What are your fees?
As of January 2018, as recommended by the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia, our fees for therapy and related services are as follows:
- $190 per hour for Individual Therapy
- $210 per hour for Family and Couples Therapy
- $190 for Psychological Testing and Screening
Do you charge for report writing?
Yes. Please note that documentation prepared on your behalf, at your request, will also be billed at our hourly rate. This includes letters to schools, reports to insurance companies, etc. Should a request for a report be received from a third party directly, we can request that the third party cover the cost of reporting. Reports will NOT be written to third parties without your express written informed consent.
Are my fees covered by my insurance?
While private psychological services are not covered by MSI, they are covered under some Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and many extended health plans such as Medavie Blue Cross, Great West Life, SunLife, and Manulife.
Prior to coming to your first appointment, please contact your insurance provider and/or EAP program to inquire about your coverage for psychological services. We would be happy to issue you a receipt for insurance purposes.
Please also be advised that psychological services are tax deductible as a medical expense, and you should retain a copy of your receipt for tax filing purposes.
Do you direct bill?
Currently, we do direct bill to Medavie Blue Cross. This includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Veteran’s Affairs. The Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP), First Nations Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) and Realtor’s Assistance Program (RAP) have also agreed to cover the cost of psychological services directly.
If you are a member of any of these organizations or programs, please ask at the desk about direct billing practices. Prior to coming to your appointment, please get in touch with your employer and/or these programs directly to ensure you have your proper billing information to share with our front office. Please also feel free to discuss any concerns regarding your coverage with your psychologist directly.
Are the psychologists at your office registered?
All of our psychologists are registered with the Nova Scotia Board of Examiners of Psychology, and therefore fees charged by all of our psychologists are covered by extended health care plans and are tax-deductible as medical expenses.
How do I submit my claim for reimbursement?
Most insurance companies require that clients pay for the services up front and submit their receipts to their insurers for reimbursement. Please contact your employer directly to enquire about direct submission to your extended health care plan, or contact the Human Resources department of your organization for further details.
How many sessions will I require?
Usually multiple therapy sessions are required to treat a particular problem. The exact number of sessions will depend on the nature and severity of your presenting problem. At the end of the assessment phase of your treatment (usually after the first or second session of therapy), your psychologist will discuss your treatment plan with you, and provide an estimate of the number of sessions he/she recommends. You are encouraged to discuss the rationale for these sessions, and any questions or concerns you may have regarding the nature or duration of your treatment directly with your psychologist.
As an example, a brief cognitive behavioral therapy model for depression is usually between six and twelve sessions. A moderate course of cognitive behavioral therapy for depression is usually between twelve and eighteen sessions and a long-term cognitive therapy treatment plan for chronic and severe depression is between eighteen and twenty six sessions.
Many individuals struggle with more than one problem at a time (i.e., depression and anxiety and relationship difficulties), and therefore, in order to treat all of these conditions simultaneously, a longer course of therapy may be required. Further, some supportive therapy models are of a longer duration than twenty six sessions. Some conditions, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), may take longer to treat. On the other hand, some conditions are of a shorter duration (i.e., adjustment disorders) and may take only a few sessions for gains to be realized. Your psychologist may chose to employ a brief therapy model for the treatment of such conditions.
At the onset of therapy, is it usually advisable that sessions are booked with some continuity between sessions (i.e., every two weeks for the first six sessions). As therapy continues and gains are being realized, however, a longer duration between sessions may be more appropriate (i.e., once monthly). You are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about the costs (or ongoing feasibility) of therapy with your psychologist directly.
How am I billed for the time?
Individual therapy is traditionally booked for one hour – a 50 minute session duration with 10 minutes for file review and/or notations. However, initial individual therapy begins with an assessment session, which takes longer to complete, and are booked as a 1 ½ hour session in.
For couple and family therapy, the first appointment is booked for a two hour session, after which the couple or family can decide on 1 ½ hour or 2 hour sessions thereafter. Some couples and families prefer longer appointments, while others prefer shorter. Often when adolescent children are part of the family arrangement, a shorter duration is preferred. We are flexible in this regard, and you are encouraged to discuss the most appropriate arrangement with your psychologist directly.
What is your cancellation policy?
We require at least 24 hours notice of cancellation. For Monday appointments, please provide cancellation notice by 12:00pm on Friday.
The cost for time missed or cancelled without sufficient notice rests with you. In the case of illness, a phone session can be arranged. Fees for missed appointments must be paid in full to retain any further appointments in our schedule. The fee for missed appointments is the same as for appointments attended.
Receipts for missed appointments will indicate “Missed Appointment” and may not be covered by insurers. To note these appointments as something different, would defraud third party payers.
In case of inclement weather, we will adhere to the snow policy.
How can I cancel an appointment?
Appointments may be cancelled by phone or email. If you leave or send a message and do not receive notification from us confirming receipt of a cancellation, it means we did not receive the cancellation notice and the appointment remains your financial responsibility.
What is your snow policy?
As of January 1, 2016, the Snow Policy for Dr. Hubley Carruthers & Associates states:
If Metro Transit is running, we are OPEN.
If Dalhousie is open, we are OPEN.
If either Metro Transit or Dalhousie are closed, we will try to give the clients the option of re-booking without financial consequence.
If both Metro Transit and Dalhousie are closed, we will CLOSE the office and automatically re-book clients as per the regular schedule, trying to make allowances for them in a shorter time frame, if possible.
If both Metro Transit and Dalhousie are OPEN and clients choose not to come due to the weather, they will be charged the usual fee, as per our Informed Consent policy. There will be no exceptions.
What if I am late for an appointment?
Please call or email our office if you are going to be late and your therapist will wait for you to begin your session. Unfortunately, time lost through late arrivals cannot be made up. Your appointment will still be billed at the scheduled hour.
What is the cancellation list?
If you are looking to book an appointment during a specific day or week, and there are no available appointments, we will add your name to the cancellation list. If any appointment times do become available, we will contact you and offer you that available spot.
When we call you to offer a cancellation appointment and you do not answer the phone, we will leave a message to indicate that we have called and for you to return our call as soon as possible. We will then call the next person on the list to offer the available appointment time. Whoever returns our call first, will be booked for the available appointment.
When you are booked for a cancellation appointment, your original appointment remains in the schedule and you are still responsible for the cost of the session. If you would like to cancel your original appointment, please do so in person, via email, or on the phone with the Office Manager.