Policy Related to Fees and Appointments
Our fees vary depending on the service provided, but all fees are consistent with the guidelines set out by the Ontario Psychological Association. OHIP does not cover psychological services, but many extended health policies do. Please check with your insurance company to determine coverage.
Payment of fees are required at the time of service. We take personal cheques and cash.
When an appointment is booked for you, that time is reserved exclusively for you. If appointments are not cancelled or rescheduled 48 hours prior, it is usually not possible for the psychologist to offer that time to another client needing service. As such, you will be charged the full fee for any cancellations made less than 48 hours prior to your scheduled appointment.
Privacy of personal information is an important principle to the Centre for Psychological Assessment, Treatment and Education. We are committed to collecting, using and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the services we provide. We also try to be open and transparent as to how we handle personal information. This document describes our privacy policies.
What Is Personal Information? Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes information that relates to: an individual’s personal characteristics (e.g., gender, age, income, home address or phone number, ethnic background, family status); health (e.g., health history, health conditions, health services received by them); or activities and views (e.g., religion, politics, opinions expressed by an individual, an opinion or evaluation of an individual). Personal information is different from business information (e.g., an individual’s business address and telephone number). This is not protected by privacy legislation.
We Collect Personal Information: Primary Purposes We collect, use and disclose personal information in order to serve our clients. Typically, we collect information for the purposes of assessment and therapy.
For therapy: We collect information about a client’s history, including family history, social situation and emotional functioning in order to help us assess what their counselling needs are, to advise them of their options and, should they choose, to provide therapy.
For assessment: Psychological assessment is intended to answer questions about the client’s intellectual, academic, social and/or emotional functioning. This is typically accomplished through standardized and informal testing, interview(s), questionnaire(s), observation, and review of previous records and reports.
A second primary purpose is to obtain a baseline of assessment information so that, in providing ongoing services, we can identify changes that occur over time. It would be rare for us to collect such information without the client’s written consent.
We Collect Personal Information: Related and Secondary Purposes Like most organizations, we also collect, use and disclose information for purposes related to or secondary to our primary purposes. The most common examples of our related and secondary purposes are as follows:
- Our Centre invoices clients for services that were not paid for at the time, or to collect unpaid accounts.
- Psychologists are regulated by the College of Psychologists of Ontario who may inspect our records and interview our staff as a part of their regulatory activities in the public interest. In addition, as professionals, we will report serious misconduct, incompetence or incapacity of other practitioners, whether they belong to other organizations or our own. Also, our organization believes that it should report information suggesting serious illegal behaviour to the authorities. External regulators have their own strict privacy obligations. Sometimes these reports include personal information about our clients, or other individuals, to support the concern (e.g., improper services). Also, like all organizations, various government agencies (e.g., Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Human Rights Commission, etc.) have the authority to review our files and interview our staff as a part of their mandates. In these circumstances, we may consult with professionals (e.g., lawyers, accountants) who will investigate the matter and report back to us. All persons involved in these activities are required by law to maintain the confidentiality of any accessed information.
- The cost of some goods/services provided by the organization to clients is paid for by third parties (e.g., OHIP, WSIB, private insurance, Assistive Devices Program). These third-party payers must have the client’s consent or legislative authority to direct us to collect and disclose to them certain information in order to demonstrate a client’s entitlement to this funding.
Protecting Personal Information We understand the importance of protecting personal information. Records relating to all Centre clients are confidential. In general this means that no information contained in records is provided to a third party without written consent of the client. [There are some specific ethical or legal circumstances when this confidentiality requirement is waived. For example, clinicians shall reveal information when there is a suspicion of child abuse, when clients pose a significant danger to themselves or others, when clients report sexual abuse by a health care professional, or when the court issues a subpoena for records or testimony.
Retention and Destruction of Personal Information We need to retain personal information for some time to ensure that we can answer any questions you might have about the services provided and for our own accountability to external regulatory bodies. However, we do not want to keep personal information too long in order to protect your privacy.
We keep our client files for about ten years or, in the case of children, for ten years after they turn 18 year of age.
We destroy paper files containing personal information by shredding. We destroy electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, we ensure that the hard drive is physically destroyed.
You Can Review Your Information With only a few exceptions, you have the right to see what personal information we hold about you. Often, all you have to do is ask. We can help you identify what records we might have about you. We will also try to help you understand any information you do not understand (e.g., short forms, technical language, etc.). We will need to confirm your identity, if we do not know you, before providing you with this access. We reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for such requests. If there is a problem, we may ask you to put your request in writing. If we cannot give you access, we will tell you within 30 days of your request if at all possible and tell you the reason, as best we can, as to why we cannot give you access. If you believe there is a mistake in the information contained in your file, you have the right to ask for it to be corrected. This applies to factual information and not to any professional opinions we may have formed. We may ask you to provide documentation to confirm any factual errors in our file. Where we agree that a factural error exists, we will make the correction and notify anyone to whom we sent this information. If we do not agree that an error exists in the factual information, we will include in our file a brief statement from you on the point and we will forward that statement to anyone else who received information prior to that statement.
Do You Have a Question or Concern? If you have been a clinic client and have questions about your personal information, you may contact the psychologist you are working with to discuss your concern. If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices, you may make it in writing to our Centre. We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, ensure that it is investigated promptly and that you are provided with a formal written decision with reasons.