P O L I C I E S
Acceptance into the practice:
At the conclusion of your initial appointment, Dr. Pitcher will offer a treatment plan if your needs can be best served by the practice. If your needs would be best served elsewhere, Dr. Pitcher will suggest a referral to an appropriate level of care.
Appointment Scheduling: The length of treatment varies. Remission of symptoms is the goal of treatment and clinical practice guidelines for some disorders suggest continuing psychiatric medication treatment for 9 –12 months after remission is achieved. Sometimes treatment is indefinite. New patients or those in the acute treatment phase should expect to be seen every 2-4 weeks after starting a new medication and until remission is achieved. Quarterly appointments may be preferred during the stable treatment phase.
Please provide 24-hour notice for cancellations. This policy helps patients access the care they need when they need it. If you are unable to provide the 24-hour notice, the full fee for your appointment will be charged to the form of payment on file with the practice.
Prescription Refill Policy: Prescriptions are given during appointments to cover the time between appointments only. Please be sure appointments are scheduled before prescriptions expire.
Payment for services is due in full at the time of service. This includes copays if we are in network with your insurer or the fee for service as outlined below if we are out of network.
The practice has a growing list of third-party payers including Highmark BCBS. Please call to verify if we are in network with your insurance. Alternatively, you may elect to self-pay. This individualized option may provide increased flexibility and privacy and means you can see our providers based upon treatment decisions made by the patient and the clinician. Office staff can provide a super-bill inclusive of diagnostic and service codes. Using this document, you can submit claims directly to your insurance company for reimbursement. Your insurance company can advise you about out-of-network benefits unique to your policy.
Fees for Services:
Patients are responsible for full payment at the time of service. The fee for the initial diagnostic psychiatric evaluation, is $275.
Fees for follow-up appointments are:
Medication follow-up: Depending on the duration and complexity of the visit the cost ranges from $150-$250. Telephone consultations (appointment scheduling and emergency contact excluded) are charged as follows: 5 minutes (minimum charge) $25; 10 minutes $50; 15 minutes $75.
Psychotherapy without medication management is billed at $150/hr.
Limitations of Avant Wellness Associates:
The practice does not offer the following services—
a: Forensic evaluations for legal purposes
b: Custody evaluations or parental assessments for use in determining custody or visitation
c: Disability evaluations, including Short-Term Disability, determining leaves of absence from employment
d: Suboxone or opiate-replacement therapies
e: Pain management
f: Primary health care
Avant Wellness will not provide any evaluation for the sole purpose of seeking medical or mental disability or assist in determining ability to take leave from employment.
In the event of a medical or psychiatric emergency (for example, agitation, threats of suicide or violence, severe medication side effects, possible overdose, loss of consciousness), call 911 to be transported to the nearest Emergency Department. Providers there may contact our office to discuss treatment options.
If an urgent situation arises (for example, mild medication side effects, changes in mood/behavior), call the clinic number (570-783-5480) to schedule an appointment. All calls regarding urgent matters are returned within 1 business day. Call the office during regular business hours and leave a message with your name, date of birth, an explanation of the reason for the call, and contact information. Keep in mind that most medical or psychiatric questions require a face-to-face evaluation.
After Hours: Calls will be returned within 1 business day of receipt. Calling the clinic after regular business hours, on weekends, and on holidays will translate to longer wait-times for a return call.