Policies & Procedures

ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY

All patients will conduct themselves in a socially appropriate fashion at all times.  The following forms of aggressive or manipulative behavior will not be tolerated and will be grounds for immediate dismissal from the practice:  drug seeking behavior, aggressive power-driven argument, prescription forgery, scatalogical speech, insults, failure to keep appointments, medication diversion (i.e. selling prescription medication), or attempts to circumvent payment or defraud the practice.  The care that is being delivered in this practice is at a premium as there are very few practitioners who provide these services and even fewer who accept insurance.  Those who wish to remain patients of this practice will treat all staff members with courtesy and respect.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Addiction Medicine services have been recognized by Congress as requiring increased protection from disclosure to third parties. Federal laws governing “Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records” (42 U.S.C. 290dd-2) are more stringent than those of HIPAA, and they supersede HIPAA regulations. Federal rules permit disclosures in only 9 limited circumstances: 1) When patient signs a consent form that complies with the regulations’ requirements, 2) When the disclosure does not identify the patient as a substance abuser, 3) When program staff members consult among themselves, 4) When the disclosure is to a “qualified service organization” that provides services to the program, 5) When there is a medical emergency, 6) When the program must report child abuse or neglect, 7) When the patient commits a crime at the program or against staff members, 8.) When the information is for research, audit, or evaluation purposes, 9) When a court issues a special order authorizing disclosure.

These rules apply regardless of whether the person seeking information already has the information, has other ways of obtaining it, has official status, is authorized by state law, or has a subpoena or search warrant.

In other words, we don’t release your records to anyone without your permission and it takes a court order from a judge (not just an attorney) to get these records. If you elect to pay for your services using insurance, your insurance company can be considered a “qualified service organization”.  In any event, if we submit charges for your care to an insurance company we do disclose your diagnosis code in order to be paid for the services rendered, but we do not disclose your records to them.  Your medical records will only be released with your permission or by means of a court order issued by a judge.  Court orders are usually issued in criminal cases.

INSURANCES ACCEPTED

The following insurance plans are accepted, however, it is the duty of the patient to ensure that all pre-authorization procedures have been completed, otherwise the patient—and not their insurance company—may be liable for the charges incurred. Call your insurance company and fulfill all their requirements for pre-authorization. Contact our office prior to your appointment regarding any remaining pre-authorization issues.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

Medicare

Aetna

United Healthcare

Seton Health Plan

PHCS

Some of the Humana Plans—check first with your carrier

APPOINTMENT SCHEDULING AND COMMUNICATION

All scheduling is done by phone or in person. You will receive a text message or phone call or automated e-mail the day prior to your appointment. E-mail is not secure. We do not use e-mail to address patient problems or inquiries. If you have a problem, call us.

PATIENTS WHO DO NOT SHOW UP FOR THEIR FIRST APPOINTMENT WILL NOT BE GIVEN A SECOND APPOINTMENT—NO EXCEPTIONS.  IF YOU CANCEL YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT WITH 24 HOURS NOTICE AND WANT TO RESCHEDULE, WE WILL REQUIRE A $200 DEPOSIT IN ADVANCE IN ORDER TO RESCHEDULE.

PAYMENT FOR SERVICES

We accept Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Cash and Checks.  All payments are due in full at the time of service.

CANCELLATION POLICY

If you have to cancel or change your appointment we require at least 24-hour notice prior to cancellation.  Same day cancellations are subject to a $50 penalty for established patients.

PATIENTS WHO DO NOT SHOW UP FOR THEIR FIRST APPOINTMENT WILL NOT BE GIVEN A SECOND APPOINTMENT—NO EXCEPTIONS.  IF YOU CANCEL YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT WITH 24 HOURS NOTICE AND WANT TO RESCHEDULE, WE WILL REQUIRE A $200 DEPOSIT IN ADVANCE IN ORDER TO RESCHEDULE.

FINANCIAL POLICY

The following charges apply: $50 for missed appointments or same day cancellations of established patients (new patients will not be given 2nd appointments if they fail to attend the first appointment); $25 per completion of Insurance Company Prior Authorizations; $40 for Professional Letter; Disability Form completion $40; Form completion for other 3rd parties $40.

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