Julia Eilenberg, M.D. Psychiatry

Policies

 

Office Hours and Appointments

I see patients in my office by appointment only. I am generally in the office Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Fridays. On days that I am not in my office I check for messages and return only urgent calls.I make every effort to start and end appointments on time. Initial appointments last 60-70 minutes. Subsequent meetings last 45-50 minutes for individual psychotherapy (with or without medications), 30 minutes for medication management only, or 30 minutes for brief supportive therapies. Family and couple meetings are generally 60 minutes in length. Frequency of visits range from several times a year to several times a week, depending upon mutually arrived at treatment goals. I try to accommodate and balance treatment needs with people’s real constraints of time and money by establishing frequencies that are therapeutic and useful.

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Payment and Billing

Please note that I bill for the following services:

  • Office based sessions (as described under ‘Office Hours and Appointments’)
    Fees vary based on duration of session.
  • Telephone or video sessions (note that these are often not reimbursed through insurance coverage)
  • Telephone consultations with family members, greater than ten minutes in length
  • Report preparation time for disability, expert consultation, etc.
  • Prescriptions required between scheduled appointments are subject to a $30 administration fee.

I am able to discuss my fees in advance for any of these services.

I share my fees upon request with interested parties at the time of telephone inquiry. Please note in advance several features of my payment policies:

  • My patients pay me directly at the time of service (unless another arrangement is developed by mutual agreement with patient and/or the financially responsible family payer.)
  • Method of payment: check and cash. I do not take credit cards.
  • I do not bill insurance companies or any third party payers.
  • I am "opted out" of Medicare. This means that neither my patients nor I may submit to Medicare for reimbursement of my services.
  • I am not on provider panels or under contract with any insurance companies
  • I am able to provide patients and families with billing statements for them to submit to their insurance companies. Included in these statements is all relevant information, including CPT visit codes, ICD-9 diagnostic codes, and my provider ID numbers.
  • College students and other patients who are financial dependents agree at the initiation of treatment to my sharing of account information with the identified family payer. This information sharing is limited to the discussion of fees and collectibles, unless otherwise discussed and agreed to by the patient.
  • I do not offer a sliding scale.

*Medicare: I have exercised the choice to opt out of participation in the federal Medicare insurance program. Individuals who are Medicare recipients or Medicare eligible must sign a contract with me prior to initiating treatment, which attests to their awareness that neither they nor I will seek reimbursement from Medicare. These contracts must be renewed every two years. Please see “Forms: Medicare Private Contract” to download this form in advance of our meeting.

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Confidentiality and Privacy

I strive to maintain vigilance regarding the confidential nature of my work with patients. At the present time I maintain paper treatment records. I store contact and billing information and some reports on my personal computer, which is backed up on my own hard drive. I do not share information electronically. As such, I am exempt from HIPAA mandates.

I do use email for scheduling purposes, but only at the initiation and request of my patients. I ask patients to refrain from use of electronic means of communication (email or texting) to communicate treatment needs or conditions. I will not share information with third parties regarding my patients without their express consent.

A former New York City resident, I now enjoy life in the small and close-knit communities of the Hudson Valley region. I am sensitive to the special constraint small town life imposes in psychiatric practice on patient privacy.

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Missed Sessions

I charge my full fee for all cancelled or missed sessions unless I am notified at least 48 hours in advance. Exceptions are made in the case of dire and serious medical illness or family emergencies, at my discretion. If a scheduled evaluation or consultation is missed, I require payment in advance for the missed evaluation before the make-up appointment can be scheduled. On days of inclement weather that makes for hazardous driving (snow, freezing rain), I make every effort to reach my scheduled patients in the morning to clarify whether the session can take place as planned.

It is a common feature of mental health treatment that patients may miss sessions due to unconscious resistance or ambivalence about maintaining their appointments. Human and computer error can interfere with people’s intentions to keep their appointments. I ask my patients’ understanding that I adhere to a simple and clear set of guidelines regarding patient accountability towards their reserved times with me.

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Management of Prescriptions

I make every effort in my practice to write prescriptions and refills during the course of our scheduled visits. This practice is to the benefit of my patients, as it limits the possibility of error and misunderstanding of prescription doses, frequency, etc. At times I am nonetheless required to call prescriptions into pharmacies and will do so if provided with: the name of the medication and dosage and the the name and phone number of the pharmacy. Please be aware that I may not be in the office or have access to your chart when you need to me to refill your prescription. Please plan accordingly and do not wait until the last minute to contact me regarding refills. At my clinical discretion, I may require you to attend an office visit in advance of continuing a prescription, especially if there are changes requested. Note that controlled substances cannot be called in; these require a signed paper prescription. Also please note that I cannot replace lost or missing written prescriptions or bottles of controlled substances.

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Telephone/Email

I make every effort to return phone calls within 24 hours. When leaving a phone message, please provide a concise description of the purpose of your call and please leave a phone number and suggested time frame for reaching you.
In the event of an emergency you may reach my cell phone number (listed on my voice mail). Please note that this number is to be used ONLY by my established patients and ONLY in the case of a true emergency. Email is a convenient but less reliable way of reaching me for scheduling purposes only. If I have not responded to your email within 24-48 hours please assume that it did not reach me, and please leave a voice message.

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