How are psychiatric visits covered by Medicare?

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From what I have read, the initial consultation is covered. Is that right? My loved one has Medicare all parts and a BCBS supplemental. She was referred by her Primary and needs it due to physical and mental symptoms. Just want to figure out what if any out of pocket costs, she can expect.

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I appreciate all the input. It does help. I always try to respond when others take time to post answers on my thread. I think it's odd how some people post a serious question, they get lots of responses and then they never come back and give any indication that they read it or give an update as to what has happened. That perplexes me.
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Excellent answers, Heanne and Babalou!
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Medicare does cover psy visits and what they don't cover then send to the supplemental ins. I know this for a fact, having lived and now doing it.
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Sunnygirl,
Now I understand.
In a perfect world, trusting one excellent doctor and having a real doctor patient relationship with someone who knows you over a long period of time would be ideal. I even benefitted from that long ago.
When it comes to the care of a loved one, it is even harder to manage.
Here is my advice:
Follow the yellow brick road (once set on a path by someone you trust);
until you reach the end and find your way home again. This may reveal you had the right answers all along. But only after a trial and error of the medications.

Ever had surgery? Or emergency surgery? Did you meet and trust the surgeon and the anesthesiologist? Or, were you asleep? Lol.

Or here's an often used anology: A person breaks a leg. The doctor applies a cast, prescribes rest, and pain medication. He/she does not ask you to walk on it right away or go to physical therapy right away. You have to wait for the bone to heal.

The same with the psychiatrist.who prescribes medication-sometimes they won't spend 10 minutes talking to a psychotic, paranoid untrusting person, until the medication takes effect.. (Not to say this is what your mom has).
This is a process of getting better. The treatment takes longer than most.

As with any doctor-patient relationship, or any interaction between two human beings-accept NO abuse, call them on it, ask questions.
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Well said. I never thought we would get to this point. Thinking positive thoughts....
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Sunny, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. right now your mom is "awfulizing" what this interview is going to be like. just get her to the first appoointment and let the professionals take over!
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I see. I guess that I'm just wondering if the psychiatrist can get the magnitude of the problem, diagnose her conditions (Anxiety, panic, depression, OCD) and gain my mom's trust so quickly. We're talking over 25 years of illnesses. Then she refers her to a therapist? I can't see my mom being very accepting or getting on board with another new person to discuss her personal details with. My mom is 75.

Oh well.....at some point, you have to just do what the doctor says and let the cards fall where they may. I can't make this happen perfectly. I'll do the best that I can and that's all I can do. She is responsible for herself at this point. I believe the doctor will ask for my input. (She did with my dad.) I'll say my piece then.
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Sunnygirl,
What are you concerned about? Do you know?
I hope that my explanation about how Medicare pays did not cause doubt.

To clarify with the specialty, M.D. Psychiatrist
If you break a bone, go to a specialist-Orthopeic M.D.
If you are a child, see a pediatrician.
If your pcp=primary care phycician refers to a psychiatrist, see an M.D., psychiatrist, who specializes with diagnosis and medications.
The psychiatrist may refer to another specialist for talk therapy: A Phd., a PsyD.- called psychologists; an MSW, a social worker, or another specialty for "therapy".
all offering "therapy", or talk therapy if you will.

Some M.D. psychiatrists will also offer therapy, but that happens less in today's medical profession.

The pre-interview with a psych-nurse is valuable to save the M.D.' s time.
However, it is the specialist M.D. psychiatrist who needs to interact and see the patient initially imo. Often, a diagnosis can be made in the first visit, or within the first 3 visits.
There is nothing wrong by being followed by your pcp (medical doctor) for medication refills, but who has no time for talk therapy. But be sure to follow-up with the psychiatrist 1-2 times per year for when the medication needs change-as they often do.
It is your choice, you are making the right decisions for your loved one.

BTW, My (now ex) husband and siblings HATED any M.D. that I went to, and ANY medication that was prescribed, until I was getting better, they just had to be ignored. Apparently, getting help was interferring with the f.o.g. process of a dysfunctional family.
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Sunnygirl1, what were your expectations? I have a brother who sees a different psychiatrist and it goes pretty much the same as my experience.
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Babalou, yes, the talk therapy is with a qualified talk therapist! The hourly rate is much less. It is not something psychiatrists are really trained for.

Not everybody who needs anti-anxiety or antidepressant meds also needs talk therapy but it is common. I insisted on talk therapy many years ago before I'd try drugs. After a couple of sessions the therapist said, "You are coping well with a difficult situation. What you need is a drug. Your menopausal hormones have your chemicals all out of wack. Get a prescription!" My husband needed an antidepressant because of a head injury. He did not also need talk therapy. Many patients with dementia may not be good candidates for talk. But in general psychiatrists consider whether it might be helpful and recommend accordingly.
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