Schedule an appointment today: (619) 528-4600 | For hearing or speech impaired, please dial 711

Services

PCSD offers a large variety of areas of expertise and treatment modalities which enables us to provide comprehensive care to our patients.   Our clinicians have expertise and interests in many areas of psychiatry and psychotherapy.

To learn more about the variety of services we provide, please click on the topic of interest.

Clinical Services
Group Therapy
Hospitals
Insurance / Billing
Managed Care / Utilization Management
Medical Records
Autism
TMS/Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Patient Education
Quality Management and Improvement
PCSD Clinician Education
Clinical Services

CLINICAL SERVICES

PCSD provides care in all  clinical settings in order to provide our patients with services tailored to their needs and to ensure a continuum of care.  Services are available in Child and Adolescent, Adult, and Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

Please click here to view PCSD’s Directory
Please click here to view our Office Locations

Our clinicians have expertise and interests in many areas of psychiatry and psychotherapy.  The following list reflects the variety of services we have available for our patients. You can also view a list of our providers specialties/areas of practice by clicking here

 

Clinical Psychopharmacology (Medication Management)

Brief, focus oriented psychotherapy

Individual Therapy

Family Therapy

Couples/Marital Therapy

Group Therapy

Chemical Dependency Services

EEG Biofeedback

Psychological Testing

Telepsychiatry

Outpatient Care

Inpatient Care

Partial Hospitalization Care

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Therapy

Group Therapy

GROUP THERAPY

Group Therapy is a very effective treatment approach.  Studies have shown equal success between individual therapy and group therapy.  In fact, there are many advantages and opportunities in group therapy that are not available with individual therapy.

Group Therapy provides patients with a setting where they can share similar concerns with others.  With this safe and supportive environment, patients feel acceptance, caring, and empathy.  Patients can learn from each other’s experience and provide possible solutions to problems.

Group Therapy gives patients the opportunity to practice communication and coping skills, as well as self-disclosure and new behavior.

Lastly, Group Therapy is a positive occasion for trust, cooperation, and involvement with others.

For a complete list of our current Group Therapy offerings, click here

*Please call the office number listed to confirm this group availability.

Hospitals

HOSPITALS

PCSD psychiatrists practice at most psychiatric hospitals in San Diego County.  Although most of the care provided by PCSD is in the outpatient setting, inpatient care is sometimes necessary.  Our clinicians have a strong and longstanding relationship with hospitals in the area.

PCSD’s contribution to high quality inpatient care is marked both by our clinician’s dedication to our patients as well as through medical directorship and clinical directorship administrative positions where PCSD clinicians have the opportunity to provide leadership in the constantly evolving field of inpatient psychiatry.

For further information on the hospitals where we provide care, please click on the hospital’s name (for those facilities where a website is available).

 

If you need assistance with inpatient, partial hospital or intensive outpatient care, please contact the UM Department at 619-528-4600 extension 6110.

Insurance / Billing

INSURANCE/BILLING

Here you will find information on how to contact us for billing inquiries, the insurance plans we work with, and our insurance company affiliations.  For additional information on a specific insurance company, you may click on the company name below to reach their website (if available).

BILLING INQUIRIES

PCSD – Patient Business Services & Billing Inquiries:

PCSD Patient Business Services
P.O. Box 609001
San Diego, CA 92160
(619) 528-4600  Option 3

 

INSURANCE PLANS

PCSD gladly accepts most insurance plans and will complete billing to the patient’s insurance company.  PCSD asks the patient to provide us with the information regarding their insurance, including insurance card copies, subscriber’s name, identification number, and group number, if applicable.  The patient is required to pay their copayment  or a minimum payment at the time of service to be applied to their deductible or cost-share until the insurance processes the claim.

  • PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) Plans:  PCSD providers are preferred providers for many PPO networks and will accept the negotiated rate for services provided.  The patient is required to pay any cost-shares and deductibles as defined by their insurance policy.  Many PPO networks require prior authorization to access mental health services; therefore you may wish to contact your insurance for pre-authorization prior to scheduling an appointment.
  • HMO (Health Maintenance Organizations) Plans:  PCSD providers are affiliated with many HMO networks through association with the patient’s primary care physician.  A primary physician referral is required to access mental health services and the patient is required to pay a co-payment at the time of service.
  • Medicare:  PCSD’s physicians, psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers are participating providers in the Medicare program.  PCSD will file the patient’s Medicare claim, as well as Medicare Supplemental Insurance claims.  The patient is responsible for any deductibles and share-of-cost portion of the service.

 

INSURANCE COMPANY AFFILIATIONS

PCSD clinicians are affiliated with many insurance companies, indemnity as well as PPO and HMO networks.  It is recommended that patients call PCSD or their insurance company for a listing of provider panel status.  Here is a partial listing of affiliated insurance companies:

 

AetnaHealth NetHumana
Blue CrossIntegrated Behavioral HealthOptum Health
 Blue ShieldLife SynchSecure Horizons
 Great West Mercy Physicians Medical GroupCigna
Champus (Tricare)MagellanSharp Health Plan
Managed Health Network   United Behavioral Health   
   
   

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

I received a bill for a visit to a PCSD clinician.  If I have questions, whom may I contact?

You may contact the PCSD Billing Department at (619) 528-4600.  The billing department is available to assist you during regular business hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Why is my co-payment different from what I pay my Primary Care Doctor?

Mental Health benefits are different than medical benefits and most insurance plans require a higher co-payment when mental health services are accessed.  PCSD will be happy to assist the patient in verifying their cost-share.

What will my insurance pay?

Insurance plans vary on the mental health benefits that are offered.  In addition to benefit limitations, many health plans require prior authorization for mental health services.  It is recommended that patients contact their insurance company for specific information regarding plan benefits and authorization procedures.

Why does Medicare pay my psychiatrist less than my other doctors?

Medicare co-insurance for outpatient mental health services is 50% of the Medicare allowable fee.  Co-insurance for Hospital services is 20% of the Medicare allowable.  Many Medicare Supplemental insurances cover the patient’s deductible and co-insurance.

Where should I send my payments?

Please mail your payments to:

PCSD Business Services
P.O. Box 609001
San Diego, CA  92160

NOTE:  You may also bring your payment to any one of the ten PCSD office locations.

Who can answer my insurance questions?

You may contact PCSD’s Billing Department at (619) 528-4600.  A Patient Representative will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Managed Care / Utilization Management

MANAGED CARE

Michael E. McManus, M.D., Utilization Management Director


PCSD is a major force in the managed care field. PCSD has a commitment to the highest level of care and our wide geographic distribution, currently with 10 offices in San Diego County, has allowed us to have PCSD numerous managed care contracts with many of the major medical groups.

PCSD has established a comprehensive in-house program of quality assurance and utilization management. 

PCSD fully complies with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) written guidelines.

PCSD’s Utilization Management Program covers the following:  Procedures to evaluate access, triage, and referral; medical necessity, appropriateness, and efficiency of health care services, level of care and effectiveness, and processes to detect under-as well as over-utilization of services.

To view the entire UM Plan, click here:  UM PLAN

Data sources and Medical Necessity/Utilization Review Criteria used in decision-making.

Review, revise, adopt, Clinical Practice Guidelines annually with input from PCSD’s clinicians

Ensure distribution and implementation of the Clinical Practice Guidelines to PCSD’s clinicians

The process of conducting appeals of adverse Utilization Review determinations

Mechanisms to ensure consistent application of review criteria and compatible decisions

Provisions for assuring confidentiality of clinical information

The processes in place to periodically assess Utilization Review activities

The staff position functionally responsible for day-to-day Program management

Processes in place to review all requests for new Clinical Technologies and new application of existing Clinical Technologies

 

If you need assistance with:

  • Inpatient care
  • Partial hospital care
  • Intensive outpatient care
  • Sub-specialty care
  • How to obtain care or coverage for out of area
  • Or, how to appeal an UM decision

Please contact the UM Department at 619-528-4600 extension 6110.

If you have a question regarding the processing of your claim, please contact 619-528-4600 ext. 6404 for assistance.

 

Affirmative Statement
PCSD clinicians do not receive incentives nor do they have knowledge of incentives being given to reward inappropriate restriction of care.

  • UM decision making is based only on appropriateness of care and service and existence of coverage.

  • PCSD does not specifically reward practitioners or other individuals for issuing denials of coverage or service care.

  • Financial incentives for UM decision makers do not encourage decisions that result in under utilization.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

What is a Co-payment?

A co-payment is a patient cost share.  Co-payments are determined by the insurance carrier and are paid at the time of service.

What is a Cost-Share?

A cost-share is the amount for which the patient is responsible after the insurance company processes the insurance claim.  The cost-share includes co-insurance responsibility and deductibles.

What is a carve-out?

Mental health benefits are sometime administered by behavioral health management companies and not the medical insurance company.  The carve-out management organization will provide the patient with a referral to a network provider and authorize their treatment.  PCSD clinicians are affiliated with many of these behavioral health organizations.

Do I need to obtain a referral to see a psychiatrist or therapist?

Yes, if your insurance is through an HMO or a managed care organization, mental health services need to be authorized by the insurance company or your primary care physician.  If you are referred directly by your insurance company, you may or may not need a referral or authorization.  It is always best to check with your insurance carrier.

How do I obtain a referral?

You may obtain a referral during a visit with your primary care physician OR you may call your insurance plan directly at the phone number they have provided you for this purpose.  You can then call PCSD at (619) 528-4600 to make the actual appointment.

Will my referral be mailed directly to PCSD?

Yes, your referral will be mailed directly to PCSD, however, you will also receive a copy.  It is important to bring any information your insurance company sends with you to your appointment at PCSD.

What are the hours for the Managed Care Department?

PCSD’s regular business hours for Administration and Billing are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Is there a time limit on my referral?

Referrals and authorizations have time limits determined by the insurance company.  Most referrals are valid for 60 to 90 days.  This information will be shown on the referral you receive.

Medical Records

How to Request Your Medical Records

Information about you and your health is confidential. In order to ensure confidentiality, we require the Authorization for Use and Disclosure Form be completed for all medical record requests.

To request records, please download, print out and complete the authorization form below. You can mail the document, fax it, or drop it off at any of our 10 office locations.

*Please Note: There may be a charge associated with receiving copies of medical records. 

Authorization for Use and Disclosure Form


Incomplete/incorrect authorizations can delay the release of records. If you have any questions about how to complete the authorization, please contact any of our 10 office locations or Medical Records at 619-528-4600 ext. 6516.

Autism

PCSD AUTISM PROGRAM

PCSD’s Autism Program

1550 Hotel Circle North

Suites 200 and 400

San Diego, CA  92108

(619) 814-6494


Our Mission Statement: To provide the highest quality of services in San Diego  through a diverse repertoire of applied behavior analytic strategies to clients and their families using the most technologically systematic and valid methods that facilitate meaningful outcomes across all environments while ensuring an honest and respectful relationship.


The PCSD Autism Program provides services in the home, as well as in the office, to patients and their families throughout San Diego County.

Our dedicated team of professionals include:

BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst)

BCaBA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst)

RBT (Registered Behavior Technician)


Types of services we offer:

Assessment and Overview

One on One Direct Services

Case Management

Parent Training

Supervision 

Social Skills Groups (click here for groups currently offered)

SUMMER Social Skills Groups (click here for groups currently offered)

 


 

PCSD Autism program is built on a multifaceted approach that utilizes various professionals (BCBAs, BCaBAs, and RBTs) to provide the most wide-ranging and extensive therapy possible for your child. Our therapists combine a diverse and extensive background in various areas such as education, applied behavior analysis, psychiatry/psychology, social work and other related behavioral and psychological fields coupled with unparalleled hands-on and technical training to provide your child with a comprehensive therapy experience.

 

TMS/Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy (TMS)

TMS Therapy is an alternative treatment for patients suffering from depression who have not achieved satisfactory improvement from prior antidepressant treatment. This revolutionary technology has been long-studied but has only been recently introduced to the market.

Despite being cleared by the FDA only a couple years ago, TMS has immediately made a mark as an impressive treatment for depression, proving to be extremely noninvasive and very effective for treatment-resistant patients who did not respond to medications.

TMS Therapy is:

  • Non-invasive, meaning that it does not involve surgery. It does not require any anesthesia or sedation, as the patient remains awake and alert during the treatment
  • Non-systemic, meaning that it is not taken by mouth and does not circulate in the blood stream throughout the body.

 

For more information click here or call us at (619) 814-6675. 

Patient Education

PATIENT AND FAMILY EDUCATION

For treatment to be successful, the clinician and the patient must form a team and work together towards the common purpose of achieving wellness.  At PCSD, we feel that an essential ingredient for this formula is a patient well informed on the nature and treatment of his/her condition.


When you visit PCSD, you will be provided with information in one or more of a variety of formats, including pamphlets, reading lists, audiotapes, and videotapes.

Links for Patient and Family Education:  We have also selected a number of websites which provide useful information about psychiatry, psychiatric diagnoses, and treatment.  There is also detailed information about psychiatric medications.  You will find that availing yourself (and, if you so desire, your family) of these resources will positively impact the outcome of your treatment.

DISCLAIMER:  Although Psychiatric Centers at San Diego (PCSD) strives for the highest quality in the resources offered here, it is not responsible for the validity or accuracy of the material presented in the Web Sites listed below.  PCSD does not endorse any of the medications, products, or treatments described, mentioned, or discussed in any of the services, databases, or pages in the list.  PCSD does not allow for the exchange of patient information and/or patient interaction through our website.

Always consult a licensed mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment choices or changes in your treatment.  Never discontinue treatment or medication without first consulting your psychiatrist or therapist.  Online resources are to be used only for general, educational, and informational purposes and are not meant to nor cannot replace the specialized training and professional judgement of a health care or mental health care professional.  Please consult your own physician or appropriate mental health care provider about the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your own symptoms or medical conditions.

GENERAL

 

ALCOHOL AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE

 

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE/OTHER DEMENTIAS

 

ANXIETY DISORDERS

 

ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER

 

BIPOLAR DISORDER

 

DEPRESSION

 

SCHIZOPHRENIA

 

OTHER DISORDERS

Quality Management and Improvement

PCSD fully complies with the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) written guidelines.

The scope of the Quality Management and Improvement (QMI) Program includes the objective and systematic monitoring of the quality of and safety of services and clinical activities provided to patients by PCSD.  The Quality Management and Improvement Program implements quality monitors and clinical programs that are reflective of the population served by the PCSD in terms of age, gender, disease categories, and special risk status. These quality monitors are designed to identify and pursue opportunities for improvement.

 

The disciplines of the clinicians in the PCSD network include psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, psychologists, social workers, and other licensed, certified, or registered behavioral healthcare professionals.  The settings in which care is delivered include PCSD sites, independent clinician' offices, inpatient units, partial day hospitals, intensive outpatient programs, autism services, and other community-based ambulatory centers.

 

The Quality Management and Improvement Program of PCSD is managed by the Director of Quality Management and Improvement, a physician who is involved in the behavioral health care aspects of the QMI program and who is supported by the Clinical Advisors and members of the PCSD administrative staff. The QMI Director is a board certified psychiatrist who has a current license to practice in the State of California without restriction. Oversight of the Program is provided by the PCSD Board of Directors.

To view the entire QMI Plan, click here:  QMI PLAN

PCSD Clinician Education

EDUCATION

PCSD is dedicated to ensuring continued education amongst all of our clinicians. To guarantee that our clinicians are practicing at the cutting edge of their specialty, PCSD has in place an intensive and ongoing educational program to serve our patients, our clinicians, and the primary care physicians in the community.

CONTINUING MEDICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM – MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Continuing Medical Education program at Psychiatric Centers at San Diego (PCSD) is to provide lifelong learning opportunities for our physicians, psychologists, therapists, and nurse practitioners that will support continuous professional development and improve knowledge, competence, and performance.  Activities are designed to enhance the quality of patient care through the integration of the latest research information and frequent reviews of standard of care practices.  PCSD is committed to educate our physicians and healthcare professionals on health disparities and cultural diversity to deliver relevant care to our patients and community.

The past 30 years have seen dramatic improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders.  As a result of intensive and productive research, psychiatrists and their patients have now at their disposal a vast array of effective medications for use in many mental health disorders.

PCSD’s professionals are encouraged to be active in research, teaching, and continuing education.  PCSD also encourages it physicians’ involvement with hospital administrative positions, and is able to assist physicians in obtaining such positions.  Several of our physicians hold medical and clinical directorships in local area hospitals.

PCSD hosts clinical lectures, given by guest speakers, for our clinicians on a regular basis.  A monthly Journal Club is one example of our commitment to continuing education.

The Institute of Medical Quality/California Medical Association awarded PCSD with CME certification, allowing us to provide our clinicians, free of charge, opportunities to fulfill their annual CME requirements by taking advantage of the in-house events offered by PCSD’s Education Department.

 

 

CLINICIAN EDUCATION

JOURNAL CLUB

In PCSD’s monthly Journal Club for clinicians, academic journals are reviewed. A partial list of the journals routinely reviewed includes:

American Journal of Psychiatry

Archives of General Psychiatry

Biological Psychiatry

Journal of Affective Disorders

American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

British Journal of Psychiatry

Psychological Medicine

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

New England Journal of Medicine

JAMA, and several others

 

ANNUAL EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE

This day-long educational activity consists of presentations made by several of our own clinicians on a variety of subjects including one invited “keynote” speaker.  Invited speakers are leaders in their areas of expertise and most have direct research experience through their academic work at most U.S. universities.  To view our most recent conference program click here

CASE CONSULTATION GROUP

One of the wonderful aspects of practicing psychotherapy is that it continuously challenges us to look at our own biases, theories, and perspectives with curiosity and humility. As a mental health provider, continuing education and professional consultation offer excellent opportunities for learning and growth, both for ourselves and for the clients we serve.  The goal is to offer professional consultation for individual psychotherapists that feels safe, respectful and supportive so that you can explore freely the various questions, dilemmas, and challenges that emerge in your therapeutic work. The approach to psychotherapy and consultation is solutions focused, relational, developmental, and pragmatic.  The members of this group consultation will offer guidance based on experience, training and intuitive sense of what will most benefit you in building your own self-confidence and wisdom as a psychotherapist.

EDUCATIONAL PRESENTATIONS

PCSD clinicians routinely speak on a variety of psychiatric topics of interest to Primary Care Physicians and mental health providers.  These lectures stress practical aspects of psychiatric care in the primary care setting and include  topics in the areas of mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder) anxiety disorders (panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, social and other phobias, general anxiety disorder), alcohol and substance abuse, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, Alzheimer’s disease and other Dementia’s, use of psychotropic medications, and many more.

Availability and booking of speaking engagements may be made by contacting our Community Relations and Education Coordinator at (619) 528-4600, ext. 6442.

 

Making an appointment?

MAKING AN APPOINTMENT

With a referral from their primary care physician, patients may call the office of their choice to schedule an appointment.  You may wish to review some of the questions below that will be asked upon registration of a new patient.

We will collect the following information in order to register a new patient:

*What area of the county would best serve your needs?

*Do you have a preference if the clinician is a male or female?

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Telephone Number
  4. Employer
  5. Social Security Number
  6. Referral Source
  7. Insurance Information

Important!  On the day of your first appointment, before you see your psychiatrist or therapist, it is necessary to complete our registration forms.  This will take some time, so it is essential that you arrive at the office 20-30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.  In this manner, your clinician will be able to devote to you the full time reserved for your appointment.  The registration form may also be downloaded to print and complete before your appointment.  Please be sure to bring this with you to the office.

To our Return Visit Patients:  We constantly strive to see all of our patients on schedule.  In order to facilitate this, we see patients “by appointment only”.  If an unexpected problem arises, we ask that you call our office first, rather than “walking in” unexpectedly.  Doing so will enable us to accommodate your acute needs in the most efficient manner possible, without our having to delay your care.  If you happen to arrive late for your scheduled appointment, please do not feel offended if we need to reschedule you for the next available time slot.  This will ensure that you get the full time allocated for an appointment and will also enable us to see all patients on schedule.

Appointments that require Rescheduling, Canceling, or that are simply “No Show”:  If you must cancel your appointment, please do so at least 24 hours in advance by calling the office directly.  Due to a long waiting list for other patients to be seen, if you are unable to cancel your appointment at least 24 hours in advance, you will be charged $60.00 for an appointment with a Psychiatrist (M.D. or D.O) or a Nurse Practitioner (NP); $70.00 for an appointment with a Psychologist (Ph.D. or Psy.D.); and $60.00 for  an appointment with a Master Level Therapist (LCSW or MFT).

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as PCSD strives to provide the best quality care to all of our patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are Saturday appointments available?

Yes, various offices throughout the county have Saturday appointments available.

When is your first appointment available?

Actual emergencies can be accommodated the same day.  For non-emergency care, it is usually possible to obtain an appointment within 10 days.

What is the difference between a psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, and nurse practitioner?

A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.   All psychiatrists are trained in diagnostic evaluation and in psychopharmacological treatment.  As part of their evaluation of the patient, psychiatrists are one of only a few mental health professionals who may conduct physical examinations, order and interpret laboratory tests and EEG’s, and may order brain imaging scans such as CT or CAT, MRI, and PET scanning.  Clinical psychologists who focus on treating mental health, specialize in evaluating patients and providing psychotherapy, and may be trained to administer and interpret psychological testing.  They do not prescribe medication in the state of California.   Therapists (LCSW/MFT) provide psycho-therapeutic  and counseling services of a non-medical nature to individuals, families, and groups.  Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners provide a full range of primary mental health care services including assessment and diagnosis of patients with mental illness.  Treatment modalities include both medication and psycho-therapeutic management.

What experience do our clinicians have?

Each clinician is licensed by the State of California to provide treatment to you in their specialty.  For specific information on the educational background and experience of each clinician, visit our directory.

Does anyone in your group provide therapy on a sliding scale?

Each clinician makes their own determination regarding payment arrangements and fee schedules.

"PCSD is here to help you through our highly trained professionals"