Appointments with patients are only available within a particular Program and are not refundable. Appointments missed are considered used. Details are discussed with each prospective patient at our Intro Session when we discuss the best fitting Program. The Programs are Use-it-or-Lose it. Payments already paid towards any Program do not qualify for full or partial refund. No exceptions will be applied or expected. The Purpose of Intro Session is to ensure that the Program is a good medical fit and that we are both comfortable with and committed to working together. The cancellation and refund policies will be fully discussed during the Get Acquainted process.
Program sessions are scheduled in 2 week intervals (and eventually in monthly intervals) and are preset for the duration of the Program. Programs for returning patients are scheduled every 3 or 4 weeks. The sessions can be rescheduled only due to a medical emergency. Events like vacations, conferences, family visits, etc. will be factored in when setting up the complete schedule for the Program and do not qualify for rescheduling. Traveling, for example, is not an excuse to get off the your wellness program! On the contrary, more support and smart tips may be needed. No exceptions will be applied or expected.
The Cancellation Policy is as follows: sessions are pre-scheduled within a Program and can only be rescheduled due to medical emergency of self or a family member. In all other cases, Use-it-or-Lose-it policy applies, and missing an appointment results in a forfeiture of that appointment. Other than the medical emergency, no other exceptions will be applied or expected.
We use Paypal for transactions for your convenience and security although checks and cash are accepted as well. Payment Plans are also available for each Program. Paypal now offers Paypal Credit, which allows a monthly payment plan within a 6-month period with a minimum fee.
This is out-of-pocket practice, with payment expected at the time of service. There is no insurance coverage or insurance billing. Here are the options available:
Local patients – I provide invoicing at the end of the Program for potential reimbursement upon request only, and it will be your responsibility to send it to the insurance. Please call your insurance first and ask if “nutritional counseling with a licensed nutritionist/dietitian is reimbursed”. Also ask if it helps reimbursement if you have a “doctor’s referral”. In some cases, local patients get reimbursed partially, but there is no guarantee. If insurance requires reports, there will be a $25 administrative fee for that service. Otherwise, we create the appropriately coded invoice as a courtesy service.
Virtual patients – it is very unlikely that insurance will reimburse you for any session since nutrition counseling as phone consults is not typically honored by insurance. But things are changing and as phone consultations are more and more popular in medicine, insurance may change their policy, so I would advise you to inquire with your insurance just in case. FYI, if you are asked, I am fully licensed in the state where I practice, Maryland.
Schedule an Intro Session if you would like to learn more about the Programs and fees, “interview me” to see if I am a good fit, and allow me the opportunity to ask you questions so that I can also tell you if I think I can actually help you. The 45-minute paid phone session we created for that very purpose. To learn more, visit Intro Session. If we are not a good fit, I hope to still provide you with helpful resources or referrals to clinicians that can fit your needs better.
FINANCIAL POLICY EXPLAINED- A PERSONAL NOTE
What I value most is providing the best service I possibly can for my patients. Working within insurance would dictate what I could and could not do. Since insurance companies follow the conventional medical care, they are more inclined to financially support surgeries, invasive procedures, and pharmaceutical interventions than nutrition and lifestyle interventions, not to mention nutritional supplementation. In the state of Maryland where I practice, a colleague dietitian attempted to open his practice as a participating provider, and after 2 months of a painful experience he had to close his practice. The bureaucracy was outrageous and he spent an enormous amount of time on paperwork instead of providing quality service. To make things worse, he experienced challenges being compensated to the point when he just gave up. I never even attempted that route simply because of what I do, how I work, and what I stand for- my practice simply does not fit in that model.
It is hard enough to keep a nutrition practice viable as it is. Think for a moment how many nutritionists you know in full time practice that have supported themselves completely in their practice for at least 5 years. You probably cannot think of a single one. It takes a lot of work and a commitment to the patients to keep this practice alive. The best quality nutrition training in the US also came with a high bill, which now will only increase with the doctoral degree. Then there are professional membership fees, liability insurance, medical insurance for me and my family, required hours of continual education at conferences. An employed dietitian may be compensated much better than a self-employed nutritionist. The choice was made due to a belief system and personal philosophy rather than a financial gain. Regardless of the finances though, my number one priority is to always improve my practice to be able to provide a better service for my patients. The quality of the service and my commitment to the patients are the very reasons why my practice has been open for 10 years now. I can only take a few new patients at a time so that I can work with them in depth and spend the needed time on each case. Because that is the right thing to do.
While I am sure it is frustrating for you to hear that you would be expected to pay out of pocket for this service, I am a patient too and so is my family, and I have been in your shoes. When I need quality service that I believe in, I pay out of pocket and I have never regretted that choice. It has always delivered. And I hope to do the same for you. But I do appreciate any sentiment on your part. I have been there. It can be challenging. In the ideal world, medical care and nutrition counseling would be free for all.
Consulting with me is hopefully only a short period of your life. Chronic diseases develop slowly and working with them takes time, but my goal is to get to to a place where you no longer need me and can live a healthy life in a sustainable manner. We will NOT be working together for ever. Probably just a few months. These few months, however, may just prove to be one of the best investments you have made in your long term health. In the long run, I hope that my services can save you a lot of money in medical bills in future.
I have extensive training and experience in nutritional supplements. One of my responsibilities as a nutritionist is to assess the new patient’s supplements in terms of adequacy, dosage, purity and formulation. I work with two very reputable supplement providers that follow and exceed GMPs and agree to external independent testing, which I explain in depth on the Supplements page. I am compensated a % of the sales. At the same time, I provide discounts and even whole sale prices when possible, and I offer to drop ship products to patients to save them additional 15%. I want you to know that my patients take only the best quality supplements appropriate for their needs and that I do not recommend a product that I would refuse to take or or offer to my own family. I like to monitor what you are taking to make corrections if need be. To me it is just another quality service that helps my you recover. The right supplement can make a big difference.
After just 3 weeks I have accomplished what I originally thought was impossible. I feel terrific.~ M.S.