Frequently Asked Questions:
What is a psychiatrist?
Psychiatrists are physicians who
specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They complete
medical school and pass the same courses and licensing exams as other
physicians. As part of their evaluation of patients, psychiatrists are
one of only a few mental health professionals who may prescribe
psychiatric medications, order and
interpret laboratory tests, and may order brain imaging studies such as
MRI and CT scans.
How do I choose a psychiatrist that is right for me?
Here are some considerations.
1. Is the psychiatrist board-certified ?
Board-certification is explained below. Here is an analogy. Let's
say you are looking for a contractor to fix an electrical issue. Do
you want one that is licensed? There are many good contractors
who are not licensed. A board-certified psychiatrist is like a
contractor, there are extra steps that the person must take to prove
his/her compentency in that speciality.
2. Do you want a psychiatrist who specializes in a certain area such as
depression or one who treats "everything" ? Going back to the analogy
above: do you want a general contractor to work on your electrical
issue or would you be more comfortable with an electrician.
3. Is it important to you that the psychiatrist keeps current with
psychopharmacology by attending conferences and learning from leaders
in the psychiatric community?
4. You want a psychiatrist who genuinely has your best interest in
mind. The best way to find out is to call and see if
you can talk with the psychiatrist. You should go
with your gut instinct whether or not you think a doctor is a good fit
How often will I have to return for visits?
Assuming you will be taking medication, the medication
should be monitored more closely at the beginning to make sure you are
not experiencing uncomfortable side effects. Most of Dr. Tang's patients return for a visit once
every 1 to 3 months once they are doing well on their medication.
What is a board-certified psychiatrist?
According to the American Board of Medical Specialties: "Medical specialty certification in the United States
is a voluntary process. While medical licensure sets the minimum competency
requirements to diagnose and treat patients, it is not specialty specific.
Board certification—and the Gold Star—demonstrate a physician’s exceptional
expertise in a particular specialty and/or subspecialty of medical practice. The Gold Star signals a board certified physician’s commitment and expertise
in consistently achieving superior clinical outcomes in a responsive,
patient-focused setting. Patients, physicians, healthcare providers, insurers
and quality organizations look for the Gold Star as the best measure of a
physician’s knowledge, experience and skills to provide quality healthcare within
a given specialty."
What about payment information?
Dr. Tang is not on any insurance plan panel,
including Medicare/Medical. That being said, many of his patients have
a PPO and receive some insurance re-imbursement. Patients
pay upfront and he will provide a
"superbill" which patients submit to the insurance company for
reimbursement consideration. Many of his patients get
reimbursed 30-60% of the office visits. Please check with your
insurance company to
see what their policy is on reimbursement.
not participating on insurance panels, Dr. Tang is
able to focus on quality care as he does not believe in the
"volume-based" practice. His patients appreciate that: 1) he does not double book his schedule, 2) they are seen on time,
3)they can easily get a hold of Dr. Tang , 4) they are not rushed in-and-out of the office.
Dr. Tang is not a provider of any insurance plans because he believes:
- They often interfere with patient care issues.
- Insurance companies may share your personal psychiatric information with other organizations.
- They may dictate which medication(s) they are willing
to pay for, which may not be the best option for you, but the cheapest
option for them.
Example of cost to see Dr. Tang
If you have a PPO, you may be surprised at how small the difference is
to go out-of-network to get individualized high quality care from Dr.
Tang. Here is an example, your situation may be different.
Patient has been seeing Dr. Tang for years. He has a PPO,
met his deductible, and sees Dr. Tang every 2 months. At each
follow-up visit this patient's fee is $140. His insurance re-imburse
him 50%. Dr. Tang also does not collect any co-pays from any patients,
which for this patient is $20. Hence the difference for this
patient is $50 ($140 - $70 - $20) every 2 months to see Dr. Tang.
When he reaches his max out-of-pocket cost for the year,
his insurance reimburses him 100% for his visits to see Dr. Tang.