Dana provides billing for your insurance company. If you have a PPO, you are reimbursed differently if you go out of their network of providers. Dana is not on any provider's lists at this point. This blog from another therapist explains more about this decision:
The Low Down Ugly Truth of You Using Your Insurance by Krysta Dancy, LMFT (condensed)
1. Insurance Companies require a diagnosis to pay for your session.
If you are lucky, they'll accept a soft diagnosis. Something like "Adjustment Disorder" which is temporary and non-threatening. But many insurance companies are on to that trick. They refule to reimburse for the "softer diagnoses" and require more severe diagnoses to pay for your session. Even common experiences liked "Depression" go on to your permanent record. This might not matter to you. However if you ever have to buy insurance for yourself (health or life) it might matter a great deal.And can make the difference between getting preferred coverage, or none at all.
The even harsher reality? Couples relationship issues, parent/child troubles, normal grieving, or just having a hard time are all things that are often NOT covered. Which means your therapist will have to slap at least one of you with a diagnosis just to get your coverage. (It is also insurance fraud , something I don’t do- DC)
2. Your Insurance Company decides what treatment I am allowed to give you.
This one is scariest of all. In addition to limiting what can be treated, they limit how you can be treated. Some insurers even require that your therapist spend time on the phone with a “pre-authorizer” justifying their treatment goals, and planned interventions before they can even treat you, before the insurer will approve any payment.
This means you might not get the best of my care. You might not receive therapeutic interventions that I know will be helpful. If it doesn’t fit the decision tree of the insurer, then it doesn’t need to be paid for.
3. If a therapist takes an insurance client, their notes can be viewed by the company at any time.
If an insurance company wants to “check up” on you, or the care of the therapist-they are free to audit your private notes at any time. Any details, secrets, diagnoses that didn’t make it on the bill (because your therapist shrewdly protected the more severe diagnoses from their eye) are now viewable by the auditor. And in some cases, notes or forms will be required by the company just to determine if you are able to receive more sessions.
4. Therapists lose money on insurance clients - both in time spent and amount paid
This means two things. First, like most medical providers, the cash-paying clients pay more than the insurance client.
Second, a therapist accepting insurance will often spend hours each week pursuing payment that is owed. When I accepted insurance, I spent between 25-50% of my weekly hours on the phone, filling out forms, typing replies, and bookkeeping (so nothing fell through the cracks). This is time I spend for “free”. Not available to my clients. Not using my skills to help people. It limits my availability and my energy.
And this is the dirtiest truth of all. The one that I will get in trouble for saying, but I think you deserve to know:
5. Good and experienced therapists rarely take insurance.
In my area (which is near Sacramento CA) I can only think of one therapist that I know personally, who has been at it for over 5 years that takes insurance. Only ONE. I’m not saying that there are NO good therapists in managed care. Not at all. But I am saying that simple supply and demand apply here, Those who are full with clients do not need to go through the headache of managed care. So they don’t. The ones who are not full are more motivated to jump through the hoops. So I might delicately (or not so delicately) suggest that in the case of your dearest relationships and your mental well-being-you might consider changing things?