CLINICAL PRACTICE POLICIES
GENERAL INFORMATION FOR CLIENTS
Thank you for your interest in pursuing psychiatric evaluation, psychotherapy or medications for yourself or for your child. Hopefully, this will address some of your initial questions about my practice. You are welcome to discuss any aspect of this information during our meetings.
SERVICE AND RATES
An initial evaluation/consultation usually consists of 1-2 sessions. This often includes a 90-minute initial appointment and a 45-minute follow up meeting. This follow up meeting includes a discussion about my impressions of the presenting problem, if not already discussed at the initial session. At the end of the consultation, a treatment plan will be made and recommendations provided. Rates and fees are based on time and each session is billed separately. In general, I see patients for 20-45 minutes for follow up appointments.
The fee remains the same no matter whom the session is with. The same fee applies for school meetings I may attend at your request, for collateral work or phone conferences, or for additional assessment time as part of an evaluation. I do not bill for brief phone calls to schedule appointment times, but for anything more prolonged, I do reserve the right to bill for my time. Payment is due in full at the time of visit.
Please call me to discuss the specifics regarding my current fees for specific services.
HEALTH INSURANCE ISSUES
I do not take insurance; however, some insurance plans will reimburse a portion of the fees.
If you have a preferred provider plan (PPO) or other non-managed care plan, you may have “out- of-network” benefits. This generally means that you have the option to work with a clinician who is an “out-of-network” provider, and that your company will reimburse subscribers for a certain percentage of a therapist’s fee. Although you would be responsible for paying me directly, you would have the option to submit an insurance claim form for any and all sessions with me. There is sometimes confusion because I am listed on some panels due to past and current hospital affiliations. However, for my private practice, “Camilla Lyons, MD, MPH” is a separate entity and should be regarded by insurers as out-of-network.
Since I don’t know the details of every employer’s insurance plan, I urge you to contact your insurance company directly so you know what to expect regarding deductibles and the process of potential reimbursement from them. I am not able due to limited administrative assistance to look into this for you. I am happy to assist you as much as I can if you encounter difficulties or confusing information. It is also important to point out that insurance companies do not generally reimburse for collateral work or missed appointment fees, and you would be responsible for paying those charges directly, even if the insurance company covers a portion of the office visits.
The reason I have decided not to accept insurance is my strong belief that your treatment should be based on what is best given your individual circumstances and needs, not on an insurance company’s restrictions made upon the time and frequency I spend on your care.
I require at least 24 hours advance notice if you wish to cancel an appointment. Otherwise, you will be charged for the full cost of a session if 24 hours notice is not given or if you fail to show up for a scheduled session. Exceptions to the cancellation policy are official snow emergencies only.
TELEPHONE CONTACT & EMERGENCIES
I collect messages from my office phone daily Monday through Friday. I make every effort to return your call the same day. If you do not receive a call the same day, you can almost always expect a return call the next business day after I have received your message.
Please be aware that I do not retrieve phone messages consistently on the weekends. If you have an emergency that requires immediate response or you cannot wait for a return call, go to your nearest emergency room or call 911. An emergency room that I recommend in New York City is Bellevue Hospital Center's Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program, 462 First Ave, New York, NY 10016 (212) 562-4678; of note, I also work in this facility. An emergency room that I recommend in Westchester County is Northern Westchester Hospital, 400 East Main Street, Mount Kisco, NY 10549, (914) 666-1254. If inpatient psychiatric hospitalization is anticipated, I also recommend New York-Presbyterian Hospital Westchester Division, 21 Bloomingdale Rd, White Plains, NY 10605, (888) 694-5700 or (914) 997-5700; I recommend calling the Admitting Department prior to going there. Then, at your earliest convenience, please contact me and let me know what has occurred. This will help me to be of assistance to you during a crisis. While I try to be available at all times, cell phone coverage does occasionally leave gaps.
If you need a refill or do not have enough medication to cover you until our next session, please leave a detailed message including the name of the medication, the dose and frequency you take the medication, your pharmacy and pharmacy phone number, your name and date of birth, and a number where you can be reached. Please allow 3-4 days business days for the medication to be filled. In some instances you will be provided with a refill, while in others, you will be provided with enough medications to last until the next session. This is meant to assure safe and effective use of medications. Also, please be advised that controlled substances such as stimulants cannot be called into the pharmacy.
The entire process of psychotherapy rests upon confidentiality. Exceptions to doctor-patient confidentiality include potential for harm to oneself or other, suspicion of child or elder abuse, or abuse of persons with mental retardation. Please also see my Notice of Privacy Practices.
Thank you again for the opportunity to be of service to you or your child. I look forward to our work together.
Dr. Camilla L. Lyons, MD, MPH