Special Policies

Legal documents required before counseling of minor clients

Parents, be please aware that if there are legal documents regarding your child (divorce degree, temporary orders, separation agreement, modification of parent child relationship, etc.) you MUST provide a copy of the divorce decree any the most recent possession and access order to your child’s clinician BEFORE your child can receive services. If you cannot find these documents, please do not schedule your child for a counseling appointment, as it will need to be rescheduled until you are able to provide the document(s). The intake documents you complete ask whether there are legal documents pertaining to your child. If documents exist, you must provide them, even if the divorce or other order is from a very long time ago and there is not a currently open court matter. While we understand that this can cause inconveniences, it is required by the State of Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, and we are required to comply with this requirement. Thank you for understanding.

If you would like more information about this requirement, visit our “forms and requirements” page or contact the TXBHEC directly.

Social Media Message

Clients, your therapist will not add you as a “friend” or other connection on social media. If you send a friend request or other request for a connection, your therapist will decline the request. This is for ethical reasons, and also because the Board Rules of for all mental health professionals licensed in Texas does not permit it.

Some of our providers may have a professional account on one or several social media platforms, and although we will not “add” you there, it may be possible for you to “follow” a provider’s (or the group’s) professional account.

A person’s following AHC on social media does not in any way identify that individual as a client or former client of AHC. Any member of the public is welcome to follow our professional accounts, and we regularly invite our colleagues, friends, and referrers to follow our professional accounts.

AHC will never reveal Protected Health Information in a social media setting. Clients and former clients are urged to use discretion in posting.

Disability/FMLA Paperwork Policy Updated to be Effective Monday, June 12, 2023

Clinicians at Alamo Heights Counseling are trained to provide professional counseling, marriage and family therapy, or clinical social work. We do not have specialized training in occupational assessment and do not specialize in work-place health and wellness. If you are seeking an evaluation to determine whether you meet the criteria of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a short-term or long-term disability policy at your employer, or Social Security Disability (SSD) or Social Security Income (SSI) it is important that you get evaluated by someone who is qualified to make that determination. A good place to begin is usually your primary care provider (PCP). A PCP is a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner who is your main point of contact for all of your healthcare needs. The PCP generally assesses your condition and makes referrals to specialists, including psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and counselors or therapists like us.

Please note, your PCP referring you to us, without making a determination that you qualify for one of the programs mentioned above does not mean that your clinician at Alamo Heights Counseling will make that determination instead. It is the job of the physician who has recommended that you take time off work to make that determination. If you made the determination on your own to stay home from work, it is important that you get evaluated by a physician. Making an appointment with a counselor is not a replacement for having a physician evaluation.

If you do not have a PCP but do have health insurance, your health insurance company can help you find a PCP. While we are always happy to help individuals overcome psychological stress and mental health conditions, we do not perform evaluations specifically for the purpose of determining that you qualify for the programs mentioned above. If you are considering scheduling with us and your sole or primary reason for doing so is to obtain a clearance to return to work, or to obtain a determination that you may not work at this time, please be advised that this is not a service we provide. Further, please inform our staff at the time you call to schedule that this is something that you are looking for. It is in your best interests that you find a provider who is able to provide the service you are requesting.

Sometimes, our clients do develop a condition that results in the need for us to complete FMLA or disability paperwork to support (not substitute for) paperwork from another provider (such as a PCP or a psychiatrist). In such cases, an Alamo Heights Counseling clinician may complete the paperwork for you at the clinician’s discretion. A counselor who does not feel they have sufficient information or who does not feel they can ethically make such a recommendation shall not be required to do so. A counselor who chooses to complete paperwork on your behalf may charge for his or her time. Paperwork completion will be billed in 15-minute increments, will be billed at our full hourly rate of $175.00, and will be rounded up (paperwork taking between 1 minute and 15 minutes of time is $45.00; paperwork taking between 16 minutes and 30 minutes of time is $90.00; between 30 and 45 minutes of time is $135, and a full hour is $175).

This policy is effective Monday, June 12, 2023. Your clinician will discuss this policy with you before any paperwork will be completed, and you will be asked to sign an acknowledgement. Further, you may be charged for the first increment in advance of your clinician beginning your paperwork.

Health Insurance Required for EAP Clients Effective Monday, June 12, 2023

Clients using EAP to pay for their services must provide their health insurance information. Health insurance information will be kept on file as a “secondary” or backup payor. Clients using EAP who do not have health insurance must provide a credit card for AHC to have on file.

Health insurance will not be billed when EAP pays for services; credit cards will not be charged when EAP pays for services. EAP payment is considered to be payment in full.  There is no “balance billing.”

Nevertheless, we must have this information on file. This is to protect both clients and clinicians in the event that an employer suddenly cancels or changes an EAP plan. Due to HIPAA, employers do not know what employees are using EAP services and therefore may not notify employers when changing or discontinuing an EAP plan. In such cases, clients may find themselves suddenly without services, or clients may have been seen by their provider during a time they were not covered and did not realize it. By having health insurance information on file, clients ensure that they do not run up a bill when they believe they have coverage.

EAP clients who are unwilling to provide health insurance information and/or a credit card on file may be referred back to their EAP to find another counselor.

Emotional Support Animals (effective April 23, 2019)

Clinicians at Alamo Heights Counseling do not have specific training related to the Fair Housing Act or the Air Carrier Access Act. As such, we are not able to provide letters for purposes of waiving pet deposits or traveling with animals who may be classified as assistance animals or service animals under a broader definition than that Americans with Disabilities Act regulations related to service animals. Indivdiuals who require Emotional Support Animals (ESA) for any reason are encouraged to find a provider who specializes in ESAs. Indivdiuals who meet the criteria for ADA and require a service animal to provide a specific service because of a disability are encouraged to obtain documentation from the physician who diagnosed the disabiling condition.