Frequently Asked Questions

Will There Be Family Counseling Sessions?

Yes, in most cases. For children and adolescent patients under the age of 18, family counseling sessions are usually scheduled with the parent/legal guardian at the time of admission and are typically held three or four days after admission. Additional sessions may be held every three or four days thereafter.

For adult patients 18 or older, family counseling sessions are usually scheduled with immediate family within three or four days after admission and as needed thereafter.

Please note: A patient 18 or older must give written consent for family to be contacted and chooses who will participate in the family counseling sessions.

Family counseling sessions typically focus on the patient’s immediate reason for hospitalization, patient safety after discharge, and discharge/follow up care arrangements.

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What If The Family Lives Far Away From The Hospital?

If it is impossible for the family to be present, family-counseling sessions can be conducted by speakerphone at a scheduled time.

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Will I Meet With Or Speak To My Child’s Or Family Member’s Physician?

In many cases the physician will contact family. However, most contact will be with the case manager working with the physician. You may contact the case manager or the nursing staff for questions and updates about your family member.

Please remember: You must have the patient ID number provided to you at admission when calling or they will be unable to disclose any information to you.

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How Do I Get Information About My Family Member?

The law requires that all adult patients 18 or older must give written authorization for staff to provide any information about their hospitalization, care or treatment to anyone – even family members. The only exceptions are when there is a court appointed legal guardian (and the hospital has been given copies of the court documents), or when the patient is active duty military (information is provided to the service member’s chain of command).

For minors, the parent or legal guardian authorizes the release of any information. In cases of divorce or separation, both parents have the right to information about a child’s treatment unless a court has formally terminated parental rights.

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What Arrangements Are Made For Follow Up Care When A Patient Leaves The Hospital?

Staff makes every effort to arrange and schedule follow up care with the patient’s existing care providers. When a patient has no existing providers, staff assists with arranging appropriate follow-up mental health treatment and medication management. However, if the patient is an adult, they must give authorization for staff to arrange follow up care.

The type of follow up care often depends on the patient’s insurance coverage and resources. We can provide additional information about educational and support agencies, living arrangements, etc.

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My Family Member Was Sent To The Hospital From Another Part Of The State. Does The Hospital Provide Transportation For Them To Come Home?

The hospital does not provide transportation. However, in situations when it is impossible for the family to pick up the patient at the time of discharge, we do assist the patient and their family in arranging transportation through available resources such as the State Medicaid transport office. We also provide information on bus and local cab services available to the patient and their family.

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Why Is My Family Member Being Discharged So Soon?

Brentwood Hospital is an acute care (short term) facility. The state of Louisiana makes no provisions for long-term psychiatric inpatient or residential treatment. Also, many insurance companies do not cover long term or residential treatment. We will make every effort to provide appropriate crisis stabilization and discharge patients to outpatient treatment as soon as possible.

In some cases, a patient may leave treatment prematurely and/or against his/her physician’s medical advice. The patient cannot be held against his or her will if the patient meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is an adult 18 or older who admitted him or herself voluntarily
  • Submits a request for discharge
  • Is examined by a physician who determines the patient is not an immediate danger to himself or herself

In cases in which the patient is admitted involuntarily on an emergency certificate, the hospital is required to release the patient immediately upon examination by the state-appointed physician if that physician determines the patient is not an immediate danger to self or others.

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What does “FVA” stand for?

Formal Voluntary Admission

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What does “PEC” stand for?

Physicians Emergency Certificate

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What does “CEC” stand for?

Coroners Emergency Certificate

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If a patient is on a PEC or CEC, can they sign a FVA?

Yes, but the law states that it must be accepted by the physician to be in effect.

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If the patient is on a FVA, how do they request to discharge?

The law requires that the patient informs the staff and signs a 72 hour request for discharge form. This form requires the physician to evaluate this patient and release them within 72 hours from when they completed the form or commit them involuntarily.

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What if the patient signs a 72 hour request for discharge, but changes their mind and wants to stay?

They may rescind the 72 hour request for discharge in writing at any time before it expires.

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What if the patient signs a FVA, then immediately signs a 72 hour request for discharge before the FVA is accepted by the physician?

The physician may hold the patient for up to 72 hour and release the patient or commit involuntarily.

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What if the patient signs a FVA and then changes their mind and wants to leave?

The patient must complete a 72 hour discharge request form.

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If the patient is on a PEC and the 72 hours has passed but they are still being held, what could be the reason?

The law allows the coroner physician (an appointed representative of the State of Louisiana) up to 72 hours from when the patient was admitted to Brentwood to complete an independent examination. This may require the patient to be held beyond the 72 hours from the time the PEC was completed.

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What is the maximum time the patient can be held involuntarily on a PEC and CEC?

The patient can be held up to a maximum of 15 days. However, the physician can release them sooner if their condition improves and they are no longer considered at risk.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or emotional issues, please give us a call at (877) 678-7500. Our assessment and referral specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your concerns and answer your questions.


Don't hesitate to get in touch with us . Talk to a Counselor today.

Brentwood Hospital
1006 Highland Avenue Shreveport, LA 71101

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(877) 678-7500
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Do not use this form if you have a medical emergency or urgent problem. Instead, please call us at 877-678-7500, or if you need immediate medical assistance, contact 911 or seek the nearest emergency room.

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