How do we determine our fees for services?
We like to be transparent in how we determine the cost for our services. What clients get in an equine session is much more than a typical traditional counseling session:
- The experiential aspect of equine assisted psychotherapy and our partnership with the Holy Spirit in each session brings up insights and deep wounds that may otherwise take months or years to come up in traditional counseling. It also allows clients to practice change and healing patterns in the moment, with a nonjudgmental partner and so they can learn and grow much more quickly than through discussion alone. This makes equine work much faster and more effective for many clients than traditional therapy. What might take them years to overcome could take only a few months here. At Take Heart, we typically see dramatic changes and insights happening in under 6 sessions - often in the first or second session. Deeper changes and healing are happening typically between 12-16 sessions. Complex or lifelong trauma can take longer; we want every client to take the time that it takes and we give these numbers not to make any promises or guarantees, but to demonstrate the typical efficiency of this work.
- Horses are expensive. Our overhead costs to offer this service are extremely high: not only in hay and horse care, but facility upkeep, insurance and practice management with this unique kind of work as well. Of course it is worth every penny! But our overhead costs are much higher than a traditional office practice.
- Our minimum session length is a full hour; many traditional practices offer only 45-50 minute sessions.
- We have done a lot of research to determine pricing compared to other practices in our area, in hopes of offering affordable and accessible services. Our prices are average for traditional counseling in our area, and low for typical equine assisted work.
Why don't you directly accept insurance?
Most people agree that our health insurance system is in some ways very broken. In the area of mental health, this is often the case. We have decided to not directly work with insurance because it is actually beneficial for our clients in several ways:
- Insurance companies require a diagnosis of the client. At Take Heart we believe that a diagnosis can be helpful at times to help clients understand their symptoms, however more often clients take diagnoses as labels on their identity and it can make things worse for them. We choose to not officially diagnose clients unless it would help them to receive specific services related to their diagnosis. Rather, we focus on managing and overcoming the symptoms the client is experiencing, as well as addressing the root cause of those symptoms.
- Insurance companies do not typically cover our needed costs to provide our services. Many companies reimburse therapists at a low rate and given our high expenses, we cannot operate at the typical rates offered without charging the client the rest of the fee to cover what we need. Often, this is a hassle for both client and therapist and causes more frustration.
- Billing insurance can be a lot of work behind the scenes. There are a lot of forms to fill out, long waits on the phone, and hoops to jump through. There is also a long process (6 months+ is not uncommon) of becoming "credentialed" with each insurance company before they will even consider covering services. Because we are a small practice, we do not have office staff, so the work of billing falls directly on our counselors. If we did this on a regular basis, we would need to increase our rates just to cover our time spent doing the work of billing.
At Take Heart we believe counseling is an investment in your mental and emotional well-being, and we invest a lot of time, energy, and preparation to provide clients with the best care possible. We also set limits on how many clients we see each week to protect our horses and staff from burnout. There is no insurance billing service provided at this time, but receipts are available upon request. These receipts or “superbills” can be submitted to your insurance for reimbursement for out-of-network therapy. Your counselor is willing to work with you to access additional payment sources. Additionally, please talk to your counselor if you are not able to afford or get help to pay for these sessions, as other options may be available for you. We are working on implementing a scholarship with our Partnership Program for clients with financial needs.
The following policies are to be observed:
- Payment due at time of service (every session unless other arrangements are agreed upon in advance), regardless of whether or not the client intends to submit a claim to their insurance for reimbursement.
- Full payment is expected for an appointment not cancelled within twenty-four hours of your scheduled time slot (exceptions are made for emergencies), unless you are able to reschedule in the same week.
- Following two consecutive cancellations, inconsistent attendance and/or non-payment of fees, your status as a client will be evaluated.
- Any fees incurred due to bad checks will be the responsibility of the client. The fee is $25 per check, subject to change depending on bank fee.
Visit our Partnership Program page to learn more about how you can provide assistance to people in need of services.
We encourage our clients to pursue all possible avenues for financial assistance when needed. If you are part of a church or other religious community, they may be able to help. Reach out to them and let them be a support for you. Even extended family members of clients have been a support in the past.