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Looking for new therapist--please tell me if this is weird

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Hi everyone,

I'm currently looking for a therapist and not having much luck. I'm still trying. But I also ran into a couple of things and I'm wondering if you guys think these are weird or if they are normal:

--therapist who wants your insurance card scanned both sides and e-mailed to them before first appointment

--clinic that says they have gotten very busy with requests for new appointments so they put up an online questionnaire for you to fill out if you are interested. You're supposed to fill in what you're looking for, your insurance, those are OK I guess (?), but then the final (required) question is "have you ever been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons." Um, what?

I've never seen this before, does it concern anyone else or just me?

Thank you for any feedback!


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Honestly, I don’t see anything concerning. Definitely understand the insurance, there have been many types of drs where I’ve had to fill out the paperwork and mail in before the appt. It just helps them speed things along.

I've been with my current tdoc for a few years, but I had to fill out the questionnaire in the waiting room before the appt, and it was a lot of questions. We then went over them in the first two appointments. Again, sounds like they’re just trying to be efficient. 

Asking about prior hospitalization sounds like normal psych medical history... if you were going to a regular dr, they’d probably ask about prior regular hospitalizations/surgeries. 

I think I’d rather the office request all the information beforehand, so you’re not wasting valuable session time. Just my two cents though. 

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Thank you for your reply!

I have also filled out insurance information in advance prior to an appointment....but these requests are before they have even agreed to see me for a consult. They haven't scheduled me or even agreed to see me as a patient.

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I guess my question is are you handing over all this information before or after you’re scheduled for an appointment?

I’m happy to provide payment info (like insurance) and a detailed history as part of prep for a scheduled appointment. I like it when they ask all that stuff well ahead of time rather than waiting until right before the first appointment. Even better if they will review it before then too!

On the other hand, if I was just trying to find out if they’re accepting new patients? My history and payment details are none of their business. I might say “are they in network with insurance X”, but no, I wouldn’t give information beyond that. We don’t have a relationship yet, at all, so I worry about confidentiality. I wouldn’t give a credit card number either.

Medical history and payment methods should have no role in the provider’s ability to take me on as a patient. In the US most insurance companies require that a network provider with openings may not prioritize a cash paying patient over an insured one simply because cash rates are typically higher than insurance reimbursement rates. Providers can just take the next in line.

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