If you have had recent laboratory tests or x-rays, or have been seen by other specialists, please request that test results and their opinions are sent to our office, so that unnecessary duplication can be avoided. This may save you additional costs. When you come for your initial consultation, please also bring a list of all current medications (or the bottles), as well as a list of all the health care providers you are seeing presently or have seen in the past (for example, other specialists, podiatrists, chiropractors, physical therapists, etc.).

    We reserve a large block of time for your initial visit. Because of the amount of time required for the complete history and physical examination, it is important that this be scheduled in advance, whenever possible. Should it be necessary to miss an appointment, please notify us ahead of time so that another patient may be seen. After the initial visit, if you are asked to be seen again, please be sure to make an appointment before leaving the office. If you need to be examined before your scheduled appointment, please contact our office to schedule an earlier visit. Twenty-four hour notice is needed if you cancel an appointment, so that another patient can use your time slot. A charge will be made for appointments broken without notice.

    All patients are encouraged to call with any questions they have about their medical problems. However it would be most unfair to other patients if I were to leave them to answer every phone call. The front desk staff is experienced and capable, and will handle most calls. Please be prepared to give as much information as requested. This will be given to me, and in return I will either personally return your call or give my assistant a message for you. If it is not an emergency, calls may be returned several hours later, so please advise the secretary when you will be home or provide a number to reach you. After your initial visit, if any tests or x-rays are ordered and any significant abnormalities found that require immediate attention, we will get in touch with you. Otherwise the results will be discussed at the follow up visit. I can be reached through my answering service during the hours our office is closed. It is important that you leave your phone number and name so your call can be returned. However, calls after office hours should be reserved for emergencies only.

    For patients who have regular follow ups in our office, please make sure you have enough refills until your next visit before you leave our office. If for some reason refills are needed before the next visit, they should be requested during normal office hours. Please have the name and phone number of your pharmacy, the name of the medication, and the strength/dosage available when you call with a refill. We will only refill medications prescribed by our office.

    The fees for your visit are based on the services rendered and must be assumed by the patient, not by the insurance company, with the exception of a few health insurance groups which we do accept. You are responsible for all required co-pays. If you wish further information regarding the fees and your health insurance coverage, please call the office prior to your appointment. We will give you an appropriate receipt that you may submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. We make every effort to keep down the cost of your medical care and you can help by paying at the time of the visit.

    We try to simplify the preparation of insurance claims, thereby holding down costs that are unrelated to the delivery of good medical care. The receipt you are given at the end of each visit contains all the information needed from the physician for your insurance company to process your claim. Please remember that insurance is a method of reimbursing the patient for fees paid to the physician and is not a substitute for payment. Some companies pay a fixed allowance for certain procedures, and others pay a percentage of the charge. We realize questions can arise on insurance matters; these should be discussed with my office manager. We will be happy to help you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.

    If you are covered through a group major medical policy, and have met your deductible, we will file insurance for your initial visit but it is your responsibility to pay whatever amount your insurance does not cover.

    Furthermore, certain procedures we perform are not covered by medical insurance. You will be informed about the cost before scheduling.

    A complete history and physical examination is usually required at the onset of medical care. This is necessary even if you have recently been examined by your regular physician. The examination by a rheumatologist is different because of the nature of the specialty. Many diseases, including arthritis, can involve multiple organs, like the heart, lungs, stomach, nervous system, skin, or kidneys. This makes it even more necessary to examine for hidden evidence of other diseases, so do not be surprised if you are asked questions or given examination relating to these areas.


Office phone number 716.282.3310
Office fax number 716.282.3346