Charles L. Cox, Ph.D., P.A.
Clinical Psychology

 

Office Policies of Dr. Cox

77 Sugar Creek Center Blvd., Suite 375, Sugar Land, TX 77478 (281) 2665-4566

 Office Hours:

Dr. Cox's office is open Monday – Friday, from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. His last appointment of the day is at 3:00 pm.

Dr. Cox does not have evening or weekend hours.

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 Making Appointments:

To schedule an appointment or to ask questions, call 281-265-4566. You will be connected to a voice-mail system to leave information for a return call (Dr. Cox does not normally take phone calls while in session.). This system will contact Dr. Cox 24 hours per day, and it is the most efficient way to get in touch with him. However, don't forget to leave your name and your phone number (Please speak slowly and clearly!). It is surprising how often a message is left without a name or a phone number! Note that the voice mail system is not able to capture your phone number, so Dr. Cox cannot return your call unless you leave your number. Also, note that Dr. Cox is old-school, and his phone is not capable of texting. You must leave a voice message. Please do not leave a pager number for a return call.

Dr. Cox usually return calls on the same day, with the exception of weekends and holidays. The most common times for him to return calls are over the noon hour and at the end of the day. Should you not hear back from him, assume that he did not get your message for some reason, and try again. He will call you back!

Appointments are available Monday - Thursday from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm and on Friday from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm.. Psychotherapy is usually scheduled for one 50-minute session (one appointment hour of 50 minutes) per week, although some sessions might be longer or more frequent. Appointments begin promptly and, in consideration of others, end at the specified time.

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 Emergencies:

In the event of a life-threatening emergency, dial 911 for assistance and go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room. For urgent matters, call the office (281-265-4566) and state that you would like a return call as soon as possible. Urgent matters are handled as soon as possible by phone, with emergency sessions scheduled as needed. When Dr. Cox is not available, another therapist will be "on call" for emergencies. The voice-mail system will explain how to contact her/him.

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 Cancellation Policy:

From time to time you might need to cancel or reschedule your appointment time, and you are certainly welcome to do so. Please provide at least 24 hours notice of your intent to reschedule.

Understand that by scheduling an appointment, you have reserved an hour of Dr. Cox's clinical time. Given the requested minimum notice of 24 hours, he can often fill your time with a client on the waiting list.

If you do not keep your scheduled appointment, and you have not notified the office at least 24 hours in advance, you will be expected to pay a $50.00 fee for a missed appointment.

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 Fees, Billing, and Payments:

The fee for the initial evaluation session is $175.00. The fee for a psychotherapy session is $150.00. Sessions are 50 minutes long.

You will be expected to pay for each session at the time it is scheduled, unless another agreement is in place or you have insurance coverage that requires another arrangement. Cash, personal check, and credit cards are accepted forms of payment.

In addition to weekly appointments, Dr. Cox charges this amount for other professional services you might need, though he will break down the hourly cost if he works for periods of less than one hour. Other services include report preparation, telephone conversations lasting longer than 10 minutes, consulting with other professionals with your permission, preparation of records or treatment summaries, and time spent performing any other service you request.

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 Dealing with Insurance and Managed Care:


Health insurance is a contract for reimbursement between you and your insurance company. If you desire to file an insurance claim, Dr.Cox will provide an insurance receipt to file directly with your insurance company. It contains all information necessary for filing your insurance. Simply attach it to your claim form.

Although Dr. Cox is out of network for most health insurance companies, many will reimburse you for a portion of his psychotherapy service. Call the insurance company or look on line to find out the specifics of your insurance coverage. You must personally contact your insurance claims department and your company benefits supervisor to understand the specific details of your mental health coverage.

Some managed health care plans require pre-authorization before the start of treatment. If you choose to use these benefits, it is very important that you follow your company’s rules for contacting the managed care company (which is usually different from your insurance company). Call the managed care company before starting counseling or immediately after the first session. Failure to follow the rules will result in your insurance company refusing to pay for services, and you will have to pay the full amount instead. Call them to know for sure!

Insurance plans usually require that you pay a co-payment for each visit after paying your yearly deductible. Insurance companies offer many different plans, and Dr. Cox has no way of knowing the specifics of your insurance in advance. Calling the insurance company is the only way to know what your payment will be.

Your contract with your insurance company requires that Dr. Cox release information about the service that he provides. This information includes a diagnosis indicating that you have an “illness,” how the “illness” affects your daily life, treatment goals, and treatment approaches. Occasionally, a copy of your entire Clinical Record will be requested. Dr. Cox will release the minimum information that is necessary for the purpose requested. Information that is released will become a part of the insurance company files. All insurance companies claim to keep such information confidential. Once information leaves his office, however, Dr. Cox has no control over what is done with it. In all likelihood, a computerized record will result and become part of your permanent insurance record as well as a national medical information databank. These records are available to other insurance companies.

When you call your insurance company, here are some important questions to ask:

  • Do I have mental health benefits?

  • Must mental health care be pre-certified?

  • Is a referral required from my primary care physician?

  • What is my deductible, and has it been met?

  • What is my co-payment and/or co-insurance?

  • How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?

  • How much does my plan cover for an out-of-network provider?

  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?


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 Confidentiality:

In general, the law protects the confidentiality of communications between a patient and a health care provider. Psychologists have traditionally been extremely sensitive about the confidentiality of patient information, and Dr. Cox follows in the tradition of his profession. Information about you will be released only with your written permission.

Note, however, that there are several exceptions to the laws regarding confidentiality. These are detailed in the Office Practices and Agreement notice and in the HIPAA notice. Please read those notices carefully.

Additionally, be aware of the following exceptions to confidentiality:

Threat of harm to self;

Threat of harm to others;

Abuse of a child;

Abuse of an elder.

Both your safety and that of others are paramount. These instances will be handled in a manner that protects the safety of all involved, including mandated reporting to government agencies.

This issue is complex. If you have questions, please ask.

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 Non-Group Disclaimer:

Dr. Cox works in an office with several excellent clinicians. They share a common name (Sugar Land Psychology), a common office space and business expenses, and a common goal to make a difference. They are not, however, a group practice, but operate independent businesses. They have different specializations and approaches to patient care. Each clinician is responsible for her/his specific clinical decisions and business practices. Questions about Dr. Cox's clinical or business issues should be addressed to Dr. Cox. Additional information can be obtained from this web site and from the Sugar Land Psychology web site.

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 Questions and Concerns:

Should you have a question, concern, or complaint, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Cox. He can be reached by calling the office phone, (281) 265-4566.

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