues
I will do my best to respond to phone calls as soon as possible; however, I do not provide urgent, crisis or emergency services. In the event of an urgent need outside of an appointment, please contact the local emergency room, crisis intervention services, or call 911. On the occasions that I am away from my practice, the message on my voicemail will direct you to the doctor providing coverage for my practice.
You may withdraw from treatment at any time. I recommend that we discuss a plan to terminate care before doing so, so that we have the opportunity to discuss further treatment recommendations, any potential risks for ending treatment at that time, and referral options if they are needed.
If you have any questions about these policies or any of the information above, I would be happy to discuss them with you in further detail. Thank you.
Eric Wexler MD, PhD -- 2730 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 325. -- Santa Monica CA, 90403 -- TEL: 310-744-5102 -- FAX: 310-919-1919 -- firstname.lastname@example.org