Terms & Conditions

Below is my office policy. Please read it carefully and ask me to clarify anything you do not understand.

  1. Appointments
  2. Confidentiality
  3. Fees
  4. Insurance Reimbursement
  5. Payment

Appointments

Appointments are usually scheduled once per week for psychotherapy. The hour scheduled for your session is set aside just for you. If you cannot make your appointment, it is important that you cancel at least 48 hours in advance, or the regular fee will be charged.

If you are late for a session, you will be seen for the time remaining in your hour and charged the full rate.

It is important that you come for your appointments. Of course, illness or some emergency may interfere, but please do not cancel for less important reasons. We make better progress when we work together on a regular and predictable basis.


Confidentiality

Anything discussed in therapy, and all information obtained about you from any source, including the fact that you are my patient, is confidential and can be disclosed to others only with your signed consent.

Exceptions:

  • If I should feel that you are a danger to yourself or others, I must take steps to protect you and/or the other person;
  • If I should have any reason to believe that a child or elderly person is being abused or neglected, I am obligated to report this to appropriate authorities;
  • If I feel that you are unable to take care of your basic needs, I must take steps to assure that your needs are met;
  • Under court order, specific information may have to be disclosed. In all such cases, I will first attempt to discuss the situation with you in order to clarify and seek alternatives.

You should also be aware, that in the event an unpaid bill is referred to a collection agency or small claims court, your name, payment record, the fact that you were a patient, and last known address will become known to that agency.

In the case of children under 18, I often ask the child's permission to discuss his or her general progress with parent(s) or legal guardians. In many cases, the specifics of therapy sessions will remain confidential in order to help the child feel free to deal with important topics.

At times, it may be helpful and useful to therapy to discuss your situation with others such as a physician, a former therapist, or a teacher. In that case, I will seek your permission for this exchange of information.


Fees

The charge for each session is billed as one hour. The session lasts 50 minutes with the remaining 10 minutes in the hour set aside for notes and conceptualization. Hourly fee is standard regardless of the number of people attending the session.

Telephone calls to me, or calls/consultations made by me on your behalf will be charged at a rate prorated from the hourly fee.

Travel to another location on your behalf (for instance, school visits, conference at school or hospital consultations) is charged at the regular hourly rate, including travel time.

Psychological testing is charged at the hourly rate, including administration, scoring, analysis/interpretations, report writing and feedback sessions.


Insurance Reimbursement

Psychological services offered by Dr. Stern are covered by the Swiss health insurance and your bills will be directly submitted to your health insurance. If you have any qeustions about your coverage, please contact your health insurance company. Please make sure to bring your health insurance card to the first session.


Payment

The following applies to you only if don't have the Swiss Health Insurance coverage: Cash payment is requested at the end of each therapy session and for psychological testing, a deposit is required before the first testing session. After the feedback session, the final itemized bill will be sent to you. If the final bill exceeds the deposit, you will be requested to pay the balance. However, if the final bill is less than the deposit, a refund will be made to you.