Our Practice Policies
Welcome to the Therapeutic Center for Children and Families.
We offer comprehensive services for children, adolescents, adults and families. Our practice is composed of specialists trained in different modalities who can effectively manage the diverse aspects of most psychiatric needs. We offer a wide range of services including in-depth psychiatric evaluations, parent guidance, cognitive-behavioral treatment, individual psychotherapy, dialectic behavioral therapy, family therapy, medication management, group therapies, in-home services, as well as other forms of outpatient therapy. Your practitioner will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your specific needs.

Appointments
All appointments must be scheduled directly with your provider. The session length will vary, depending on the services required. If an appointment must be cancelled, 48-hour advance notice is required (excluding weekends and holidays). Missed appointments and cancellations that occur without 48-hour notice will be charged to you unless there are exceptional circumstances involved.

Urgent Matters
In the event of an urgent psychiatric matter that cannot wait until the next business day, please follow the instructions on your clinician’s voicemail. All of our MD’s have emergency lines that are indicated on their voice mails. If you have agreed to text with your clinician (see “Text Messaging” below), you may do so only in addition to leaving a voice mail on the designated emergency line. If you do not hear back within 1 hour, please try again. In the event it is a true medical emergency, dial 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.

Confidentiality
The medical records of our clients are highly confidential. Information contained in the records will not be released without proper written consent. When treating a child or adolescent, parents are kept informed of the general progress of treatment, but specific and personal information is kept confidential. In the case of a divorce situation where medical custody is shared, consent and authorization regarding disclosure of any information is required from both parents.

Medication Prescription and Refills
Patients are encouraged to leave detailed information with their prescriber regarding the name, address, telephone, and fax numbers of the pharmacy where they fill prescriptions. Medication refills, when needed, should be initiated by patients with their pharmacy and/or prescriber at least 3 to 4 days in advance, in order to leave adequate time for the prescription to be refilled. Please be aware that mail order prescription refills may take two or more weeks.  Special attention is required in filling prescriptions for stimulant medications. A new written prescription is required by law for each monthly dispensing of these medications such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Focalin, Dexedrine, and the long-acting and generic equivalents. Pharmacies cannot accept telephone orders or faxed orders for these medications. Therefore, it is recommended to notify the prescriber a week in advance in order to allow time for the mailing of prescriptions and possible delays.

Because of insurance requirements, certain medications may require pre-authorization in order to be filled if the medication is not on a “formulary” of approved medications for that insurance plan. Please have the insurance company fax the necessary pre-authorization forms to our office. Patients should allow ample time and notify the pharmacy and prescriber immediately if they are aware of an issue, since it can take many days for the approval process to be completed.

Phone Calls
All phone messages are responded to as quickly as possible. If we are not personally available, the confidential voicemail system will take your call. Please check with your provider regarding when his or her voicemail messages are checked. Be sure to always leave your name, phone number(s), and convenient times when you can be reached. Do not leave extensive voice mails; rather, leave key clinical information you would like to discuss with your provider. Please be aware that extensive phone conversations may be billed as pro-rated sessions.

E-Mail
We do not discuss clinical matters via the Internet. We will occasionally send follow-up e-mails that pertain to scheduling, billing, or other administrative matters that do not include any sensitive medical information. If you have a clinical matter that needs to be discussed, please call your provider to schedule an appointment.

Text Messaging
In the event your provider agrees to communicate with you via text message, the following guidelines apply:

1. Text messages are not to be the primary method of communication in emergency situations. Please call your provider. (See “Urgent Matters” above.)

2. Text messages should be sent only Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, or as agreed by your provider. Please do not expect your provider to respond to messages sent nights or weekends.

3. If your provider does not respond to your text message right away, please call his or her confidential phone extension. Be certain to listen to any messages indicating that your provider is away from the office, and follow instructions given on the voice mail.

4. Keep it simple. If a matter is complicated, text is not the preferred method of communication.

5. We do not discuss medical information via text message. Texts regarding scheduling, directions, etc. are considered appropriate.

Payment and Billing
Professional fees are based upon the type of session and the duration of the session. Sessions and fees will be discussed with you at the start of treatment. Payment is expected at the end of each session, preferably by check. Our policy is to maintain a current credit card on file so that payments may still be processed if we do not receive payment by check before the end of our monthly billing cycle.

The Therapeutic Center for Children and Families does not participate with any insurance plans. However, our experience has been that most insurance plans have an out-of-network mental health component that will reimburse you directly. These benefits and reimbursements vary greatly by insurance company and further by each plan. Because the practice is not contracted with any insurance plans, you are responsible to know your benefits and authorization requirements, and to follow up regarding payment. Payment for services provided by your practitioner is not contingent upon third party reimbursement.

A monthly statement will be mailed to you for submission to your insurance plan. The statement includes all of the information your insurance company requires for processing. Unless it is decided otherwise, we suggest that if you use the HCFA claim form, do not sign box 13 authorizing payment directly to the practice, as it is important for you to be aware of how your benefits are administered. If your insurance plan requires additional documentation, we will be glad to provide the requested information, within reason. However, please keep in mind that we cannot accept responsibility for collecting your claim or for negotiating a settlement on a disputed claim. If, at any time, financial difficulties present a problem in keeping your account current, please discuss your situation with your provider immediately.

Our Westport office has often been confused with the Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County in Norwalk because of Dr. Lustbader’s and Dr. Sasso’s roles at the Center.  The Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield County and The Therapeutic Center for Children and Families are separate business entities. The Child Guidance Center participates as a contracted facility for many insurance networks; however these affiliations do not apply to The Therapeutic Center for Children and Families.

For billing or administrative questions, please call Jan Jepsen directly at extension 713. You can also reach her via e-mail at jmjllc2010@optonline.net.




Staff
Therapeutic Center for
Children and Familites
215 Main Street
Westport, CT 06880

(800) 975-7418
(203) 454-2428
(203) 454-2447 fax