Fee and Payment Policies
In our experience, a clear and detailed statement regarding fee and payment policies is helpful in preventing financial misunderstandings. Such misunderstandings can adversely affect your confidence in treatment. For this reason, we make every effort to make policies clear. We understand that evaluation and treatment can be expensive. We encourage you to discuss any aspects of our billing and payment procedures with your therapist. Fee schedules are reviewed annually. You will be notified in advance if your therapist is expecting an increase in fees. This should allow adequate opportunity to discuss the effect of any rate increase.
We comply with all rules and requirements set forth by insurance companies. Most companies require some form of co-payments. It is the responsibility of the patient to know the extent of his/her insurance coverage. Should your insurance claim be denied for any reason, you are responsible for direct payment of fees. All co-payments and non- insurance covered self-pay fees are due in full at the time of services. There are no exceptions to this policy.
***All co-payments for services provided to a child are the responsibility of the person bringing the child to the visit, even if you have a separation or divorce agreement that states otherwise. It is up to you to work out financial responsibility with the other parent.
All patient’s insurance plans that require pre-authorization or referrals are the patient’s responsibility. If the patient does not obtain this, services will be billed on a self-pay basis until proper authorization is obtained.
Some individuals have the type of insurance coverage which reimburses them directly for our services. As with all healthcare, the patient or the designated responsible party is expected to provide payment directly to your therapist at the time of service with the insurance company providing reimbursement to the patient.
A patient balance may not exceed one visit without prior discussion and approval from your therapist. In such instances, patients will be notified by mail that the account must be paid or services will be interrupted after the next scheduled appointment. While we do not reduce the fees charged by your therapist, under certain circumstances, your therapist may be willing to work out various payment plans. These plans are available only under special circumstances and require prior approval by your therapist.
Consultation with parents regarding their children sometimes may not be covered by your insurance plan. Different insurance carriers have different policies regarding this service.
We suggest that you review your plan or contact your insurance company representative. We also recommend that you get the name of the representative who advises you. The fee for these services is at the same hourly rate as is charged for family psychotherapy.
Occasionally, a therapist is required to provide expert witness testimony on behalf of a patient in a legal proceeding. There will be a fee charged for these services based both on the actual time spent in Court and on the time necessary for preparation for testimony and travel. Advance payment is required. There is no insurance reimbursement for this service. Please discuss the fee with your individual therapist.
You may wish to have your therapist attend a meeting or conference on your or your child’s behalf. This situation arises most frequently when a parent requests that a child’s therapist attend a school conference or when a patient requests that their therapist meets with their family physician. These services are usually not billable under most insurance plans. If you think that you might require this service, we suggest that you contact your insurance company beforehand to determine if your policy provides such reimbursement. Should you request this service, your therapist will discuss charges with you.
Accounts having uncollected fees due to non-payment will follow standard collection procedures. These procedures may involve the use of a collection service for non-payment accounts and/or prosecution in the case of checks being returned. In the event any unpaid debt is turned over to our collection agency, the patient will be held liable for any and all collection fees and/or attorney fees needed to collect the debt.
We have offered a detailed and comprehensive explanation in order to anticipate questions and avoid misunderstandings. For that reason, we have attempted to outline the roles of the patient and this office regarding fees and payment. If you have any questions regarding payments, insurance coverage or any related policies, please speak to your therapist directly. We will gladly clarify any confusion.
Missed Appointment and Late Cancellation Fee Policies
Our office policy requires that we are notified 24 business hours in advance of a cancellation. Sessions missed without proper notice, regardless of the reason, will be billed as a missed appointment. Insurance does not cover this charge. The missed appointment fee is $50.00. No late cancellation fee will be charged if we can fill the appointment with another patient.
All missed appointment and late cancellation fees must be paid in full on or before the date of your next scheduled appointment unless you have an arrangement with your therapist. Failure to do so may result in all future appointments being suspended until the fee is paid. Some therapists have their own policies regarding their fees and you should discuss this policy with your therapist.
You can notify us of appointment/cancellations calls anytime. You may also leave cancellation messages with the answering service. Time requirements apply to messages left with the service; Saturday, Sunday and Holidays do not count in the 24 hours. (For example, you must cancel an appointment scheduled for 10:00 am MONDAY by 10:00 am FRIDAY.)
These fees are not intended as a punishment, but rather reflect our belief that the patient should share in the cost of the reserved therapist time that cannot otherwise be utilized by another patient.
Wilson Wellness will always try to be available to you for after hour emergencies. If such an occasion arises, please advise in your message that you are placing an emergency or urgent call. We will return your call as soon as possible. Should you require emergency service before your call is returned, you should obtain these services at the emergency room of your local hospital. Non-emergency calls will be returned the next business day by your therapist.
Assuring your privacy is very important. If you are an adult, anything you say or do in the context of psychotherapy cannot be revealed to another person without your permission. For this reason, we do not have a sign-in sheet; please check in at each of your appointments. Historically, complete confidentiality has applied to communications between most types of psychotherapists and patients. However, recent legal developments have limited the scope of confidentiality as follows:
- If you behave in a manner that poses a threat of a physical nature to another person, your therapist will use his/her judgment in deciding whether to inform a responsible person.
- A therapist is to assess the degree of risk to a patient’s life when suicidal feelings present themselves. If in the therapist’s opinion, there is a substantial risk of suicide, he/she will take steps to reduce the risk of suicide.
- If you disclose intent to commit a crime, privilege is waived. That is, psychotherapists may not tacitly aid or abet in the commission of crimes.
- The Law requires your therapist to report cases of potential, clear, or alleged child abuse. It is our experience that most adults having problems with child abuse want help. This is often a complex and frightening problem that seems to be best helped when a therapist can be involved in helping you while meeting the requirements of the law.
- In special circumstances, a judge may order that a patient’s records be made available to the Court. Your therapist MUST comply with a judge’s request.
Your confidentiality cannot be absolutely assured in any therapy in which more than you and your therapist are present. We will be extremely careful to respect your needs in that situation.
Parents or guardians of minors (12 years old and younger) are entitled to information communicated by their children in psychotherapy. However, ethics require your child’s therapist to communicate only in ways that will be helpful. We require that the custodial parent is informed before a report may be released to a non-custodial parent. If a non-custodial parent wishes to have his/her child evaluated without the custodial parent’s permission, please plan to discuss this problem with your therapist before scheduling an appointment for your child.
Patients whose fees are covered by insurance should be aware that the insurance company might require a diagnosis and the information necessary to substantiate it. Occasionally, insurance companies review your therapist’s chart records. He or she will be glad to discuss the diagnosis with you. It is assumed that when you give us an insurance form, it releases your therapist to fill out the diagnosis and other portions of that form.
Your therapist is often asked to provide information or to request information from a third party. It is a common occurrence that referring physicians request an initial report and possibly a progress report from your therapist. Many insurance companies require your primary care physician to request such reports. Often by signing a contract with your insurance company, you have given written permission for your physician to receive such reports. For third-party requests, you will be asked to sign a “Release of Information” form, without which your therapist cannot send records. It is your choice whether to sign the Release; please discuss this with your therapist.
The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.
Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.
We make every effort to assure that your therapy will be productive. Your honesty is essential to the best possible treatment. Research has shown that patient satisfaction and patient-therapist congruence correlates highly with a positive therapy outcome. Generally, patients who have similar attitudes, values and beliefs (about psychotherapy, how therapy works and what can be expected from therapy) to their therapists’ tend to be more successful in their therapy. Because each patient is an individual and because a variety of factors affect the outcome of treatment, it is not ethical to guarantee positive results. Occasionally, the treatment may have unexpected results. If you have any questions in this regard, please plan to discuss them with your therapist.
We hope this information is helpful to you. Please print this information for future reference. We look forward to providing you with the highest quality standard of care in a professional, yet relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to direct them to your therapist.
Take your first steps
Please call me (716) 379-3557 for an individual, couples or family therapy consultation today.