Office Policies & Procedures

OFFICE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

 

Although commonly referred to as the therapy "hour" the actual length of a session is 45" (except for the initial meeting which is 55").  A 45" session is maintained in order to allow sufficient time between sessions to return phone calls and provide other services for clients.

Prior to our initial visit, forms will be mailed to you to read and/or fill out and bring to the first session.

 

At the initial visit, unless I determine that a client requires services that I am unable to provide (in which case, a referral would be made),  I suggest that we agree to meet for 3 - 4 sessions to determine if we are "a good fit".  At that time, we will discuss whether you choose to continue counseling or to make other arrangements.  I will not "take it personally" if you feel it is not a good fit and I would be happy to provide names of other therapists.  If you choose to continue, whenever the decision to stop counseling is made, I ask you to share that decision with me rather than to just stop scheduling appointments.  I understand that it can be difficult to say goodbye when counseling is no longer needed, but it is of great value to the counseling process to have a planned ending.



INSURANCE COMPANIES CANNOT BE BILLED FOR MISSED SESSIONS.  Therefore, the client is responsible to pay the full cost  of a session (equal to the amount reimbursed by insurance, including the co-pay) for any "no shows" or late cancellations.....a late cancellation is defined as giving LESS THAN 48 HOURS NOTICE.   This is the minimal amount of time needed to contact other clients in order to fill the opening.  
Although there are very often legitimate reasons for missing an appointment, such as sudden illness, emergencies, car problems, or mixing up the day or time of the appointment, in the interest of consistency and fairness to ALL clients, it is necessary to honor my policy and charge for the missed session.  The client is automatically billed by my billing service and payment is due prior to or at the time of the next appointment.  Since this policy exists for business reasons and not as a punitive measure, if I am able to re-schedule the time, the fee will be waived.   If you have any questions or concerns about a fee that has been charged, please bring them up during your next counseling session. 

If two "no shows" or late cancellations occur within 2 months or less, the therapy contract will be re-evaluated.  Please note, also, in the interest of fairness, if I need to cancel or reschedule a session, with less than 24 hours notice, or if I have written down the incorrect day or time for an appointment, and consequently a session is missed, there will be no charge for the rescheduled session.


For clients who chose to use insurance, please check with your individual carrier prior to your first scheduled appointment to review your mental health benefits and to obtain any necessary pre-certification or authorization.  However, please be aware that AUTHORIZATION FOR TREATMENT DOES NOT GUARANTEE PAYMENT.

Out-of-pocket payments and co-payments are due at each visit. (Any bank fees for returned checks are the responsibility of the client). The hourly fee is $100 ($120 for the initial visit).  If you are using your insurance plan and your insurance company, for any reason, does not reimburse for the submitted expenses, you are responsible to pay for services rendered.  (Statements will be issued for any payments due).  Please note:  Insurance companies may limit benefits or deny payment if the diagnosis is not considered to be a "medically necessary" condition.  Sometimes this payment limitation is not known until after invoices are submitted.  In such cases, the client will still be responsible for payment.

If appointments are scheduled ahead of time and the client cancels or does not come for an appointment, confirmation from the client will be expected in order to hold remaining times open.  If an appointment is not scheduled and I do not hear from a client, I will attempt to reach the client by phone, mail or email.  If I do not hear back from a client within one month, the client must then officially be discharged from my care but may contact me at any time in the future to return to therapy or to obtain names of other therapists.  Sometimes during the course of therapy, I may conclude that a client requires additional services that I am unable to provide and will then refer the client elsewhere.


At the initial session, you will receive forms for the confidentiality policy, notice of privacy and philosophy of treatment.

Phone messages are retrieved through 8:30 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the main days I am in the office. The schedule on Tuesday and Thursday varies and therefore, so does the time when I check messages on those days.  Due to time in sessions and occasionally being out of the office, it is not always possible to return calls on the days they are received.  Therefore, if your call is of an urgent nature, please call 911 or go directly to the Emergency Room nearest you.  Otherwise, I will return calls as soon as time permits.  Once a person is established as a client, I can also be reached by e-mail.

If there are any questions about the above information, please call me or bring them up at the next scheduled visit.

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