Psychiatric Medicine Associates Psychiatric Medicine Associates
FAQs

FAQs

 
 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule?

Call the office, 206-386-3103, to request an initial appointment. Our staff will gather some basic information about your history to help direct you to the most appropriate provider (if you weren’t referred to one specifically), and to ensure that our office has the resources and programs that meet your needs.

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What should I bring to my first appointment?

Be sure to bring your insurance card and driver’s license so we can take a photo copy.  Bring in the new patient demographic forms and agreements that you’ve signed so we can scan everything to your chart. Aside from the questionnaires you’ve filled out in the patient portal, it could be useful to bring a list of current medications as well as contact information for your other providers, in case the doctor would like to request records. 

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How long is the first appointment and what should I expect?

Initial consultations range between 60-90 minutes. During this initial interview, we will strive to get a comprehensive idea of how your current symptoms developed, and how they affect the rest of your life. To do this we usually will ask about your medical and mental health history, your social and educational history, your family history, and your current life circumstances, your important relationships and about the ways that you cope with stress. The information you filled out before the session will help us streamline the interview and focus more on your biggest concerns. We will also record your weight and your blood pressure, and may do a brief neurological or physical exam if that is relevant to your personal health.   

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How do I know if my insurance covers your doctors/services?

We are only contracted as in-network providers for the local Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Our office staff will be able to answer some of your questions about insurance coverage and our current contracts. If you have further questions, please contact your insurance plan to be sure you are clear about your coverage, copays, or out of pocket deductible costs before actually seeing the provider. 

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How do I bill my out of network insurance?

Our office will send you a monthly statement which will include all of the appropriate billing codes. While each plan is slightly different in their requirements, you should be able to forward a copy of that monthly statement to your insurance company for direct reimbursement.  For specific instructions, contact the customer service department of your insurance company.  

One known exception is Medicare. PMA providers have all opted out of Medicare, so Medicare will not process claims from our office.

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Do I really need to do all these forms online through the online patient portal?

We use this information to make your initial interview more personal and customized. Because we have already gathered some basic information about you, we can focus during the first session on concerns that matter to you most. We will spend less time pursuing questions that are not relevant, but still can be confident that we have not overlooked something important.  When this information is not gathered beforehand, the overall amount of information we have is more limited and the care we can provide is not optimized

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Do I have to use the patient portal?

We highly encourage you to set up a secure encrypted patient portal account to allow us to communicate with you electronically. Most of our patients prefer this to playing phone tag with their providers – or to arriving early to complete the rating scales using paper and pencil in the waiting room. While this is not a requirement for care, it does make communication more efficient.

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What if I need to cancel my appointment?

Please call the office at 206-386-3103 as soon as you need to cancel. We do require at least 24 hours (one full business day) notice for all cancelations. (For example, Friday at 10 am is the cancellation deadline for a Monday at 10 am appointment). This gives us time to attempt to reach someone else on the waiting list. There is a $125 charge for appointment no shows or late cancelations.

Please note: Our doctors do not double book appointments; they reserve time exclusively for your appointment. If you cancel an appointment after the deadline, or if you “no show” for the initial appointment, it is our policy not to reschedule you for a future intake slot. If you arrive too late for the physician to conduct an adequate interview, your appointment will be cancelled.

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Will I come away from my first appointment with a prescription?

The first appointment is an evaluation session to determine whether we are a good fit and to begin to develop a treatment plan. We do not usually start medications at the first visit. We are especially cautious about providing prescriptions for controlled substances. It is our office policy not to start or refill prescriptions for stimulants (such as Adderall or Ritalin), sedatives (such as Xanax, or Ambien) or opiate substitution medications (such as Suboxone ) at the first visit. 

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I am already on medications that work for me from another provider and I just need a refill, do I really have to go through all this?

Yes. We do review the treatment plans for every patient that we see. Sometimes we agree with the current treatment and other times we may have a different recommendation.  It is our ethical obligation to do a comprehensive evaluation of your care before we assume prescriptive authority for any medication.  If you feel you have been stable on your medication for some time and only require a doctor to provide refills, it may be that refills through a primary care physician would be more efficient and less costly for you.

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Can I set up the appointment for my child/spouse/friend?

Since PMA only treats adults, we require all potential patients to call the office and schedule their own appointments. This eliminates miscommunication and confusion about the next steps and potential scheduling snafus.

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Can I bring a family member (or friend) with me to my appointment?

We often find that adult family members can provide helpful information about your current condition. This is up to you. However, we will usually offer you an opportunity to meet with the doctor alone in case there are issues that you would prefer not to discuss in the presence of your family member. Please use discretion before bringing young children into the office. We do not have childcare available in the waiting room, and often we do discuss issues that would be best not to discuss in their presence.

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I just need some paperwork filled out (FMLA, disability forms, court ordered evaluation, letter for a service animal, etc), will you do that?

We do not feel that it is clinically ethical to prepare these types of documents on the basis of a one-time clinical evaluation. If your primary purpose in seeking a psychiatric consultation is to have disability or legal documents completed, we are not able to provide that service

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Can I meet with a psychiatrist regarding my spouse/friend/child?

Many people find it stressful to have a family member who is suffering from mental illness. We are happy to meet with patents who would like in assistance in coping with this type of stress. However, it is impossible for us to provide treatment to family member who is not willing to come for an appointment. 

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From Our Doctors

"I view my relationships with my patients as an opportunity to work collaboratively to help them live the enriched life they desire." Read More

- Ashley Bouzis, M.D., Seattle, WA

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