portal policies


Welcome, to the Portal of Michelle Turbide, LICSW.


I have opted to work with Jituzu.com as a way of streamlining, convenience, and assisting you in a HIPAA approved encrypted client portal.

As you know there are many concerns with on-line security and email. However, we live in a busy world and the convenience of technology can make life easier for scheduling and ease of communicating.

This service is voluntary and you may opt out at any time. Please make sure you have read my practice policies and procedures which can be found on my website. They are updated on the regular so please keep up to date.

http://www.michelleturbidetherapy.com under the tab policies.

Scheduling is a very complicated task given that many clients prefer the same time slots. I do my best to accommodate, however in fairness, I prioritize seniority for the optimal times as clients usually wait for these times to open.

I am hoping that this portal/scheduling service will help to streamline and make things more efficient and safe for all.

In addition, I should be able to take HSA credit cards through this portal and I can keep that information on file for ease of use. Please speak to me if you are interested in using your HSA.

This service is new to me so there will be some bumps along the way. I appreciate your understanding and patience as I learn the system.

Guidelines and Policies

  1. Here are my guidelines around scheduling in the portal (which includes but is not limited to the following). By using this portal you are agreeing to these terms.
  2.  If you see an open time slot, you may schedule it. However, I reserve the right to change this time as I may have forgotten to import an appointment, offered it someone else coinciding with your selection of the time, or have had a change in my schedule.
  3.  If I need to alter the time you have selected, I will do so as soon as possible and usually within 48-hours of the time that you have made the appointment (unless I am away on vacation and unavailable in which case it may be longer.) In most cases, after 72-hours you can consider the time confirmed.
  4.  If you cannot find a time in my schedule, please contact me as I have set breaks and lunch times that may be flexible. I will do what I can to assist you in finding a time that will meet your need. However If we are not able to find a mutual time we will discuss other options for you.
  5. When in doubt ask.
  6.  Please do not schedule anything more than 30 days out without my permission, as I often have schedule changes, commitments, and vacations that come up.  I do my best to keep my schedule up to date, however things get complicated and I make human mistakes. I  do not guarantee that appointments made 30 days out will be honored.
  7.  Once you cancel an appointment in the portal it is open for other portal users to schedule. This is true even if this is your regular appointment time. So please ask for my help if you have any questions before you click on cancel.
  8.  Other than regularly scheduled times and the waitlist for preferred times, scheduling is on a fist come first serve basis.
  9.  Do not schedule more than one appointment a week without prior permission. Also, please note that your insurance may not cover more than one behavioral health service in the same day or week with myself and/or another provider. You are responsible to know your insurance polices and/or clear it with me before scheduling as I do not know when you have other services outside of my practice schedule.
  10.  You or I can set up reminders for your appointments that will notify you by email, text, or phone message. (See below on user information). What you add as preferences in your portal will be used for reminders, So please make sure that information is up to date and is indeed your preferred method for reminders.
  11.  You or I can turn off notifications/reminders, however you are still responsible to make your appointment or cancel within the appropriate time frame.
  12.  Mistakes happen and there may be user error on either of our parts. The portal is a convenience. It does not release you from your responsibility to keep your appointment. Please make sure that you put appointments in your own calendar or scheduling method.
  13. As always, my policy is 24-hours of notice of cancelation. This is within a 24 hour work day. Cancelations for Monday should notify me by Friday.
  14. Without 24-hours notice there will be a fee for missed services. I have the same policy for all clients. I understand that things happen and changes occur, however to provide an equitable, ethical, and practical service I must have a consistent policy around this. I have set my rates for $25 for a first missed session, $55 for subsequent missed session, and the usual and customary rate for more than 3 missed sessions (This rate depends on your insurance). If you have more than 3 missed sessions, we will have a conversation about continuation of services.
  15.  My preference is for 48-hours of notice so that I may best accommodate schedules for other clients. I appreciate if clients can give me as much notice as possible and I thank you in advance for this consideration.
  16.  You may cancel an appointment in the portal up to 24 hours prior to the session. After that you will need to contact me by message or phone to cancel. As noted, fees will apply.
  17.  If you or your child are sick, please notify me by 8am the day of your appointment. In the case of inclement weather, please contact me and discuss whether it is safe to come in to the office for your appointment. Inclement weather would be weather that causes the roads to be unsafe for driving such as closure of school and other area community events. I do not typically charge for these cancelations, however, if they are a recurrent issue then my 24-hour rules and fees will apply. I will give you a warning if you may be charged for the next missed session. You will be charged if you do not show to the appointment without notification, regardless of the weather.
  18. As per my policy, If I need to cancel due to sickness or weather, I will contact you by 8am at the latest. I will likely notify you through the portal, and if it seems you did not get the message I will contact you via phone or any other contact you have provided.
  19.  You may communicate with me through the portal for cancelations or call me via phone at 802.654.7607 ext 6. Please note which days I am out of the office as I do not regularly check messages when I am not in the office. For expediency, I prefer messaging for scheduling questions, however if you are concerned about security than please use phone as a means of communicating.
  20.  This portal is an encrypted site, which means that information on the server is safeguarded against outside breaches. However, as you know there are no 100% guarantees with any technology. If you use the portal on your computer or an app on your phone please take precaution. Use a password that only you know and cannot be detected, close the applications after use, and take every precaution not to expose any of your protected health information (PMI).
  21.  Neither I nor Jituzu are responsible for any breaches that occur on your end. So please take precaution and read my policies and Jituzu’s policies thoroughly when you click that you agree as you sign up. Always make sure you are comfortable with the use of this technology before you use it.
  22.  Portals are for scheduling and messaging only. It does not grant you or anyone else access to your file, client notes, or billing information. Those files are held on my HIPAA approved encrypted account through MyClientsPlus. I am the only accessor of those records as I am a sole practitioner and not a group practice.
  23. Messaging through the portal carries the same policies I have regarding email so please read that section on my website or the copy I give when you began services. I am happy to provide another copy if you have lost it. While the Portal is more secure than regular email as it is encrypted, there are still risks of breach of PMI.
  24.  You may email clinical information, upload files, and relay sensitive information about your PMI through the portal. However, this is up to your discretion, comfort level, and knowledge that nothing is ever 100% secure. I will always ask your permission before I send any uploads to you through messaging.
  25.  If you decide to forward/relay any information from the portal outside of the Portal, I am not responsible for breaches of PMI in those cases. Again, please play it safe, ask questions, and do not use electronic communication if you are concerned.
  26.  Clients under 18 will need a parent/guardian to sign up for Jituzu as Jituzu’s policy is only for 18 and older. If clients under 18 utilize this service, please note that parents/guardians will have to sign up for the service and have access to messages to/from the portal. This means that any messages you send me in the portal are open for parents/guardian and youth viewing. The portal does not grant access to clinical notes and files.
  27.  It is my opinion that any youth over 16 should have access to the portal as well as the parent/guardian. This is primarily because many 16 year olds drive and schedule their own appointments. In some cases, youth under 16 can be granted access. However, we will determine appropriateness on a case by case basis. If a youth turns 16 during services and is granted access, we can determine options to ensure privacy for any parental communications.
  28.  Messaging is not for emergencies and is not a replacement for in person therapy. I do my best work in person, in real time. Messaging is not to replace or in lieu of that. Messaging, just like email, is open to interpretation, subjectivity, and miscommunication. Messages should continue to be for scheduling, quick questions,  relaying information, and some clarifications. It is not meant to be an ongoing clinical conversation. If I find that messaging is posing an issue or a concern, we will discuss the use of this service and determine what is most clinically appropriate for our therapeutic relationship.
  29.  I do my best to answer questions in a timely response, however I cannot always do so promptly. Please allow 48-72 hours for responses or longer if I am away. I may determine that your question or message is best suited to discuss in person and will let you know if that is my opinion. If you have any questions about this or concerns arise on either side, we will discuss it at your next session in person.
  30.  I reserve the right to terminate your use of the portal if the policies are not followed and/or the use of the portal poses a concern on either end. If this occurs I will notify you by phone, mail, or in person regarding my determination.
  31.  Clients who have not had a session in 3 or more months will not be able to schedule appointments in the portal. If you have paused or stopped services with me for more than 3 months, or you have terminated, you are not considered an active client in my practice. I may not detach you from the portal, in which case you will be able to message me, however you will not be able to schedule without having a conversation with me to determine if my services meet your current needs and are the most appropriate for you.
  32.  When in doubt please ask or contact me by phone/message with any questions or concerns. Most importantly I want to provide a safe, appropriate, enjoyable and convenient therapeutic service for you that will best meet your needs.
  33.  Once you have joined the portal I expect that our electronic communication will be through this service as it is the most secure that I can offer.

I can be contacted during working hours at 802.654.7607 ext 6 or messaging through the portal. I look forward to our work together,

Michelle Turbide, LICSW


Tips for using Jituzu

  1.  To enter the service, you will be sent an email generated by me from Jituzu inviting you to sign up. Click on the link which allows you to fill out the form to create an account.
  2.  You must accept their policies and terms of service. Please read them thoroughly before you sign up.
  3. You must understand my policies and guidelines. By creating an account you have agreed to my policies and guidelines and are subject to following them.
  4.  You must be 18 years old to create an account. Parents/guardians will need to create the account for you if you are under 18 (see policies above).
  5.  Please make note of your account name and password and keep it secure. If you forget this, you may have to create a new account or do a retreaval. (Creating a new account may loose all the messages in your previous account.)
  6.  If you have trouble signing up please contact me. I will do my best to assist you, however you will be responsible for using your own technological devices.
  7.  Once the account is created they will send you an email and you can click on the link to access the portal. I have found this to lead you to a page that may not seem to be correct. In the top right corner there is a tab to sign in. There you will use your username and password. This will allow you to enter your portal.
  8.  There is an app for android and IOS users. This may be more streamline for you to use on your phone or ipad. However, you can access it by computer as well. Again, make sure that you secure your username and password and do not inadvertently allow others access to your portal. If you are using this on your computer I urge you to create a bookmark so you can find the page.
  9.  I believe that you will need to enter it every time on your mobile device, I do not know if your computer will save the password for you. You will have to determine this and make sure to keep it secure.
  10.  Either from the menu of your app or the menu on the left side of the screen on the computer version you will be able to view your inbox, appointments, and change your settings.
  11.  If you click on the appointments tab, you will be able to view appointments that are scheduled on your list of future appointments. You will also be able to see a list of past appointment.
  12.  On the same appointments tab, you can request open times and then schedule ones that are available.  It seems to offer you all the open times in the next 2  weeks of the ‘start date’ date entered. (please see guidelines above for this)
  13.  It also allows you to select and search for specific days/times but I find it most useful to just search for all open times from a specific date, as I usually don’t have too many open appointment times.
  14.  Do not schedule any appointments more than 30 days in advance without clearing this with me first. And be clear on my policy above regarding this service.
  15.  If you have a regular weekly, every other week, or monthly time I schedule a saved ongoing appointments for up to 100 weeks in advance. It will show up in your list of scheduled appointments. This does not guarantee that we will keep/honor all of these times. I schedule this way so that your regular time is protected from being scheduled by other portal users.
  16.  The ongoing saved appointments are not confirmed until we have confirmed them verbally or through messaging. I have a system on my end to know which are confirmed and unconfirmed by us. If you find that one of the appointments on your future list you cannot make due to vacation or a conflict, feel free to cancel that time as it allows for other clients to schedule. If if it is an early or late time, I often have a waitlist for those so please discuss with me if you are going to cancel it temporarily or permanently as I will have a procedure for how to offer them to other clients.
  17.  From the menu you can click on settings. In this page you can change your email or reminder phone. You can select text or voicemail for a reminder. All reminders will say you have an appointment with Michelle. It will have no other identifying information. You are responsible for the security of this on your end, so please make sure that you are comfortable with the type of reminder service. You can opt out of reminders. If you are concerned about this, please discuss it with me.
  18.  You will need to have security questions if you loose your account name/password. These are specific to you and I cannot access them.
  19.  You will be able to send/receive messages with me and I believe that you can upload files. Please note that any messages other than scheduling only messages will become a part of your clinical file. My policies around email will be apply here, so please view my policies listed on my website for any clarification.
  20. If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask. I am ver excited to offer you this service and hope that you enjoy it.

Thank you and welcome to your portal,

Michelle Turbide, LICSW

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