Rachel Baker Counseling PLLC

PRACTICE POLICIES

APPOINTMENTS AND CANCELLATIONS Counseling sessions usually last 45-55 minutes, and we must end each session promptly. Payment is due at the time of you appointment using cash, check, or credit card. I must charge the full fee even if you are late. If you cannot make your appointment and you do not cancel the appointment 24-hours in advance, you will be charged $80. Your insurance will not pay for missed sessions; you must pay for those yourself. There is a $30 fee for any check returned for any reason. If you have transportation concerns during inclement weather, please call me to discuss options for a telephone/video session (not covered by insurance) or rescheduling.

FEE SCHEDULE  Fees for sessions are $150 for a 60 minute intake session and subsequent sessions are charged $135 for individual, couples and family sessions lasting 55 minutes, and $125 for sessions lasting 45 minutes. The fee schedule is evaluated annually, at a minimum. You will be given 60 days notice when fees increase. Please remember no-show and appointments rescheduled less than 24-hours will be charged $80. As part of my policies I keep a credit card on file in my secure online system for all clients. This credit card will be charged the day of your appointment for our agreed upon session fee unless a 24-hour cancellation is provided or if we have other payment options arranged. By signing this informed consent you agree to keep a current credit card on file and agree to be charged for your sessions and any late cancellations or no-show appointments. You may also choose to use this card to cover session fees (i.e. copayments that are not covered by your insurance). If for some reason you find that you are unable to continue paying for your therapy, you should inform your therapist. Your therapist will help you to consider any options that may be available to you at that time.

NON-CLINICAL FEE SCHEDULE  Fees for telephone calls, email consults, preparation of records or summaries, letter writing, attendance at meetings with other professionals you have authorized, services that are not considered medically necessary, or other services you might request are prorated based on my clinical hour fee, with a minimum fee of 10 minutes (1/5 clinical hour). These services normally are not covered by health insurance.

COURT-RELATED POLICIES & FEES At the initiation of treatment, you and collateral parties agree not to solicit the clinician’s written or in-person testimony in legal cases. However, the court may order the clinician to testify. If court-ordered to testify, the clinician will testify as a fact or percipient witness. The clinician requests that subpoenas be personally served during the regular business hours of 8 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Thursday. The clinician’s scheduled meetings or sessions cannot be interrupted or misrepresented in order to personally serve the clinician with a subpoena. The entity or party initiating the subpoena agrees to compensate the clinician for her/his professional time according to the legal fees stated in this document and all legal expenses the clinician incurs from consultation with her/his attorney in preparation for a legal case. Professional time is defined as any activity the clinician undertakes or support required to provide testimony, which includes but is not limited to, time spent in preparation for testimony, time spent in consultation to prepare for testimony, travel to provide testimony, travel from providing testimony, lodging, and parking fees. The clinician charges a higher rate for her/his professional time in a legal proceeding that requires the clinician’s participation due the complexity and difficulty of legal involvement. The clinician will attend agreed upon and scheduled depositions, court appearances, or legal conferences. The clinician will not participate in on-call court appearances. Legal fees are as follows: $150 per hour for preparation, review of legal records, or deposition, court appearance, or legal conference; $800 for half day deposition, court appearance, or legal conference (greater than 1 hour and up to 4 hours); $1600 for full day deposition, court appearance, or legal conference (greater than 4 hours and up to 8 hours). Full payment of legal fees must be rendered at least 48 hours prior to the clinician’s scheduled deposition, court appearance, or legal conference. Court-related legal rates may be raised periodically at the clinician’s discretion and without additional notice.

TELEPHONE ACCESSIBILITY I am not always available for emergency calls, but you may contact me on my cell phone at (509) 999-8696, if you need to contact me between sessions; please leave a message on my voice mail. I am often not immediately available; however, I will attempt to return your call within 24 hours during normal business hours (Monday through Thursday 8:00am to 4:00pm). Please note that face-to-face sessions are highly preferable to phone sessions. However, in the event that you are out of town, sick or need additional support, phone sessions are available. Telephone conversations lasting over 15 minutes will be pro-rated per 15 minute increment (please note these sessions are not billable to insurance). If an emergency situation arises, please call First Call for Help at (509) 838-4428, 911 or go to any local emergency room. To the extent possible, I will keep you informed about when I am away from the office and when I will return. When I am away from the office for several days, I will arrange to have another counselor available for situations that cannot wait until my return. I will probably not have discussed your case with that person, but he or she will make every effort to be helpful to you in my absence.

CONFIDENTIALITY  In addition to the laws pertaining to confidentiality as described in the Notice of Privacy Practices & Informed consent document, if we see each other accidentally outside of the therapy office, I will not acknowledge you first. Your right to privacy and confidentiality is of the utmost importance to me, and I do not wish to jeopardize your privacy. However, if you acknowledge me first, I will be more than happy to speak briefly with you, but feel it appropriate not to engage in any lengthy discussions in public or outside of the therapy office. Additionally, I occasionally may find it helpful to consult with another professional about our work. In this case, I make every effort to avoid revealing your identity. Those consultants, of course, are also legally bound to keep your information confidential.

RECORD STORAGE  Your records are maintained in a web-based system. What this means is your records are stored online in a secure, encrypted, HIPAA compliant system that is backed up to ensure records are not lost due to technical problems. This system may provide certain benefits to clients including online payment, online scheduling, and secure messaging to your therapist. Please ask any questions or report any concerns you have regarding online record keeping. As with any record keeping method, every foreseeable precaution has been taken to protect privacy, but there are no guarantees. Here is an up to date list of all the ways your information remains secure: https://www.simplepractice.com/security

SOCIAL MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATION Due to the importance of your confidentiality and the importance of minimizing dual relationships, I do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). I believe that adding clients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it. You may find my profile listing on review sites (i.e. Health Grades, Yahoo, Yelp). If you should find my listing on any of these sites, please know that my listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as my client (and is probably not even run by me). Of course, you have the right to express yourself on any site you wish. But, due to confidentiality, I cannot respond to any review on any of these sites whether it is positive or negative. I urge you to take your own privacy as seriously as I take my commitment of confidentiality to you. You should also be aware that if you are using these sites to communicate indirectly with me about your feelings about our work, there is a good possibility that I may never see it. If we are working together, I hope that you will bring your feelings and reactions to our work directly into the therapy process. None of this is meant to keep you from sharing that you are in therapy with me wherever and with whomever you like. Confidentiality means that I cannot tell people that you are my client and my Ethics Code prohibits me from requesting testimonials. If you feel I have done something harmful or unethical and you do not feel comfortable discussing it with me, you can always contact the Washington State Department of Health, which oversees licensing, and they will review the services I have provided.

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION (TEXT and EMAIL)  I cannot ensure the confidentiality of any form of communication through electronic media, including text messages. If you prefer, we may communicate via email or text messaging for issues regarding scheduling, if you’re running late or for cancellations. Professional advice will not normally be provided via the internet or text. If you need to talk with me, please call and leave me a message, (509) 999-8696. Patients with professional inquiries are urged to contact me by telephone. I will attempt to return your call within 24 hours during normal business hours (Monday through Thursday 8:00am to 4:00pm). If you send messages by email or other electronic form of transmission, you acknowledge and agree that you may be compromising confidentiality by using such means of communication. Please be aware that these communications may become part of your permanent client record. I request that you do not use these methods of communication to discuss therapeutic content and/or request assistance for emergencies.

MINORS If you are a minor, your parents may be legally entitled to some information about your therapy. I will discuss with you and your parents what information is appropriate for them to receive and which issues are more appropriately kept confidential.

THE THERAPY PROCESS  It is your therapist’s intention to provide services that will assist you in reaching your goals. Based upon the information that you provide to your therapist and the specifics of your situation, your therapist will provide recommendations to you regarding your treatment. We believe that therapists and patients are partners in the therapeutic process. You have the right to agree or disagree with your therapist’s recommendations. Your therapist and you will also periodically exchange feedback regarding your progress. Due to the varying nature and severity of problems and the individuality of each patient, your therapist is unable to predict the length of your therapy or to guarantee a specific outcome or result.

TERMINATION Ending relationships can be difficult. Therefore, it is important to have a termination process in order to achieve some closure. The appropriate length of the termination depends on the length and intensity of the treatment. I may terminate treatment after appropriate discussion with you and a termination process, if I determine that the psychotherapy is not being effectively used or if you are in default on payment. I will not terminate the therapeutic relationship without first discussing and exploring the reasons and purpose of terminating. You have the right to discontinue treatment at any time and to choose a practitioner and treatment methods that best suit your needs. If therapy is terminated for any reason or you request another therapist, I will provide you with a list of qualified psychotherapists to treat you. You may also choose someone on your own or from another referral source. If you have missed a scheduled visit and you do not call within seven days, I will accept that as your notice that you have terminated this agreement and that you wish to discontinue counseling. You may return to therapy in the future if you decide to continue treatment.