The following contains important information about my professional services, and business policies. Washington State Law requires that you be given this information so you will have a basis to make informed decisions concerning your therapy. Therefore, please read this carefully. During our first session you will have ample opportunity to ask questions about my practices. Afterwards, feel free to ask questions.
To help you make an informed decision concerning your therapy it is best to understand my general office practices.
Office Hours and Service Fees
- I typically schedule appointments Monday through Thursday between 11:00 am and 8:30 pm.
- First appointments are scheduled for 90 minutes at a fee of $200. Subsequent 55-60 minute sessions are $140.
- I accept cash, check, MasterCard, Visa, and Discover cards. All fees are paid at the start of our session and will be receipted.
- At present I am contracted with two insurance providers: Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield and TriCare. It is your responsibility to know your benefits. Many plans have out-of-network benefits which may make it possible for you to receive partial reimbursements for my services. Check with your provider for details. The printable Insurance form (ChuckVerro-Form-InsuranceVerification) provides a list of questions which may be helpful as you gather that information from your insurance provider representative.
Private Pay Option
You should be aware that there are several benefits should you choose to pay privately for your counseling rather than using your insurance.
- Privacy. Insurance companies do work to maintain your confidentiality, but the simple reality is there are many people involved in processing your claims: employees who input data, track progress, review treatment plans, audit those treatment plans for appropriateness (while never meeting with you personally), authorize payment, and so on. In some instances the HR department of your employer is also in the loop to some degree. By paying privately your personal and confidential information stays in my office in a locked cabinet behind locked doors. No one but me has access to that information except under specific circumstances outlined under Confidentiality and will be discussed in our first session.
- Duration of Treatment. Most insurance policies allow a limited number of sessions within some designated time frame – usually a year, but not always. Their goal is to keep their payments to a minimum to improve their bottom line – not necessarily to improve your mental health.
- Your Future. Once a claim is submitted for payment you’re on record as having a psychiatric diagnosis (e.g., major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, bi-polar disorder, etc.). If at some point in the future you are looking for life insurance, applying for a mortgage, or even applying for a permit to carry/own a firearm, this information may be accessible to those making the determination. Paying privately prevents this potential downside.
It is my expectation that you will attend all our scheduled counseling sessions as each session is a step towards reaching your goals and each missed appointment is a missed opportunity. There are times, however, when the thought of wrestling with issues gives birth to a desire to be somewhere else. I get that, but experience has shown me that often these may be the most fruitful times to be present.
The fee for missing an appointment or not cancelling with at least 24 hour notice is the cost of the session. If you are using insurance please be aware that this cannot be billed to your insurance and must be paid, in full, at the time of the next scheduled appointment unless special arrangements have been made.
I understand that sometimes “life happens” (e.g., unanticipated and out of your control events such as accidents, sickness, extreme weather, death in the family) and giving 24 hour notice is not possible. In such situations please notify me as soon as you can and if possible I will try to arrange another time to meet within the week.
Communication and Other Services Between Sessions
- The best way to contact me for administrative issues is by calling my office number and leaving a voice mail. Text messaging may be okay if we have determined that in our initial session. I DO NOT monitor eMails during the day on a routine basis, but do check them in the evenings and early mornings. I will respond to communications within 24 hours.
- There is no charge for communications related to scheduling or related administrative matters.
- Non-administrative communications are billed in 15 minute increments and are pro-rated based on the hourly fee for services. There is no fee for the first 15 minutes.
- An brief outline of all non-administrative telephone communications are entered into your confidential clinical record as are email messages.
If you experience a crisis and are in need of emergency services call the crisis line at (503) 215-7082, (360) 696-9560, (800) 626-8137, or dial 911. You may also go the nearest emergency room at the hospital of your choice as they have psych professionals on call at all times.
I maintain a modest clinical record that includes information that we discuss plus test and assessment results if utilized. You may view this record in my office if you choose.
Supervision and Confidentiality
In keeping with generally accepted standards of practice, consultation/supervision regarding the management of cases may be sought, as needed, from other mental health professionals who have appropriate expertise. In such cases personal identity information is omitted to insure confidentiality.
Aside from the aforementioned supervisory relationships, I will maintain as confidential all information shared in our counseling sessions with the following exceptions mandated by law:
- I must report known or suspected abuse or neglect of a child, dependent adult or developmentally disabled person, whether or not that person is a client, to the appropriate authority.
- I must report all instances where it is my professional judgment that a client may kill or commit violence to himself or another person.
- Confidentiality will be broken in the event that I am mandated to report certain information by order of the court.
- Confidentiality may be broken while defending claims brought by a client against myself.
- Confidentiality can be broken if the client gives written consent to disclose information.
Your Personal Dignity and Autonomy
- My unwavering goal is to treat you in a consistently competent, ethical and respectful manner.
- I will respond promptly and courteously to any questions or concerns you have about my approach and methods.
- You are free to decline any advice or suggestions I give and to discuss any available alternative options.
- Your ongoing feedback helps to assure the highest quality counseling experience. I encourage you to provide me with feedback about our relationship at any time, either in person or by completing a quick and anonymous satisfaction survey.
Benefits and Risks of Treatment
- There are no guarantees that any or all of your problems will be remedied by working with me. You may experience stress, strained relationships, or other difficulties as a result of our work together. At times, therapy requires the sharing of painful feelings and thoughts. You may experience anxiety as you face major life decisions. For couples, there is no guarantee that therapy will ensure the continuation of a relationship (although research has established that therapy improves the odds).
- There are many benefits to therapy that have been established by scientific research as well as by clinical experience. My philosophy is generally optimistic and hopeful. When your agenda is one of healing and problem solving, there is usually always something that has not been tried that will be helpful, even if your prior counseling or therapy experience has been less than fully satisfying or successful.
- Sometimes therapy can generate strong feelings toward the therapist — angry, fearful, or even sexual feelings. It is my job to help contain these feelings in such a way that you feel safe in the therapeutic relationship. While I may feel strong feelings with you, I will not act on any feelings in any way that could be destructive to your therapy experience.
- You can stop seeing me at any time, with no obligation to me other than to pay for services that have already been provided and to give me adequate notice of a decision to cancel an appointment as discussed above.
- You are free to schedule as infrequently as you like, depending on your particular situation and needs. Except in rare and/or potentially dangerous circumstances, I leave it up to you to contact me to request an appointment. I generally don’t call or write to follow up with you unless you have requested this from me.
- I may make a decision to terminate treatment under rare circumstances, such as if I am not able to provide therapy that fits your specialized needs, if you are not benefiting from our work together, if you don’t pay your bill, if you become violent, abusive or litigious, or if the therapy relationship is compromised in any way due to unforeseen circumstances. If I terminate services with you I will provide an appropriate referral for you.
Thank you for reviewing these policies which will help insure that our work together is as meaningful and productive for you as possible.