Lynda Mandell M.D. PLLC


"The only person YOU are destined to become is the Person YOU decide to be." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Consultation Process

In this day and age, it is not uncommon for individuals to want to meet a doctor first before committing to a full evaluation process. If that is your preference, Dr. Mandell does offer the option of a brief pre-evaluation consultation. Although this type of office visit may not be covered by your insurance plan, it does allow you the benefit of getting to know Dr. Mandell and her practice policies before deciding on whether or not to proceed with her services. 

If you have decided that you are ready for an evaluation consultation and would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mandell, here are some steps to help guide you through the process and address questions of practice procedure.  

Dr. Mandell with Stethoscope

I. Scheduling an Initial Appointment:
To request an initial appointment, please call Dr. Mandell at the office number and leave your name, call-back number, and the reason for your request and referral source. To maintain optimal patient confidentiality, Dr. Mandell does not accept referrals or requests for appointments electronically.

The first appointment with Dr. Mandell is usually during the daytime, as patients are more alert during the day hours, and results of the examination are often improved. After the initial evaluation process, Dr. Mandell will do her best, subject to availability, to accommodate a patient's request about an appointment day and time.

II. Preparing for the First Visit:
It is recommended that you and your referring professional provider contact Dr. Mandell with a brief description of your condition and your reasons for seeking therapy. Telephone communication is recommended for privacy reasons and optimal patient confidentiality. Dr. Mandell is available for a brief phone discussion, upon request, to address questions about her professional office fees and billing practice.

A. Registration Forms:
There will be forms to fill out in the office on the first day of arrival, as part of the registration process. They will include forms that give consent and medical information, all of which are necessary for Dr. Mandell to have on file for optimal clinical care and management planning. Please make sure that you have your insurance and pharmacy information available beforehand, as well as the credit card and number you wish to bring to the office to keep on file. To expedite the process, a registration form is available upon request. Please complete and either fax or bring it to the consultation appointment. In any case, it will be necessary to provide the credit information before the appointment.

B. Insurance Coverage for Dr. Mandell's Services:
Like most New York City psychiatrists, Dr. Mandell is an out-of-network provider, which means she does not contract with any insurance companies. Likewise, she is not enrolled in nor accepts Medicare insurance. Clarification about your insurance, professional fees, and payment options is highly recommended before your initial appointment to prevent any miscommunications or unexpected charges. If you have out-of-network coverage, Dr. Mandell will provide you with a monthly correctly coded invoice or bill for your submission to your insurance carrier for reimbursement, unless other arrangements have been made.

Calling your insurance carrier directly to find out details about your coverage is always an advisable course of action if you have an insurance plan with out-of-network benefits. Important questions to ask would include:

1) If you have out-of-network coverage.
2) If you have a deductible, the amount, and how much you have met to date.
3) What percentage of the fees you cover before your out of pocket is met, i.e. your coinsurance until the insurance company pays 100% of what they allow for the billed services.
4) What your insurance company plan allows or deems as "reasonable and customary," which means the rate at which they will reimburse for your therapy.
5) What forms you need to submit claims and the address for submission of the applications.
6) The expected turnaround time for processing and payment of applications and in what period must your application be filed.

You may be asked a specific procedure code as well as a zip code to determine the reimbursement rate. It is important to know that each insurance plan allocates different amounts of proper compensation coverage, based on length of time, the level of intensity of clinical management, and care for various types of services provided. Dr. Mandell will do her best to assist you in this process.

III. The Initial Consultation Day:
It is important to arrive 10-15 minutes before your appointed time. Dr. Mandell will come out personally to greet you and give you forms needed to complete registration. Arriving early will allow you time to complete the forms and allow for the consultation to begin as promptly as possible for the full length of time appropriated for you. Dr. Mandell typically allots 45-50 minutes for the initial evaluation. To complete a full assessment, formulate a treatment plan, and recommendation, it is often necessary to require more than one full session. There are specific pieces of your personal, medical, social, academic, and family history that are useful and necessary to formulate your individually designed plan for optimal success in achieving therapy goals.

Payment is due at the time of service unless other arrangements have been met. Please remember to bring some form of payment at the date of the first visit. Cash, check, and credit card are all acceptable forms of payment. Regardless of the form of payment, a valid credit card number will be kept securely on file in Dr. Mandell's private office.