Our FAQ contains information about what you can expect when you choose to have pathfinder health services treat your addiction.
How does Pathfinder Health Services protect my patient confidentiality?
Pathfinder Health Services follows federal regulations outlining patient confidentiality in drug and alcohol addiction treatment facilities. These are known as “42 CFR Part 2”. In layman’s terms, this complex federal law was created to protect your rights and confidentiality as a patient undergoing treatment for substance use disorder (i.e. addiction). 42 CFR Part 2 requires patient consent for disclosure of protected health information even for the purposes of treatment, payment, or health care operations. Consent for disclosure must be in writing. During your initial intake visit you will be asked to sign a disclosure that will allow us to communicate to our participating pharmacies so that we may prescribe any necessary medications in the course of your treatment and abide by 42 CFR Part 2. The key thing to remember is 42 CFR Part 2 is a good thing, it was designed to protect you, the patient. The patient confidentiality laws surrounding 42 CFR Part 2 are greater than the traditional HIPPA laws you are familiar with from other healthcare providers. 42 CFR Part 2 protects you so that you can be honest and open with your addiction medicine physician about your history, symptoms, etc…so that we may provide excellent care to you on your road to recovery.
What form of payment does Pathfinder Health Services accept?
We accept, cash, money order, and all major credit cards for our physician services.
Do you take Medicaid, Medicare, TennCare?
No. We are unable to take Medicare/Medicaid for addiction medicine services at Pathfinder Health Services. When booking an appointment, you will answer a screener question which will ask if you are covered by Medicaid, Medicare, TennCare. It is very important that you answer this question honestly. If you are covered by these government health insurance programs we can frequently assign you to a Pathfinder Health Services physician who is able to see government insured patients as self-pay. Government insured patients need to understand that they are seeking care entirely outside their government insurance program, and as such, are not able to seek reimbursement from their government insurer. Furthermore, government insured patients will be responsible for the cost of their medication. When seeking treatment outside your government health insurance program, you are not able to have your insurer pay for your medication. Pathfinder Health Service physicians will help you choose the most affordable medication available given your financial situation.
Do you take private insurance?
Pathfinder Health Services does not participate in any private/commercial insurance plans. Our office staff can generate electronic health record “Superbills” for patients to seek reimbursement directly from their private/commercial insurer.
What is included in the monthly fee?
Expert physician services, any behavioral therapy or intervention (counseling) that is needed within the context of patient treatment at Pathfinder Health Services office based clinic, any point-of-care urine drug testing (not confirmatory testing), access to electronic patient portal to communicate with your physician, and referral to 12 step facilitation program, private counselor, or more intensive treatment as deemed necessary by patient and physician.
Are there any additional fees I need to know about?
Yes. The standard of care to monitor patients in addiction treatment is urine drug testing. Your addiction medicine physician will utilize point-of-care urine testing which is immune-assay based. The cost for this point-of-care urine testing is included in your monthly fee. American Society of Addiction Medicine criteria require that urine specimens be sent to a reference lab for confirmatory testing (to make sure a positive on point-of-care immunoassay is really a ‘true positive’). We partner with a local reference lab that performs Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy confirmatory testing on all specimens obtained at Pathfinder Health Services. If you have insurance, your insurance company will be billed by the reference laboratory. If you do not have insurance, you can expect to receive a small bill from the reference laboratory. Pathfinder Health Services advises you to contact the reference laboratory’s billing department to discuss payment options for this testing.
How do I make an appointment?
Use our convenient online scheduler or text our office number.
I have to cancel / reschedule my appointment. What should I do?
We ask that you provide Pathfinder Health Services with 72 hours advanced notice that you would like to cancel or reschedule. Please abide by the 72 hour cancellation/reschedule policy to allow us to schedule one of the patients on our waiting list.
Can all addictions be treated as an outpatient at Pathfinder Health Services?
No. Sometimes a patient has such severe addiction, and multiple co-occurring medical conditions that it is not safe to treat the patient as an outpatient. Our physicians utilize the ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) Placement Criteria to determine the appropriate level of care for each individual patient. Upon evaluation, if it is discovered that you would benefit from inpatient or intensive outpatient addiction medicine treatment, appropriate referral will be made to a local treatment center that specializes in inpatient treatment. When you have completed your intpatient treatment, we would be happy to continue your care as an outpatient at Pathfinder Health Services and coordinate care with your inpatient physician to ensure a smooth transition and maintenance of your recovery.
What type of addictions does Pathfinder Health Services Treat?
Our American Board of Addiction Medicine certified physicians are trained to diagnose and treat all types of addiction, including: alcohol, tobacco, sedative, opioid, stimulant, and behavioral addictions.
What is involved in treating my addiction?
Depends on the individual patient and the addiction. If it is an addiction that has a known withdrawal / craving syndrome (ie…sedative, opioid, tobacco, alcohol) your physician will likely use an FDA approved medication to help control the symptoms of withdrawal. Once you are stabilized, behavioral therapy in the form of counseling, 12-step facilitation, group therapy, etc….will be used to address the behavioral aspects of your addiction in an effort to get you into long-term recovery.
Are there any laws governing the treatment of addiction in the State of Tennessee?
Yes. Tennessee is unique amongst states in that recently the state government places guidelines and restrictions on some of the medications used to treat addiction. See hyperlink below for the Addiction Treatment Act of 2015. Have no fear though, these guidelines and regulations were created with the patient’s best interest in mind. Dosage requirements and guidelines are based on established evidence based literature in the field of addiction medicine.
What if I am addicted to multiple substances?
Many patients have multiple addictions. For example, a patient may be addicted to cigarettes (tobacco/nicotine) and opioids at the same time. The physicians at Pathfinder Health Services are trained to treat patients with multiple co-occurring addictions.
Do I have to attend 12-step facilitation program if I am getting counseling by my addiction medicine physician or in-house drug, addiction counselor?
Not initially while you are stabilized, but participation in 12-step facilitation is preferred. These programs are free to the Patient. Our website provides direct, easy access to a wide variety of local/regional 12 step programs. The data is clear and convincing. If you really want to deal with your addiction you should be engaged with a social support group such as 12 step. If you have a concern about participating in such programs, please discuss with your addiction medicine physician.
Can I share my medications with friends, and family who are also suffering from addiction?
No. This is called diversion, and is illegal. A prescription written by a physician is for a specific patient as part of a comprehensive addiction treatment plan. Federal and state law mandates that the prescription written be filled and used ONLY by the patient being treated by the physician. We know that addiction is often rampant in families. We are happy to evaluate and treat any family or friends you may have that are also struggling with addiction. Please have them visit our website or contact us via e-mail or office telephone.
Does Pathfinder Health Services Prescribe Subutex (buprenorphine mono-product)?
See details of “The Addiction Treatment Act of 2015”. Subutex is only FDA approved for the treatment of opioid addiction in pregnant and nursing mothers. While the state law specifies patients with a documented hypersensitivity / adverse reaction to naloxone are eligible to be prescribed Subutex, the true prevalence of such reactions is extremely low. Pathfinder Health Services can refer you to a local Board Certified Allergist for work-up of a possible naloxone allergy.