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Terms and Policy

COVID 19 POLICIES FOR RESUMING IN PERSON SESSIONS

COVID-19 POLICIES FOR RESUMING IN-OFFICE SERVICES

Please read this document carefully as it contains important information about resuming in-office services in the safest, most professional manner possible in light of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

If you wish to seek in-office services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, you will be required to sign a release of liability form as well. This document releases Midtown Psychotherapy Associates and all affiliated clinicians (hereinafter referred to as "The Practice") from the responsibility for the risk associated with exposure and contraction of coronavirus. By signing the release of liability, you assume the risk of exposure to the coronavirus (or other public health risks) and agree to release The Practice. This risk may increase if you have a job that exposes you directly/ indirectly to infected individuals, if you are exposing yourself to groups of people on regular basis, or if you travel by public transportation, cab, or ridesharing service.

If there is a resurgence of the pandemic or if other health concerns arise, The Practice may require that all appointments meet via TeleMental Health for everyone's well-being. If you have concerns about meeting through TeleMental Health, please discuss with your therapist.

If you decide at any time that you would feel safer seeking TeleMental Health services with us, The Practice will respect that decision. However, copays and reimbursement for TeleMental Health services are determined by your insurance carrier and may vary by policy. The Practice is not responsible for and does not guarantee benefits given by insurance. If you have concerns about your coverage, please call your insurance company. If your insurance company does not provide TeleMental Health benefits for you, then you will be responsible for costs not covered by the insurance.

IF YOU DECIDE TO RETURN FOR IN-OFFICE SERVICES AT THE PRACTICE

After deciding to return for in-office services, you will be required to sign The Practice's release of liability form. You will then be expected to follow the listed safety policies to maintain your in-office services. The Practice retains the right to ask clients to move to TeleMental Health services if it deems necessary. If you are unable to comply or disagree with these policies, your appointment may be canceled or re-scheduled.

TO MAINTAIN THE SAFETY OF THE OFFICE YOU AGREE TO COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING.

You will only keep your in-office appointments if you are symptom-free. If you develop symptoms within 24 hours of your appointment time and inform your therapist, you will not be charged the usual late cancelation fee. If feasible and your health permits, your therapist will change your appointment to a TeleMental Health session, but this is not required.

      You will adhere to safe distancing measures. Clients and Therapists will stay 6 feet apart from one another at all times. No physical contact is permitted.

      You will wait in your car until no earlier than 5 minutes before your appointment time and only enter the suite at your scheduled appointment time so that you can go straight to your therapy room. You will NOT wait inside the building. The Practice is NOT responsible if you contract COVID-19.

      You agree not to present for in-person services if you have a fever, shortness of breath, coughing, or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 or if you have been exposed to another person who is showing signs of infection or has confirmed COVID-19 within the past two weeks.

      Parents, if you are bringing your child in for therapy, you will make sure they are aware of The Practice policies. You will both wait in your car until the time of your child's appointment. At the time of the appointment your child will go straight to their therapy room. You and your child will not be allowed to wait for their appointment in the waiting room, and parents will remain in their car until the appointment is over and it's time to escort your child back to your car if needed.

      If your caregiver or driver is bringing you to your appointment, you will still be required to wait in your car until five minutes before your session time. You will ask them to drop you off at the office at your appointment time. You will not be allowed to wait for your appointment in the waiting room with your caregiver/driver.

      All individuals entering the office will be required to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times. You and your therapists will wear a mask. If you do not have one, we will provide one for you.  

      If you see your therapist for family therapy or couples you will first be encouraged to seek TeleMental Health services. If you decide that your family would really like to seek in-office services, you will all be required to wait in your car until your appointment time, wear masks and sign a release of liability.

      You will try not to touch your face or eyes with your hands. If you do, you will immediately wash or sanitize your hands.

      You will take steps between appointments to minimize your exposure to COVID-19.

      You will wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you enter the building. Sanitizer is located by the front entry for usage. Restrooms in the building are located outside the lobby area.

      You will take your temperature before coming to each appointment. If it is elevated (100 degrees Fahrenheit or more or higher than 1.3 degrees above your typical normal temperature if it is lower than the typical 98.6 degrees), or if you have other symptoms of COVID-19, you agree to cancel the appointment or proceed using TeleMental Health.

If you do not adhere to The Practice's "Policies for Resuming In-Office Services," listed in this document, your appointment will not take place, and you will have to call to reschedule. If a trend begins where clients do not comply with these guidelines this will result in The Practice scheduling only TeleMental Health appointments with you. The Practice maintains the right to deny appointments to anyone not complying with these guidelines and The Practice maintains the right to return to TeleMental Health arrangements for clients we deem to be symptomatic. The Practice may change the above precautions if additional local, state, or federal orders or guidelines are published, or new information about the spread of the virus becomes available. If that happens, we will notify you about any necessary changes.

IF YOU ARE IN A HIGH EXPOSURE RISK SITUATION PLEASE READ

If ANY of the following listed applies to you, please be aware that The Practice does not recommend that you seek in-office services and that you remain seeking treatment via TeleMental Health. If anything on the list below applies to you, please notify the front office staff so they can help you make proper arrangements for TeleMental Health.

      If you have a job that exposes you directly or indirectly to COVID-19. Please seek TeleMental Health services.

      If your commute, other responsibilities, or activities put you in close contact with others (beyond other household inhabitants), and therefore increase your risk of infection. Please seek TeleMental Health services.

      If a resident of your home or workplace tests positive for COVID-19. Please seek TeleMental Health services.

      High Risk Considerations for you, a resident in your home, or someone you are in regular physical contact with, is considered to be in the high-risk category for acquiring COVID-19 are as follows: According to the CDC at the time of this writing, this includes but is not limited to: People aged 65 years and older or have underlying medical conditions such as asthma, serious heart conditions, severe obesity, diabetes, immunocompromised, chronic lung disease, hemoglobin disorders, liver disease, chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis, and people in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Please note that there is still a lot we do not know about COVID-19, and underlying factors may exist that have not yet been published. Please consult the CDC for the most updated list, which is currently located here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/public-health-recommendations.html.

THE PRACTICE'S EFFORTS FOR IN- OFFICE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS DURING COVID-19

We've required our The Practice team members to increase cleaning and disinfection protocols across all high-volume touchpoints like door handles, catering areas, surfaces, entrances/exits, public touch-screens, along with the use of correct cleaning/sanitizing materials and products. There will be sanitizing and disinfection materials for us in our meeting rooms.

The Practice therapists and staff will employ and comply with the following safety measures:

      The Practice office staff and therapists will wear masks and maintain safe distancing from clients.

      Everyone is required to wash/sanitize their hands frequently.

      Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is available in the therapy rooms, and in the lobby.

      Physical contact is not permitted between office staff and clients or between therapists and clients.

      Tissues and trash bins are easily accessed. Trash is disposed of frequently.

      Common areas and objects like the waiting room, therapy/testing rooms, Credit cards, pads, pens, door handles, and other surfaces are thoroughly disinfected after each use and at the end of each day.

IF YOU OR ANY MEMBER OF THE PRACTICE ARE INFECTED WITH COVID-19

The Practice is committed to keeping you, our staff, and all of our families safe from the spread of coronavirus. If you show up for an appointment and your therapist or the office staff believe that you have a fever or other symptoms, or believe you have been exposed to coronavirus, The Practice will have to require you to leave the office immediately. We can follow up with services by TeleMental Health as appropriate. All sick or recently exposed individuals will be asked to remain seeking TeleMental Health services.

We must all do our part to avoid spreading COVID-19 or any other illness to our communities. If you are uncomfortable with leaving your home at this time we invite you to stay home. We will not penalize you for choosing to seek TeleMental Health services. You can remain scheduled for TeleMental Health appointments or sign up for them at any time. You are in no way obligated to return to in-office appointments.

If you are sick or not feeling well at the time of your appointment, PLEASE REMAIN HOME. If you are sick at the time of your appointment, we will switch all upcoming appointments to TeleMental Health until you are no longer sick.

Please be mindful of our late cancelation /no show policy. If you have NOT tested positive for COVID-19, you will still be required to cancel your appointment 24 business hours before your appointment. The late cancelation/ no show fee is still in place for individuals who have non-coronavirus related cancelations. Please call 24 business hours in advance to cancel your appointment if needed.

YOUR CONFIDENTIALITY IN THE CASE OF INFECTION

If you have tested positive for the coronavirus, The Practice may be required to notify local health authorities that you have been in the office. If The Practice has to report this, The Practice will only provide the minimum information necessary for their data collection and will not go into any details about the reason(s) for our visits.

If any member of The Practice team tests positive for the coronavirus, you will be notified as soon as possible. You may then take appropriate precautions and move to a TeleMental Health arrangement.  PLEASE STAY HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK AND REQUEST TELEMENTAL HEALTH SERVICES.

Thank you very much for your cooperation and doing your part to keep us all safe.

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