For virtual consultations and coaching sessions, we will connect via the video feed within my client portal. Prior to your appointment time please make sure you have completed any intake forms, confirmed your appointment, and have your device set up to allow access to camera/audio. At your appointment time, please select the option to join. If you have any issues you can send me a chat via the portal or a text message at 206-973-0337
If there are any audio/visual/tech challenges at any point during the consult please let me know. I will try to reconnect the video feed to see if that helps. If not, I will close the feed and reopen a new session to see if that resets it. Finally, we may decide to move to another platform. Options for this include Zoom within the Better EHR protal, Zoom separate from the portal, Google Meet, or Doxy. I can send you access to those within the Better app chat or via text message. If a visual assessment is not necessary, we may choose to move to a phone call. I have cushions built in to my schedule to allow for any tech interruptions and this should not impact the total duration of your consultation. If you have any questions, please let me know.
For phone consultations I will call you at the number you provided when you scheduled. Phone consultation rates are based on time. If at the end of your prepaid time you want to continue the call and I have availability to do so, we can decide to continue and you be sent an invoice for additional pro-rated minutes.
Late arrivals/no answer/no shows: While we try to allow a cushion for any tech based connection concerns, our scheduling and cancellation policy (see below) means that if you arrive late within your consult window we will meet for the remaining time. If you do not connect during that window, you will receive a follow-up message with general resources on the topic you indicated in your intake and information about scheduling and making payment for another consultation.
Since January 1, 2014, and the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, most insurance policies are required to cover certain preventive health services and screenings without subscriber cost-sharing. These include lactation support and supplies. (Exceptions to this include being on a “grandfathered in plan” or Medicare/DSHS.)
Sound Beginnings contracts with independent lactation consultants who are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (“IBCLCs”) and RN IBCLCs, including some who are in-network with Aetna insurance.
Sound Beginnings recommends all clients contact their insurance prior to scheduling an appointment to determine their individual level of coverage and/or reimbursement for lactation services. For Aetna members: Most members are entitled to at least six (6) lactation consultations with no out-of-pocket costs; some plans or codes will require a co-pay or specialist co-pay, or coinsurance payment. At the time of booking, please request an IBCLC who is in-network with Aetna.
For all other insurance plans, Sound Beginnings’ independent lactation consultants are considered “out-of-network” for lactation services. Out-of-network providers are not typically fully covered by your health plan so you are often responsible for greater cost-sharing or even the entire cost of the visit. You should contact your insurance company to verify your benefit coverage and cost-sharing for an out-of-network lactation consultant. If your insurance company and policy are required to follow the ACA guidelines and they don’t have any lactation consultants in-network, they may be required to cover services from an out-of-network provider without cost-sharing. This is sometimes referred to as “gap coverage.”
For more information, the National Women’s Law Center has a very helpful toolkit and a Sample Letter for Lactation Consultant Coverage that can be downloaded and used to support your efforts for coverage.
Payment for Services
All clients agree and accept payment responsibility for the lactation consultation services regardless of outcome, insurance coverage, or other third party involvement.
For Aetna clients, we will file your claim with Aetna and invoice you for any copay or coinsurance after the claim is processed. You agree to pay any invoice promptly, no more than fourteen (14) days after you receive it. At the time of booking, please select an Aetna Lactation Consultation in order to request an IBCLC who is in-network with Aetna.
For non-Aetna clients, payment for a consultation is due at the time of booking through this online scheduling system. Sound Beginnings accepts all major credit cards. If you have a Health Saving Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA), lactation consultation services may be considered a qualified medical expense. Many Sound Beginnings clients pay for consultations with an HSA/FSA debit card; we recommend checking with your plan administrator prior to using an HSA/FSA debit card to pay for a consultation to avoid any penalties.
All non-Aetna clients will be provided a “superbill” or detailed receipt within one week after their consultation. This may be submitted to your insurance for reimbursement. Sound Beginnings does not file any paperwork with insurers for non-Aetna clients.
Travel fees and phone consultations are not typically covered by insurance.
Sound Beginnings believes that every family should have access to lactation support regardless of their insurance coverage or financial situation. We are happy to provide information and a list of free and low-cost community resources upon request. Sound Beginnings also may offer alternative services, payment plans, or sliding scale payment options. If you need to discuss alternative payment arrangements, please contact email@example.com prior to booking.
Consultation Cancellation Policy
When you book a consultation, the lactation consultant blocks off time in her schedule in order to be available to you during that window of time, which means she cannot book another client consultation at that time. Appointments are in high demand, and your early cancellation will give another person the possibility to have access to timely care. If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, you must give a minimum of 24 hours advance notice email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-973-0337, or the full cost of the consultation will be forfeited. If you cancel less than 24 hours before an appointment for reasons beyond your control (sudden illness, family emergencies, etc.), Sound Beginnings will determine on a case-by-case basis whether to reschedule at no cost or offer a full or partial refund, in Sound Beginnings’ sole discretion. Insurance billed appointments cancelled less than 24 hours before scheduled time will be subject to a $100 fee. This fee is not covered by insurance. If a cancellation is due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, such as massive power outage or severe weather that requires you or us to have to cancel or be closed during regular business hours, Sound Beginnings will reschedule your existing appointment at no charge.