Fees for an Initial Evaluation
Unless an existing contract with your employer or some other agency supersedes a private fee agreement, I charge an hourly fee for the interview and flat rate for the report. A typical case has these elements:
- in-person interview (normally about three hours)
- reviewing the background medical records, counseling notes, court documents, or other essential items for your case (varies; some cases have a few dozen pages of records while other cases have several thousands pages of documents to review)
- producing an FAA-compliant report, generally 25-45 pages (flat rate fee of 6 hours)
90% of cases fall within the range of 9-11 total hours of billing.
You aren’t charged for emails that go back and forth with simple questions about your case. You are charged for telephone calls to you, other professionals in the case, or references you might offer.
Scroll to the bottom if you want to read about fees for a follow-up evaluation.
Will my Health Insurance Cover the Costs?
Health insurance plans generally cover medical costs related to the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, in the context of a physician-to-patient relationship.
- In an aviation psychiatric evaluation, the evaluation serves a regulatory purpose. A physician-to-patient relationship is not established.
- Physician-to-patient relationships require advocacy from the physician in the interest of your well-being.
- Regulatory evaluations require neutrality, not advocacy, with the opinions applied against a law, regulation, or contract.
- In a doctor-to-patient relationship, your physician uses what is called a CPT code to define the type of assessment and its complexity. There is no standardized CPT code for a forensic evaluation since you do not receive treatment from your aviation psychiatrist.
- Medical billing requires an ICD-10 Diagnosis, whereas a regulatory assessment for the FAA does not make an ICD-10 interpretation. FAA evaluations used the Code of Federal Regulations Title 14 CFR 67.107/67.207/67.307 and other regulations instead of ICD-10 guidelines.
Can I do a Payment Plan?
Releasing a report to an individual before fees have been paid creates an appearance of bias and allows the psychiatrist’s neutrality to be questioned by the regulator.
Why? If a client interprets a report as unfavorable, some clients could block or ignore the final balance due. This hypothetical creates a situation where the psychiatrist is more likely, consciously or unconsciously, to act favorably for the client to ensure the agreed-upon compensation. This appearance of bias downgrades the evaluator from neutral to partisan.
Scheduling an Appointment
When you are ready to request an appointment, click on one of the pictures for an appointment in Denver or in Las Vegas.
How the Retainer is Used and Refunded
- a four-hour retainer must be paid to reserve an appointment
- a second four-hour retainer will be due in the office at the time of your appointment
- the hourly fee is $300/hour, and charges apply to all time spent in the case; this includes the interview, reading your records, writing the report, and all other time spent on your behalf
- emailing Dr. Kirk is free; phone calls are charged at 0.1 per hour intervals
- the fee is 100% refundable for any reason up to seven exact calendar days from your appointment; for example, an appointment for a Wednesday morning @ 9 am, must be canceled by 8:59 am the previous Wednesday for a full refund
- the fee is 50% refundable if the appointment is canceled at less than seven days, but more than two exact calendar days; for example, a Wednesday morning @ 9 am appointment must be canceled by 8:59 am on Monday of the same week for a 50% refund
- any cancellation at two days or less results in forfeit of the fee
Follow Up Evaluations
This discussion applies only if I did your first evaluation. If a different psychiatrist did your first evaluation, the evaluation might be a follow-up visit for you but it would count as the first evaluation for me.
For a pilot flying with a Special Issuance Authorization for a mental health, alcohol, or drug issue, the FAA may require that the pilot have periodic evaluations to maintain certification.
If I did your initial evaluation, followup assessments cost less. For example, I do not have to cover your entire history on the second interview. We can focus on what’s happened since your last assessment.
There is also usually less paperwork to review, whether that is from your doctor, therapist, AME, employer, or the FAA.
Finally, the written report is shorter because I would have already documented a comprehensive history in my first report.
As a rough estimate, a followup evaluation usually takes only about 1/3 as much time as a full initial evaluation.