Information about the “No Surprises” Act

From: Merry Arnold
Subject: the new “No Surprise Act” – information
Date: Sunday, January 02, 2022 5:40 PM

I have adapted this from the website of Dr. Gordan Herz (with permission), and offer him my thanks.

Dear clients and possible future clients,

Apparently Congress enacted a “No Surprises Act” which is set to go into effect 1/1/2022. The act is described as “new federal protections against surprise medical bills that take effect in 2022. Surprise medical bills arise when insured consumers inadvertently receive care from out-of-network hospitals, doctors, or other providers they did not choose” (please see

It is highly unlikely this could affect our work together. There will be no situation in which you would “inadvertently” receive care from me or with no choice. Also, the final rules about how to implement this in a practice such as mine have not even been written yet by the federal government. I am “out of network” for all but one insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and I can never accept more than the amount they allow for psychotherapy sessions.  

If we currently work together, you are already aware of my charges and your costs for therapy sessions, and for things that no insurance covers, such as fees for late canceled or missed appointments, extra telephone calls or any paperwork you request.

If you are considering working with me, available information suggests I might need to provide you with a diagnosis before we even meet, which of course would be both unethical and impossible without a meaningful evaluation of your circumstances. At this time, multiple professional organizations are scrambling to understand the details of this law, to whom it applies and how to apply it. Guidance so far is uncertain and in many cases conflicting.

Rest assured that I will be as transparent with you about the costs of the services we agree on together. You will have “no surprises” here. This transparency is required by ethical standards by which I have abided for the 30 years I have been in practice, and simply because it is necessary for us to work well together.

In the meantime, you may certainly ask me about any costs about which you may be unsure, and you will be provided clear information.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any related questions.

Merry Arnold, Psy.D.