Information for Therapists
Joining the Guild
Article: Self-Pay Clients, Not Insurance Companies, Deserve A Discount
Available Office Space Listings
INTERESTED IN JOINING THE GUILD?
Become a part of Boulder’s most respected source of referral information about licensed therapists!
If you are interested in joining the Guild, please call us at 303-444-1036 or send an email to email@example.com. Put the words ‘Requesting joining information’ in the subject line of your email. Provide your mailing address and we will forward you a complete packet of infomation about membership.
Available Office Space Listings – last updated: June 2, 2009
- Part-time space available in beautiful townhome style office (Broomfield). Suite shared with experienced therapists. Referrals possible. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are current available options.
Call Marge Theeman, Ph.D. at 303-692-4897.
- Lovely condo-style psychotherapy office in North Boulder, available Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Tastefully furnished, large windows and separate waiting room with tea area. Spacious enough for most psychotherapy needs, including groups. Call Kate at (303) 443-5811.
- Furnished psychotherapy/bodywork/healing office P/T in downtown Denver’s Larimer Square one to two days per week. It’s elegant, QUIET, plants, original art, antiques, windows, elevator, hot/cold bottled water, CD/Ipod stereo, big enough for groups, $150 per month plus depending on how many days you want. Express bus goes from Table Mesa Park and Ride to Market Street station in 30 minutes, then two blocks to Larimer Square. Please email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 303.534.8717 and I will show it to you. Why not expand to Denver part time?
- I have office space to share in the Crossroads Gardens building (the one with the atrium, rock gardens, and covered parking) off 30th Street between Arapahoe and Walnut. All day and evening Mondays for $100 per month. This could include (at no added cost) additional daytime and weekend hours as available. Would be willing to have 2 renters split the time for $50 each. Office has a window and is suitable for individual and couple counseling – even a small family. I can be reached at 303 752-6711 (VM), 303 378-1887 (cell) or email@example.com
- Newer office space available for rent on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. North Boulder location in the “new downtown”. Close to Amante Coffee, Spruce Confections, and several wonderful restaurants. Close to several beautiful trails. Very nicely suited for working with individuals, children and families. Serenely decorated, painted by artist, spacious with high ceiling–yet quiet. Comfortably & very attractively furnished, healthy / beautiful plants. New kitchenette–dorm fridge, sink, glass shelving with tea, cups, plates, more. New bathroom. Parking. Contact Kathy Kinskey, M.A., L.P.C. at 303-443-1220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Individual office, approximately 120 sq feet, in suite with two offices and a reception area. Quite building, convenient location (34th and Iris, Boulder), with adquate parking. Multi-year lease available. Monthly fee of $500 includes utilities and reception area ammenities.
Contact Louise H. Alderson at 303-447-2054 for more information.
• Beautiful office space for sub-let 1-2 days/week. Located in the Arcadia Building, close to downtown at 17th and Walnut. Nicely furnished with excellent soundproofing, the office is set up to accommodate working with individuals, couples, and families. Amenities include: shared waiting room, kitchen area, and high speed internet availability. Conference room is available for groups. Days/hours are negotiable at a rate of $135/day/month. Great suite-mates, great location. Call Ben Cohen at 303-717-5651 or email him at email@example.com.
- Spacious (175 sq. feet with closet space) psychotherapy office in beautiful newly renovated building 2 blocks from the Pearl Street Mall. Building is psychotherapist owned and occupied; office includes access to shared furnished waiting room. Office also has a private deck with private entrance/exit. $850 per month (full-time). Available 15 December 2008.
Contact Karen Lynch at 303/413-1740 for more information.
• SUB-LEASE AVAILABLE AT THE ARBOR HOUSE: Beautifully furnished psychotherapy office with fireplace, available May 1. Bright, sunny office available on Mon am, Tues aft and eve, Wed am, Thurs, Fri, weekends all day. Private parking, snow removal, utilities included. $600.00 per month. Call Reesa Porter, 303-444-7065.
• Beautiful, upscale, quiet, great natural light first floor office suite with psychotherapist, acupuncturist and chiropractor. Reception area with bamboo desk, bathroom, storage room, microwave, fridge and excellent parking. Office is 14/16 feet, $792 mo. Located at 2919 Valmont. Contact Douglas Frank at 303-449-3114. Office listed on CraigsList with photos on 2/24.
• Office for Half-time Share. Upscale Psychotherapy Office in prestigious historic landmark home, The Arbor House on Pearl in central Boulder. Office has west and north facing windows that open, soundproofing, private heat and a/c, built in bookcases, internet hookup, and elegant furnishings. Amenities include kitchenette, central office with fax, copier, personal parking, homey waiting room with tea service. Colleagial relationships are warm and inter-office referral network is strong. Must be licensed in your discipline. Hours negotiable.
Contact: Dr. Ina Robbins 303-449-6878.
• Beautiful office space available for sublease. Located in a charming older home next to the Boulderado Hotel just off the Pearl Street Mall. Nicely furnished with lots of light.
Please contact Elaine at 303-475-8858 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Single office (13 x12 ft.) in psychotherapy suite. Professional building at 30th and Valmont Rd. Southeast exposure, large windows, parking, waiting room and storage. Days, time and rent negotiable.
Call Carol at 303-447-8227.
- Lovely furnished psychotherapy office to sublet, Fridays (more time negotiable) in suite with other therapists, shared waiting area, centrally located, great Flatirons view and access, great parking, well maintained medical building, $100/month. 303-442-8652.
- Office space available Fridays and Saturdays at La Luna Center in the Steelyards, beginning June 1. Lovely furnished office to share in group practice. $125.00 per month/per day. Contact Karen at 303-442-2561.
- Wonderful office space with bay windows. Good location in downtown Boulder. Available evenings, Thursday afternoons, all day Friday and Saturday.
Call Ginna at 303-444-4966.
- PROFESSIONAL OFFICES AVAILABLE IN N.E. BOULDER
Two offices available June 1 in a four office suite for psychologists, counselors, body workers or similar professionals. Very conveniently located at 3445 Penrose Place in north Boulder, near Foothills and the Diagonal, making access easy from much of Boulder and from Longmont and east county. Ample shady parking. The suite has four offices sharing a comfortable waiting room. Added insulation in the ceiling and the interior walls adds to quiet and limits sound transmission. This ground-floor suite is handicap accessible as are close-by rest rooms. Two current counselors will continue to use two of the suite’s offices full time. Other tenants in the building include a psychiatrist, psychologists, and an architect.
Available spaces – One 140 sq. ft. room with a window onto the building lobby. Rent $500 / month including utilities, OR swap this space with the current occupant of a 130 sq.ft. office with large sliding door/window facing south, at $530 / mo. — One 102 sq. ft. room, ideal for massage and suitable for counseling. Rent $400 / month including utilities.
Contact Suzanne Williamson, 303-447-0313 (email@example.com) or Jonathan Williamson, 303-938-1695 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details and to see the spaces.
- NEW LISTING! The office is at 1634 Walnut Street and it really is the nicest office ever. It’s clean, bright and spacious. I love it here and you will, too. There is also a great SW facing deck for between-session restoration. It’s in a suite with other licensed, experienced therapists and is a highly sought after location, so please call soon. It’s available on weekends and maybe here and there during the week. Amenities include waiting room, tea service, fax, Internet, parking and kitchen area. It’s $120/Saturday and $100/Sunday. Clients always want to come in on weekends…
Contact Sara Cohen at 303-443-3637
Self-Pay Clients, Not Insurance Companies, Deserve a Discount
Copyright ©2004 Ivan J. Miller, Ph. D.
(Published in 2004 in the Independent Practitioner, 24(4), p 166-167.)
I am often asked about the legality and ethics of giving self-pay clients a discount so that they pay less than an insurance company. I am asked about these discounts because I am President of an organization of 78 psychotherapists in Boulder, Colorado, the Boulder Psychotherapists’ Guild, Inc., and we offer clients a 20% discount on individual and family therapy when they pay at the time of service, and there is no paperwork for insurance or any other party. If properly done, this discount is legal and ethical, and moreover, it makes sense, is good business, and does not decrease income.
Strangely, in the perverted world of health care financing, most insurance companies insist on a discount but many clinicians worry that it might be illegal to give a discount to a client. Insurance companies receive the discount in spite of creating paperwork, putting therapists and patients on hold for long time periods when they phone, losing enormous quantities of mail, mismanaging accounts, invading privacy, and generally lowering the quality of life for almost everyone who deals with them. Yet the self-pay client, who is easier to care for administratively due to the absence of insurance bureaucracy, has historically paid the highest fee. This is not only unfair, but it is a poor business practice to make the least time consuming clients pay the most money.
In 1994, when I established the Guild, I decided to address this unfairness. As an organization that is not only dedicated to preserving the integrity of client-focused psychotherapy, but is also intent on serving consumer needs, the discount was incorporated as part of our commitment to consumers. We have two rationales. First, the advertised discount is promised only to clients who state in their initial contact that they are referrals through Guild advertising. As such, the discount is offered in the same manner as discounts are offered to any participant in an insurance plan that has negotiated a lower rate for its members. It is a group discount that could be offered by any businessperson to any group such as seniors, veterans, or professional colleagues. Second, and more general, is the rationale for the discount that I offer in my practice. I give a $30/session discount to any client who pays at the time of service and does not require a statement that can be submitted to insurance or other paperwork. I explain the reason for the two fees is that I have two levels of service. One level, the discounted service, is consultation and therapy. The second level is consultation and therapy plus hassling with insurance companies or other third parties.
The discount is actually just a method of appropriately pricing services. In other businesses, shipping and handling charges or other administrative charges may be added on top of the sale of a product or service. It is no different than offering a cash discount because it saves administrative and billing expenses. In dealing with insurance, however, the additional expenses cannot be specified in advance and need to be spread over all insured. As clinicians are well aware, the expense of dealing with insurance is enormous. The hours of pursuing mishandled claims are extensive. When clients submit their own claims, I have still found that insurance can ask for additional paperwork. Even an insurance company that has historically handled claims efficiently and properly can change management and institute onerous practices. Today’s good insurance company can have a financial crisis and become tomorrow’s typical insurance company. It is good business to charge differential rates for the two levels of service.
I have found the price differential between the two levels of service appropriately compensates me for my time. When I bill insurance, I find that the higher fee merely covers the hours of my time dealing with insurance, the stress of dealing with industry-wide incompetence, and insurance company induced brain damage. Because I am compensated, I have a better attitude than when I was dealing with insurance without extra compensation. Furthermore, I have the good feelings that come from knowing that I am not asking my self-pay clients to absorb expenses that are imposed by insurance for other clients. I do not lose income because each level of service is priced to pay for its actual costs.
Fortunately, I do not need to worry about breaking any contractual arrangements with insurance companies because I have not signed any contracts to work for insurance companies. I am always an out-of-network provider. I could not do this if I had agreed to a contractual rate with a company.
In order to keep the two levels of service distinct, I do not give self-pay clients a statement that can be submitted to insurance. I do not include a diagnosis on these statements and sometimes do not include a procedure code. In fact, I do not routinely give statements to self-pay clients unless clients request them. If asked, as a good businessperson, I am glad to provide a statement. These diagnosis-free statements are good enough for clients who have a pre-tax cafeteria plan or medical savings account. They also are good for income tax purposes.
My higher fee for counseling or therapy plus paperwork applies not only to insurance but also to any other third party payer who requires paperwork. One example is the victim’s compensation funds that require progress reports and treatment plans.
Over the past ten years, I have had a few clients who wanted the lower fee, and still wanted a statement that they could submit to insurance. These clients said they would endure the insurance hassles and thought they deserved the discount. I have refused these requests for two reasons. First, I am not going to submit different fees to insurance companies. I have only one fee that goes on insurance statements. Second, I have found that any time insurance is involved; it can turn into a mess. I know how my business works and the potential hassles and the policy is based on that knowledge. I did lose a few clients, but in each case, the potential clients were looking for therapy as a way to manipulate or please someone in their environment. These potential clients seemed to place little value on their therapy and wanted to spend as little money as possible while complying with the requests to get therapy. They were not clients who were unable to afford therapy, and if they were I would have negotiated a sliding scale payment. Overall, I believe my policy makes sense and my clients do as well. Typically, clients emphatically and supportively say they completely understand.
To obtain the discount, I ask clients to pay at the time of service in order to reduce book keeping and administrative expenses. Of course, some clients forget to bring their money. In these cases, I simply explain that I have a system for when clients forget and hand them a self-addressed and stamped envelope so they can mail the payment. Often, when I am putting the stamp on the envelope my clients generously offer that they can provide their own stamp. In response, I politely say that I want to make it easy for them to send me the money. In this exchange, my clients understand that I am serious about the payment at time of service but also am understanding that people can sometimes forget.
I have been asked if it is illegal to charge insurance companies more than clients for the same service. I believe that is illegal, and that there may be insurance fraud laws that specifically prohibit charging insurance more than the established rate. However, this is not what I advocate or do. I have different levels of service. I understand that we should set our fees for each type of service and not raise fees for one customer unless there is a policy with a rationale. Once fees are set, we can offer discounts for insurance companies, payment at the time of service, sliding scales, or what we call in the Guild, “no administrative services” discount. Each of the discounts should have a sensible rationale, and it would be unethical to charge a client or an insurance company more on an arbitrary basis or just because they could pay more.
Having advocated discounts for self-pay clients, there is one caveat that I need to raise. Insurance is regulated by state law, and anyone who offers clients a self-pay discount should review all state laws on insurance fraud and professional billing policies. These state laws may change the way that discounts need to be offered.
Discounts for self-pay clients make sense. They also make a statement that insurance should be paying the increased administrative costs of delivering health care. Let us give the self-pay clients the break they earn by keeping us out of the insurance quagmire.
Guild Members offer
a 20% “no administration” discount for outpatient individual, couples
and family therapy when you pay at the time of service, there is no insurance
or other paperwork,
and you request the Guild discount when agreeing to
fees at the beginning of therapy.
Call the Guild at 303-444-1036
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