Please read below to learn more about our office policies. The more you know about our policies and methods of practice, the better we can be of service to you. It is our goal to provide you the best medical care possible and to maintain a pleasant and long-lasting relationship with each of you.
Appointments can be made by calling our practice directly. If you would like to have labs drawn at our office, please be sure to schedule these visits as well. If you would like to ask us any questions before your appointment, please give us a call.
If you are going to be more than 10 minutes late for your appointment, we request that you call our office. If the schedule allows, the appointment time will simply be shifted to accommodate the delay.
If you are unable to keep an appointment, please call the office at least 24 hours in advance to cancel. Failing to do so can limit our ability to care for other patients. Missing an appointment without calling to cancel in advance may result in a fee (equivalent to the visit co-payment).
After Hours Policy
If you have an urgent medical issue when the office is closed, please call your physician’s office number. Your call will be redirected to your physician or to one of our other MDVIP physicians if he/she is not available. If the physician does not answer immediately, you can expect a call back within one hour. If you cannot wait for a return call or have an emergency situation, please go to the nearest Hospital Emergency Department or dial 911. Please do not use e-mail or the Athena portal for urgent or emergency medical issues as they are not monitored when the office is closed.
Laboratory and Test Results
For the most part, laboratory and test results will be discussed at a follow-up appointment; otherwise your physician will notify you of test results by phone or Athena portal message.
Your physician can usually complete medication refill requests by the end of the same business day, however there may be times where there is a slight delay. If there is time sensitivity to your request please let the front desk staff know. Many insurance companies require prior authorization for certain prescriptions. Your physician will complete the required form and submit it to your insurance company. Usually a determination of approval or denial is made within 48 hours.
Referrals for Specialty Care
If your insurance requires referrals from your primary care physician before seeing a specialist, please call the office at least three (3) days before the specialist appointment to give us the information needed to complete the referral. Please note that referrals cannot be back-dated.
We are happy to share your medical records with your other treating doctors with your permission. If you would like a copy of your medical records for personal use you may request this from our office by submitting a written request. There is no charge for this service. Medical records requested by an insurer or legal counsel will be sent as long as we have your written permission and after payment of the then current rate for medical record production (currently $0.76 per page plus postage).
Billing, Insurance and Financial Policy
If you have health insurance we will bill your insurer for services provided by our physicians and dietitian. Please note that you are responsible for any required co-payment, deductible or outstanding balance. Payment is appreciated at the time of your visit.
In cases where we have reason to believe that your insurance company may not cover a test which your physician feels is medically necessary we will ask that you sign a waiver to acknowledge your financial responsibility should the costs not be covered by your insurer.
We encourage you to learn about your health insurance plan’s policies. Every plan has its own rules and regulations (and sometimes they change from one year to the next).
If you have a financial situation that prevents you from paying your medical bill promptly, please contact the Practice Administrator at 240-752-9390. We can help set up a payment plan and we will also waive our usual $35 charge for checks returned for insufficient funds.
In place of standard paperwork, Bethesda Medical Associates has opted for a paperless system. Five days prior to your next appointment, you will receive an email or text message requesting you to verify your current information and sign off on any outdated policies from your account. You may also stop by the office at any time and request to use one of our tablets to update your information if you do not have an appointment scheduled but would like to make changes to your record.