Here’s how my geriatric consultative practice works. Please note that, because my fees are based on the time I spend helping you, the cost of each consultation will depend on what kind of help you need, as well as on how medically complex the situation is. As I value both your time and mine, I use an efficient electronic medical system that allows me to do many tasks more quickly than in conventional medical practices.
For New and Potential Patients
- Contact me
- We’ll start with a free short phone call to talk about your needs and concerns. If it sounds like I can help, we’ll schedule an initial home visit. I am usually able to schedule a housecall within two business days.
- New patient housecall
- First time home visits are scheduled for a minimum of one hour, but may take longer depending on whether your request is very specific and straightforward (such as a medication review) or more complicated (such as a full geriatric evaluation).
- First visits are more efficient if you can provide me with some medical records ahead of time. If you provide me a release of information (which I can mail or email to you), I can often obtain this information quickly.
- Payment for the minimum one-hour visit is required ahead of the visit. This payment can be made online or by phone. Payment is fully refundable if you cancel with more than 24 hours notice.
- Recommendations and treatment
- I will provide you with written recommendations after the visit. These will also be sent to your primary care doctor, and to other involved doctors if appropriate.
- If needed, I will give you a prescription, or refer you for further testing. Your primary care doctor will also be notified so that your care is coordinated.
- We will agree on a follow-up plan. Depending on the situation, we may agree on follow-up “as needed,” or we may schedule a specific call or visit.
- Often it’s possible for me to follow-up with a short phone call or secure message, which can make follow-up more convenient and affordable than another housecalls (or the usual practice of having to return to a doctor’s office).
- You will be encouraged to set up your Patient Portal. This service is optional, but recommended. The Patient Portal is your gateway to my medical records system, and allows us to share information (e.g. lab or xray results) and messages quickly and securely. There is no charge for signing up or using the Patient Portal. (For more information on the Patient Portal, click here.)
- If you request that I follow-up with family, other caregivers, or by coordinating with other specialists, I am happy to do this.
For Established Patients
- Contact me when you need me
- At your convenience, you can call me, or send me a secure message through the Patient Portal. Phone calls will be returned within two hours during business hours (8am-5pm, Monday-Friday). Secure messages will be responded to within one business day.
- Please note that my fees are based on time spent helping you, which includes my time spent on the phone with you, or responding to your secure message. These responses typically don’t take me much time, unless the situation is very complex or we need to talk for a long time to meet your needs. All time spent helping you is itemized and the charges can be reviewed through the Patient Portal.
- Regularly scheduled check-ins or follow-ups available
- For those patients who prefer to know a follow-up is scheduled, we can plan a brief phone check-in, or a more substantial visit, several weeks or even months ahead of time.
- Housecalls available within two business days
- If we communicate and agree that a housecall would be helpful, I can usually schedule one within one to two business days.
- Use the Patient Portal to access your medical information
- Any lab results, prescription information, health summaries, or invoice information can be viewed at anytime via the Patient Portal. This is a great way to access the information I have about you at no additional charge to you.
- Urgent needs
- My practice is designed to provide short-term or long-term geriatric consultation, not urgent or emergency care. Please note that I have a two-hour response time for phone calls. In general, I cannot provide a same day housecall.
- If you need a same-day visit, you will probably need to see your primary care doctor, an urgent care doctor, or consider the emergency room. If you are homebound, I can refer you to other house-call doctors who are available on short notice and provide urgent care at home.
- Do feel free to call me during business hours with an urgent question, provided you can wait up to two hours for me to call you back. I can help you figure out a suitable plan.
- Special circumstances, crises, and difficult situations
- Although I can’t provide consultation outside business hours on a regular basis, occasionally there are crises or other special circumstances in which an elder or a family urgently need the help of a doctor who knows and understands them.
- In these special circumstances (such as serious illness, or a possible end-of-life situation), I may be able to make myself available for consultation after hours (after 5pm) or on weekends.
- You may also call me after hours in the event of an unexpected hospitalization or emergency room visit.
- There is a small additional charge if I provide consultation or other services outside my usual business hours. However, there’s no charge for notifying me of an important event after hours. Please let me know if you would like me to respond before the start of the next business day.
Questions? Please check my FAQ page, or call me at 415-574-0545 for more details regarding my services.