All About Dr. Sterling's Services
-- Updated April 19, 2013 --

Welcome to Dr. Sterling's Mental Health Care Services Page!

    This page describes all of the services that Dr. Sterling offers, which include:

    • In-Person counseling and psychiatric services at his office in Bellevue, Washington, USA. Appointments are available on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dr. Sterling understands that weekend appointments can be very convenient for clients working weekdays and for those who are traveling to his office from distant communities.

    • Online Counseling by E-mail, Internet Chat, and Telephone.

Dr. Sterling Does Not Provide Emergency Services.

    • Please call 911 if you think you need emergency medical attention.
      Do not hesitate.
    • Another source for mental health crisis assistance in Seattle, Washington, is the Crisis Hotline at 866-427-4747. The Seattle Crisis Clinic also has a Crisis Clinic Web page.
    • If you are having serious suicidal or homicidal thoughts, you need help immediately. Get off the computer and get on the phone.
    • You can call 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE) from anywhere in the United States for help.
Accepting New Clients.

    Dr. Sterling is accepting new clients and scheduling appointments at his Bellevue office.

    In-Person Appointments are currently available on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dr. Sterling understands that weekend appointments can be very convenient for clients working weekdays or who are traveling from more distant communities.

    Give Dr. Sterling a call at 206-784-7842. You will often reach him directly. He will be happy to answer your questions and speak with you about your concerns. Dr. Sterling is the only person who answers his phone or listens to voice messages left for him.

    To read more about Dr. Sterling's uncompromised confidential, thoughtful, directly accessible and personalized counseling services, please go to his office Web site at BellevuePsychiatry.com.

    Internet Chat and Telephone Appointments can be scheduled at selected times any day of the week, 9:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. (all times are Pacific Standard Time). Please go to our Online Counseling page to learn more.

    E-Mail Counseling:  If the E-mail Order pages are available, you can order e-mail mental health care information and counseling seven days a week. Please go to our Online Counseling page to learn more about E-Mail Counseling.

Short-Term E-Mail Consultation is Available.

Ongoing E-Mail Counseling is Available.

    The counseling service that has been called one of the most convenient, solution-oriented, and cost-effective ways of getting help is now available from Dr. Sterling. To read about and purchase Ongoing E-Mail Counseling Services, please go to the Ongoing E-Mail Counseling Page.

Initial and Ongoing Telephone Counseling is Available.

    For people who are not that comfortable with typing or text-based communication, Telephone Counseling allows the convenience and confidentiality of e-mail, while incorporating many of the features of face-to-face therapy, such as tone of voice and speed of interaction. To read about and purchase an Initial or an Ongoing Telephone Counseling Service from Dr. Sterling, please go to the Telephone Consultation Page.

Internet Chat Counseling is Available.

    Internet Chat Counseling is a middle ground between the more contemplative environment of e-mail and the speed, and potential distractions of telephone conversations. For that reason, chat appeals to people who want more time to think about what they are reading and writing, but find e-mail interactions too slow. To read about and purchase Internet Chat Counseling Services, please go to the Internet Chat Counseling page.

Would You Like to Chat With Dr. Sterling Right Now?

    If you have not yet purchased a service from Dr. Sterling and you would like to talk with him by telephone to discuss his services, please feel free to call him at 206-784-7842. You will often reach him directly.

This Page is Comprehensive - It's a Good Thing!

Expertise, Focus, Practice Orientation.  [Back to Index]

    • Expertise.  Dr. Sterling is a psychiatrist with extensive experience in providing insight-oriented and interpersonal psychotherapy, cognitive therapy based on learning theory, and couples and family therapy based on systems theory, especially transactional analysis. He has more than 30 years of experience dealing with mental health wellness and illness issues and can provide his clients with highly-skilled diagnostic, consultation, and treatment expertise for a wide-range of mental, emotional, identity, social, and relationship difficulties. For more information about Dr. Sterling's education and training, please go to his Biography Page.

    • Focus:  Client Care, Accessibility, Confidentiality.  Dr. Sterling desires to keep his office practice as uncomplicated as possible. It is designed to allow him to spend the vast majority of his time devoted to client treatment needs. Please keep in mind that Dr. Sterling does not provide inpatient services of any kind.

      • Client Care.  So that Dr. Sterling can more completely focus on client care and not on insurance provider or managed care corporate financial needs, Dr. Sterling does not participate in managed care organizations nor as a preferred provider on panels of health insurers. Dr. Sterling has a deep respect and reverence for life and aspires to offer the very best in compassionate, considerate, informed, thoughtful, and challenging work on mutually-agreed-upon treatment goals.

      • Accessibility.  There is a minimal waiting period at this time to obtain appointments with Dr. Sterling. In addition, Dr. Sterling has set up his practice so that he is easily accessible, not only by phone, but also by other forms of communication, such as e-mail.

      • Confidentiality.  Confidentiality is the cornerstone of high-quality counseling services. Within the limits of federal and state law, Dr. Sterling will protect your right to confidential communication and secure record keeping.

    • Practice Orientation.  You will notice that "client" is the word Dr. Sterling uses to describe the people with whom he contracts to provide consultation and treatment services. This is one of the indications of Dr. Sterling's practice orientation. He is humanistic and has a deep respect for each individual, their history, their environment, and their processes. He believes that the quality of therapeutic work is enhanced by not operating "on" someone, but by operating "with" someone.

      • Medication.  Although Dr. Sterling is well-trained and highly-qualified to prescribe medications and although he does prescribe psycho-active medications for depression, anxiety and other difficulties that may be biologically-based, he is first and foremost a scientist. He desires to keep a sense of perspective about the use of medication for psychological difficulties.

      • Learning Theory.  Dr. Sterling has extensive training in individual, couples, family, and system dynamics. He feels that learning theory explains a lot about how we obtain our beliefs and theories about ourselves, others, and relationships. Dr. Sterling believes in an integrative approach to couples therapy that focuses more on learning how to appreciate differences and gain deeper understanding and respect than in amplifying differences or changing one another.

      • Transactional Analysis, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  Dr. Sterling often uses transactional analysis for understanding and working with people experiencing social disorders and relationship disturbances. He often uses cognitive behavioral techniques when working with clients who are dealing with obsessions and compulsions, and with anxiety and depression.

      • Perspective, Broad Range.  Although he is psychodynamically trained, Dr. Sterling does not let the psychodynamic or psychoanalytic technique govern all the therapeutic options available to his clients. He is well versed in a range of treatment modalities from psycho-educational to more traditional insight-oriented psychotherapy.

Referrals - Dr. Sterling is Accepting New Clients.  [Back to Index]

    Please call Dr. Sterling at 206-784-7842 to discuss your referral needs with him. He is accepting new clients and there is a minimal waiting period for appointments.

Medication Evaluation and Management Services.  [Back to Index]

    • Medication Evaluation and Medication Management
      (Co-Treatment).
        Dr. Sterling provides evaluation, consultation, and medication follow-up for clients who are in treatment with non-physician health care providers. Many non-psychiatrists provide counseling and psychotherapy services. Sometimes, in the midst of providing such services, they may detect signs or symptoms that might indicate a need for, or a possible benefit from, a psychotropic medication for depression, anxiety, or some other set of symptoms or problems.

    • Please feel free to call Dr. Sterling about your referral needs for medication consults, evaluations, or management.

E-Mail Dr. Sterling About a Possible Referral?

    You may with your referral needs and questions. However, please do not include any confidential information about clients, such as names, addresses or phone numbers when for referral purposes. Dr. Sterling replies to most referral e-mails within 24 hours. If Dr. Sterling is on vacation or out-of-town, you will receive an automatic e-mail reply informing you of available options while he is gone.

Services Offered by Dr. Sterling at His Office.  [Back to Index]

    • Psychiatry, Counseling, and Medication.  Dr. Sterling is a physician with three years of specialized training in a post-graduate, residency program in Adult General Psychiatry and one of year of specialized training in Geriatric Psychiatry. Most recently, Dr. Sterling has spent three years reading about 30,000 pages of primary research literature related to human neurotransmitter function (especially dopamine) and the "disorder" currently called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD), for the purpose of writing an updated guide to understanding ADD. That work resulted in the 2011 publication of Dr. Sterling's Adult ADD Factbook. Dr. Sterling is in the process of updated that 2011 book for revised publication in 2013.

      In addition to providing the more traditional outpatient diagnostic, consultation, treatment, and medication services, Dr. Sterling offers psychotherapy and counseling for the broad range of psychological, emotional, relationship, social, and employment difficulties to the following types of clients:

      • Individual Adolescent
      • Individual Adult
      • Individual Older Adult
      • Caregivers and Families of Older Adults
      • Couples
      • Families

E-Mail, Internet Chat and Telephone Services.

Office Location and Available Appointment Times.  [Back to Index]

    Bellevue Office -- Suite 100, 12356 Northup Way, Bellevue, WA 98005 (two miles northeast of Overlake Hospital Medical Center). Appointments are available on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dr. Sterling understands that weekend appointments can be very convenient for clients working weekdays.

Services Not Offered by Dr. Sterling.

    • No Emergency Services.
    • No Inpatient Services of any kind.
    • No Inpatient Consultation Services of any kind.
    • No Individual Child Services.
    • No Medicaid or Medicare Reimbursed Services or Prescriptions. (Although Dr. Sterling is trained in f and treats older adults and family and caregivers of older adults, he has "opted out" of Medicare and Medicaid and, thus, clients or responsible persons for clients who qualify for Medicare will need to sign a Medicare Private Contract and submit payments for services to Dr. Sterling by check, credit card, or cash without reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid.)

Medical Records and Confidentiality.  [Back to Index]

    • Medical Records.  Dr. Sterling recommends that clients begin creating their medical record before their first visit with him. There are two options for doing this:

      1. Print out the Client Registration Form, fill in the information requested, and bring it with you to your appointment; or

      2. Send an E-mail to Dr. Sterling which contains a filled-in Client Registration Form (instructions for copying, pasting, completing, and e-mailing the Form can be found at our Registration Instructions page).

    • The following applies with respect to a medical record created by Dr. Sterling:

      • Dr. Sterling generates psychotherapy notes during his appointments and telephone conversations with you. He also uses a matrix for tracking services, issues, and medications. However, he does not create a traditional medical record unless a client desires to have Dr. Sterling generate a brief or detailed report. Dr. Sterling does not share his psychotherapy notes with anyone, including clients. They are not a medical record. They are a work product that he uses to provide high-quality care and they are, thus, protected work product equivalent to the work-product notes of an attorney.

      • If Dr. Sterling was part of a group practice or an insurance network, he may be required to generate medical records for the purposes of the group or the network. Because the generation of good medical records requires considerable time and thoughtfulness, Dr. Sterling will only create such brief records or more detailed records in the form of a report when paid a fee to generate such a shorter or longer report. Fees for brief reports are usually in the range of $100 (25 minutes). Fees for more detailed reports that may be used for disability claims, legal actions, or continuity of care in complex cases can be in the range of $380-$540 (100-150 minutes).

      • Clients are always allowed to provide input to the facts and wording of any report that Dr. Sterling might generate for them so that the report is as accurate as possible. Dr. Sterling will not disclose any part of a client's record to any other person unless the client gives written authorization to do so or unless the law or a court of competent jurisdiction compels Dr. Sterling to do so.

    • Confidentiality.  All information you disclose to Dr. Sterling is considered confidential and will not be released as noted above. However, in situations where a client resides in a nursing home and the medical record is not under the control of Dr. Sterling, such a facility is solely responsible for the policies and procedures related to their medical records.

    • Federal and Washington State laws require disclosure of confidential information, and reporting to appropriate authorities, in at least six types of situations: (1) an indication that child abuse or neglect is occurring or has occurred, (2) an indication that abuse or neglect of an incapacitated adult is occurring or has occurred, (3) threatened harm to self, (4) threatened harm to others, (5) in situations where a person may be gravely disabled and unable to care for themselves, and (6) when a court of competent jurisdiction orders the release of confidential information or medical records.

    • In addition, the following circumstances may impose a duty to disclose information: (1) disclosure of a previously unreported felony crime that was committed; (2) to assist relevant authorized personnel (doctors, nurses, etc.) in the event of a medical emergency, and (3) to report the misconduct of other professionals.

    • Insurance companies and other third-party payers may ask for information about diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes, they may even request the entire medical record. Such information will not be disclosed without a specific written authorization signed by the relevant client or guardian thereof.

    • The "holder" of the privilege of access to the medical records of minors resides in the custodial parent(s). When treating adolescent minors, Dr. Sterling discusses this limit on confidentiality early in the therapeutic process in order to reach a family system agreement about confidentiality that is acceptable to the parent(s) and the child that will allow for effective counseling to occur. Being able to disclose possibly embarrassing and worrisome thoughts or behavior in a confidential environment is the necessary foundation for all therapy and must have some respect in the treatment of minors.

Payments, Fees, Cancellations, Billing, Insurance Claims.  [Back to Index]

    Normally, Dr. Sterling requires that all fees for services will be paid at the time of service. Fees can be paid in person by personal check or cash. No debit cards or credit cards are processed at Dr. Sterling's office.

    If you are planning on making payment by credit card, such payments must be made prior to your office visit. Please use Dr. Sterling's Online Payment Page to process credit card payments. Fees for e-mail, Internet chat, and telephone counseling can only be paid by credit card.

    With respect to new evaluations, second opinions, and diagnostic evaluations, Dr. Sterling recommends a 100-minute first evaluation appointment. This allows him and his client to get to a point in the evaluation process at which Dr. Sterling has obtained enough information to offer valid professional opinions about a client's core issues and probable diagnosis, if any. Dr. Sterling can also usually offer some recommendations and discuss potential treatment strategies during that first 100-minute evaluation appointment.

    It is not required that you choose a 100-minute first appointment. If you are simply transferring from another provider situation or have recently moved or are anticipating moving and are very happy with your current treatment strategies, it is possible for Dr. Sterling to provide your follow-up care without doing a comprehensive "re-evaluation."

    As noted above under "Medical Records," fees may be required for the purpose of generating brief or detailed medical reports. In addition, fees are often required for any significant amount of time that Dr. Sterling might be required to invest in calling insurance providers to obtain pre-authorizations for medications. Fees for reports must be paid in advance of generating the report and the final fee may be adjusted if more time is required than was estimated.

    • Office Visit Fees (Individual, Couple or Family) --

      • Diagnostic Evaluation and Consultation (100 minutes): $380.00
      • Psychotherapy (50 minutes): $190.00
      • Psychotherapy (25 minutes): $100.00
      • Medication Evaluation and Consultation (50 minutes): $190.00
      • Medication Management, Follow-up (25 minutes): $100.00
      • Consultations lasting longer than 50 minutes will be prorated accordingly ($3.80 per minute).

    • Internet and Telephone Consultation Fees.  All fees for E-Mail, Internet Chat and Telephone Consultation Services must be paid by Visa or MasterCard credit card prior to the service being rendered. Please click go to Dr. Sterling's All About Online Counseling page to view comprehensive information about Internet and telephone counseling services.

      • Medication Refill Request Without an Appointment (Only for Registered Current Clients who have been evaluated in person): $30.00
      • Medication Pre-authorization Services: $30.00
      • Short E-Mail Consultation (15-20 minutes): $30.00
      • Long E-Mail Consultation (25-30 minutes): $60.00
      • Short Ongoing E-Mail Counseling (15-20 minutes): $30.00
      • Long Ongoing E-Mail Counseling (25-30 minutes): $60.00

      • Short Initial Chat Consultation (25 minutes - $50.00).
      • Long Initial Chat Consultation (50 minutes - $100.00).
      • Short Ongoing Chat Counseling Session (25 minutes - $50.00).
      • Long Ongoing Chat Counseling Session (50 minutes - $100.00).

      • Short Initial Telephone Consultation (25 minutes): $70.00
      • Long Initial Telephone Consultation (50 minutes): $140.00
      • Short Ongoing Telephone Counseling Session (25 minutes): $70.00
      • Long Ongoing Telephone Counseling Session (50 minutes): $140.00

    • Office Appointment Cancellations.  Please give Dr. Sterling at least 24-hour notice for the cancellation of an appointment. Dr. Sterling recognizes that there may be unavoidable reasons for canceling an appointment, such as accident, illness, family or employer emergency. Depending on the reason for late-cancellation, you will be billed 50%-100% of whatever fee would have been charged for such cancelled appointment in the case of cancellations made less than 24 hours in advance of an office appointment, if no replacement appointment can be made with another client. If you need to make a telephone call on a Saturday or Sunday to cancel a Monday appointment, please feel free to do so.

    • Internet Chat and Telephone Appointment Cancellations. These services require a longer, 36-hour notice period due to the longer time period it takes to find a replacement appointment in the Internet environment.

    • Billing Procedures.  Dr. Sterling does not provide any billing services at this time, except for appointments not cancelled as noted above. All fees are due and payable at the time of service or, in the case of online services, before an online service is rendered.

    • Insurance Reimbursement Issues.  Dr. Sterling is not a preferred provider with any health insurance plan and is not part of any managed care organization. Insurance carriers use the term "out-of-network provider."

      Your insurance carrier may reimburse you for payments you have made to Dr. Sterling even though he is an "out-of-network" provider. If you wish to seek reimbursement from your insurance carrier, Dr. Sterling can provide you with a signed receipt for services which contains what would reasonably be expected to be the information necessary for your insurance carrier to process a reimbursement to you.

      Clients are responsible for the disclosure of the information contained on such a receipt and for completing any relevant insurance claim form, submitting such claim, and directly seeking reimbursement from their insurers.

      Recently, however, Dr. Sterling has experienced insurance providers who claim to provide out-of-network coverage for their customers, but, who, in fact, have found new ways to avoid such responsiblities to their customers, by asking for Dr. Sterling's Social Security Number, and, by asking for other personal patient information that is similar to what would be required by an in-network provider.

      Please Note: Dr. Sterling cannot guarantee, in any manner whatsover, that your insurance provider will not find some way to escape their responsiblities to you. Dr. Sterling will not be intimidated into giving out personal information to insurance companies who have no compelling need for such information and who routinely send incorrect information on 1099 Forms to the IRS about alleged payments made to Dr. Sterling. Dr. Sterling cannot open the door to such constant errors by insurance providers who, once they have obtained his SSN, then make his life very complicated by claiming they sent him money, when, in fact, they did not.

Payments for Office Visits Using a Credit Card.  [Back to Index]

    If you wish to pay for an office visit either in advance or within 24 hours after receiving services from Dr. Sterling using your Visa or MasterCard credit card, please go to the Office Visit Payment Page.

Dr. Sterling Does Not Participate in Medicaid or Medicare.  [Back to Index]

    • Because Dr. Sterling wishes to be very accessible to his clients, to keep his practice focused on client-care, and to be able to decide on the best treatment options and procedures, he does not participate in Medicaid or Medicare reimbursement of services.

    • However, Medicare will not reimburse for any of Dr. Sterling's services, including the payment of any part of any charges related to medications prescribed by Dr. Sterling.

    • Any medications, laboratory or imaging studies that may be recommended can be ordered in consultation with a client's primary care physician. Clients with Medicare coverage wishing to have Dr. Sterling provide treatment services to them will need to sign a Medicare Private Contract Form.

Forms and Documents.  [Back to Index]

Thank You for Stopping By!

            -- Best wishes, Dr. Sterling


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RON STERLING, M.D.
DearShrink.comô
Seattle, Washington
Phone: 206-784-7842  Fax: None
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