mcjimjam

Choosing a pDoc

15 posts in this topic

I'm trying to find a new psychiatrist and have been referred to a psych clinic with multiple drs. Apparently my referral was circulated and the dr who accepted it can see me in 2 weeks, which is good. Problem is he's very expensive.

AUD500$ for the first appointment. All the others I've seen have been AUD$200-400. He seems to be a bit of a hot shot. Lectures at a prestigious university, lots of research publications etc. it's going to be very hard to come up with the money, although I'll get about half back later.

I don't know if it's worth it.. I'm thinking of finding a cheaper one or even just use the free one which is only short term and only if I pretend to be suicidal I think. They probably won't be able to help much anyway. Then again if he's really good it could turn my life around.

Do you guys find it worthwhile to go with these prestigious/pricey docs? What do you look for when choosing one? Does anyone else find it hard to get the money together for appointments?

P.S. If you know a good inexpensive one in Melbourne let me know, lol.

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I'm sorry but I don't know anything about Melbourne so I can't help you there. I will tell you what I did when faced with a similar situation. My local psychiatric clinic wanted $300 for an initial visit. I thought it was too much and I found one which was $120 for the initial visit and $75 per visit after that. So that is the psychiatrist I go to now. It's a bitch because I have to drive to the nearest large city and not simply to a town about 10 minutes away, but I just thought that expensive doctor was gouging the poor and the sick. That's what I did and it was based on my values. You have to do what is right for you.

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I'd probably see if there is someone cheaper. I've always found psychiatrists to be somewhat of a crapshoot. My current psychiatrist is my favorite of all the ones I've had, and I ended up with her by literally calling all the psychiatrists/clinics in my town that took my insurance (to be fair this was 3 private pdocs and 2 clinics) and taking the earliest appointment that was available. My least favorite was one recommended to me by a therapist who I really liked. If I ever have to look again, I'd most likely start with the most convenient (based on price, location, and availability), see how it goes, and then work from there. 

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The last 2 pdoc s I have seen(I moved states)both did an initial assessment, about $300USD. Appointments are $140 and he is only taking a few insurances. When I had a bad break which caused me to lose my career and I also went on SSDI. He was not on my insurance plan and I had to pay out of pocket for visits ever 2 weeks for months.

he does not take Medicare even with a supplement. Fortunately for me he agreed to accept my Medicare because I had been with him so long. It still costs me $40 a visit which I am happy to pay

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9 hours ago, mcjimjam said:

Do you guys find it worthwhile to go with these prestigious/pricey docs? What do you look for when choosing one? Does anyone else find it hard to get the money together for appointments?

P.S. If you know a good inexpensive one in Melbourne let me know, lol.

Do you have insurance for the following appts, after the initial assessment?  If so, I'd say go for it.

Personally though, I couldn't afford to see a pricey pdoc, and would look for a cheaper one.

I think also a lot of it depends on (if you decide to see him) how the first appt goes and if you feel like you can work together, making it worth it to continue more. 

Is it worth spending the AUD500$ just to see what he is like, and figure out whether he is someone you can work with?

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Well, it will be partially covered by the universal healthcare but the co pay is $270AU. I don't know what subsequent appointments would cost (secretary couldn't tell me). I think I am going to cancel and find a cheaper one with on the spot claiming so I don't have to have the total amount in cash on the day. I might try to see a public one for free or low cost even if I can only get one or two sessions with them.

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My doc now is like 250 an hour....my last nyc doc was 500 for 45 minutes...and at know what....the cheaper. One is so much better

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Mcjim and Icebutg,

 

where do do you Live! In a big city where they can charge whatever they want?

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3 hours ago, mcjimjam said:

Well, it will be partially covered by the universal healthcare but the co pay is $270AU. I don't know what subsequent appointments would cost (secretary couldn't tell me). I think I am going to cancel and find a cheaper one with on the spot claiming so I don't have to have the total amount in cash on the day. I might try to see a public one for free or low cost even if I can only get one or two sessions with them.

It sounds a little odd that they couldn't tell you what subsequent appointments would cost. You should be able to get a schedule of fees for different levels of care and lengths of appointments. That they won't tell you sounds fishy to me.

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Well there's no universal health care here and most doc's don't take insurance so they can charge what ever...250 an hour is actually a bargain for a private psychiatrist and he does my therapy too...most doc's boot you out after 15 minutes ...he lets me do extended session which have been worth it to me. Typically (not alway) it's hard to find a private practice doc who doesn't charge the equivalent of 270 AUD. The think is that good insurance will reimburse you for some off the cost. So I do $320 for 75 minutes but I get reimbursed 70 to 80 percent so I pay less than 100. The issue is having to pay up front

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I'm sort of grappling with the same issue right now. When I was approved for Medicaid, I left the county mental health clinic to go to a private clinic. This was at the insistence of family members who weren't satisfied with my progress, which was no progress, over years. I have treatment-resistant depression and it seems like most people I've come in contact with have a hard time believing that such a thing exists. 

The first doctor at the private clinic basically gave up on me, told me that there was nothing more he could do for me in an outpatient setting, even though we had tried a grand total of 1 new antidepressant (said I needed to attend a day program, which I couldn't do because of insurance). Now I'm on my second doctor. She refuses to prescribe me another SNRI like Cymbalta or Fetzima even though I've only ever had any success on a SNRI - Effexor (but it's not working anymore).

I wish there was some way to "interview" a doctor before going in, but unfortunately at this point, it's basically just picking a name out of a hat (from the list of providers covered by insurance, which isn't even a long list).

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I have found the best psychiatrists to be the ones that are dedicated to their patients, not academia/lectures/research/etc. I've also found there is generally a sweet spot in age/experience of a pdoc so that they have true experience in a clinical setting of which drugs work/don't work/how to use them but they're still keeping up with the latest research. Too young = too little experience, too old = behind the times and looking at retirement. I've never found cost to be a good determination of whether a pdoc is worth it or not.

This is only applicable if you have any choice. Unfortunately, it is too often the case that people end up with practically zero choice and you gotta take what's available. I've been in that situation a couple of times, and it didn't work out well for me at least once. I am extremely fortunate to have my current pdoc.

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My pdoc is about 10 years older than I am, and fortunately we are on the same wavelength.  I purposely looked for one close to my age because IME I've found in the past what @dtac was saying, that:

8 hours ago, dtac said:

Too young = too little experience, too old = behind the times and looking at retirement.

 

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