Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?
A Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) with specialized training in Psychiatry and Mental Health. A PMHNP-BC received graduate education and clinical training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychiatric and mental health disorders and obtained a national board certification. Working independently and collaboratively with other health professionals, PMHNP’s provide a full range of psychiatric and mental health services. This includes, but is not limited to, diagnosing psychiatric and mental health disorders, prescribing medications to treat psychiatric and mental health disorders, and providing psychotherapy and patient education.
How are you different than other psychiatric providers?
Nurse practitioners emphasize the health and well-being of the whole person. We view you as an entire person and an integral part of your treatment, not just a condition or disorder. All choices and experiences in life affect our mental health and we believe that treatment planning must address more than just medication. Together, we will develop a treatment plan that will work best for you. We encourage many of our patients to seek individual or group therapy and can make referrals if needed. We work closely with therapists and other health professionals to coordinate care so that you may achieve the best results.
What conditions do you treat?
We treat a wide-range of psychiatric and mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder.
At this time, we are not accepting new patients with ADHD who require stimulant medication.
Can you prescribe medication? Are there limitations to your practice?
Yes, we can prescribe medication.
However, in the state of Texas, nurse practitioners cannot prescribe Schedule II drugs, which includes many medications used to treat ADHD (like Adderall or Vyvanse). Our practice does not currently offer prescriptions for these medications.
Though we are authorized to prescribe other controlled substances such as benzodiazepines (like Ativan, Klonopin, and Xanax), we recognize the potential risk for physiological dependence with such medications. Therefore, as a matter of ethical practice, we do not prescribe these medications for long term use. If you are currently taking these medications and wish to stop, we can work with you to safely discontinue their use over a period of time. If a customized, longterm taper is needed for any medication (including benzodiazepines and antidepressants), we have partnered with a local compounding pharmacy to offer that.
In the state of Texas, nurse practitioners are required to have a delegation agreement with a physician. We have such an agreement with a local psychiatrist with whom we meet for monthly meetings to review cases and prescribing practices.
How can I afford your services without using insurance?
The largest expense will usually be during the first 3 months of treatment. During that time, medications will be adjusted and we will be refining your treatment plan. Generally, you'll need an office visit every 2-3 weeks during this time to ensure that treatment is working. Once medications are stabilized, visits will be more spaced out. Eventually you'll need only quarterly visits to follow up on how you are doing and to get medication refills.
You may have out-of-network mental health insurance benefits, which will cover a percentage of your costs. Contact your insurance company to find out. We can provide you with a "superbill" that you may submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Meredith is in-network with Blue Cross, Humana, Aetna, Cigna, SIMS, Optum/United. Josh accepts ComPsych, Lyra and SIMS. A limited number of sliding scale appointments may be available with Josh. Please contact him for more information.