Top 10 Things You Should Know about Taking Insurance in Private Practice

Presented by Paul C. Berman, Ph.D., MPA Professional Affairs Officer and Bob Cohen, Ph.D.

October 17th, 2018 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Online via Zoom

Psychologists strive to be better and more effective clinicians, researchers, etc. We attend workshops, read journals and books, and talk with colleagues about what we can do to be a more effective therapist. 

But how many of us talk with colleagues about our overhead, our expenses, what it costs us to run our office?  How many know how much it costs to see each patient (roughly, overhead plus expenses and salaries divided by # patients per week and # weeks worked per year). 

One of the most difficult decisions facing psychologists in private practice is whether to accept insurance.  How do people make that decision? Is it financial, based on geography, area of practice, life philosophy? And, once you do make a decision – in or out-of-network – is that an all or none decision? Can you participate with some companies? Can you carve out a portion of your practice and treat that differently?  What about if you have two locations; or, work part-time in someone else’s practice and have you own part-time practice – can you be in-network in one location and out-of-network in another location.  We will also discuss some specifics of the insurance contracts, how to negotiate for increases in the contracted rate, and how to join “closed panels.” 

This workshop will start with a discussion of the Top Ten Things to Know about Insurance in practice and then expand the discussion to other interesting topics including diversifying your practice and practice development.  We will have plenty of time for Q and A because any question asked by one person is being asked by many people.  



Paul Berman, Ph.D., has a forensic private practice with his wife, Katie Killeen, in Towson, Maryland.  In addition, he has been MPA Professional Affairs Officer for 25 years and advocates for psychologists in a variety of contexts including with insurance companies, state agencies, the legislature in Annapolis, and on various multi-disciplinary committees.  He works with MPA to change law and policies which affect all psychologists in Maryland and also problem-solves individual issues with MPA members and outside agencies.

Robert Cohen, Ph.D., attended the University of Rhode Island where he received a B.A. and graduated in 1977 with a double major in psychology and speech communication with a concentration in oral interpretation of literature. He then moved to Baltimore and earned an M.A. in clinical psychology in 1981. Dr. Cohen, then decided to pursue my Ph.D. in clinical psychology and relocated to San Diego where I graduated from the United States International University in 1987. He completed an internship and a postdoctoral fellowship with a specialization with children and adolescents at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in San Diego.

 In April 1989, Dr. Cohen began his own part-time private practice in Baltimore and in Ellicott City. In July 2003, he went into full-time practice where he continues to provide psychological services including individual, family, marital, and couples therapy to a diversity of clients, including adults, adolescents, children and families. In addition, Dr. Cohen has met the State of Maryland's requirements to provide parent coordination.