FAQ

frequently asked questions

Therapy

There is no set way to start. Some people do lots of research before looking for a therapist. Some get a recommendation and call. Because therapy can be expensive, it helps to know what your insurance plan covers as well as which insurance carrier/company you have. Insurance companies are required to keep updated directories, so you can also check to see if a provider (therapist) you might want to see is covered under your plan.

Once you’re ready, if you’d like to work with me–or might and have some questions–please call and leave me a brief message. I’ll call you back to discuss what you are looking for, go over insurance, and talk scheduling. If I’m not a good fit or don’t have availability, I am happy to offer you referrals.

I return all calls as soon as I can, typically Mondays through Thursdays. While I don’t have someone who answers the phone at my office, the tradeoff is that you will talk with me and not have to go through another person. However, I know that when people are looking to start therapy, they are ready.

Please bring your insurance card to your first appointment if you will be using insurance for therapy. If you are eighteen years or older, you can sign the paperwork yourself. If you are under eighteen, your parent or guardian needs to sign your paperwork. If you know your schedule, it is helpful as we may look to schedule future appointments.

You are welcome to bring questions or concerns about counseling or any notes or a journal to read from, to your first, and, any, sessions with me. You also don’t have to bring anything.

A first appointment is usually called an intake evaluation. We start with paperwork, including signing a consent form, going over insurance, and I will give you a copy of my policies and also what to expect if you decide to work with me. I will also offer you a copy of my HIPAA notice, or privacy policies.

Then we will go over confidentiality. I’ll ask about what is going on that brought you to therapy. I’ll also ask about different areas of your life as well as some symptoms you may be experiencing. During all of this, it’s important for you to think about whether you feel comfortable talking with me. I’ll also ask whether you have goals or expectations for therapy. Then I’ll give you feedback about what I’m hearing and let you know if I think I can be helpful to you. I’ll also try to give you a sense of what working together could look like.

And then you get to decide what you want to do. You don’t have to decide during the appointment. You are welcome to take some time to think about it. Hopefully by that time you will have a sense of whether you feel comfortable talking with me. I will ask you if you do. That comfort piece, the sense of is-this-someone-I-can-talk-to is really important. It’s basically a vibe check. If you aren’t feeling it, that is fine. You won’t hurt my feelings. I will help you find someone who could be a better fit.

And even if you are feeling comfortable talking to me at the end of that first session, that could change. That’s okay. You aren’t stuck with me.

Okay, so if you decide you want to work together and I think that too, we’ll talk about scheduling. It’s not unusual to finish some sections of an intake evaluation in the next couple of sessions. There’s a lot to go through. But the first session is really about getting a sense of what’s going on, starting with a plan, and deciding to work together. Clinically, that means I’ll be working on a diagnosis, coming up with a treatment plan, and we are assessing and building what’s called therapeutic rapport.

Please ask questions at any stage of this. Therapy is an active process of working together.

Scheduling

Please call me at the office (402-488-5413) to schedule an appointment. Any message you leave is confidential. Please leave your name, a brief message, and the number(s) where you can be reached. I return calls Monday thru Thursday. Sometimes these may say “private caller.” That just means I’m out of the office when I’m making phone calls.

If you are a prospective client or calling for a loved one, please leave your name, a brief message about what you/they are looking to address in counseling (e.g., an eating disorder, anxiety, school stress, recent break up), a number where you can be reached, and your insurance (if you plan to use insurance for therapy). I will return your call to discuss availability, scheduling, and address any questions you may have about working together. If I am not available or not a good fit for what you are looking for or not in-network for you, I will offer referrals for other therapists who I think might be a good fit.

If you are more than fifteen minutes late for a session, I usually do not hold the session and consider it to be a “no-show” appointment. I may charge you for a fee ($50) after your second missed appointment.

If you need to reschedule an appointment, please call and let me know. I ask for 24 hours notice if you are rescheduling or cancelling an appointment.

If you are ill, I ask that you please reschedule. Please call the office (402-488-5413) for any scheduling issues. You can leave a voicemail at any time, including after hours.

Each appointment time is set aside for a particular client. If you know that you are going to be late, please call the office to let me know. In order to assist me in keeping my appointments as accurate and available as possible, please provide 24 hours notice if your schedule does not permit you to keep your appointment.

Appointments canceled with less than 24 hours notice will be considered “late cancellations.” After two late cancellations or no-shows, I may decide to bill you directly for missing counseling appointments. Unless otherwise prohibited by your insurance policy, you will be charged a fee of $50 after your second missed appointment.

If you are ill, please reschedule your appointment. Please call as soon as you know you won’t be able to keep your appointment. I do not charge for missed appointments due to illness or other emergencies.

I know that sometimes work schedules get changed at the last minute. I generally do not consider such work changes or conflicts emergencies, however.

I try to keep appointments if I can safely stay at the office or get to the office. I will call you if I can’t make it in or will be closing the office due to an impending storm. At any time, if you feel unsafe to drive due to weather, please contact me to cancel and/or reschedule. I do not charge for late cancellations due to weather emergencies.

With the option of telehealth, that can sometimes be a good choice for people who prefer to meet in person but can’t due to weather or road conditions. For example, sometimes on snow days, I will call clients to reschedule people to telehealth appointments if the roads are bad. If telehealth isn’t a good option for you, we’ll try to find the best in person appointment time once it’s safe to drive.

I do not offer on call hours or a way to reach me if you are having a mental health emergency. If you are in crisis, please call 988, which is the mental health crisis line. Please be aware that they use active rescue.

If you are referring someone for services please call me at the office (402-488-5413) to see if I am accepting new clients first. I do not accept referrals via fax. My fax number is available for referrals after I’ve agreed to accept or contact the client for possible scheduling.

Fees, Billing, and Insurance

The fee for an intake evaluation, which is usually done in the first session, is $300. My 45-minute therapy session fee is $185. If a session lasts longer than 52 minutes, I will charge for an hour, which is $260. Thirty-minute sessions are done infrequently, but the fee is $130. Appointments are scheduled for 45 minutes.

Payment in full at the time services are rendered is preferred unless we have agreed otherwise or unless you have insurance coverage that requires another arrangement. While I do not have a sliding scale, from time to time, I may take on a client pro-bono. This is entirely at my discretion. If you find that you cannot afford my services, please let me know, and I will refer you to alternative treatment resources.

Payment in full at the time services are rendered is preferred unless we have agreed otherwise or unless you have insurance coverage that requires another arrangement. I accept cash, check, credit cards, including HSA cards. You can pay in person when you are there for an appointment or via mail. If you’d like to pay with a credit card outside of an appointment, please let me know. I can send you an email with a link to Square. At this time, I no longer accept credit card payments over the phone.

If you are using insurance for counseling, I will submit claims to your insurance company. Once I receive an explanation of benefits (EOB) from your insurance, I will send you a statement for what you owe for services. Your insurance company will also send you an EOB. Statements are sent out the first of the month with payment due in thirty days or at the end of the month. You can make payments in session or via mail. I accept cash, checks, credit cards, and HSA payments. If you would like to pay by credit card, please let me know. I don’t accept credit card payments over the phone but I can send you an email with a link to pay via Square. If you have questions, please call me at the office (402-488-5413). If you know your copay, please pay at each session, as that is when it is due.

Sometimes financial problems may affect timely payment of your account. If such problems do arise, please talk to me about developing a payment plan. If we have not developed a payment plan and you continue to have unpaid balances, please be aware that a finance charge may be applied. In addition, it may be necessary to withdraw services and refer you to alternative treatment resources. Also, it may be necessary to turn over unpaid accounts to an attorney or collection agency for payment. Such action may result in legal or other collection fees for which you will be financially responsible. Please note that there is a $25 charge for all returned checks.

Usually, if you are using insurance for counseling, I will submit claims to your insurance company, including for plans/companies where I am out-of-network. Medicare and Medicaid plans are excluded from this as, to my knowledge, they do not offer out of network benefits for outpatient mental health. (Also, I am currently not a Medicare or Medicaid provider.)

If I’m out of network with your insurance, it is a good idea to contact your insurance or look up your benefits to see what your plan’s “out of network outpatient mental health benefits” are. That will give you a good idea of the amount your plan covers. For out of network plans, please be aware that you will owe my full fees for services.

Sometimes for out of network plans, for various reasons, I wouldn’t be the person submitting claims. In those instances, I would provide you with the claims information you would need so that you can submit claims to your plan. In those cases, payment is due at each session. This would all be discussed ahead of time, usually when you are scheduling an appointment.

Once I receive an explanation of benefits (EOB) from your insurance, I will send you a statement for what you owe for services. Your insurance company will also send you an EOB. Statements are sent out the first of the month with payment due in thirty days or at the end of the month. You can make payments in session, via mail, or online. I accept cash, checks, credit cards, and HSA payments. If you would like to pay by credit card, please let me know. I don’t accept credit card payments over the phone but I can send you an email with a link to pay via Square.

Sometimes financial problems may affect timely payment of your account. If such problems do arise, please talk to me about developing a payment plan. If we have not developed a payment plan and you continue to have unpaid balances, please be aware that a finance charge may be applied. In addition, it may be necessary to withdraw services and refer you to alternative treatment resources. Also, it may be necessary to turn over unpaid accounts to an attorney or collection agency for payment. Such action may result in legal or other collection fees for which you will be financially responsible. Please note that there is a $25 charge for all returned checks.

If you are paying out of pocket for therapy, payment is due the day of your appointment.

Please also see my Good Faith Estimate policy below.

For clients without insurance or those choosing not to use their insurance for psychotherapy, according to the No Surprises Act, you are entitled to a Good Faith Estimate of expected charges. While it is not possible for me to know in advance how many sessions a person might need or would be recommended, a Good Faith Estimate can provide an estimate of the expected costs of services. These are provided each quarter and may include a range of services.

Your total cost of services will depend on the number of sessions you attend, your response to treatment, and other individual factors. Estimates are typically discussed with clients and their parent(s)/guardian(s), in the cases of clients who are minors.

Miscellaneous

My mask policy is determined by a number of factors, including information from health departments, the CDC, and Covid19 rates in our community. I update signage on my office door and website to reflect changes and always have masks available. If we have been meeting in person and you would like to switch to telehealth, for any reason, please let me know. When masks are optional, I am happy to wear a mask if a client requests it.

The best way to reach me is through my office phone (402-488-5413). I don’t text or email clients as it is not private. My voicemail is confidential. I’m the only person with access to it. You can also be assured that when I call, it will be a private phone call.

Please have your voicemail set up and remember to clear out your voicemail box. While I do scheduling in session, there may be occasions where I need to reach you outside of session. I need to be able to leave you a message.

At this time, I do not write letters for support animals.

Lindsay Salem, Ph.D.


3201 Pioneers Blvd, Ste 310, Lincoln, NE 68502

402.488.5413