Confidentiality

All information disclosed within sessions and the written records pertaining to those sessions are confidential.  The information may not be revealed to anyone without your written permission, except where disclosure is required by law or court order.  The law requires disclosure when there is a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect, when a patient presents a danger to self, specific other, or to property.

Telephone and Emergency Procedures

Calls can be made to my confidential voicemail at 212-260-4767.  You can also reach me directly through my website “contact” page or through my email at LouASmith@aol.com I am the only one to access voice on online communications.  I do my best to respond promptly and always do so within 24 hours.  If you have an emergency and can not wait for a return call, please go to your nearest hospital emergency room.

Sessions

During our initial consultation, I will assess whether I have the skill set and experience to be helpful.  A consultation is also a time for you to evaluate if you feel comfortable with me and my way of engaging with you. Consultations are usually 15 minutes longer than regular sessions.

Subsequent individual sessions are 45 minutes long; Couples/Family session are 1 hour, unless otherwise planned. Group sessions are typically 90 minutes.

I require 72 hours notice by phone before the cancellation of an appointment. If sufficient notice is given, you will not be charged for the session. I will always try to reschedule a cancelled session within the week whenever possible.

I want to hear any concerns and questions about our work together.  Sharing these with me is an essential component of working together and healing.

Payments

Payment is expected at time of service unless we make a different arrangement.

I am not an “in network participating provider” but will provide you with documentation to access your “out of network” insurance benefits.  The documentation or “invoice” can be submitted to your insurance company, along with an insurance claim form for utilizing any out of network benefits your insurance company provides.  Please consult with your health insurance provider regarding deductibles, sessions allowed and copayments. With your permission, I will confer with insurance companies, complete forms required, in an effort to help you receive reimbursements.

Whenever you use your insurance for mental health benefits a numeric psychiatric diagnosis must be provided to the insurance company.  Depending on one’s insurance, out of network providers are sometimes requested to have “peer reviews” to rationalize the “need for therapy” and reimbursement from them to you. This phone review will contain more detailed information about you and our work together. It will happen with your consent only. Therefore, some patients choose not to use insurance benefits when personal material explored in therapy feels especially private.

Many larger companies offer a flexible spending account in which you may submit receipts for psychotherapy services not covered by insurance. Please inquire with your employer whether this is an option you can utilize.  I will provide receipts of services rendered for submission to flexible spending accounts.

I will explore providing a sliding fee scale for all services when appropriate and will evaluate this with you on a regular basis.

After 90 days of nonpayment, I will consider your account delinquent and take necessary actions to obtain payment.