The best way to get started is to contact me by telephone or email so I can answer any questions or concerns you have. By spending a few minutes talking with me you will be able to get a feel if I am the right therapist for you. One of the most important elements in having a successful therapeutic experience is that you feel comfortable discussing whatever you need to talk about with the therapist you choose.
Once you decide to work with me we will meet for an initial consultation. During this meeting we will talk about your main concerns and what you hope to achieve. To use our allotted time effectively, I suggest you download and complete the Client Information Form and the BioPsychoSocial History form and bring them to our first session.
Confidentiality and Release of Information
Confidentiality is taken very seriously. All evaluation and treatment information is confidential and can only be released to specified individuals or agencies with your written release.
When you arrive at the office you will be asked to sign the Notice of Privacy Practices (HIPPA) form.
I require a minimum of 24-hour notice for cancellation for all appointments. In the case of a bona fide emergency, exceptions will generally be made. When you do not keep an appointment and do not contact me with 24 hour notice it is a loss of appointment time that could be offered to another patient. To avoid being charged for a cancelled session please notify me of any need to cancel an appointment as soon as you are aware you cannot keep your scheduled appointment.
Risks of Using Health Insurance
It is suggested you understand the risks to using your health insurance for reimbursement for you mental health visits.
There are three very important questions related to the risk of using health insurance.
1. How do HMOs, managed care and insurance companies get access to confidential information?
2. What information do HMO's, health care and insurance companies demand from your doctor, counselor or psychotherapist?
3. Is the information gathered by HMOs, health care and insurance companies important and necessary?
Almost universally, HMOs, managed health care and insurance companies will require your doctor, psychotherapist or counselor to give you a diagnosis. More importantly, many HMOs, managed health care and insurance companies demand detailed, intimate and private information about your entire life before they authorize payment. It's really simple. In order to get your insurance company to authorize, provide or pay for treatment you must be diagnosed and give a detailed history. Well intended doctors, psychotherapists and counselors routinely gather personal information and give their patient a diagnosis because they can justify the diagnosis and because a patient doesn't want to pay for counseling or treatment. Do you need a diagnosis and is it really necessary to provide a detailed and intimate life history? In rare cases the answer is yes. In virtually every case the answer is no. But the practice is universal. There are good reasons to be concerned about the use of the current diagnostic system. In order to get your health insurance to authorize, provide or pay for treatment you must have a diagnosis, you probably need one of the more serious diagnoses and you probably need the kind of diagnosis that is covered by insurance. It is growing practice for doctors, counselors and psychotherapists to give people the more serious diagnosis to qualify them for treatment.
For more detailed information, continue reading the article which this subtext was taken from at http://www.oregoncounseling.org/Consumer/RisksConfidentiality.htm
Client Information Form
BioPsychoSocial History Form
Notice of Privacy Practice-HIPPA
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