Consent for Service, Limits and Terms of Use Agreement

Anyone registering, paying, and choosing to use New Directions Substance and Behavioral Services agrees to the following Consent for Service, Limits and Terms of Use:

Company Name / Client Reference Hereafter

New Directions Substance and Behavioral Services is hereafter referred to as "NDSBS". NDSBS is a division of Directions Counseling Group, Incorporated, a mental health corporation established in the state of Ohio. The term "NDSBS" refers to the corporate entity, Directions Counseling Group, Inc. as well as its website (ndsbs.com), directors, officers, agents, employees, successors and assigns. Hereafter, registered users of the NDSBS.com website shall be referred to as "you/your", "client" or "the client".

Adults/Minors Requesting Service

You agree that you are18 years old or older, and if you are not, you will have a parent or guardian establish the registration, payment and Consent for Service and Terms of Use Agreement on your behalf.

Solo Participation & False Identity

You agree to answer questions and questionnaires without the presence or assistance of any third party and agree not to have any third party present at an in-person, telephone or video/webcam interview without first making a direct request to NDSBS and stating the reason that you wish for a third party to be present. NDSBS has the right to deny any such requests if they deem them inappropriate for any reason. You explicitly agree to not have another party stand in as your representative or falsely present themselves in an interview using your identity.

Online Service Limitations

NDSBS provides in-person as well as online services. You understand that use of online services may not be an appropriate form of care for persons in an emotional or mental health crisis. We reserve the right to assess your situation and decline to offer you services if we believe it is not in your best interests to do so. If we are working with you and a mental health crisis develops we will refer you to your local emergency services and mental health providers where you can be seen in-person. Any fees paid to NDSBS prior to a mental health crisis will qualify for consideration of a partial or full refund, at the discretion of the NDSBS Director, and depending on the amount of services rendered before a referral to a local agency is made.

Consent for Treatment

You understand and consent to treatment for professional services from NDSBS. NDSBS services are provided by certified and/or licensed mental health practitioners and as such may render a mental health diagnosis where appropriate and indicate such diagnoses in your written records. You also consent to the release of information for therapeutic, billing, supervision and other purposes in connection with your treatment, between and among NDSBS therapists, staff and service contractors who perform supervisory work on behalf of NDSBS. You understand that for a more detailed description of how your (or your child’s) health information may be released and used is contained in the current Notice of Privacy Practices. This is available in brochure form in the physical office of New Directions Substance and Behavioral Services as well as on the ndsbs.com website.

General Information Security Practices

NDSBS recognizes the absolute importance of keeping client records private and confidential. This section of the Agreement includes our general security practices to keep your information private:

  • all records are stored on SSL encrypted servers
  • paper records/documents related to your service are kept in locked cabinets
  • account passwords are set to health industry standards to include appropriate length and sufficient variation in characters to minimize chances of access by any third party
  • sessions conducted via webcam/video are not recorded by NDSBS
  • NDSBS does not sell your email or other personal contact information to any parties
  • Occasionally for training and supervision purposes we may request that you allow an audio recording of your clinical interview. You are free to decline such requests and any recordings agreed to will be destroyed within 30 days of the recording

Limits to Confidentiality and Privacy

Privacy and confidentiality are not only important to have a trusted exchange of client/ clinician information, but they are also items subject to federal law. NDSBS complies with federal confidentiality guidelines under Federal Confidentiality regulations (42 CFR Part 2) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA 45 CFR). This protection of confidentiality also specifically (42/Part 2) protects the records of mental health, alcohol and drug abuse patients, including the prohibition of re-disclosure of information from client/patient records. HIPAA also requires that mental health and substance abuse professionals provide notice to all clients that information provided by NDSBS and voluntarily disclosed to third parties by you (to courts, probation officers, physicians, schools, etc.) may be re-disclosed by these third parties.

Furthermore, in compliance with the aforementioned federal laws, NDSBS has the obligation to limit client/customer confidentiality and report specific information in the following circumstances:

  • NDSBS is mandated to report suspected or known abuse of children and vulnerable adults to local law enforcement and/or local child/adult protective agencies.
  • NDSBS is mandated to report specific information to local law enforcement in situations where a client is at significant risk for taking their own life or the life (or lives) of another (others). NDSBS will make a concerted effort to assist clients in accessing appropriate professional care in such circumstances.
  • NDSBS is obligated to release your records for legal proceedings if ordered by a court to do so.

NDSBS uses security encrypted (SSL) transmission for all professional assessment and counseling services completed online. If you choose a webcam/video/telephone service, including uploading, downloading, or faxing personal information to or from NDSBS, you should be aware that risk of interception of your information, though unlikely, is a possibility. NDSBS client records are stored on encrypted secure servers or in secure facilities where access is limited to the professional evaluator assigned to the client and their clinical supervisors. Identifying names are not used by the evaluator if discussing client circumstances with a professional supervisor.

There is also no express or implied warranty for any client losses, damage or harm occurring from the use of electronic services, which would include: unauthorized data interception or data/records theft by a third party, unintended utility charges by a third party, computer/electronic viruses, accidental deletion of data or records, or any other claim of harm arising from your choice to engage NDSBS services using electronic means (telephone, fax, internet, wireless, email, video/webcam or any other electronic delivery services that might be used in the future).

Responsibility for Transfer of Your Records to Requesting Parties

You understand that NDSBS will place an official document or report signed by a credentialed professional in your online account with NDSBS. As noted elsewhere in this document you are responsible to review the document in its entirety before releasing it to any person or company. You may provide the official document to any requesting party at any time (e.g. court, probation officer, attorney, employer, etc.) If you would like us to send your document or report you will be required to complete a Release of Health Protected Information found in your account dashboard under the “Send My Assessment” tab.

Delivery Timeframes

Standard report deliveries are within 5 business days of the time of your clinical interview. The report will be delivered to your account by the end of the appropriate business day (5pm) in your time zone. Your account with us will include a time stamp showing the date and time your report is posted.

Rush Order timeframes are defined as follows:

  • Same business day delivery – by 5pm in your time zone on the day of your clinical interview. If ordering an assessment near the end of the business day you may be required to pay a same-day rush order fee in order to have the report ready by a morning deadline of 8am or 9am.
  • Next business day delivery – by 5pm in your time zone on the next business day after your clinical interview
  • Two to three business day delivery – by 5pm in your time zone on the third business day after your clinical interview

Saturday, Sunday and holidays are not considered business days and services rendered during the weekend or a holiday may be quoted with additional convenience fees determined at the time you contact us for an assessment.

Note: if you need your report earlier than 5pm please let us know by phone and confirm document the arrangement with an email from our administrative staff or your evaluator.

Financial Responsibility & Fees

You understand that payment for service is due before receiving services from NDSBS. Additionally, you understand that NDSBS has no contractual obligation with your insurance company or you that would guarantee you reimbursement for expenses you incur for any and all services from NDSBS.

You also understand that fees for services are posted on our website except in certain cases where fees are dependent on time demands of your case (e.g. in depth assessments for the FAA, ILC evaluations, some license reinstatement assessments, or other services which are determined and mutually agreed upon at the time of the service request).

Client Cancellation Policy and Broken Appointment Fees

You understand and agree that a fee will be charged to your account if you cancel your interview or appointment with less than 24 hours’ notice. You also understand and agree that NDSBS reserves the right to cancel your service and refund your payments minus any broken appointment fees if you cancel 2 or more scheduled interview or appointment times with less than 24 hours’ notice. Broken appointment fees are $50.00 per appointment and are charged to partially offset the loss of revenue which occurs when a time has been reserved for a client but which can no longer be booked due to the short notice in cancellation.

Client Will Accurately Report Information

As a client, you agree to provide accurate information about yourself and the circumstances surrounding your need for an evaluation or counseling to the best of your ability. This includes an agreement to not omit information relevant to your situation or present inaccurate information. If inaccurate information is provided or important information is purposely omitted, you will not be eligible for a refund if your assessment is not accepted.

NDSBS is not a Government Entity

You understand that NDSBS is not a state or federal organization. While our assessments and clinical reports are generally accepted by other professionals and government agencies you also understand that any clinical conclusions, diagnoses or professional recommendations provided by NDSBS may or may not be accepted or approved by courts, state or federal agencies. Furthermore, courts, state and federal agencies are not bound to agree with our assessments or clinical recommendations.

Refund Terms & Limitations

You understand and agree with our conditions and limits to grant a refund. Refunds are only given in circumstances where the requesting party (court, physician, probation department, etc.) will not accept the assessment we provided and the following procedures are followed:

  • All refund requests must be initiated through your ndsbs.com account by clicking on “my transactions” and “refund requests” in your account dashboard
  • All refund requests must be applied for within 45 days of your original registration.
  • NDSBS will first attempt to contact any third party that does not accept your assessment to see if there is some additional information needed in order to gain acceptance of your report or service. In this circumstance you will need to first sign and return (fax or scan/email) a release of information form to allow your evaluator to speak with the third party.
  • If we cannot make contact with the requesting party, you must provide written proof that your evaluation was not accepted by the requesting party. The document stating your assessment was not accepted must be on the letterhead of the requesting party and have an address, phone number and contact name included on it.
  • Refunds are not granted in situations where the client being evaluated:
    • omitted key information or;
    • provided inaccurate information or;
    • missed an assessment completion deadline because:
      • a) NDSBS was not informed of the due date,
      • b) client did not meet with the evaluator at the originally scheduled time,
      • c) client did not provide NDSBS evaluator with necessary documents requested by evaluator or required to be reviewed by the authority requesting the assessment
    • your assessment was approved initially approved in the original context but not acceptable in another context (Note for example: assessments for court are not guaranteed to be accepted by State Licensing agencies and vice-versa)
    • all assessments used in context of child custody proceedings are non-refundable (due to the contentious nature of child custody proceedings)
    • all assessments related to safety-sensitive employment are non-refundable services (e.g. aviation/FAA substance abuse evaluations, DOT evaluations, nursing or other medical boards)
    • we do not refund assessments in situations where you might obtain a new assessment before we have been given the opportunity to seek approval of the assessment we provided
  • If a portion of your fee was for a rush orders, the portion above and beyond the standard fee is NOT eligible for a refund.
  • Refunds are processed within 15-30 days.
  • If you have obtained a new assessment without following the terms outlined herein,
  • If your appeal for a refund involves a claim that another assessment was immediately required you agree to submit copies of any such subsequent assessments to us in order to verify that our original assessment was not used and to verify that the assessment was needed and conducted immediately.

Limits of Electronic Connections and Liability

You understand that there is a chance that internet or phone connection could be lost during your services. In the event your connection is lost, the counselor will attempt to contact you at the number you provided in your registration. If you have not heard from your counselor within five minutes, you agree to call our main number to reestablish connection and plan for continuance of your service. You also agree to hold NDSBS harmless with regard to any and all claims of damage from an electronic disconnection during services (also referred to in the Hold Harmless section of this agreement).

Limited Use of Assessments

You understand and agree that professional assessments prepared for one authority (e.g. a court, a licensing agency, a child services agency, etc.) may not be accepted by another authority. For example, a state licensing agency may require a different reporting format, provider credentials, etc. than a court, therefore making a court assessment unacceptable to their agency. Accordingly, you agree to accurately represent to ndsbs.com what authority is requesting your assessment. (see refund terms and conditions) Furthermore you understand and agree that each requesting authority has their own acceptable timeframe to consider an assessment as valid. NDSBS cannot be held responsible for your submission of an assessment to an authority after what the requesting authority considers a reasonable timeframe.

Respect of Copyrights

All assessment, evaluation, educational and other material made available on our website and provided in our offices is copyrighted. You may use our materials for the purpose of an NDSBS assessment, counseling or education services only. You agree not to use any aforementioned NDSBS materials in any other manner, including copying, reproducing, scanning, distributing, publishing, selling or otherwise conducting commercial activity with NDSBS materials. Efforts to engage in such activity are punishable by state and federal laws.

No Guarantees of Clinical Outcome

You agree that you are using NDSBS services at your own risk and without guarantee of any specific clinical assessment, counseling or education outcomes; that there is no warranty for our services; that third parties are not bound by any contracts or laws to accept or agree with our assessment, evaluation or other clinical conclusions.

Complaints

To file a complaint with us, contact the Director of the practice at:

NDSBS /Directions Counseling Group, Inc.
6797 North High Street, Suite 350
Worthington, Ohio 43085
(614) 888-9200

You will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint.

Acknowledgement of Receipt of Notice of Privacy Practices (HIPAA)

I acknowledge my receipt of New Directions Substance and Behavioral Services’ Notice of Privacy Practices (revised and effective November 8, 2005) . It is included not only in this Consent for Service Agreement (see link) but is also available on our website and in our office for any client to access at any time.


Disputes and Jurisdiction

Any dispute arising from this Consent for Treatment and Terms of Use Agreement shall be governed by the laws and jurisdiction of the State of Ohio.

Notice of Changes

NDSBS may notify clients of changes or additions to its services by publishing such notice on the NDSBS website. Clients may give notice to NDSBS at any time by any of the following:

Modifications / Entire Agreement

This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between you, the client, and NDSBS. The content represented herein supersedes all previous written or verbal terms of use agreements. NDSBS may amend, modify, clarify, or remove any part of this agreement with notice through the ndsbs.com website. Any use of NDSBS services by you after any amendments, modifications, clarifications, or deletions shall be deemed to constitute acceptance by you of the updated terms of the agreement. You understand that if a court deems any part of this agreement to be illegal or a violation of Ohio statutes, the remaining parts of the agreement shall be considered valid and enforceable until proven otherwise in an Ohio court of law.

By signing in person or clicking on the "agree" button below this Consent for Service, this Limits and Terms of Use Agreement shall be construed and controlled by the applicable laws of the state of Ohio and the United States of America.