Who is Eligible?

Anyone may request our services which are provided without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, ancestry, religious creed, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or Limited English Proficiency (LEP). Some services funded by the Lackawanna/Susquehanna Mental Health/Mental Retardation Program may be available only to residents of Lackawanna County.

What about my privacy?

Scranton Counseling Center is committed to protecting the privacy of your health records. In providing behavioral health services, we create and maintain records regarding you and the treatment and services we provide to you. The law requires that we maintain the confidentiality of behavioral health information that identifies you. We handle this information only as allowed by Federal/State Law and Center Policy, adhering to the most stringent law that protects your behavioral health information. We are also required, under HIPAA, to provide a written “Notice of Privacy Practices.” This notice is provided at each intake.

By law, information regarding whether or not you are a consumer at Scranton Counseling Center or any details of your diagnosis or treatment may not be revealed to anyone outside the center without your written consent. There are some exceptions, such as suspected child abuse, medical emergencies, or a court order.

Is it necessary to make an appointment?

Anyone wanting to obtain services may call the Scranton Counseling Center or stop by to request services. An appointment will be set up within a reasonable period of time depending upon each individual’s needs. SCC hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., with evening hours by appointment.

Someone requiring immediate attention may receive care at any time through our Crisis Emergency Service. During regular SCC hours, Emergency Services are available at our main office located at 326 Adams Avenue. Weekdays after 4:30 P.M., on weekends and holidays, Emergency Services are available by calling 348-6100 or going to the Community Medical Center Emergency Room and asking to see the mental health crisis worker on duty.

What can I expect on my first appointment?

You will be greeted by a receptionist and introduced to the intake clinician who will conduct an interview. This first session will give you an opportunity to discuss your problems and concerns so that together, you and the clinician may determine if SCC can be of help, and which of our treatment programs and services will best meet your needs. Under most circumstances you will also meet with a member of our psychiatric staff.

What about payment for services?

At the time of your first appointment, a liability specialist will determine your method of payment and if you are responsible for any out-of-pocket payments.

If you are covered by a participating health insurance plan, you must provide the information and any referral forms that are necessary for insurance reimbursement. Payment of insurance co-pays is expected at the time services are provided.

If you do not have insurance or are unable to pay the normal fees, the liability specialist will review your financial status and establish your fee based on a sliding scale. Payment of fees is expected at the time services are provided.

Your prompt payments will help ensure the continuation of quality care for everyone in our community.

What type of therapy does SCC provide?

Individual Therapy or counseling sessions with you and your assigned therapist. This approach may be suggested at the time of your initial evaluation or at any time it is indicated while receiving other Center services.

Family Therapy or counseling including significant family members, such as spouses, children and anyone else who is a part of the family unit. This approach is important when the behavior of one or more persons in the family is disturbing the family harmony.

Group Therapy or counseling occurs when several people meet with the therapist to learn from each other how to deal more effectively with the problems they are encountering with their daily living.

Chemo/Pharmacological Therapy may be used in addition to one of the above therapies. This involves the use of medication to alleviate or control psychiatric/emotional/behavioral symptoms. These medications will be prescribed by a member of our medical staff, including physicians and physician’s assistants, after an evaluation of your particular condition. For non-psychiatric medical problems, you will be referred to your family physician or specialist.

If medication is prescribed, our medical staff will describe what is being recommended and why, what benefits to expect, and what possible side effects may occur.

What services will I receive and for how long?

Upon referral, a comprehensive initial assessment is performed and serves as the foundation for the treatment plan to address your individual needs. The treatment plan formulation is sensitive to the bio-psycho-social model which allows for careful consideration of the full range of services available to effectively and efficiently address your presenting concerns. With your full participation, treatment plans are developed and updated on a regular basis in order to maximize gains achieved given the goals you have defined. Consumers with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) will be provided with interpreter services when necessary.

What are the qualifications of the staff?

SCC staff members have varied educational backgrounds and training to meet the different needs of our consumers. There are psychiatrists, other physicians, physician’s assistants, licensed psychologists, licensed social workers, nurses, and mental health and intellectual disability specialists. Our facilities are licensed according to standards set by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

What are my rights as a consumer?

You have the right:

  1. To considerate, respectful care.
  2. To confidentiality of services rendered.
  3. To actively participate in the development of your treatment plan.
  4. To have questions answered at any time.
  5. To choose a treatment modality that best meets your needs.
  6. To the information necessary for you to give informed consent to participate in the services and treatment recommended for you.
  7. To accept or refuse medications.
  8. To withdraw from the treatment program at any time.
  9. To be free from harm.
  10. To be treated in a nondiscriminatory manner, without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, ancestry, religious creed, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or Limited English Proficiency (LEP).
  11. To insepct your own records subject to the following limitations:
    • In general, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) allows an individual to access medical and billing records which are used to make decisions about that individual.
    • All individuals’ requests to access protected health information shall be made in writing to the privacy officer or his/her designee for review.
    • The consumer shall have the right to request the correction of inaccurate, irrelevant, outdated, or incomplete information from his/her records.
    • The consumer shall have the right to submit rebuttal data or memoranda to be included in his/her records.
  12. To appeal termination of services to the Chief Executive Officer of Scranton Counseling Center.

What are my responsibilities as a consumer?

  1. To state your goals and become an active participant in the development of an individualized treatment plan.
  2. To actively participate with staff in the implementation of your treatment plan.
  3. To keep scheduled appointments.
  4. To notify SCC staff within 24 hours when you are unable to keep an appointment or attend a scheduled program or therapy group.
  5. To pay for services at the time they are delivered and to authorize the release of required information to third-party payers, such as, insurance companies.
  6. To maintain the confidentaility and privacy of others.

What if I have a complaint?

Please discuss the issue with your therapist whose job it is to assist you. If this is not possible or practical, or you wish to pursue the matter further, you may request a meeting with the Service Director either through the therapist or by writing to:

Service Director for (Name the Service)
Scranton Counseling Center
326 Adams Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503
(570) 348-6100

Upon investigation, a decision shall be rendered in writing as soon as possible but within 48 hours after the filing of the complaint. If the situation remains unresolved, you may present a written complaint to:

Chief Executive Director (CEO)
Scranton Counseling Center
326 Adams Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503
(570) 348-6100

Please indicate exactly what the complaint is about, who is involved, the date and time the incident(s) occured, and the results so far.

The final step, if you feel your complaint has not been handled to your satisfaction, is to send a written complaint with all the details to:

County Administrator
Lackawanna/Susquehanna BHIDEI Program
The Scranton Electric Building
507 Linden Street, 8th Floor
Scranton, PA 18503
(570) 346-5741

or

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Department of Public Welfare
Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Bureau of Community and Hospital Operations
Division of Eastern Operations
100 Lackawanna Avenue – Room 321
Scranton, PA 18503
(570) 963-4335

or

Community Care Behavioral Health Organization
Attention: Complaints and Grievances Department
72 GLENMAURA National Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Moosic, PA 18507
1-866-668-4696

or

The Advocacy Alliance – A Mental Health Association
PO Box 1368
846 Jefferson Avenue
Scranton, PA 18501
(570) 342-7762

What if I have a complaint about breach of privacy?

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with:

Privacy Officer
Scranton Counseling Center
326 Adams Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503
(570) 348-6100

or

Secretary of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
(202) 619-0257
or Toll Free 1-866-627-7748

or

The United States Office of Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue S.W.
Room 509F, HHH Building
Washington, D.C. 20201
1-866-627-7748

What if I have a complaint about discrimination?

Complaints of discrimination may be filed with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (address above), Office of Civil Rights (address above), the DPW Bureau of Equal Opportunity (BEO), Room 223, Health and Welfare Building, P.O. Box 2675, Harrisburg, PA 17105, phone: (717) 787-1127 and/or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC), Riverfront Office Center, 1101-1125 S. Front Street, 5th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17104-2515, phone: (717) 787-9784.

NO RETALIATORY ACTION WILL BE TAKEN AGAINST YOU IF YOU MAKE ANY SUCH COMPLAINTS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *