I am available to assist you by telephone for a few minutes, if you need me between sessions during the week. Just leave me a message, and I will make every attempt to return your call as soon as I can. I check my voicemail intermittently throughout the day and will return your call that day, if possible, but certainly by the next day. I generally do not return calls in the evening or on the weekend. You are also welcome to leave me a short message to report your progress at any time, and you are welcome to e-mail me with any thoughts or concerns. I will print and read your e-mails but will not be able to respond by e-mail. We will discuss the content of your note at our next session. If you need to speak to me for longer than a few minutes, please consider setting up an extra session in person or by telephone that week. If there is an emergency after hours, please call 911 or the emergency room at your nearest hospital.
Regular sessions are 50 minutes in length. I make every attempt to begin sessions on time and appreciate your cooperation in ending them on time. It is essential to begin and end all sessions on time, as my clients are generally scheduled back to back, and I will not be able to make up any time that might be lost by arriving late. Regardless of if our meeting is virtual, by phone, or in person, please leave plenty of time for any variables which may arise.
FEES, BILLING, AND INSURANCE COVERAGE
It is preferable for me to receive payment at the time of your session. If you could transfer the money by paypal or have the check written before the session begins, we will be able to use the full session to your benefit. In some cases, I understand that it is necessary for me to bill you or another party for my services. I am happy to cooperate with you in that regard. I would appreciate payment as soon as possible upon receipt of the statement. In regard to insurance, some insurance companies cover nutrition counseling services; however, many do not.
A 48-hour notice (i.e., two full business days) is required for all cancellations. With such notice, I am able to schedule someone else in your time slot. If your appointment is scheduled for a Monday, please call by Thursday of the previous week (or preferably sooner), if you need to cancel the appointment. If your appointment directly follows a holiday, any cancellations must be made two business days prior to the holiday (or, again, preferably sooner). If you are sick on the day of your appointment or have car trouble, we can conduct our session on the telephone. Unfortunately, I will have to charge you for any appointment which is canceled without sufficient notice. If, however, I am able to fill such an appointment, I will not charge you for the cancellation. Cancellations must be confirmed by me (to assure I receive them), so please leave a message asking me to call you back confirming the cancellation, or through e-mail. I appreciate your cooperation in these regards.
Our meetings are held in strict confidence. A release form will be used to obtain permission to speak to your physician or psychotherapist. When working with minors, I find that it is important to respect their right to privacy. Privacy allows for greater trust between the child or teenager and myself as the dietitian, which enhances the effectiveness of the treatment. Privacy allows for a mutually respectful therapeutic relationship to be established.
My general policy regarding minors and confidentiality: During treatment, I will provide parents with only general information about the progress of the treatment. Any other communication will require the child’s authorization, unless I feel that the child is in danger or is a danger to someone else, in which case, I will notify the parents of my concern.
Family sessions and parent coaching: If the minor and I both feel that it would be helpful to discuss eating issues with the family or have a family session on occasion, I am willing to do this. I find that this kind of collaborative work with parents can be very helpful.
Additional treatment: If, in the course of treatment, it becomes clear that a child or teenager would benefit from more intensive treatment than we have originally agreed upon, some privacy may need to be surrendered to the parent in order to provide for the minor’s therapeutic needs. I will use my best judgment in determining what information to share with parents and will only communicate information which will be most helpful for the health and well being of the child. In addition, I will consult with the other professional team members to provide the best recommendations for the child. I will also discuss the matter with the child, if possible, and do my best to handle any objections he/she may have.
These guidelines have been established to facilitate our work together. Please feel free to comment on them or ask any questions that you may have. I am here to meet your needs and offer you optimal care. You have the right to end your treatment at any time, for whatever reason, without any moral, legal, or financial obligation, except for fees already incurred. You have the right to question any aspect of your treatment with me and to expect that I will work with you to meet your needs for adjunctive or alternative treatment. You also have the right to expect that I will maintain professional and ethical boundaries by not entering into other personal, financial, or professional relationships with you or any of your family members—all of which would compromise our work together.