Bethany Johnson, LCSW works collaboratively with physicians and clients to reduce risks, optimize strengths, and identify individualized plans to address unique needs to improve surgical/treatment outcomes and quality of life.
Preoperative Mental Health Assessments currently offered:
Upon meeting with your medical provider you will be given a list of pre-authorization requirements of the surgical program. Often these requirements are a list of tests and health screenings that must be completed with results submitted to health insurance companies for prior authorizations.
Psychological Assessment may be one of those requirements.
Scheduling those assessments is generally your responsibility, and can take several weeks to get scheduled, and additional time for the appointment to take place.
A total of 90 minutes is scheduled for the assessment, approx. 30 minutes for registration and completion of assessment tools, and 60 minutes for assessment interview.
Upon your arrival to the office you will be asked to send a message to the provider to check-in for your appointment.
You will be given time to complete general registration paperwork as well as asked to complete a number of assessment tools.
It is vital that you take your time to consider and complete all of the questionnaires to provide a complete perspective of your perception of yourself, insight into your overall mental health, and provide specific feedback utilized in the planning process.
Following the completion of registration paperwork and necessary assessment tools, you will be guided into the private office of Bethany Johnson, LCSW to complete the assessment interview. During this interview you will be asked questions about your mental and physical health, history of issues which you hope to address with specialized treatment, historical information regarding substance use, trauma/aversive experiences, current and past coping techniques, and specific or potential needs for post-operative plan. Additionally, Bethany will provide psychoeducation regarding risks associated with surgery and its relation to mental health.
At the conclusion of the interview you will be given opportunity to ask any questions or express your concerns regarding surgery. Additionally, you may be given further recommendations for treatment, post-treatment planning, and/or continued therapy. These same recommendations will be communicated with the referring provider.
Most pre-authorization assessments require a letter to be provided to the referring physician to be included with pre-authorization requests to insurance companies or as a requirement of physician approval.
Psychological/Mental Health assessments generally do not determine if you will be granted access or approval for a specific procedure. This is between you, your physician, and your health insurance company.
In many cases, the requirement for mental health assessment is primarily to identify specific needs or risk factors that could impact outcomes following surgery. A mental health assessment allows for a trained mental health professional to identify underlying issues which could slow recovery or impact well-being. However, identified risk factors or underlying issues does NOT mean you will be rejected or not be given access to the surgery, it allows your provider to identify potential solutions to reduce risk and improve recovery outcomes.
Often clients/patients are referred for reassessment as most mental health assessments do not assess for the unique risk specific to the surgery you are pursuing. Additionally, typically insurance companies or additional surgeries may require a mental health assessment within a specific time frame for each surgical procedure to identify new risks or changes in individual needs to put into consideration to improve outcomes.
1 in 4 or 25% of Americans have been or will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their life, or experience mental health symptoms which impact their functioning. Diagnosis of a mental health condition does not generally impact ability to have surgery, and in some cases documentation of diagnosis or symptomatology may provide evidence of a surgery being medically necessary treatment for your condition.
Often times recommendations for continued or follow up mental health treatment are discussed during assessment, prior to sending a referral letter. Recommendations made are based upon you [the clients] self-identified needs, best practices, and clinical evidence-based treatment guidelines.
Bethany takes a person-centered and motivational change approach, meaning a clients are to some degree the expert on themselves, their needs, and their strengths; this approach allows for the clinician to take into consideration the client's autonomy in making decisions about their own health. Ultimately, recommendations are not compulsory and treatment recommendations can be negotiated with medical treatment providers.
Firstly, I commend you in your decision to continue in therapy and mental health treatment, doing so takes a great deal of courage.
Secondly, please know, I am not offended by your desire to seek treatment with another provider. Building therapeutic rapport is a deeply personal endeavor and your comfort and connection is vital in the therapeutic process and I do not take that personally.
Lastly, I am more than happy to help you navigate the process in identifying alternative therapist who may better suit your needs and preferences.