Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to current and prospective clients’ most frequently asked questions.

Attention Mental Health

What is Attention Mental Health?

A psychiatric private practice started by Dr. Cory Alfers in Arlington, VA with a commitment to providing quality, effective and comprehensive treatment to each client. Treatment is focused specifically on ADD and ADHD in adults, in addition to depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. Learn More...

Who is Dr. Cory Alfers?

I recently completed my residency at Georgetown.Learn More...

The 1st Appointment

How do I schedule my first appointment?

Call 703-232-1743 or fill out the contact form. We will have a 5 minute phone consultation (free of charge) to assess whether or not I would be a good fit for your needs.

When is you next available appointment?

I understand that it is important to get an appointment as soon as possible. I do my best to see new patients within one week, and at times am able to see someone on the same or next day.

What days/hours can appointments be scheduled?

Appointment days and times currently vary.  I will do my best to find a day and time that best fits your schedule.  Morning, afternoon, evening and some weekend appointments are available.  Please call to discuss the details during our initial phone consultation.

Are you currently accepting new patients?

Yes.

Please call to find out if working together is the best choice for you.

What should I do to prepare for the first appointment?

Please bring a list of all medications you are taking and any documentation (medical or otherwise) that you feel would be helpful for me to know. To use your time more efficiently, please print, read and complete the following forms and bring them with you. If you cannot, no worries, you can do it when you arrive.

Learn more about what to expect at your first appointment...

Additional Forms:

Do you accept walk-in appointments?

NO.

All appointments must be scheduled in advance.

Insurance

Do you accept insurance?

No.  For privacy considerations and to provide more personalized care, I am not a participating provider with any insurance company. If you have a PPO policy, you may be reimbursed by your insurance for a portion of the out-of-network charges. Please check with your insurance company for out-of-network coverage information. I will collect payment directly from you at the time of service and provide you with the necessary documentation needed to file your insurance claims.

What does "out-of-network" provider mean?

It means I am not a contracted provider on your insurance plan. If you would like to seek reimbursement for your visits, call your insurance to find out what your out-of-network benefits are. It is important to find out what your deductible is, and then once your deductible is met, what percent the insurance company will reimburse you for visits. Payment is expected at the time of service and any reimbursement from the insurance would be paid back to you directly.

How much will my insurance company reimburse me?

If you do not have your insurance booklet and cannot get one from the personnel office at work or the insurance company, your best bet is to call the insurance company and ask the following questions:

  • What is my yearly deductible for outpatient mental health?
  • What is my yearly maximum for outpatient mental health visits?
  • What is my deductible and co-payment for an out-of-plan provider?
  • Does parity apply to me if I see Dr. Alfers and if my condition is ______________?
  • How much will you reimburse for billing code ______________?

Types of Psychiatric Visits (service codes):

  • 90801 Initial Psychiatric Evaluation (1-2 hours)
  • 90807 50-minute therapy and medication management (MDs/DOs only)
  • 90806 50-minute therapy session
  • 90805 25-minute therapy and medical management (MDs/DOs only)
  • 90862 25-min medication management only (MDs/DOs only)

What do I do with my superbill in order to get reimbursed from my insurance company?

To make sure everything is completely accurate, call your health insurance company prior to submitting your first claim and tell them you are about to send in your health insurance claim form. Review all the paperwork you have with them and ask if there is anything else you need. Also, ask your insurance company how long should you expect to wait for your claim to be paid and mark that date on your calendar. Once you have everything in order, send out the claim form to your insurance company. The address to send the claim form should be on the claim form itself. Keep an eye out on your calendar for the claim date that you marked and contact your insurance company if you don't receive your claim within the time frame given to you.

Here is how to submit a claim to your insurance company:

  1. Once you receive your ‘superbill’, check it for accuracy (make sure the dates/times of your visit and the amounts you paid are correct). I strongly encourage you to send a copy of your insurance card, front and back with the claim. It is always better to give more information, rather than less.
  2. If your insurance company requires you to mail in an original copy of their own insurance forms, fill in that form, sign it, and then attach our superbill.
  3. Otherwise, just mail in the superbill to your insurance company. Make sure your insurance company's address is current. If in doubt, call them.
  4. Keep a copy of the superbill and any other documentation you submit. Make sure you receive a response for each claim mailed in. Your insurance company may respond to you within two to six weeks.
  5. If you have not received a response after 6 weeks, CALL your insurance company to make sure they received the claim. This is very important!

***Be aware that should you choose to submit a superbill, you are releasing medical information that is protected by law. This means you are waiving some of your rights to privacy and confidentiality. Your insurance company will have and keep a record of your diagnosis as part of your permanent medical file. These files can be used by insurance companies to set your rates and to allow or disallow further treatment.

What is a "superbill"?

A ‘superbill’ will be prepared for each office visit once payment is received. The ‘superbill’ will contain the following elements:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Doctor’s name
  • Doctor’s address
  • Doctor's license number, NPI number, tax ID number
  • Your diagnosis code
  • The treatment(s) rendered to you
  • The cost of the treatment
  • The amount you paid
  • Doctor’s signature

Payments/Fees

How much does each appointment cost?

Please inquire about my current rates during our initial phone consultation.

What are the payment options?

  • Cash or Check can be accepted in person at the time of your appointment.
  • Major Credit Cards are accepted using Paypal. An invoice will be emailed to you on the date of your appointment with a link to pay online.
Please note, payments are due at the time of service.  You will not receive a superbill until you have paid in full.

Are there fees for telephone calls?

Scheduled or non-emergent calls requiring more than 5 minutes will be billed at the same rate as office visits.

Forms

Where can I find the Attention Mental Health Forms?

Treatment

How often will I have to return for visits?

In general, treatment often requires closer monitoring at the beginning or when symptoms are worse, and less when symptoms are better or stabilized. Nevertheless, treatment is tailored to the needs of each individual, and thus varies greatly in length and frequency of appointments.

Is medication a substitute for therapy?

In many cases a combination of medication and therapy is the best treatment. Therapy can help address thought and behavior patterns that limit progress.

Follow-Up Appointments

What happens if I arrive late to an appointment?

If you arrive late for an appointment, you will be seen for the remaining time and charged for the full session as scheduled.

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellations require 48 hour advanced notice.  Cancellations with less than 48 hours notice will be charged for the cost of the missed session. If you need to cancel or reschedule please contact me and I will do my best to find a time that best fits your schedule.

Prescription Refills

What if I run out of medications before my appointment?

Office visits are required for all new prescriptions. You are responsible for keeping track of remaining refills and scheduling appointments accordingly. Medication changes generally require appointments so they can be adequately considered, explained, and discussed.

A prescription will be written at the time of your appointment to cover your needs until your next appointment. There should be no need for additional refills if you keep scheduled appointments or reschedule promptly.

How are prescriptions for controlled substances different?

Controlled substances (Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, etc.) cannot be refilled by phone and will not be rewritten except during an appointment.

Labs

Where can I get labs done?

  • Virginia Hospital Center Outpatient Lab: (703) 558.6489
  • Outpatient Lab for Georgetown: (202) 444-3588
  • Quest Diagnostics: (301) 621-6900
  • Lab Corp: (703) 742-3100
  • Georgetown Diagnostic Sleep Lab and EEG: (202) 444-3600

Emergencies

What do I do if there is an emergency?

If you experience an emergency, call Dr. Alfers immediately at 703-232-1743.  If he is not available to talk with you, especially after hours and on weekends, leave a detailed message and call 911 or go directly to the nearest emergency room.

Confidentiality

Is treatment confidential?

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between doctors and patients. No information is disclosed without prior written permission. However, there are some exceptions to this rule that are required by law. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse, dependent adult, or elder abuse. The provider is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a patient is threatening serious bodily harm to another person. The provider is required to notify the police.
  • If a patient intends to harm himself or herself. The provider will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.

Contact Information

Office

703-232-1743

Email

At your first visit, we will discuss email communication guidelines and you will be asked to sign the E-mail Consent/Alternative Communications Form. If you agree, a functional inbound email address will be provided. In general, communication over email for scheduling and administrative purposes is strongly encouraged. Due to privacy concerns and to lessen the chance of any communication errors, please contact me via phone for any treatment-related or urgent matters.  For any emails received, not related to scheduling, only a confirmation of receipt will be sent in response.

Fax

703-552-3210

Find answers to more questions about services offered by Dr. Alfers at Attention Mental Health.