I believe that integrated care is essential to quality health care for children and adolescents. This means that I will try to coordinate my treatment plans with the needs of the client’s family, as well as with other health and educational professionals who are involved in the client’s care. I will always discuss this coordination with you as I am developing your minor child’s treatment plan, and you will decide who will be involved.
SCHEDULING AN APPOINTMENT
In order to schedule an initial consultation appointment, please contact Alison, my assistant, at (949) 250-4115 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alison is in the office Monday-Wednesday from 9-1. She picks up messages remotely on Thursday and Friday. We try to be accessible and return all calls and emails as quickly as possible. After scheduling an appointment, please download the new patient forms, complete them and bring them with you to the appointment. If you have any problems downloading or printing the forms, please contact Alison and she will send them to you.
THE INITIAL APPOINTMENT
Please be on time for your initial appointment. Our office suite uses a call light system. To notify me that you have arrived, please turn on the call light switch above my name after entering the waiting room. I will meet you there at your appointment time. Although the initial session (90 minutes) is generally sufficient to complete the consultation, it is sometimes necessary for an evaluation to take place over several weeks, particularly if a classroom observation, child interviews and/or testing are required. This is determined on an individual basis and discussed during the initial consultation session. It is important that we complete the consultation prior to beginning treatment or developing intervention strategies. This allows me to collect supplemental information (i.e., contacting other health care providers, teachers or other collateral sources, when necessary). As previously mentioned, when testing is required, please complete all behavior rating scales and return them with well-organized copies of your child's school and relevant medical records. Copies of your child's most recent school-based evaluations, group administered achievement tests (SAT-9/STAR reports), progress reports and the most recent IEP are essential; independent speech and language, auditory and/or visual processing evaluations, OT or PT evaluations are also helpful. I will generally ask you to sign a release that authorizes me to speak with your child's teacher and/or physician so that I can get their impressions of your child's difficulties.
I am an out-of-network provider; therefore, clients are responsible for paying their fees at the time of service. I accept cash, checks or credit cards (MC, Visa or Discover). Upon request, we will provide an itemized account statement to my clients with out-of-network coverage. It is up to the client/responsible party to file a claim with their insurance company for reimbursement. I strongly recommend that you consult with your insurance company to confirm your mental health coverage before you begin treatment. The following is a list of insurance codes frequently used for possible reimbursement:
• 90791- Psychiatric diagnostic evaluation (Initial consultation meeting)
• 96101- Psychological testing (includes direct testing with the client, record review, scoring, parent feedback & report preparation)
• 90837- Psychotherapy, 60 minutes with patient and/or family member
• 90846- Family psychotherapy without the patient present (parent consultation)
• Initial 90-minute consultation = $350
• 50-minute therapy and parent coaching sessions = $200
• Testing, chart review and report preparation = $250/hour
• Classroom observations and attendance at IEP meetings are usually billed at a flat rate of $650 (3 hour limit including travel time); meetings outside the office that are over 3 hours long are billed at $250/hour + travel time ($150/hour)
• Testimony at Fair Hearings, Depositions and Court Appearances are billed at $500/hour (4 hour minimum); travel time is billed at a rate of $150/hour (door to door)
Once your appointment is scheduled, I will expect you to pay the full fee unless you provide at least 48 business hours advance notice of cancellation. Notification by phone or email are the best ways to alert the office of a cancellation. Business hours are weekdays from Monday through Friday and exclude all national holidays. Failure to notify the office will result in charges at the applicable hourly rate. Insurance companies do not provide reimbursement for these charges. In addition, there is a charge for phone consultations that exceed 10 minutes and all other uses of my time on a client’s behalf. These charges are pro-rated based on the applicable hourly rate.
Confidentiality is central to appropriate mental health care. It is also protected by the law. Thus, generally, I can only release information about our work with written permission. However, there are several situations in which mental health professionals are required by law to report or take action; they are as follows: (a) making provisions for your safety if there is a threat of imminent harm to yourself or your child, (b) taking protective actions (including notifying potential victims or police) if there is a threat of serious bodily harm to others, (c) reporting potential child, elder, or dependent abuse, (d) legal testimony if subpoenaed/ordered by a court, and (e) assisting in accessing services if a patient is unable to meet their basic needs (including food, clothing, and/or shelter) due to a mental illness. Please note that these exceptions are rare and it is my goal to maintain strict confidentiality.
ELECTRONIC MAIL POLICY
Email is not a confidential means of communication. As such, clinical information should not be sent via this form of communication. This includes any information pertaining to diagnosis, medications, therapy, etc. As a convenience to you, Alison and I are willing to send basic information and also schedule appointments via email. However, as stated, we are careful about engaging in any clinical discourse via email. This information should be addressed during scheduled appointments, and over the phone if urgent. By providing us with your email address on the patient information form, you are agreeing that email is an acceptable form of communication for you, despite its limitations with respect to confidentiality.