Question Regarding the Horizon Clinics

How do I begin services at Vesta, Inc ?

The first step is to complete our referral form, a basic form that provides background information.

You can download the referral form [Referral form in English or Referral form in Spanish] fill it out and return either in person, fax, or by mail to the Intake and Referral Coordinator at:

8737 Colesville Rd., Suite #700, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Phone: 240-296-5858 / Fax: 240-383-3435 / Email: IRC@vesta.org

Once this form is completed and submitted to the Intake and Referral office, you should be contacted within 2-3 business days.

What if I don't have insurance, is there is sliding scale fee?

Unfortunately, Vesta, Inc. does not offer a sliding scale fee, our fees are fixed.

I submitted my form and have not received a response, who do I contact?

If it has been more than 2 business days and you have not received a response from our Intake and Referral office, feel free to call 240-296-5858 or send an e-mail to IRC@vesta.org

Once my intake appointment is completed, how long will it take until I am assigned a therapist or can see the psychiatrist?

The therapist who did the intake has one week to submit the report to the Clinic Director, once the report is submitted and processed by the Clinic Director, he/she will instruct front desk staff to call and set up a psychiatric evaluation, if necessary, or he/she will go about assigning the therapist that best fits your needs, may take up to 2 weeks after intake

It has been a long time since I had intake, and I have not been contacted regarding my therapist or psychiatrist appointment.

Contact the Clinic Director for your clinic, he/she will be able to let you know the status of your case.

I have a complaint, who do I contact?

Any complaints can be addressed by asking to speak to the employees supervisor, or you may follow the grievance procedure listed in your Client Rights and Responsibilities.

Why was my case closed? If my case was closed, how do I re-open or begin services again?

a. When first coming for services with Vesta, Inc., you were given a copy of your Rights and Responsibilities as a client, page 2 lists the “Discharge procedures”, including, but not limited to, “..failing to attend three consecutive scheduled appointments...”

b. Contact the Intake and Referral office, you may be required to complete an updated Referral Form.

My Social Worker/School/Other Agency, needs information about my record with Vesta, Inc. How do I obtain a copy of my records? Why can't I have a copy of my records to give them?

a. An authorization to release/exchange information form must be completed and current in your chart, a written request must be submitted to the Clinic Director with the information of the other agency that we need to release information to.

b. If an authorization to exchange/release information form is on file, we can provide a copy of your records, however, once you receive the copy, we are not responsible or liable if the records are lost, altered or destroyed.

I have been recommended to have a psychological evaluation. Does Vesta, Inc. offer psychological evaluations?

Vesta, Inc. at this point in time does not offer psychological evaluations.

You may contact your insurance company to obtain a list of providers, or you may contact the Core Service Agency for your county.

I need to have a Psychiatric Evaluation. How do I begin this process?

The psychiatric evaluation Vesta, Inc. provides is only to determine the need for medication, if this is what is being requested, you first have to fill out the referral form and have an initial evaluation by one of our therapists prior to seeing the psychiatrist.

I have Medicare and Medicaid. Why do I have a co-pay?

There are 2 kinds of supplemental Medicaid:

1. QMB – which covers Medicare premium payment as well as co-pays

2. SLMB – which covers Medicare premium payment only, which means that you as the consumer are responsible for the co-pays set by medicare as of Jan. 1, 2009 (see Medicare rates)

I was told that I qualify for Uninsured Eligibility status. What does that mean?

Uninsured Eligibility is a status through the state, where if a client meets certain criteria and con provide supporting documentation, Vesta, Inc. as an OMHC, can request a temporary status for 1 year to cover mental health services for a $2 cop-pay, not including medication.

This eligibility is obtained with the understanding, that within that year, the consumer will apply for Medicaid and/or Primary Adult Care(PAC) program.

How do I apply for Medicaid and/or PAC?

a. Medicaid can only be applied for by calling your local Department of Social Services office.

b. PAC can be applied for by completing the PAC application and submitting to the address on the form.

c. Any consumer over 18 years of age, who may not meet the financial criteria for Medicaid, have the option of applying for PAC which allows for a slightly higher income than Medicaid, although PAC coverage is lower than with Medicaid, it does allow for yearly doctor visits, dental visits 2 times a year, well-being visits for women and mental health services.

Questions Regarding the Residential Program

Will I get my own bedroom in the Residential Program?

Vesta is making every effort to find housing units that will allow each resident to have his or her own bedroom. Unfortunately, at the present time, this is not the case. Chances are that you will need to share a bedroom with another individual unless health or other therapeutic concerns necessitate the need for a single bedroom. Single bedrooms are offered to individuals on a seniority basis.

What is a "transition visit" and what should I expect during a transition visit?

A transition visit serves two purposes:

  • it allows Vesta to more fully assess your particular needs within the community environment, and
  • allows you to "try the program on for size".

Transition visits may be as short as one day or one overnight visit, or as long as two weeks. Visits are designed to meet individual needs.

During the transition visit you will be staying at the housing unit where you will eventually be living if you are admitted to the program. You will be introduced to your roommates and be oriented to the residential program and to other program components. You will be given a grocery allowance and money to do your laundry; staff will assist you in planning a menu and will take you shopping for food. Bed linens and towels will be provided for you. You will need to bring your own personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, deodorant, etc.) and enough clothing to last through the visit. The apartments are fully furnished with dishes and pots and pans for your use. Please do not bring valuables or large sums of money - Vesta is not responsible for personal items that are lost or stolen.

Lunch will be provided for you on weekdays at the rehab center if you attend the day rehab program. You will be expected to prepare, or assist in preparing, all other meals. If you need help in cooking or shopping for food, let your service team know.

You will also be expected to join in with household chores, such as washing dishes, cleaning up the kitchen, taking out trash, vacuuming, etc. Each housing unit will have a chore list with specific chores assigned to each resident. Staff will help you in completing chores if you are uncertain how to do them. You are expected to help keep the apartment or house tidy by putting your clothing away and cleaning up after yourself.

If you are not employed, attending school, or actively involved in a volunteer position, you will be expected to attend a day rehab program. If you need help getting there, your service team will arrange for transportation.

During your transition visits and during the first 30 days after admission your medications will be monitored by staff.

You are encouraged to explore the community and become familiar with important places like shopping centers, restaurants, metro stops, libraries, churches and other such places. However, please let someone know where you are going and an approximate time that you will return. Otherwise, staff may deem you "missing" and will file a missing persons report with the local police.

Your service team will review other expectations regarding paperwork, meetings, and other details with you during this time.

In return, you can expect to visit in an apartment or house that is safe and free from hazards; to receive the assistance from staff that you need; to be informed of and oriented to all the services that are available to you; to receive feedback from staff on your status and progress while on the transition visit; and to be informed of your rights as a consumer of Vesta services.

Can I have visitors in my apartment or house? What about overnight visitors?

You are welcome to have any visitors in your apartment or house as long as the individuals are in your best interest. Roommates need to be respectful of the rights and privacy of each other, however, and should let each other know about scheduled visitors, and ask their visitors to leave by 11 pm.

Overnight visitors are not permitted in Vesta's apartments or houses; it is an inconvenience to the other individuals living there.

All I really need is a place to stay. I don't want the services. Can I still be admitted to the Residential Program for housing only?

The Residential Program is a rehabilitation program; it is not merely a housing program. The number of residential rehab beds is limited and there is a waiting list of individuals who want and need the services and support that come with the housing. If all you need is housing, Vesta is not a good option for you. You would be referred to agencies and organizations that could assist you in finding low cost, affordable housing options.

Can I keep beer in my apartment or house in the Residential Program?

Alcoholic beverages, including beer, are not permitted on Vesta premises, which includes all residential program housing units. The use of alcohol while taking psychiatric medications can be harmful. In addition, the abuse of alcohol can lead to a multitude of problems, including physical addiction.

Can I have my car with me while I'm in the Residential Program?

You are permitted to have your car while in the Residential Program. You will need to submit proof of a valid driver's license, registration, and insurance coverage to your Service Coordinator.

Can my child live with me while I am in the Residential Program?

The Residential Program and the housing units are not designed to handle children. Although your children can visit you in the apartment or house, they cannot live with you while you are enrolled in the Residential Program. If your goal is to eventually find independent housing for you and your children, your service team can assist you in planning for this as part of your treatment plan.

What about pets?

You are permitted to keep a pet if the lease for that particular housing unit allows it. You will be asked to sign a pet contract regarding the care of the pet. Pets that are not cared for properly or are mistreated will be removed from the housing unit. You should discuss having a pet with your roommates before bringing a pet into the housing unit. If any of the residents are allergic to the specific animal, it will not be permitted in the unit.

General Questions

What does "Vesta" mean?

The name Vesta is taken from a Greek word that means "hearth" or "communal fire". It was chosen because it implies a sense of family and community; a place where adults with chronic mental illness could find a new community and a new life.

How does someone go about getting admitted into one of Vesta's Programs?

Individuals can be referred for Vesta psychiatric rehab services by family members, physicians, therapists, other service providers, or by self-referral by contacting any of the rehab centers or by contacting the Mental Health Authority Division.

In order to be admitted for services, you will need to meet the entrance criteria for the specific program you are interested in. General admission criteria for all of Vesta's programs include the following: The applicant :

  • must be 18 years of age or older;
  • have a primary diagnosis of mental illness and have impaired functioning due to the illness;
  • will be or is under the care of a psychiatrist;
  • is a resident of the county in which you are seeking services;
  • is not acutely psychotic at the time of admission;
  • is not dangerous to self or others;
  • is compliant with all medication;
  • is compliant with physician's treatment plans;
  • is willing to sign releases of information, intake forms, and fee agreements;
  • is assessed by Vesta as being likely to benefit from services and is willing to accept such services.

Once a referral or request for services is received at one of our centers, a member of the admissions team will contact you as soon as possible to gather information and schedule an intake appointment.

All requests or referrals for Vesta's Residential Program services must come from the Mental Health Authority Division. If you would like to be considered for admission to a residential program and need an application, contact the Mental Health Division in your county.

Do you provide transportation?

Some van transportation is provided to and from the rehab center within regular routes. All centers are located on or near a bus line to assist with transportation. Contact your Service Coordinator to find out if van service is available for you. He or she can also assist you in finding other transportation alternatives if van service is not available.

Can I smoke at the rehab center? What about in my Residential Program apartment or house?

There is no smoking permitted inside any of Vesta's rehab centers at any time in compliance with state law. Violations may result in disciplinary action. However, you can go outside to smoke during break times if you choose to do so.

Smoking is permitted in the Residential Program apartments or houses in designated areas only, such as the balcony or porch. This is for the safety and comfort of all the residents of the housing unit.

If you would like to quit smoking and want assistance, please speak with your Service Coordinator about a referral to a smoking cessation program.

Why should I come to the day rehab program?

Vesta's programs are voluntary. As responsible adults, it is your decision whether or not to come to the program. However, attending the day rehab program provides you with a variety of opportunities to: enhance your daily independent living skills; meet new people and make friends; learn and practice good work habits if employment is your goal; lessen isolation by interacting with others who can understand your experiences; and offer support; receive education about your illness and how to cope with symptoms, medications, side effects, and other issues;link up with other resources and services you may need or request; practice social and interpersonal skills in a safe environment.

If you feel Vesta's services are not meeting your needs, let your service team know. They will discuss your concerns with you, and assist you in finding other resources or programs that could better meet your service needs if necessary.

Who do I talk to if I have a complaint?

It is always best to follow the chain of command if you have a complaint whenever possible. Frequently a problem can be resolved early by discussing it with your Service Coordinator or service team. If you feel the issue is not resolved after discussing your concern with them, you can take your complaint to the Program Director and/or to the Regional Director. The grievance procedure is described in the client handbook and describes other options available to you.

Can I have personal visitors visit with me at the rehab center?

This should be discussed with your Service Coordinator. Generally, personal visitors are not encouraged to come to the center in order to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all consumers. However, if the individual is involved in your treatment, such as a therapist or other service provider staff, a visit is permitted as long as the Service Coordinator is informed in advance and notifies the Office Manager of the visit.

I would like to have my spouse/boy or girlfriend/family member involved in my treatment. Is this possible?

You are entitled to have anyone you like involved with your treatment planning as long as you give your written consent and it is therapeutically in your best interests. Let your Service Coordinator and service team know who you want to be involved so that they can coordinate with them in terms of service planning meetings.

I don't like taking my medications; can I still get services if I stop taking them?

Psychiatric medications play a very critical role in controlling the symptoms of mental illness and are a key part of your treatment. If you don't like taking them, discuss this with your service team, especially your physician. Jointly you can explore your reasons for not wanting to take them and discuss options.

Vesta policies specifically state that consumers must be compliant with treatment and with medication prescribed for them. Although it is your choice to stop taking medications, the natural consequence for doing so could be the loss of Vesta services.

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Providing Mental Health Services Since 1982