OFFICE POLICIES

Regular Appointment Hours

Monday          7:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Tuesday         7:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Wednesday    7:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Thursday       7:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Friday             7:00 AM – 7:00 PM

These hours vary regularly. Occasional after-hours appointments are available on a limited basis, and I sometimes see clients on weekday holidays (the Monday’s of long weekends, etc)

Please be on time for your appointment. My schedule is tight, and people often come and go within a few minutes of each other. If you’re late we will still need to end our session on time.

CANCELLATION POLICY

Psychotherapy is a serious commitment. Once we make an appointment, you must give at least 2 full business days (48 hours during the business week, irrespective of weekends) notice if you need to cancel or re-schedule.

The answering machine at the office has a time/date stamp that will be used to determine whether this policy needs to be honored. Please leave a voicemail message—not an email message—as soon as you are aware of the need to change an appointment time.

If this office were able to swallow the cost of sessions that are missed due to circumstances beyond its control, it would. The truth is it simply can’t. For this reason, I have established a written policy regarding cancellations, which I include here. I ask all my clients to read this and sign at the bottom before we begin working. Enforcing the policy is not personal—it’s merely a matter of what must happen in order for this practice to stay in business and for me to be able to continue serving all of my clients.

The official cancellation policy is as follows: If you miss an appointment for any reason other than a medical emergency, and you have not given 2 full business days notice (48 hours exclusive of weekends), you’ll be responsible for paying the full cost of the time that’s been reserved for you. Insurance will not pay for missed sessions, and this office can’t be responsible for covering the cost of sessions that are missed due to circumstances beyond our control. These include last-minute changes in your work schedule, failures of transportation, the actions of other people you’ve depended on (for coverage, childcare, etc), or other such reasons.

This is New England; snow is inevitable during the winter. Please take extra care in bad weather when traveling on snow-covered streets. Allow extra time to travel to your scheduled appointments during periods of extreme weather. All appointments will be held unless you receive a call saying otherwise. I will only rarely cancel appointments because of weather.

If possible, the office will try to find someone to take your place in the event that you cannot make a scheduled appointment. If we are successful in filling your spot, you will not be charged.

INSURANCE

Most insurance plans will reimburse you for my services. If you plan to use insurance, please check your coverage carefully by asking your plan’s representative the following questions:

* Do I have mental health benefits?

* How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?

* What is the coverage amount per therapy session?

* How much does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?

* Is prior authorization required from my primary care physician?

My clients pay me directly, and seek reimbursement from their insurance companies if they so choose. Please be aware that all insurance companies require therapists to provide a psychiatric diagnosis before they will reimburse you for your claims.

Reduced Fees

Reduced fee services are often available for those in need.

CONFIDENTIALITY

The confidentiality of all communications between a client and a therapist is generally protected by law and I, as your therapist, cannot and will not tell anyone else what you have discussed or even that you are in therapy without your written permission. In most situations, I can only release information about your treatment to others if you sign a written authorization form that meets certain legal requirements imposed by HIPAA. With the exception of certain specific situations described below, you have the right to confidentiality in your therapy. You may request to share information with whomever you choose and you may revoke that permission in writing at any time.

There exist some limitations to confidentiality that I am legally bound to take. If possible, I will make every attempt to inform you when these limitations will be put into effect. The legal exceptions to confidentiality include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • If there is good reason to believe you are threatening serious bodily harm to yourself or others. If I believe a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another, I may be required to take protective actions, which may include notifying the potential victim, notifying the police, or seeking appropriate hospitalization. If a client threatens harm to him/herself or another, I may be required to seek hospitalization for the client, or to contact family members or others who can provide protection
  • If there is good reason to suspect, or if there is evidence of, abuse and/or neglect toward children, the elderly or disabled persons. In such a situation, I am required by law to file a report with the appropriate state agency
  • In response to a court order or where otherwise required by law
  • To the extent necessary in order to make a claim on a delinquent account via a collection agency
  • To the extent necessary for emergency medical care to be rendered

Finally, there are times when I find it beneficial to consult with colleagues as part of my practice for mutual professional consultation. Your name and unique identifying characteristics will not be disclosed. The consultant is also required to keep the information confidential.

CONTACTING ME

If you need to contact me regarding any matter that is not of an urgent nature, you can email me at: aroberts@archieroberts.net, or call me at: (401) 709-4295, I am often not immediately available by telephone. I do not answer the phone when I am with a client. If you need to reach me between sessions, or in an emergency, you may leave a message on my confidential voicemail and your call will be returned as soon as possible. When you contact me, please be clear about the reason you are contacting me.

If your call is a clinical emergency, defined as a situation in which there is danger of harm to self or others, you may try to reach me on my cell phone: (401) 954-2710. If you do not reach me there, please leave a voicemail at (401) 709-4295, as that is the number I most often check. When you leave a voicemail, please state the nature of the emergency and I will return your call as soon as possible.

If you do not hear from me or I am unable to reach you, it remains your responsibility to take care of yourself until such time as we can talk. If you feel unable to keep yourself safe, go to your nearest emergency room.

I will make every attempt to inform you in advance of any planned absences, and provide you with a name and phone number of the therapist covering for me.

Skype

In special circumstances, video sessions via Skype are possible. Generally, Skype sessions are only an option when agreed upon in advance, for planned for use in long-distance situations, i.e. Skype is not an option for sessions that had originally been scheduled to take place in the office, but that then can’t be kept for one reason or another. It’s also important to note that, at this time, insurance does not cover sessions conducted via Skype.

Tax Deductible

Some clients successfully use their flexible spending accounts to make their therapy costs tax deductible.

Payment

Cash, checks, and PayPal are accepted for payment.

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