How is your office managing visits during the COVID pandemic?
I began encouraging telemedicine visits as early as March 14th and then closed the office to in-person visits for a 2-week period before opening back to urgent visits.
At this time, I am seeing a few select patients per day with thorough cleaning between patients. I do not have any patients wait in the waiting room if there is another patient in clinic. I am taking additional standard precautions :
I will be wearing mask and gloves during treatments and changing garments between clients.
All patients will be re-scheduled if they have any cold or viral symptoms (fever goes without saying). All patients should be wearing a mask.
- Yousef Zarbalian, MD
What is direct primary care?
The direct primary care model is a growing model of care that acknowledges that the care we provide should not be dictated by an insurance company. The most appropriate medical care for an individual should be based on the trusting relationship that a physician and patient/family can build in combination with the best available evidence.
Because we spend less time dealing with the rules of insurers and more time with you, our patients can expect prompter appointments, more time for visits, and addressing your health in a way that is right for you rather than for your insurer.
Services included with membership and cost can be found here.
What are the benefits of membership? What is the cost?
East-West Medicine Concierge / Direct Primary Care Membership :
360 degree medical intake
- One-on-one consultation with Dr. Zarbalian about your health priorities, previous health history, and previous diagnostic testing
- Nutritional testing (cyrex or other assays) and lifestyle factor analysis
- Additional lab testing as decided upon at initial visit
- Herbal or pharmaceutical intervention if indicated
Teamwork to achieve your health goals
- Telemedicine visits and in-person visits with Dr. Zarbalian
- Access to Dr. Zarbalian via portal and telemedicine
- Urgent visits after hours to prevent the need for ER visits (including services such as joint injections, suturing lacerations, etc.)
Access to additional holistic services at a discount for members :
- Acupuncture, cupping, gua sha: two sessions are included with membership and further sessions are 50% discounted compared with non-member rate (details below)
- Functional medicine / microbiome consultation at a discount for members.
- Herbal consultation and discounts on high-quality medicinal herbs (when indicated for specific medical conditions)
- Heartmath consultation: training on this biofeedback technique to engage in effective self-care
Community-based services to be continued post-pandemic:
- "Walk with a doc" monthly nature walks
- Group acupuncture, meditation, group discussions (on topics of interest)
How much does membership cost?
Month to month membership: $150 per month with 4-month minimum membership term
Discount for full-year membership: $1500 per year
Sliding Scale available starting at 2x's Federal Poverty level - please inquire for details
What are your a la carte rates for visits?
Note that the rates below do not apply to direct primary care members, for whom most of these visits (except house calls) are included with membership
Telemedicine visits and House calls: (NEW)
New patient internal medicine, rheumatology, or herbal consultation: $100 for 20 minutes; $200 for 40-60 minutes
Follow-up patients: $75 for 20 minutes; $125 for 40 minutes
Telemedicine visit is covered for medicare patients
House call (after telemedicine visit): $150-450 depending on travel time and visit duration.
A la carte rheumatology and internal medicine:
1st rheumatology/internal medicine visit, $250
One-hour visit includes holistic evaluation from Eastern and Western perspectives
Herbal medicine consultation
Portal email access to discuss lab results, medication problems etc
Comprehensive follow-up rheumatology visit, $150
Discussion of progress with lifestyle modification, medication therapy, laboratory study review
Basic Rheumatology follow-up visit (20 minutes or less), $100
A la carte acupuncture (rates for non-members):
$125 for 1st acupuncture session (1 hour)
$100 for one follow-up acupuncture session (1 hour)
$450 for package of 5 follow-up acupuncture sessions
$250 for package of 5 auricular acupuncture (ear acupuncture) sessions
$125 for 1st cupping + gua sha session (Includes initial consultation followed by 30 minutes of cupping + gua sha).
$450 for package of 5 follow-up cupping/gua sha sessions
Member rates (for Direct Primary Care members) :
1st acupuncture session : included with membership
$250 for package of 5 follow-up acupuncture sessions
1st cupping + gua sha session : included with membership
$250 for package of 5 follow-up cupping/gua sha sessions
Which insurances do you accept?
Because I started East-West Rheumatology to deliver personalized, time-intensive care, and because private insurance imposes administrative burdens that are a hindrance to good medical care, I opted to be out-of-network with private insurances.
Other rheumatology offices do not offer a multi-faceted approach in part because the doctor only has 10 minutes to spend with you. My clinic does not operate with such time restrictions and therefore I do not operate with strategies limited to medications. I offer direct primary care membership and cash-based visits at reasonable rates.
If you have out-of-network benefits, I can provide you with a bill to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Please let me know if the cost of a visit is prohibitive and bring your W2 form.
I do participate with Medicare.
Medicare is now covering acupuncture for indication of lower back pain.
- Yousef Zarbalian, MD