Dr. Rubenstein FAQ

First Appointment

How quickly can I get an appointment?
How do I make an appointment?
What happens after I make the appointment for the initial evaluation?
How quickly can I get an appointment?

Unless I am on vacation, you are guaranteed a first appointment within one week but usually it is within several days.

How do I make an appointment?

Schedule a ten-minute consultation (screening call) during which time questions can be addressed to ensure that the practice meets your needs.  At that time, the first evaluation appointment can be scheduled.

What happens after I make the appointment for the initial evaluation?

You will receive several emails.  One contains forms to fill out and sign online.  These must be completed prior that first session.  Another email is to register at the patient portal where you can communicate with me and receive any test results.  You will also receive appointment reminders at fixed times prior to the appointment.

Location

In which states do you treat patients?
Can we have meetings in person, face-to-face?
In which states do you treat patients?

I treat patients who live anywhere in one of five states:  Florida, Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Idaho.

Can we have meetings in person, face-to-face?

Unfortunately not.  My practice is entirely telemedicine.

Therapy

Do you only provide treatment with medications? What about talk psychotherapy?
What type of talk therapy do you do?
If I’m taking medications, how often will we meet?
Can I request to have additional sessions, if I’d like them?
What if I have questions or problems in between sessions?
I already see a psychotherapist for talk therapy. What’s “Dual Therapy?“
Do you only provide treatment with medications? What about talk psychotherapy?

Medication treatment is the primary focus of my practice.  However I have many years of experience doing talk therapy (with or without medications).  Indeed, there is most definitely a “talk therapy” component of medication management.  In addition, I send personalized links of my writings on topics pertinent to each patient’s needs.  However if an individual is interested in talk therapy, that option is available and can be discussed.

What type of talk therapy do you do?

Over the years, the talk therapy approach I have developed is intensive and very focused.  After the initial period, it is not necessarily weekly.  It is best suited to individuals who wish to better understand the larger questions about life beyond the self.

If I’m taking medications, how often will we meet?

Once every three months.  This is the frequency with which I can comfortably monitor medication treatment from the perspective of both efficacy and safety.  It is also the frequency recommended by nearly all healthcare organizations consistent with best clinical practice guidelines.

Can I request to have additional sessions, if I’d like them?

Absolutely.  I require four visits per year, roughly one every three months.  However I am happy to accommodate additional sessions.

What if I have questions or problems in between sessions?

You are welcome to phone, or better yet, email me through the patient portal.  I do not charge for these communications between sessions.  Usually there will be more frequent communication when new medications are started or when doses are changed.  It is assumed that the number of communications between sessions is reasonable.

I already see a psychotherapist for talk therapy. What’s “Dual Therapy?“

Dual Therapy is an approach to provide you with the best integrated care between your psychotherapist and me.  All follow up sessions with me are conducted during one of your psychotherapy sessions with your psychotherapist present as well.  In this way, your care and your goals are maximally coordinated between your two providers.

Fees & Insurance

What are your fees?
Do you accept commercial insurance (i.e., insurance other than Medicare or Medicaid)?
I have Medicaid but am willing to pay your fees privately. Can you see me?
I have Medicare but am willing to pay your fees privately. Can you see me?
Are there cancellation fees?
What are your fees?

The first evaluation session is $350.  A follow-up medication session (one every three months) is $140.  Talk psychotherapy sessions (with or without medication) are $325.

Do you accept commercial insurance (i.e., insurance other than Medicare or Medicaid)?

No.  I am not in-network nor participate with any insurance companies.  My fees are paid by credit card. However, depending on your policy, you may be entitled to reimbursement by your insurance company for fees from “out-of-network” providers.  You will need to ask your insurance company.  If so, I will provide you with the necessary form you will need to submit for reimbursement.  In addition, any portion of the fee not reimbursed by insurance can be paid from a health savings account (HSA) or health flexible spending account (FSA).

I have Medicaid but am willing to pay your fees privately. Can you see me?

Unfortunately I cannot. Medicaid does allow non-participating providers (like myself) to privately contract with patients. However Medicaid will not cover any medications or tests and these are quite expensive to pay for out-of-pocket. It would not be ethical to subject a Medicaid beneficiary to these costs.

I have Medicare but am willing to pay your fees privately. Can you see me?

As of 2021, yes. Medicare regulations require that you sign a form stating that you understand that it is a private pay arrangement and that you will not receive any reimbursement whatsoever from Medicare for my services.

Are there cancellation fees?

Yes.  You are responsible for the entire fee if you cancel a session within 24 hours of the appointment.  The only exception is a true emergency which in my experience is very rare.

Conditions and Age Groups

What age patients do you see?
What conditions do you treat?
Are there certain medications that you don’t prescribe?
Why are there certain conditions that are not appropriate for treatment via telemedicine versus face-to-face?
What conditions do you NOT treat via your telemedicine practice?
What age patients do you see?

From age 18 upwards.  I also treat elderly patients and those with dementia.

What conditions do you treat?

The list is long, however of those receiving medication treatment, the most common presenting problems are:  anxiety, panic, depression, bipolar or manic/depression, other mood disorders, psychotic disorders, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), adjustment disorders, PTSD, dementia and insomnia.  Naturally for those seeking talk psychotherapy, there is a wide variety of presenting problems.  These can be discussed during the initial phone screening or during a subsequent session.

Are there certain medications that you don’t prescribe?

Buprenorphine (Suboxone), methadone, ketamine, opioids, xanax, cannabis.  In addition, I very judiciously and selectively prescribe potentially addictive medications (controlled substances) such as benzodiazepines, sedative/hypnotics (e.g., Ambien) and amphetamines.  (Due to extremely strict state-specific regulations, I cannot prescribe any controlled substances to patients who reside in New Jersey.).

Why are there certain conditions that are not appropriate for treatment via telemedicine versus face-to-face?

There are a number of conditions that are not appropriate for treatment via telemedicine either due to federal/state regulations, safety issues, or because they are conditions that clinically require face-to-face meetings and/or an integrated team approach.

What conditions do you NOT treat via your telemedicine practice?

Substance/alcohol abuse/dependence, those taking medical marijuana/suboxone/opioid pain medication, xanax/other benzodiazepines, forensic issues (e.g., evaluations for legal/custody reasons),  disability applications or workman’s comp, pregnant patients, eating disorders, personality and dissociative disorders, past or present suicidal or self-injurious behavior or thoughts, impulse control disorders, chronic pain.  Prior to a first evaluation, all prospective patients are required to sign an attestation form that they do not fall into any of the above categories.

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