ABOUT OUR PRACTICE
ABOUT OUR PRACTICE
At Family Therapeutics, we believe in integrating mental health care whenever possible for patients and their families. We have a network of colleagues (primary care doctors, other therapists, etc) that we refer patients to as part of our treatment team approach. If a referral to another professional is made, we will work with them to collaborate and coordinate your care, and will request your permission to discuss your case with them. We make every effort to select extremely high quality professionals who ascribe to the highest standards of care. However we can take no responsibility for the treatment they provide. It is up to you to determine if a professional we have referred you to is right for you, and the referred professional alone is responsible for the care they provide.
MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH RECORDS
We are bound by the law and the standards of our profession which require us to keep appropriate treatment records. Because these are professional records, they can be misinterpreted, so we always recommend that we review them together so that we can discuss any concerns you may have. We are also able to prepare summaries upon request.
Confidentiality is of the utmost importance in your treatment and is protected by the law. We can only release information about our work to others with your written permission. Some basic information about diagnosis and treatment may be required as a condition of your insurance coverage should you elect to seek reimbursement. Please be aware of the following exceptions to confidentiality where disclosure is required by law:
1. If there is the threat of serious bodily harm to yourself or others, we are required to take protective actions, which may include notifying the potential victim, notifying the police, or seeking appropriate hospitalization.
2. If there is an indication of abuse to a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person, even if it is about a party other than yourself, we must file a report with the appropriate state agency.
3. If a judge may require our staff’s testimony through a subpoena.
4. If due to mental illness, you are unable to meet your basic needs, such as clothing, food, and shelter, we may have to disclose information in order to access services to provide for your basic needs.
These situations are rare and when they arise we make our best effort to work in cooperation with you to make the process as smooth as possible.
TALK THERAPY (PSYCHOTHERAPY & FAMILY THERAPY)
Talk therapy may help you or your family in many ways such as the resolution of problems, stress reduction, improved social functioning, and improved self insight. Therapy can often involve a large commitment of time, money, and energy, so you should be very careful about the therapist you select. Should we find that we are incompatible to successfully engage in therapy, we will be happy to offer referrals to other mental health professionals to assist you.
The use of psychotropic medication can be very useful in combination with talk therapy. We will work together to find the optimal combination of medication (if warranted) and therapy that help to fulfill your goals. When using medication we make a point of explaining the risks, benefits, government warnings, common side effects, severe side effects, and alternatives (which always include the use of no medication). We are always happy to discuss any medication related questions you clinician.
Please do not have your pharmacy call us for medication refills. We are not able to refill medications without evaluating our patients to ensure that we are achieving our appropriate therapeutic goals. The Dr. will always give you a sufficient supply of medication to last until your next recommended follow-up appointment. Should complicated issues arise we may ask that you come in for an appointment prior to receiving a refill or bridging supply of medication.
MD (physician) time: New evaluations are 2 clinical hours ($900), follow-ups are 1 clinical hour ($416)
*Please note all fees increase at a rate of 4% per year on January 1st of every year.
The above rates apply for medication or therapy appointments. Please be aware that a “clinical hour” often consists of approximately 15 minutes of documentation time and a “clinical half hour” consists of approximately 7.5 minutes of documentation time. All other professional services such as report writing, scheduled phone appointments, preparation of treatment summaries, insurance prior authorizations, court proceedings (even if your treating clinician is compelled to testify by another party), care coordination, school observations, or time spent performing any other services you may request will be charged at a rate in accordance with our hourly rates or fractions thereof.
CANCELLATIONS AND NO-SHOW POLICY ***PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THIS***
Once your appointment is scheduled, you will be expected to pay for it unless you provide at least 48 business hours advance notice of cancellation. Business hours are considered the weekdays between Monday and Friday. This means that if you have an appointment on Monday 6th at 4 pm, you must cancel on or before Thursday at 4 pm to avoid being charged. If you do not provide at least 48 business hours notice, or fail to show for a scheduled appointment, you will be responsible for the full cost of the session.
BILLING AND PAYMENTS
It is usual and customary to pay for our professional services when rendered, unless we agree otherwise. Payment schedules for other services will be agreed to at the time these services are requested. If your account has payment overdue for over 60 days, we have the option of using legal means to secure payment, including collection agencies or small claims court.
At Family Therapeutics we are not a part of any insurance panels, we do not take insurance, and are considered “out-of-network-providers” for most PPO plans. If you have a health benefits policy, it will usually provide some mental health coverage. However, you, not your insurance company, are responsible for full payment of the session fees. We do not bill your insurance directly. You will be provided with a standard receipt and form that can be submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement.
CONTACTING OUR STAFF
Our staff strives to be available to all our patients when we are needed. Should an emergency arise, we leave options for how to contact us on our voicemail. We make every attempt to return voicemails the same day but can take up to one business day to respond. It is helpful to us if when you call, you the phone number where you can best be reached. If it is a true medical emergency, you should call the nearest Emergency Room or 911 and describe your circumstances. You can also walk into any Emergency Room at any hospital and report your situation. If our staff will be unavailable for an extended period of time, we will provide our patients with the contact information for a trusted covering colleague.
Please be aware that e-mail is not a confidential means of communication. Our staff also cannot ensure that e-mail messages will be received or responded to in a timely fashion as we cannot guarantee that email will be checked daily. E-mail is not the appropriate way to communicate confidential information or emergency issues. E-mail is appropriate for brief and uncomplicated updates or questions. We reserve the right to charge for time spent reviewing or sending lengthy or complicated e-mails.
It is often unforeseen but legal matters requiring the testimony of a mental health professional can and do arise. Legal testimony can often be damaging to the relationship between a patient and his/her therapist or physician. As such we require that you employ independent forensic psychiatric services should this type of evaluation or testimony be required.
Your signature below indicates that you have read and understand the treatment consent form in its entirety and that you agree to abide by its terms during our professional relationship. Should you have a dependent child or adult in our care your consent is applicable for the services they receive.
Family Therapeutics is a registered DBA and FNP of Dr. Preetpal S. Sandhu, M.D., A Professional Corporation in the County of Los Angeles and the State of California.