Policies and Procedures

Schedule Evaluation or Appointment:

Please call the office at 813-968-7188 ext. 303 during business hours to schedule a new patient evaluation or a follow-up appointment.

Currently we are not scheduling new or follow-up appointments via email. However, appointment reminders are sent via email to established patients only.

If the call goes into voice mail, please leave a message and someone will return your call as soon as we can.

I do not conduct disability or fitness for duty evaluations. Please do no not schedule new patient appointments for this purpose. I do not fill out disability forms as I am not obligated to do so. We can give you a copy of your records for you to forward to the respective disability company.

I evaluate and treat patients 18 and older.

Managed Care Companies & Medicare:

I am a provider for some of the Managed Care Companies and as the list changes and the Mental Health benefits are carved out, my staff will advice you regarding this. I have opted out of Medicare and will not accept any new Medicare patients.

New Patients:

If you are a new patients, my office staff will check your benefits and contact you before your first visit to make you aware of your benefits. This way you are aware of the out of pocket expenses if any.

Established Patients:

Established patients should call and fax (813-968-7553) any insurance changes to the office prior to the visit. Please keep the office staff apprised of any changes or lapses in your insurance. This helps my billing staff and they appreciate your cooperation.

Payments, Reminder Calls, & Rescheduling:

Payment is due before services are rendered. We accept credit as well debit cards as well as cash.

Currently the office staff calls new patients 1-2 days prior to remind you regarding an upcoming appointment. Please update the office with any changes in the contact information as soon as the change occurs. The staff has been emailing reminders for follow-up appointments. Please check your email from time to time so that you do not forget your appointment.

Please keep your scheduled appointments. We do realize that emergencies occur. We would appreciate a call at least 24 hours prior to your appointment if you would like to cancel or reschedule. Appointment times are reserved for you and if you do not show, you will be billed for that time. This includes administrative time that the staff spends.

New patients can reschedule their initial appointment as long as they call 24 hours prior to the visit. We do not schedule new patients if they miss the first appointment or call at the last minute to cancel.

Patients are responsible for keeping their appointments and complying with the treatment plan. Established patients will be seen promptly if not well. You can leave a message in my voice mail if you are not well. All changes in medications will be done during an office visit. I cannot treat you over the phone. Missing appointments can disrupt your care and lead to a relapse. You have to be responsible for taking care of following-up with me before any prescription runs out.

Please do not call the office after-hours for routine matters as rescheduling appointments etc. on the weekends as I have other Psychiatrists who cover for me for emergencies only and the office is closed. We discourage patients calling in for prescription refills and routine matters after hours or on the weekends.

Refills for all medications will be sent electronically or the prescription will be given to patient by hand to fill at a local Pharmacy. Please call and schedule an appointment before the prescriptions run out. We charged a nominal fee for calling in prescriptions as part of the administrative costs.

Controlled medications cannot be called into a Pharmacy and the written and signed prescription is given to the patient.

Please do not loose your prescriptions or the pills. Do not share your medication with your family members, friends or co-workers. This can be very dangerous. Diversion can be a problem with controlled medications. If someone steals a controlled medication, they can abuse it and also sell the medication. Please inform the police if this happens.I will not be able to refill controlled substances once this happens. Please be responsible and do not carry all your pills in your pocket book etc. If you travel carry only the number of pills you need for your trip in the original bottle with the label. Do not check in your medicine if you are flying. Do not take extra medication; take medication as prescribed by me. Discuss medications with me before making any changes on your own. You are responsible to use your medications diligently. If you abuse medications, I will not be able to prescribe anymore and will refer you for treatment of addictions/detoxification.

Patients who take take extra medication than prescribed are at risk for severe consequences and are doing so at their own risk.. Patients have to take responsibility for taking medications as prescribed. Any changes in dosage or medication has to be discussed at a visit. Patient should not take more meds on their own and then call and say that they have done so. Non-compliance can lead to bad outcome. I will not be able to prescribe a medication that has been abused by a patient.

Mixing medications with alcohol as well as street drugs is dangerous and can lead to no more prescriptions called in and a recommendation to get help for substance dependence problem.

Patient?s pharmacy benefits change on a frequent basis. The medication that has helped a patient to get well is usually the medication that keep them well. Pharmacy benefits are based on lowering the cost incurred by the pharmacy benefit company and not on any scientific evidence basis. If the patient is stable on a particular medication that is covered and the pharmacy benefits change, I will do paperwork (called prior authorization) to get approval for continuing you on the same medication. ?We have been using a website called Cover My Meds and would appreciate if the Pharmacy would request any prior authorizations thru this website. There is a nominal charge for the administrative time.

All information is confidential and no information is released without your written consent. I do coordinate care with patients PCP or therapist with the patient?s permission. If the patient?s family calls, we can gather information from them; however, we cannot give information to them without the patients written consent. Family member is encouraged to come in with the patient during the scheduled visit. If a patient is a danger to self or others, I may have to call 911 or the crisis-team. ?Patients in a crisis should go to the nearest Hospital to be evaluated and be safe. If you are in a crisis situation, I would urge you to call 911 or go to the nearest E.R.

I do not do Hospital work; if you need hospitalization, I will direct you to Memorial Hosp. in Tampa as I have a working relationship with the Psychiatrist on staff at that facility.

We do not release records that are subpoenaed without the patients signed consent. A judge can issue a court order for release of records.

I terminate a relationship with the patient, if the patient decides to see another provider. ?You have a right to change providers. Please inform my office as soon as this happens. Patient?s records or a summary of records will be transferred to the new provider.
Non-compliance with treatment recommendations a is a cause for terminating care; I will give you enough medicine if indicated for up to 30 days till you find another provider.

Please inform the office if you are terminating care. This way we can close your chart. After termination of care, I will not be involved in your care except for the following 30 days for emergencies only. If you decide to follow-up with your PCP, we can forward all the records to the PCP who will be taking complete responsibility for your care including emergencies etc. Please do not call me in an emergency if you are getting all your refills from the PCP as I am then not involved in your care. I do not reschedule a patient who has terminated with me and has transferred care to another provider without discussing this sequence of events with me prior to termination. I believe this behavior violates the trust between a doctor and a patient.