Parent and Caregiver Group – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is Parent and Caregiver Group a requirement for my teen’s therapy? In DBT treatment for teenagers, individual clients and their families need support and skills. The parent and caregiver group helps parents increase their own DBT skills to manage their child’s behavior and learn the skills that the teen is learning in order to support them practice. The group complements their own learning with DBT parenting strategies to increase parental effectiveness and decrease the sense of “burnout” from parenting a teenager with high emotional sensitivity. In order for real change to occur, both the individual and the environment need to change their patterns of responding. With teens it is imperative for families to help support and shape the change.
  1. I already did a parent skills group at another agency, can that count for the Parent and Caregiver Group requirement here? Unfortunately, no. The Parent and Caregiver Group skills curriculum is specific to DBT treatment. Although it may have some similarities with other parent and caregiver skills trainings, they would not replace the material that we cover.
  1. Can you bill my insurance? The parent/caregiver must have completed a mental health assessment with PDBTI and have a billable diagnosis (for details see answer to #4).
  1. I spoke to my insurance company and they said they accept the billing code for Multi-family group therapy (90849), can you submit them? In most cases, Parent and Caregiver Group is not billable under our payer contracts. The standard Parent and Caregiver Group runs concurrently with the Teen Group and is designed to teach parents and caregivers DBT skills to enhance parental capacity to cope and effectively manage their own skills. Because the primary function of this group is to assist the caregiver/family in increasing their own capabilities, it is not billable under the client (teen’s) insurance policy.

There are some exceptions in which the Parent and Caregiver Group may be billable:

  1. In cases of the EST Multi-Family Group where the teen client IS present in the group with the parent/caregiver, the 90849 code can be billed under teen client’s plan.
  2. The teen client in the program has Oregon Health Plan (OHP), Moda Health, or PacificSource insurance coverage where the Parent and Caregiver Group is a contracted service.
  3. Parent(s)/caregiver(s) are clients of Portland DBT Institute. This means:
      • Parent(s)/caregiver(s) complete a diagnostic evaluation by a PDBTI clinician.
      • PDBTI clinician create a treatment plan with parent(s)/caregiver(s) which may include Parent and Caregiver Group as treatment, as well as other treatments such as individual therapy and Phase I treatment.
      • Of note: Parent and Caregiver Group is not a replacement for Phase I treatment, but can be recommended as an adjunct service.

  1. I can’t afford the Parent and Caregiver Group costs. What can I do? We absolutely understand that the financial costs of treatment can be overwhelming. Before your teen starts treatment we encourage you to problem solve as much as possible to see how you can manage the out-of-pocket expenses for the 24-week Parent and Caregiver Group. If you have a Flexible Spending Account through you or your partner’s employer (talk to your HR department to find out if they have this option), Parent and Caregiver Group fees can be covered through this. Also, even though we cannot bill insurances for your parent and caregiver group sessions, we are happy to provide receipts for payment to submit for reimbursement from the insurance company. We cannot guarantee that they will reimburse you for all of your payments, but some insurance plans will reimburse a portion.
  1. My partner/teen’s other parent/caregiver wants to attend the group but can’t attend regularly. Can they drop in for groups when they can make it? Yes. If one parent/caregiver commits to consistent attendance at each of the skills group then it is acceptable for another parent/caregiver to come when they can make it. We ask that the parent/caregiver who regularly attends teach the skills they have learned to their teen’s other parent/caregiver.