Does my insurance cover mental health visits at PAMF?
Coverage for psychiatric services varies by health insurance plans. Some plans have a "carve-out" for mental healthcare, meaning services are covered by a separate organization that the patient must contact directly. Call your insurance provider or check your benefits manual to confirm if mental health services are covered in this department before calling our Intake Coordinators.
Can the Intake Coordinators check my insurance benefits for me?
Due to patient privacy regulations, insurance companies no longer disclose benefits information to third parties. As a result, our Intake Coordinators are unable to call insurance companies to verify mental health coverage. It is your responsibility to verify your mental health benefits and coverage with your insurance plan.
Can I be evaluated for attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at PAMF?
We have limited resources for ADHD evaluations. Appointments for ADHD evaluations are not offered on an urgent basis.
Are weekend and evening appointments available?
No. Our regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Some providers may occasionally schedule later appointments if their schedules are flexible, but this is decided by the individual provider.
What is your direct phone number? What if my call goes to voicemail?
The direct phone number for our Intake Coordinators is (650) 853-4726. They take live calls Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm. If you get voicemail, that means they are busy talking to other people. When leaving a message, please spell your name and leave your phone number with area code, the name of the patient, the patient’s date of birth, the name of the patient’s insurance company and the mental health/substance abuse phone number from the patient’s insurance card. We call people back in the order calls are received. Please do not leave multiple messages.
Which provider has an open practice?
Individual providers' practices are usually open, but occasionally they are closed to new patients. This happens when a provider already has a full slate and could not serve new patients’ needs in a timely way. A closed practice reopens when the provider has sufficient time to take on more new patients.
My child needs neuropsychological and educational testing. Can PAMF do this?
We do not do any psychological, neurological or educational testing, but may refer you to a specialist in the community who does.
Is there a detox or chemical dependency treatment program at PAMF?
No. We do not have a detox or chemical dependency treatment program at PAMF, but we refer patients to programs in the community. We do help patients identify the level of treatment.
Do you accept Medi-Cal coverage?
No. We no longer maintain a contract with Medi-Cal to provide psychiatry and behavioral health services.
What is "mental health parity" and what diagnoses does it cover?
Parity for behavioral health benefits simply means that insurers will cover certain mental health diagnoses in the same way they cover physical medical diagnoses. "Parity-covered diagnoses" are subject to the same co-pay, out-of-pocket maximum and benefit maximum as medical coverage. Mental health parity is mandated by legislation that applies to a defined list of diagnoses. Some examples are:
|Parity Diagnoses (partial list)||Non-Parity (a few examples)|
|Schizoaffective Disorder||Personality Disorders|
|Major Depressive Disorders|
|Obsessive Compulsive Disorders|
|Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Autism|
|Severe Emotional Disturbances if Children|
What is your tax identification number?
What is the difference between types of behavioral health providers?
Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSWs) and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) have a master's degree and at least two years of training to treat a wide variety of mental health problems. A Ph.D. or Psy.D. has a doctorate in psychology, treats a wide range of mental health problems and may do diagnostic testing. A psychiatrist (M.D.) is a medical doctor who specializes in psychiatry and does mainly medication evaluations, as well as some psychotherapy.
Why don't your psychiatrists see more patients for therapy?
All of our doctors do see some patients for therapy, but this is a smaller part of their practice since most of their time is used for medication evaluations and follow-up. We have a team of highly qualified psychotherapists, including licensed clinical social workers, who do the bulk of psychotherapy and work closely with our physicians to coordinate treatment.