Becoming a Patient
Managing 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 get the care you need and deserve. This guide covers the basics of how to get care with us. Here is how we can help.
1. Call 212-305-6001 or submit our online form.
Our intake specialists are knowledgeable, sensitive, and responsive. They respond to everyone who contacts us within 1-2 business days. Our specialists will ask you some basic questions about what is troubling you and your past treatment in order to help provide you with options within our system that can help. You are also welcome to search our providers to find a good fit for you. You do not need to know your diagnosis or even exactly what help you need to call. You do not need a referral to meet with our psychiatrists and therapists. 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 intake specialists will direct you to where you can find the services you need.
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. You can also use pre-tax FSA and HSA funds to help pay for your care. If you have further questions when submitting to your insurance company for Out of Network benefits, please call our billing specialists at 212-305-2600.
Insurances accepted for individual therapy and psychiatry:
- Columbia University employees’ United Health Care Plan
- New York Presbyterian Hospital's Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
Insurances accepted for Columbia Day Program and Lieber Recovery Clinic:
- NYU Consolidated
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.
- New Patient Intake Packet
- Authorization to Release Medical Information to Columbia Psychiatry
- Request Columbia Medical Records
- Request for Unencrypted Email
- Notice of Privacy Practices (English / Spanish)
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 if appropriate to make sure you are getting the best care possible. 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.