What benefits are there for doing therapy in my home?
Our practice believes therapy is most sustainable and effective when your needs are met in your most natural and comfortable environment, which is typically your home and community. We also find individuals and families are more confident and independent when given the opportunity to practice in their own environments. Research supports home-based therapy can provide long-lasting outcomes and generalization outside of therapy sessions. For these reasons, Heart & Soul Speech comes to you!
What can I expect from an evaluation?
A speech or language evaluation will be given by a licensed speech-language pathologist. Testing will depend on your individual needs and goals, but may be standardized or play-based depending on age and developmental level. Case history and/or caregiver interview will also provide important information. We consider your needs, goals, and priorities before making any recommendations.
A feeding evaluation will also be given by a licensed speech-language pathologist. Testing will again depend on individual priorities and needs. A “bedside” swallowing evaluation will be given if appropriate, which assesses the individual’s ability to complete swallowing tasks. Caregiver interview and mealtime routine will also be used to develop a therapy plan. If necessary and appropriate, the SLP will coordinate with other health care professionals to meet an individual’s needs.
For all evaluations, the speech pathologist will discuss assessment/testing procedures and purpose prior to administration. The speech pathologist will review initial findings following the evaluation, but likely will deliver final recommendations in a more detailed report at a later date, typically one week from testing. The referring physician and caregivers will receive a copy of the evaluation report for their records.
What can I expect from therapy sessions?
All therapy sessions will be led by a licensed speech-language pathologist. Therapy is based on individual needs and family priorities. Our philosophy is to target needs in the most natural and comfortable environment, which is typically the patient’s home. This allows caregivers and individuals the opportunity to practice and transfer skills between various settings. We believe patient/caregiver coaching and hands-on practice will increase confidence and independence.
Research shows therapy is most effective when patients and caregivers are partners in the therapy plan. Therefore, we require a person 21 years or older be present at the time of therapy. Attendance and involvement in each session is also required.
Therapy sessions depend on individual needs; however, sessions typically last between 30-45 minutes, and may be 1-3x/week.
If I qualify for therapy, how long does treatment typically last?
The length of a single session and the duration of treatment (how many months) is determined by needs revealed at the evaluation and subsequent treatment plan. Treatment sessions are typically 30-45 minutes, 1-3x/week as needed. Duration of treatment may be months or years, depending on the number of goals and areas of need. Evaluations will be given periodically to determine growth and continued need of services.
Do you accept insurance?
At this time, Heart & Soul Speech does not accept insurance. We accept private/cash pay. We also accept payment using your Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) as therapy qualifies as a health-related expense. No Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance is accepted. We are considered out-of-network with all insurance providers. You may choose to submit your own reimbursement from your out of network benefits if you wish. Many families receive reimbursement for some or all of the therapy costs.
If you wish to submit “out-of-network” therapy for reimbursement to your insurance company, Heart & Soul Speech will provide you with an invoice for therapy that you can submit. Our invoices contain information on the therapy diagnosis, treatment codes, sessions times, fees paid, and a description of services provided. Please contact us for more information if you wish to submit out of network reimbursement.
Please call your insurance company before scheduling your first session to ask these essential questions about your out-of-network benefits:
- Does my policy cover a licensed speech-language pathologist who is out-of-network?
- My speech-language pathologist only reports session dates, CPT codes, diagnosis, and payment. Is any more information required?
- What percent of the allowed amount will you cover?
- What is my out-of-network deductible and co-payment?
- Does my policy cover charges for missed or cancelled sessions?
How to Save Money on Therapy
- Ask questions about your specific insurance plan and benefits (see above).
- Your out-of-pocket medical expenses can be reduced if your employer offers a pre-tax medical flexible spending account or if you have a health savings account (HSA).
- Ask your accountant about taking a medical tax deduction for your therapy needs.
- You may save money with an insurance plan that has a higher premium, but better benefits for out-of-network therapy. Ask about a Preferred Provider Organization or PPO.
- Talk with your local speech-language pathologist about payment options available or resources in the community to supplement your out-of-network therapy.
- Apply for a grant through the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation to cover health-related services not covered by a commercial insurance plan. Please see their website for more information or to fill out an application: https://www.uhccf.org/apply-for-a-grant/is-my-child-eligible/
Why don't you accept insurance?
- Your needs come first. Contracting with insurance companies could dictate the specific amount and type of therapy allowed. As a licensed speech-language pathologist my ethical obligations are to you, the patient. I will always advocate for what's best for you.
- Only you can determine whether your treatment is working for you. When working with private insurance companies, their employees may make a judgement about your therapy needs without ever meeting or working with you. I partner with you to create a treatment plan that is customized to your goals.
- Only you know when you are ready to end therapy. Insurance companies may limit and deny your benefits while you are still in therapy, despite recommendations of expert health care professionals. Research shows therapy is most effective when sessions are consistent and opportunities for practice in a supportive environment is provided. Frequent and unnecessary breaks in therapy should not be dictated by insurance mandates, but purposefully through the treatment plan developed together with the speech-language pathologist.
- Insurance contracts take valuable time away from your plan of care. We all want to be good stewards of our money and insurance companies often do their due diligence in ensuring healthcare dollars are spent frugally and intentionally. However, as a licensed speech-language pathologist and collaboration with a physician, I am able to report my findings as the expert without depending on private insurance approval. I can offer evidence-based treatment methods proven to be successful without insurance restriction. I have the knowledge and skills to treat patients with the highest quality care. I will not compromise care to suit insurance needs.
What is your cancellation/no-show/late policy?
- Cancellations/No Show: Please call us at least 12 hours in advance to cancel your appointment. We reserve the right to charge a $25 cancellation/no show fee if you do not give us 12 hours notice or do not show up at your scheduled visit. **Excessive missed visits may lead to discharge from services.
- Missed Appointments: If you cancel or do not attend 3 sessions in a row, services will be on hold until scheduling problems are resolved. If no contact is made for three weeks, you will be discharged from all services by written notification mailed to your address.
- Late for Appointments: If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, we reserve the right to cancel the appointment, and consider it a missed appointment (see policy for missed appointments above). If you are late for 3 or more sessions, services may be on hold until scheduling problems can be resolved.
- Clinician Cancellations: If your therapist is not able to attend your appointment, you will be contacted as soon as possible. Every effort will be made to reschedule your appointment in a timely manner.
To cancel an appointment, call or text our office at (972) 439-5351.