Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on your question to view the response.
Fees & Insurance
Legal & Other
Do you see all ages?
We specialize in seeing young adults - but we see ages 5 to 65.
Do you do therapy?
We focus on medication management, but can do supportive therapy and offer suggestions through our appointments. We highly recommend that everyone who takes psychiatric medication also has a therapist. We have many recommendations and referrals if needed.
Do you diagnose autism or learning disabilities?
No, the department of developmental disabilities does not accept a diagnosis of autism by nurse practitioners in the state of Arizona. Developmental pediatricians and psychiatrists are the best option for autism diagnoses, while psychologists are the best option for diagnosing learning disabilities or dyslexia. However, I have extensive experience with medication management with kids who have autism and/or delays.
Do you prescribe medication to people who are pregnant?
Yes! If needed we can work on a safe treatment plan and review all of the possible risks and benefits of starting or continuing pharmacological treatment throughout your pregnancy. Two to five weeks after giving birth is the riskiest time to develop a mood disorder, so we will be able to monitor you through this period as well.
Will you work with my therapist or other providers?
With a release of information, we would certainly love to! Collaboration is our preference.
Does the appointment/evaluation have to be on video?
Yes, in order to diagnose the individual, it is very important to be able to have the evaluation via video. BOTH the guardian(s) AND the child need to be present for evaluation and med appointments of anyone under 18 years of age.
What is involved during an evaluation?
We will ask questions about development (pregnancy/first years of life/childhood), school, work if applicable, interests, family pets, and medical history along with a lot of questions about sleep, eating, emotions and mood. We may ask you, a parent or teacher to fill out a questionnaires in some cases or request other documentation. Some things are hard to talk about, so appointment is in YOUR control and the focus is to make you feel safe and comfortable. If you would like to involve a friend, significant other, or family member for support, we are happy to allow that. After the appointment we will talk about the diagnosis and treatment options.
Do you work with eating disorders and/or substance abuse?
We am not equipped at this time to work with eating disorders or substance abuse at this time. There are intensive outpatient options for substance abuse, groups and other resources in Arizona for substance abuse. We can also refer to places that specialize in eating disorders.
What if I run out of medication before my appointment?
Send over an email or request, and I’ll take care of you. Exceptions do exist such as for frequent missed appointments or controlled substances. If we have never met and you are running low on medication, we can most likely have a phone call and bridge you until your evaluation.
What if I would prefer an interpreter for my appointment?
Our Medical Assistants have experience as interpreters for Spanish and Tagalog. Costs for her interpretation could be discussed.
Fees & Insurance
What if I lose my job or can no longer afford to pay?
Please contact us so we can discuss plans and options. With our current economy and the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to obtain healthcare and psychiatric services at this time. People are also having increased rates of depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders because of COVID-19 and related stressors. Do not hesitate to contact us if this is a concern, and we promise we will find a way to continue your care. We will require proof of loss of income or job.
Do you take insurance?
We do take insurance -- currently BCBS, UHC/Optum, Cigna and Aetna. Please check with your plan first to see if you have a deductible. We do not want to surprise you with a bill later on!
Can you provide me with a superbill?
Upon request, we can provide you with a superbill. A superbill is an itemized list of services you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement after paying out of pocket. Check with your insurance company to see if they accept out of network superbills for psychiatric behavioral health.
Will my insurance cover my prescriptions?
Most likely, yes! Your pharmacy will be able to check to see if your insurance covers your medication.
What if I cannot afford my medications out of pocket?
We are very familiar with prices of medications, services such as GoodRX and other means to save money on prescriptions. We can work together to find an affordable solution.
What is a peripartum mental health certificate?
This is a completed training by Postpartum Support International (PSI) including advanced pharmacology training and passed a board exam which certifies a specialty in perinatal mental health. You can read more about PSI training at https://www.postpartum.net/professionals/certification/
What is a nurse practitioner?
A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has completed advanced training including a master's degree in a specialized area. After completing training, nurse practitioners are required to pass a certification exam. Historically, nurse practitioners were designed to fill the gap of not having enough prescribers in underserved areas. While some people prefer psychiatrists or medical doctors, nurse practitioners have many of the same abilities and clinical skills (however, in the state of Arizona, we cannot diagnose autism). Studies have shown that compared to medical doctors/physicians, patients of nurse practitioners report greater satisfaction, quality of care, more time receiving education and similar health outcomes. Nurse practitioners are also trained with a more holistic model of care vs. a medical model, which includes considerations for the entire person as a whole.
What sets you apart from other psychiatric nurse practitioners?
Authenticity is important to us. We genuinely love getting to know our patients and their families. Most of us do not come from highly privileged backgrounds in which we had the luxury of our parents paying for our education. For most of us, we come from lower income upbrinigings -- and are therefore a hell of a lot more humble than a lot of people. We are quirky, kinda weird, open-minded and not very professional.
What if I'm not sure if we would be a good fit?
Try us out!!! We promise we are nice.
Legal & Other
What do I do if a custody arrangement if invovled for my child?
All court custody documentation must be presented along with appropriate identification. For joint custody, medication decisions will not be made without both parents present at the appointment. You may log on the appointment from different homes.
Can I be present for my child's appointment? Can they speak with you privately? Are we able to speak privately without my child present?
Yes and yes. At times, we may request to speak with the patient alone, or the patient may request to speak alone. All information is confidential unless it includes harm to the patient or harm to others. We are also happy to speak with the guardian privately in the appointment or in a separate appointment to gather history if necessary.
Do you do immigration evaluations for court?
If you or someone you know is required by the court to have an immigration psychiatric evaluation, we can discuss and see if we would be able to fulfill this need for you. Sometimes an immigration lawyer may request continued psychiatric services along with letters of progress or evaluations by the provider. We may also be able to arrange this. Please contact Maria.
Can I have a copy of psychiatric evaluation or medical records?
Yes! But please give us some advanced notice!
Can you offer me referrals for therapists, doctors or other providers?
Yes! We have a solid network of therapists we are able to recommend you and refer you to. For severe medical issues, you will need to follow up with a primary care doctor for speciality referrals. However, we can recommend community resources such as support groups. If you are spiritual and would like to involve spirituality such as spiritual coaching, meditation, reiki, life coaching or tarot readings, we also have a great referral.
I read all of the questions but I am still nervous. What if this is uncomfortable or awkward?
We pride ourselves on being extremely sensitive to other emotions, and we will work to make you feel comfortable. We bring in a lot of positive energy, and are happy to meet family pets and introduce our dogs over video!