This document contains important information about our professional services and business practices. It also details our obligations and your rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, federal laws that regulate the use and disclosure of your Protected Health Information (PHI) and Electronic Protected Health Information (ePHI). PHI is health information that is individually identifiable. HIPAA requires that we notify you of our privacy policies and these are described in detail in the Confidentiality and Privacy Policies section below.

Counseling is a confidential process designed to help you address your concerns, come to a greater understanding of yourself, and learn effective personal and interpersonal coping strategies. It involves a relationship between you and a trained therapist who has the desire and willingness to help you accomplish your individual goals. Counseling involves sharing sensitive, personal, and private information that may at times be distressing. During the course of counseling, there may be periods of increased anxiety or confusion. The outcome of counseling is often positive; however, the level of satisfaction for any individual is not predictable. Your therapist is available to support you throughout the counseling process.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY POLICIES:

All interactions with Renew Wellness Center, including scheduling of or attendance at appointments, content of your sessions, progress in counseling, and your records are confidential.

EXCEPTIONS TO CONFIDENTIALITY:

  • Renew Wellness Center works as a team. Your therapist may consult with other professionals to provide the best possible care. These consultations are for professional and training purposes only.

  • If there is evidence of clear and imminent danger of harm to self and/or others, a therapist is legally required to report this information to the authorities responsible for ensuring safety.

  • Montana state law requires that counselors within Renew Wellness Center who learn of, or strongly suspect, physical or sexual abuse or neglect of any person under 18 years of age must report this information to child protection services.

  • A court order, issued by a judge, may require the Renew Wellness Center to release information contained in records and/or require a therapist to testify in a court hearing.

Renew Wellness Center will not release information to other parties without your written permission except when required to do so by State or Federal law. You may request in writing what specific information about your time with Renew Wellness Center be shared and to persons you designate.

LENGTH AND NUMBER OF SESSIONS:

During the initial consultation, your therapist will attempt to gain a general understanding of your situation and determine the most appropriate treatment. We believe it is important for clients to take an active part in their treatment, so don’t hesitate to ask questions. Psychotherapy has been shown to have many benefits - better relationships, solutions to specific problems, feeling less distressed. While it is likely that you will make progress, there are no guarantees.

Sessions typically last 50 minutes but vary on age and engagement in therapy. They are expected to begin promptly, and end at the scheduled time. Although it is understood that there may be instances when you arrive late for a session, late arrival will not extend the scheduled ending time for the session. Your therapist is also expected to be on time, and will offer appropriate remedy if late, such as making the time up, prorating the fee, etc. The total number of sessions is dependent on a number of factors including your goals, timeframe, rate of progress, etc. It should be noted again that psychotherapy resulting in lasting change is often a long-term process, lasting several months or longer. Please discuss any issues/concerns you have with your therapist so that an appropriate treatment plan can be formulated which will best suit your needs/desires.

APPOINTMENTS AND CANCELLATIONS

If you cancel an appointment, you must notify us at least 24 hours before the scheduled time, or you will be billed $50.00. Insurance will not cover charges for unkept/late cancelled appointments. So you will personally be responsible for such charges. However, there will be no charge if you call at least 24 hours before the appointment time to cancel. There may be valid reasons such as illness, for cancelling without charge. If you have a contagious illness, please call to cancel even without 24 hours notice - do not come to the office. If your therapist is involved in an emergency, and needs to cancel/reschedule, please be aware that you will be contacted to make future arrangements. This session will not be charged.

TERMINATION OF THERAPY:

The therapist reserves the right to terminate therapy at his/her discretion. Reasons for termination include, but are not limited to, untimely payment of fees, failure to comply with treatment recommendations, conflicts of interest, failure to participate in therapy, the client needs are outside of the therapist’s scope of competence or practice, or the client is not making adequate progress in therapy. The client (or the parents if the client is a minor) has the right to terminate therapy at his/her discretion. Upon either party’s decision to terminate therapy, the therapist will generally recommend that the client participate in at least one termination session. These sessions are intended to facilitate a positive termination experience and give both parties an opportunity to reflect on the work that has been done. The therapist will also attempt to ensure a smooth transition to another therapist by offering referrals to the client.

FEES AND HEALTH INSURANCE

Our average rate for counseling services is $190 per hour, and also has a sliding fee scale available if needed. We do not want payment to be the determining factor for not seeking counseling services.

Most health plans cover part of our fee. Although health insurance may aid in payment, you alone are responsible for paying for services. If you are unsure of whether or not your insurance policy covers our services it is solely your responsibility to determine this prior to the visit. If your policy does not cover the session, you will be billed for the amount unpaid. If there is a concern of whether or not you will be able to cover the costs please contact us, and we can provide you with our sliding fee scale.

In addition to weekly appointments, we will charge the $190/hr rate for other professional services you may need exceeding 15 minutes. Other services include report writing, telephone calls lasting more than 15 minutes, court testimonies, preparation of records or treatment summaries, and the time spent performing any other service you may request of us. Most Insurance policies do not cover such services. You will be personally responsible for such charges.

If an account is overdue, regular payments are not being made, and no provision for payment has been made, we may turn the account over to a collection agency or attorney, as authorized by state or federal law. We reserve the right to collect any unpaid balance due. Clients will be notified in writing before Renew Wellness Center takes such action to collect.

THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP:

The relationship between therapist and client is the container through which client change can take place. As such, it is often one in which close emotional bonds develop. It is also a professional relationship, in which appropriate boundaries must be maintained. For the most part, the therapeutic relationship begins and ends at the therapy office. Although this is sometimes difficult to understand, it is a necessary requirement for maintenance of the therapeutic environment. As such, your therapist cannot be expected to be involved in a social relationship or friendship of any kind that exists outside of the therapy room.

AFTER HOURS POLICY/PROCEDURE:

Your therapist will only be available to answer their individual phones during the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. During this time your therapist may be in session with other clients, and will typically get back to you within 24 to 48 hours. If you need to contact your therapist at any time, you may do so by leaving a message on their confidential voice mailbox at Renew Wellness Canter (453-WELL). If needed, you should discuss other alternative means of contact with your therapist. If you are in crisis, please call 911. Renew Wellness Center is not a crisis facility and will not be held responsible for any damages occurring as a result of unmet crisis or acute care needs. Your therapist may not be available to respond to emergency situations.