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Becoming a Patient

Handling a mental health condition is challenging, and getting care for it can be even more difficult. At ColumbiaDoctors, our goal is to help make your journey to getting the help you need as easy as possible. Whether you are looking for an individual therapist or psychiatrist, a consultation, or one of our specialized services, we will help you understand your options to get the care you need and deserve. 

This guide covers the basics of how to get care with us. Our goal is to help you understand your options and get you the help you need and deserve.

1. Make an appointment by calling 212-305-6001.

Our intake specialists are knowledgeable, sensitive, and responsive. They will ask you some basic questions about what is troubling you and your past treatment to help provide you with options within our system that can help. You do not need a referral to meet with our psychiatrists and therapists. You do not need to know your diagnosis or even exactly what help you need to call. We will work to find the right provider to meet your needs. If we do not feel your problems are best treated by us, our specialists will provide you with other local options that may be a better fit.  

2. Check your insurance.

We accept a limited range of insurance plans (listed below). If we do not directly accept your insurance, you can still see a Columbia psychiatrist or therapist by using your “Out of Network” benefits. Many commercial insurance plans will cover Out of Network services after meeting your deductible, allowing you to get the very best care for a more affordable price. If you have further questions after reviewing your insurance company’s Out of Network benefits, please call our billing specialists at 212-305-2600. 

Insurance accepted

  • United Health Care (Columbia University employees only)
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (New York Presbyterian Hospital employees only)
  • Aetna Student Health 

3. Prepare for your first visit.

The intake specialist will provide the time and location of your first appointment. Be sure to plan your visit and allow time for traffic and parking appropriate to the location. 

Please bring any prior treatment records, discharge summaries, lab results, and medical records you have to your first appointment. If you have a loved one that you would like to be involved with your care, feel free to bring that person with you. 

In addition, all patients joining our practice must fill out the following forms. You can arrive early and fill these out, or you can fill them out in advance.

Click here for additional travel and parking information

4. Meet your provider.

We know that first appointments can be anxiety provoking, and our entire team from the front desk staff to the psychiatrists and therapists will work to put you at ease as you enter into our care. Our providers are empathic listeners trained in the latest advances in psychiatry and psychology. They will listen to what is troubling you and offer you their sense of what is going on and how best to move forward. From there, our providers will serve as your guide as you progress towards your goals. 

5. Let us help you along the way.

The work of change can be challenging, and we are here to help you along the way to improve your total health. If your needs evolve as life changes, we will work with you to ensure that you are always getting the very best care. Your provider may recommend a consultation with another expert in our department or a medical evaluation at ColumbiaDoctors to ensure your physical health is well-managed. We also have resources for caregivers, including in-person support groups. 

Finally, please let us know if you are facing challenges along the way.  Please contact your provider or your intake specialist, and they will help get you the resources you need.  If you have a billing or insurance claims issue please call our billing office at 212-305-2600.  We want to make your experience as seamless as possible.