Basic Policies and Treatment Guidelines

Riverside welcomes children and adults from all backgrounds. We seek to provide comprehensive medical counseling and spiritual service based on each individual’s personal needs and beliefs.

Making Appointments

Many Riverside Counseling Center’s counselors are very busy. Periodically, counselors and medical staff will be closed to new patients. Schedules are often reopened within a few weeks. Following your first appointment, you may wish to schedule several future appointments at once in order to reserve the day and time which best fits your schedule. Be mindful of dates scheduled and provide at least 24 hours notice (excluding weekends) if your plans change and you need to cancel follow up appointments.

Canceling Appointments

Your appointment is reserved especially for you. We do not double book session time slots. Therefore, if you do not provide 24 hours notice (excluding weekends) to cancel an appointment, a late cancelation fee will be applied. The charge will be the full visit fee or a reduced amount. Your account will not be charged if we are able to schedule someone from our waiting list into your appointed time slot.

Your Rights as a Client

1.  To be treated with dignity and respect.
2. To ask questions regarding the therapeutic process or office procedures.
3.  Terminate therapy at any time. You may wish to see another clinician at Riverside Counseling Center. Your therapist will also provide you with other referral sources upon request.
4.  Specify and negotiate therapeutic goals and be an active participant in therapy.
5.  Confidentiality, as described below.

Confidentiality

As a client, one of your most important rights is that of confidentiality. Communications between client and clinician will be confidential and not disclosed to anyone outside of Riverside Counseling Center without your written consent. There are exceptions to confidentiality as defined by state law and professional ethics. Reasons for breaking confidentiality include the following circumstances:

1. Your clinician has reason to think that you may seriously harm yourself or another person.

2. Your clinician has reason to suspect that abuse or neglect of a child, an elderly person, or a dependent adult has occurred.

3. A court orders the release of information regarding your treatment.

4. You are utilizing medical insurance which requires the disclosure of diagnostic and/or treatment

Insurance Updates

Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, Kaiser, MAMSI, United Healthcare and others
Some Riverside counselors are in-network providers with these companies. All others providers offer out-of-network services. For those with out-of-network insurance benefits, we will provide the necessary procedure and diagnosis codes for you to submit to your insurance carrier for reimbursement.

Private-pay and out-of-network services often have advantages over in-network payment plans.  These advantages may include greater client control of private information shared with insurance companies, more options for appointment availability, and access to more experienced providers.

Our psychiatrists and nurse practitioner do not participate directly with private insurance. Several of our more experienced therapists also limit their practice to out-of-network services.
Out-of-Network Cigna
For Cigna insurance only, Riverside has begun submitting paperwork for out-of-network reimbursement directly to Cigna on your behalf.  Clients must pay the usual fee for service at the time of appointment until deductible is met. After deductible is met, you will only be responsible for the co-pay amount.
Riverside is considering offering this service for clients with other insurance companies in the future.

No Tricare Due to changes in Tricare policies, Riverside is no longer seeing patients who use Tricare Insurance. No in-network or out-of-network services are offered at this time.

Medicare Restrictions
LCSW therapists are not permitted to see Medicare patients at this office.
LPC and Residency Therapists may see Medicare patients but Medicare will not reimburse for services.
MD and NP medical staff may see Medicare patients under opt-out status. This means patients may not bill Medicare for services.
Patients seeing MD, NP, and LPC providers may request reimbursement from secondary insurance companies. Riverside does not directly bill secondary insurances.

Resident Counselors
Residency counselors have a Masters Degree in counseling and are working toward state licensure as an LPC.  Since they are not yet state-licensed, they provide reduced-fee services but medical insurance will not reimburse for these sessions.

Office Procedures

1. Insurance: If you are utilizing insurance it is your responsibility to obtain initial primary care referrals and pre-authorizations as required. In addition, it is your responsibility to contact your insurance company directly to obtain information about your mental health/substance abuse benefit package including: deductibles, reimbursement rates and percentages, number of sessions covered, in-network and out-of-network provisions.

2. Payment method: Payment or insurance co-payment is required at time of service. Payments can be made in cash or by check or credit card. Should your account remain unpaid for 30 days or more, the clinician reserves the right to suspend or discontinue treatment until the charges are paid in full or until the client and clinician agree upon a suitable payment arrangement (in writing). If payment is not made and treatment is discontinued, the clinician will offer referral assistance to an appropriate municipal or non-profit mental health agency.

3. Missed Appointments: Missed appointments are a loss for everyone. Your appointment time will be reserved exclusively for you. We do not overbook or double book appointment times as may be common in other medical practices. If we do not receive 24 business hours notice that you need to cancel an appointment, then you will be charged for that appointment.

4. Telephone Consultations: Telephone consultations between sessions will be billed on a pro-rated basis. Anything beyond a very brief call will be subject to this charge. If you request phone contacts with family, friends or other professionals you will be asked to sign a release of information form.

5. Termination of Treatment: We recommend that you discuss ending therapy with your clinician rather than discontinue therapy without advice or explanation. If you cancel or miss a scheduled appointment and do not contact your clinician within 90 days, it will be assumed that you have ended your period of treatment. The therapist maintains no legal or professional obligations to the client after treatment has ended. You may contact your therapist at a later date if you wish to resume treatment.

6. Emergency management: Urgent issues may be handled through your therapist during the normal work week by calling (703) 724-0200. Emergency situations, including thoughts of suicide should be addressed by calling 911 or going to the nearest hospital emergency room.

7. Medication refills: Please allow at least 48 hours for medication refills. Prescription refills require ongoing monitoring. You must schedule an appointment with your psychiatrist at least every 3 months. Your psychiatrist will inform you if more frequent appointments are indicated. If you have concerns or problems related to your medications you should schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist.