Our goal is to provide the highest quality of medical services available today with an emphasis on functional medicine. This means that we would recommend a more natural, less medication remedy as your first choice – if it is appropriate for your condition. Of course, we can treat you with all the traditional methods and drugs used in modern American medicine. The choice is always yours. You may ask questions, you may look for a second opinion from another specialist. However, if you decide to stay with us and agree to a certain treatment we expect that you will be compliant with doctors’ advice and follow the treatment recommendations including diagnostic tests and prescribed medications and supplements. We believe that it is in your best interests to get treatment from a doctor that you could trust and feel comfortable with.
Appointments, Follow-ups and Office Visits
In order to provide medical services in an efficient manner and minimize our patients’ waiting time we require that all office visits be done by appointments and scheduled in advance. You may call us during the normal business hours to schedule, cancel or reschedule an appointment. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment – please contact us as soon as possible so that we could rearrange our schedule and accommodate other patients. You can send us an e-mail or leave a message during the after-hours. Please note that a consistent pattern of cancellations or missed appointments may be a sufficient reason to discontinue our relationships.
Please make every effort to be on time for your scheduled appointment. If you miss your time slot we will make every effort to accommodate you but you may end up waiting much longer because other patients who come on time will have a priority. Please understand that we do not own or control transportation companies and it is your responsibility to arrange the transportation to and from our office.
Walk-ins and unscheduled non-emergency visits are strongly discouraged. You may have to wait patiently for a very long time or even denied service, depending on circumstances.
What to do in Emergency?
If you have a serious condition, like fracture, acute pain or a Life-threatening situation (Chest pain, Poisoning, severe shortness of breath, weakness in extremities, loss of consciousness, etc) – please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. If you are a current patient of Dr. Sokolova – please give our address and telephone number to hospital personnel. It is always a good idea to have a list of all of your current medications and contact information handy. We request you to notify us about this kind of emergency as soon as practical and possible for a better coordination of care.
If you are in a stable condition but need an urgent care due to a severe Joint Pain or similar – please call us and we will try our best to accommodate your needs. If we grant you an urgent appointment – please be on time and be patient and respectful to others even if you will have to wait longer.
It is the patient’s responsibility to maintain health insurance coverage for all dates of service. If you need to change your health insurance coverage – please let us know IN ADVANCE – so that we could help you to make an informed choice. In any case you have to notify us about ANY changes in your Health Insurance coverage BEFORE the care is provided. Otherwise you will be personally liable for the fees incurred.
What should you bring on your first visit?
Insurance ID cards
Picture ID (Driver License, Passport, Green Card)
Name, address and telephone of your Family Doctor or Primary Care Physician
Name, address and telephone of your Pharmacy
ALL of the medications you are currently taking
Recent Lab results and Radiology reports (X-Ray, MRI, CT-Scan). Please, bring actual films if available so that Dr. Sokolova may be able to read your X-rays herself.
You will need to provide Address, Telephone, Date of Birth and Social Security Number for yourself and primary policyholder (if you are a dependent).
Please print our intake forms here.
What to expect during your first visit?
Demographic, Billing and Medical History Forms to be completed.
Blood Pressure, Height, Weight, Temperature taken.
Past Medical History, and Medications recorded by staff.
Medical history and Examination and explanation of your diagnosis and treatment plan done by Physician
Perform Lab tests and other procedures as directed by Physician – we explain to you all “why”.
Most medications prescription will be sent electronically to your pharmacy.
Assignment of Benefits and Insurance Checks
A common practice is that patients assign their benefits to medical providers. In turn, medical providers bill the patient’s insurance company and receive payments directly from the insurance carrier. However, some insurance companies send checks for medical services to patient’s home address. So, if you receive a check for medical services provided by us with attached explanation of benefits – please bring them to our office during your next visit or mail to our address. We keep track of all the checks paid for our services. If you inadvertently deposited and cashed such check – please send us your personal check for the same amount. Failure to do upon receipt of a notice is considered a “misappropriation of funds” in accordance with NY state law. We have a zero tolerance policy for such events irrespective of the amounts involved and will initiate the following:
– immediate discontinuation of the doctor-patient relationships
– prompt collection action where you will be responsible for additional fees and interest (about 35% to add to the original amount)
– possible legal action where your employer and law enforcement authorities may be notified.
Non-covered Services and Out-of Pocket Expenses
Some of our services are not covered by your insurance plans. But you don’t need to be worried. You are protected by our “No Surprise” policy – the exact fee for every non-covered service should be presented to you and agreed upon before this service is provided. On the same token, once you agreed to the fee and received the service – it becomes your legal obligation.
Other Doctors and Coordination of Care
While our physicians are also trained as internists, their true area of expertise is in providing care as specialists in Rheumatology and Functional Medicine. We encourage you to have a good primary care physician (PCP) and see other specialists for the problems that may need special attention (like cardiologist, gastroenterologist, psychiatrist etc.) It is not our intention to interfere with the treatment plan prescribed by other physicians. However, it is in your interests to keep us informed about what is going on with your health. Please inform our doctors and nurses about any changes in your medication prescriptions, abnormal findings discovered by other specialists and other important facts. Occasionally, some drugs or treatments advised by other physicians may interfere with our recommendations. In such cases we will discuss the best available options for you with your other doctors. If your other doctors would like to receive copies of your recent lab results or imaging studies done in our office they should contact us and we will send this information by fax to their office.
Copies of Medical Records
If you need copies of your recent lab results or imaging studies while you are in our office we will gladly provide them to you upon request. If you want to have a copy of more voluminous records, including visit notes and previous test results – you will have to pay a fee of $0.75 per page in accordance with NY State law. If you want the records for yourself you may pick them up in person. In all other cases you have to send us a completed HIPAA Form 960. The fee of $0.75 per page also applies here.