Office Policy

Image PreviewOffice Hours

Monday through Friday: 10:00AM to 6:00PM, only by appointment. Please ask for other times, I will do my best to accommodate your schedule.

Appointments

I schedule my appointments with buffer time between patients, since I have a one-man office which means that we have time to greet each other, do our session, collect payment and reschedule for the next appoint. If our session needs more time and I do not have a patient arriving, I will ask you if you want to continue with the current session or wait to continue in the next scheduled appointment.

Cancellations

I understand that emergencies happen and I appreciate that it is you, my patient, that is traveling to see me and not me to see you and that our life in the Bay Area can be challenging when we juggle responsibilities with health care. If you know in advance, please let me know 24 hours before our appointment time to avoid any charges. When canceling our appointment with less than 24 hours is a rare event, then we can simply reschedule within the week and no charges will be applied. If canceling at the last minute becomes too frequent, then you will be charged the full, minimum office visit fee. As a general policy, you have one "free" pass on canceling less than 24 hours. If you cancel but do not reschedule within the week (no penalty if I have no open appointments), then you will be charged for the office visit.

Late appointments

Our appointments and thus the charges start at the agreed upon times, whether you are late or not. I will try to work with you by extending a visit if it is required and only if possible because the time is not filled with another patient. If for some reason, you are very late, you may consider rescheduling which may well include paying for the late appointment.

Insurance

At this time, I do not accept insurance payment. This is simply not possible with a one-man office since it requires extensive experience with each insurance company and each patient's specific policy and the time to follow up and document all charges, which insurance payments are often less than my already discounted fees. What I do do is give you ample information (CPT codes, etc) on a payment receipt to allow you to collect payment from your insurance based on your policy limits. As long as you have insurance that covers acupuncture, then most visits are covered. Although, it is the rare policy that covers herbs or supplements.

Medicare

Currently, acupuncture is not covered under Medicare, but it keeps being brought up in Congress to do so. You may want to let your congressman know if you desire this to be added to Medicare.

Medi-Cal

Medi-Cal has been covering acupuncture in the past, but the fee is so low and the paperwork and times to payment are so great, that I do not take Medi-Cal patients. Medi-Cal limits patients to only 2 visits per month which is simply not enough for most acupuncture treatable conditions. At this time (12/2010), Medi-Cal may not be taking acupuncture patients because of budgetary cuts in the program.

Workmen's Compensation

Workmen's comp does cover acupuncture, but typically I am not the referring physician. If you wish acupuncture you would need to request this via your primary care giver. I believe I can still offer this service (it requires special forms), but it is rare that I have done so.

Payment Methods

Cash (ask about a cash discount for session fees)
Check
Paypal

Fees (as of 11/12/2010)

Office Visit which is typically 45-60 minutes: $80.
If the visit extends more than a few minutes over one hour then the fee is calculated at $80/hour.

I do not charge extra to the patient for any specific modality, such as electro-acupuncture or NMT (Neuromodulation Technique).

Herbs and dietary supplements are extra.

Initial Intake: $180 (This is a one-time fee for an extended visit and testing session.)

Not all health programs require a full intake. Examples: Remote treatments, acute treatments with acupuncture, NMT.

This includes a full history, in-office urine tests, full MSA (meridian stress analysis), FACT (Functional Acuity Contrast Test) used for determining toxicity levels, review of diet, plus other tests which vary depending on the case. All forms are emailed to you as PDFs prior to the visit. Generally, I recommend doing at least a basic blood panel which is a separate expense (a typical, initial panel costs $159; in some cases you can get your current physician to do at least part of the panel as part of your health insurance plan) I may recommend other tests depending on the case--a full GI Panel being the most common test.

After the initial Intake we may start right in with a scheduled treatment session or wait for the test results and do a review of findings which includes a write up by me and treatment plan recommendations with recommendations prioritized.

A full intake may not always be necessary or even desirable if the condition is acute and needs immediate treatment.

Laboratory Tests:
I have a very good rate from Professional Co-op or Principal Lab who has a contract with LabCorp.  My lab test fees to the patient are my costs. I do charge for my time to do the review of findings. My intention here is to make such valuable tests available at the best price for all my patients. If you want you can look at www.directlabs.com for doing your own testing. They provide the paperwork and suggest a local drawing station. In most cases, my co-op prices are better than anything you could get on your own. In general Principal Lab has better group panel prices, while Professional Co-op has better special test pricing.

I use other testing services and wherever possible, I have you pay for the test directly, since that is the least expensive and most efficient way of getting tests done. Generally, I have to fill out some minimal paperwork, but you mail in the kit. Most labs provide their own kits at no charge. The exception to that is my own Urine Test Kit for remote patient work. That kit includes postage to and from you and costs $15 (as of 12/14/2010).

See Here for the lists of Laboratory Tests that I do routinely. If you do not see a test you'd like to have done please ask!