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Is this practice a good fit for me?


We hope so. we make every effort to provide the highest quality care and a fulfilling experience. Our patients will appreciate the direct access to their doctor and availability options. Some patients and families seeking mental health consultation may require more specialized services than can safely be provided by Dr. Gonzalez at Desert Wellness & Psychiatry. Prospective patients will be advised if this practice may not be a good fit. Completing pre-appointment paperwork will help us determine what is the best fit. We will make every effort to connect you with a respected provider if we believe you would be best served elsewhere.




Is my insurance accepted?


We are working on contracting with select insurance companies that will allow us to continue delivering high quality and individualized care. We are now "In-Network" with 4YourChoice (tribal and employees) and Exclusive Care (Riverside County). Call for latest updates. As an "out-of-network" provider, we are able to tailor treatment with YOU in mind. Many patients appreciate the privacy and close collaboration with their psychiatrist without insurance companies getting in between. At Desert Wellness & Psychiatry, Dr Gonzalez is an “out-of-network” provider and can print out a detailed “superbill” should you choose to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. You can expect direct phone, email, and video access in addition to person appointments. Call for more info on our sliding-scale. Click here and we'll gladly verify your out-of-network benefits before your first appointment.




Can I submit a bill to my insurance company for reimbursement?


We can provide you with a “superbill” (itemized health care receipt) should you choose to submit a claim. Your psychiatric services may be eligible for reimbursement through "out-of-network" benefits, medical spending or health care savings accounts (HSA). Some insurance companies will reimburse a portion of the total bill however this is dependent on your plan. Reimbursement ranges from 0% to 100%. Click here to have us check your out-of-network benefits before your first appointment.




What questions should I ask my insurance company about reimbursement?


Before you book an appointment, please check your policy carefully and consider asking the following questions: Do I have mental health benefits? What is my deductible and has it been met? How many mental health sessions per calendar year does my insurance plan cover? How much does my plan cover for an out-of-network mental health provider/psychiatrist? How do I obtain reimbursement for therapy or medication management with an out-of-network psychiatrist? What is the coverage amount per therapy session? what is the coverage amount per evaluation and management (E&M) session? Is approval or a referral required from my primary care physician?




What billing codes should I ask my insurance company about if I want to submit for reimbursement?


Initial Evaluation: 99205 - initial eval with MD psychiatrist 90792 – Initial evaluation with psychiatrist Medication followup Codes: 99213 – Medication followup, low complexity 99214 – Medication followup, medium complexity 99215 – Medication followup, high complexity “Add-on” codes (sometimes used as combo with medication followup codes) 90833 – plus psychotherapy, 16-37 mins 90836 – plus psychotherapy, 38-52 mins Psychotherapy Only Codes: 90832 – Psychotherapy 16-37 mins 90834 – Psychotherapy 38-52 mins 90853 – Group psychotherapy Telepsychiatry Many people love the convenience of video or phone visits. We use secure HIPAA compliant programs to maximize your privacy. Many insurance companies now cover video visits and a few are covering phone visits. 99212 GT - Brief video E&M visit 99213 GT - Level 3 visit using video 99214 GT - E&M video 90834 GT - Psychotherapy, 45 min using video +90833 GT - Psychotherapy, 30 Min "ADD ON" to video E&M 99441 - phone EM 5 to 10 minutes 99442 - phone 11 to 20 minutes 99443 - phone 21 to 30 minutes




What makes DWP the right practice for me?


Flexibility: our work together will be about meeting your goals. Time: sessions will be more than just a “10 minute medication checkup”. Our patients see their health as valuable asset where it's worth investing the time to care for it. Convenience: we offer in person, phone, and video visits. You will have direct access to your psychiatrist via email, text, phone, and website portals. Control: see who you want to see, not someone assigned by your insurance company. See a trusted provider. Privacy: health information is not shared with insurance company if not submitting an insurance claim.




Do you do therapy?


Yes! We believe everyone benefits from some therapy to maximize their full potential. Some therapy is to remove barriers keeping us from achieving our goals, other forms are to heal or rework challenging memories. Many times, patients want therapy to take their performance to then next level. Currently we mainly practice emotion focused, psychodynamic, & cognitive behavioral therapy. In some cases, patients only want medications and we respect that choice. A psychiatrist is uniquely positioned to provide therapy with dual training as a physician and a psychotherapist.




Do you plan on expanding?


Yes! our vision is to create a multidisciplinary team with a common goal of providing top quality services to residents of the Coachella Valley and beyond.




I'd love to make a suggestion, how do I contribute?


We'd love to hear from you! We believe in always adapting to meet the needs of our patients. Later hours? favorite snack? Longer appointment options? Let us know at info@desertwellnesspsychiatry.com




What's your take on controlled medications (narcotics)?


All medications carry some risk, some more than others. Treatment decisions are made collaboratively however, there are instances where the risks significantly outweight potential benefits of the medication. We are more conservative in the use of benzodiazepines such as ativan, valium, xanax, etc. Significant risks exist where benzodiazepines are used in combination with opioid pain medication, and such combinations are rarely justified. We do not manage pain with pain medication and we routinely check drug database, CURES, to comply with the law. There are instances where benzodiazepines are useful, and we will explore this option if indicated.




Do you offer discounts?


Yes! We provide a 10% discount to educators and students. Please let us know at booking. Sliding-scale fee is available on a case by case basis, call for more info.





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