Privacy and Confidentiality
We value and protect you privacy and very much appreciate the opportunity to do that. However, if an adult is being seen in our office and the service is being paid for by a family member, then we expect a signed release to allow us communication with that family member around finances and also we would expect a written statement that can be signed by the family member responsible for the account. Otherwise any communication about any of our patients with an outsider or even a family member can only be done with a written consent allowing us to do that, with an adult patient or a minor with a guardian.
The only exception to that would be in an emergency situation as defined by California law including “danger to self’”, “danger to others”, or “gravely disabled.” For more details about the specifics, please inquire with your provider.
Our practice is on a fee-for-service basis, and in our continued effort to contain costs, payment is due at the time of service. Many insurance companies do often reimburse you for some of our services. For more Information, please contact the toll free number to your insurance on your card and they will inform you the process in detail.
In order to keep costs down, we do not do any routine billing; however, we do expect patients who owe money to pay in order to schedule a follow-up appointment including for any missed appointments. As we are not a lending institution, and don’t charge interest if there is a balance on the account; it needs to be paid promptly in order for further services to be scheduled (we value your cooperation and assistance in this regard).
Our practice takes great pride in reserving your appointments and trying to respect your time when the appointment is reserved for you. However, if you are unable to keep your appointment and in order to avoid a “no-show or late cancellation charges” we do request a 24-hour notice. Please be respectful of our policy, as that is the only way we can provide a commitment by reserving the time for you and we expect you to be responsible for keeping that appointment or observing the cancellation policy if you have to cancel. Should there be an urgent need to cancel less than 24 hours in advance, please indicate that to our office staff and your provider will be glad to review your particular situation. If there was a charge made for a no-show or a missed appointment, we do expect you to pay that fee in order to schedule a follow-up, as that is your responsibility, as insurance does not cover missed appointments.
Refills will be handled through our dedicated pharmacy line. In the event you do not have any refills on your regular prescription, please contact your pharmacy and ask for a refill and they can contact our office via email or fax requesting routine refills. Our pharmacy line is checked frequently by our staff during regular work day and regular office hours (Monday through Friday; from 8:00am to 5:00pm). Please note that the pharmacy line is not checked by our staff after hours or on weekends, so if you need a refill please request it if at all possible before you run out during the week and avoid after hours or weekends. Messages left after 4pm might not have a chance of being processed before the next day so please call early.
To maintain the high quality of our service we have a policy that in order to get refills on your medications you need to be an “active or maintenance” patient, which translates to being seen regularly or at least on a minimum of every 1-3 months, unless other arrangements have been agreed to with your physician.
If you have not been seen within that timeframe you’re expected to make an office appointment as soon as possible and only a limited supply might be approved depending on when you were last seen in the office and until you have a scheduled follow-up.
Also be aware that if it has been a long time since your last appointment, we may need to see you for a more in-depth assessment to allow for more time for a sufficient evaluation.
Please be aware that we take great pride in keeping our standards of care, so we very much appreciate your cooperation in implementing.
Maintenance Care and Follow-Up
We take pride in stabilizing a lot of our patients and if the patients are continuing on medication maintenance, then we have set up standards where in order to be able to fill these medications after stabilization, patients need to be seen a minimum of every 1-3 months, depending on their clinical condition and the medications utilized. Please be aware of that when requesting refills; if you have not been seen within that range for a follow-up then you will only be provided a limited supply of medications until seen. If a patient is no longer continuing actively in the services through our office, then we cannot automatically fill their prescriptions unless re-assessment is done that involves a follow-up office visit (often longer than a brief medication appointment to allow enough time for an interval assessment) as set up by staff with an appropriate clinician.
We take great pride in the quality of our services to our patients at all stages, Please help us by cooperating with our guidelines for follow-up, If you choose to be non-compliant we have no choice but to terminate your care with us with at least a 2 week notice. (Fortunately we rarely do that as we have very understanding and cooperative patients!)
We strive to provide availability and continuity of care to our patients during our regular office hours where we have the availability of our staff, your medical records to make the necessary interventions, responding to any questions, scheduling appointments, medication refills, and all other administrative processes. We very much ask you to please call us during regular office hours for those types of issues as possible.
However, we realize that medical, psychological or psychiatric emergencies do occur outside office hours. The following is what we recommend should the need arise:
- If the situation is urgent and needs immediate medical or psychiatric intervention we urge you to call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room for immediate medical assessment and intervention. Please inform those emergency personnel that you’re under our care so we can get the appropriate medical information, with your signed consent, in order for us to have continuity of care upon your return to our office.
- We recognize that at times issues come up that require a clinical person to give direction and advice and don’t fall under the category of medical emergency. Examples would be an important (but not urgent) question about a medication side effect, or perhaps a regular and important prescription medication lost and not available until the office is open. For “Urgent medication request” your regular pharmacy can advance you some medications until the office is open. However, in our quest to minimize any risks to your well-being under those circumstances contact our after-hours answering service.
Whenever our office is closed after hours and weekends (see our hours of operation) our answering service will take your message and relay it to the appropriate clinician. Someone will get back to you..
We will also receive a detailed report of that contact from our answering service so our staff can make the appropriate follow up with you. Please make sure you leave your phone number and e-mail address if possible with the answering service.
You can access our answering service by calling (973) 790-9222 after hours and selecting zero (0) for a live operator. Thank you always for your continuous support and to allow us to continue to grow and aspire for optimal care for our patients and families.