Effective January 1, 2020
A cancelled appointment hurts three people: you, your therapist, and another client who could have potentially used your time slot. Therapy sessions are scheduled in advance and are a time reserved exclusively for our clients.
When a session is cancelled without adequate notice, we are unable to fill this time slot by offering it to another current client, a client on the wait list, or a client with a clinical emergency. In addition, we are unable to bill your insurance company for sessions that are not kept.
Without a cancellation fee policy in place, your therapist will lose money or the opportunity to schedule another client if you late cancel or do not show up.
Our cancellation policy is this: Clients can cancel or reschedule an appointment anytime, if they provide 24 hours’ notice. If you cancel an appointment with less than 24 hours’ notice, or fail to show up, you will be charged a $100 fee for the appointment.
Some practices have a 48-hour policy. Some even have a 72-hour policy. Ours is 24 hours, and we are firm at 24 hours.
Our cancellation policy in not a penalty or a punishment. Most clients understand this. Very rarely, there will be a client who will feel that he or she is being punished when they are charged a late cancellation fee. We want to make sure that you don’t feel this way, if someday you miss an appointment.
It is likely, if you are in counseling long enough, at some point you might forget about an appointment, or something will come up in your schedule that will result in you missing an appointment. Maybe you’ll need to work late. Maybe you’ll get a sudden onset of the flu. Maybe your kids will have doctor appointments, or your car will break down, or something unavoidable will come up.
We are not upset with clients when they miss an appointment. We know that’s life. In return, our clients understand that scheduling an appointment with one of us is like buying tickets to an event. If you miss the event, it doesn’t matter why you missed it, or even if it was your first time, you can’t turn in your tickets for a refund.
A fee of $100 will be charged when you miss or cancel an appointment without giving 24 hours advanced notice. This means that if an appointment is scheduled for 3:00 pm on a Tuesday, notice must be given by 3:00 pm on Monday at the absolute latest. *For Saturday or Sunday appointments, 48-hour notice is required.
You can cancel your appointment by calling, texting, or emailing your specific therapist. If you are more than 15 minutes late to your appointment time, it will be treated like a late cancellation. It’s important to remember that insurance will not pay for missed appointments, so you will be responsible for the full $100 fee, not just a co-pay.
The only time we will waive this fee is in the event of serious or contagious illness or extreme weather or other unavoidable circumstance. If you are unsure, please contact your therapist for further guidance.
Please understand that therapy should be viewed as any other important medical appointment would be viewed. This cancellation policy is important for our counseling practice because while a medical doctor can see 35 patients in a day, a therapist generally sees a maximum of 6 to 8 clients a day.
We reserve for you a full hour of our time for the session and clinical notes. If a client cancels with less than a full 24-hour notice it is unlikely that we will be able to fill that time slot, and we lose an entire hour from our work schedule.
While it is a time commitment, this is for your personal growth and consistency is key in order to achieve this. If you miss three scheduled appointments within a six-month time period without cancelling or rescheduling in accordance with cancellation policy of 24 hours’ advance notice, the therapeutic relationship will be terminated and appropriate referrals to other practices will be offered.
Clients who are unsure if they can commit to therapy appointments scheduled for them should seek services elsewhere.
You may return to therapy at any time should you so choose; however, you may be placed on a waiting list if your therapist doesn’t have openings on their schedule at the time. This is standard practice with most therapy agencies and private practice offices.
Because your therapist believes that the responsibility for your care is on both the client and the therapist, we agree that if you are double-booked for an appointment or if we miss an appointment without notice you will receive a FREE therapy session.
For the safety and well-being of our clients, our therapists, and our community we are temporarily closing the physical office and offering counseling sessions through TELEHEALTH ONLY, starting Thursday 03/19/2020 and continuing UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. This is not likely to change the dates or times of your appointments. Your therapist will be in touch with you, via text or phone call to confirm whether you want phone or video sessions, or if you'd like to reschedule after we remove the telehealth restriction.
In a previous email, I told you that you could use your computer for your session. This is incorrect. We use a HIPAA compliant software that requires the end-user to use the app, so you have to use the HIPAA-compliant app called SpruceHealth to video conference with your therapist. I’m including the instructions as an attachment again on this email. And your therapist will be able to help you with any questions you may have.
If you are a private pay client your rate for a telehealth session is the same as if you came to the office.
You ARE covered for telehealth if you have:
If you have PHCS/Multiplan, you will need to call your insurance to determine if they will pay for a behavioral health telehealth appointment. Get the name of the representative with whom you speak the rep’s name and a reference number for the call, should there be issues with claims.
If your health insurance company does NOT provide coverage for behavioral health telehealth counseling, you may advocate for this by calling Governor Kevin Stitt’s office at 405-521-2342 or send an email at https://www.governor.ok.gov/contact.
This is a measure than none of us at Empowered Life Counseling wanted to take, but we are sure that you all understand that this health crisis is only going to get better sooner than later if we all minimize our contact with others.
For encouragement during this time, we invite you to read our latest post concerning taking care of your mental health during a pandemic. You can find it by clicking the button below.