FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What can I expect from my first appointment and follow-up visits with Dr. Bernstein?
Generally, the first visit lasts between an hour and an hour and a half.
During the initial visit, the majority of the time is focused on gathering a thorough history and discussing the patient’s reason and goals for seeking treatment. In the later part of the visit if time allows, the treatment approach is discussed and various options for further testing and lifestyle modifications are reviewed. No blood work is performed on site.
Follow-up visits usually last between a half hour and forty-five minutes and are spent reviewing health concerns, reviewing test results and fine tuning treatment plans and lifestyle modifications. Shorter time slots are available for straight forward problem focused visits.
The goal in treatment is to use natural means whenever possible and medications only if medically necessary. A functional and holistic approach to the patient is taken. In many cases, Dr. Bernstein coordinates with the Patient Advocate or Integrative Functional Nutritionist to implement dietary modifications, nutritional and herbal supplements, exercise prescriptions, hormonal balancing and stress reduction techniques as the first lines of treatment. Testing options, Max Pulse results and nutritionally oriented test results may also be reviewed by various members of the staff. Referrals to other practitioners for bodywork and stress reduction are common.
What should I bring to my first visit and subsequent visits?
You are required to complete your paperwork and mail it to us prior to your first visit. On the first visit, bringing the actual nutritional supplements and medications you are currently taking is very helpful. For the first visit and all subsequent visits, bringing along copies of recent x-ray results, laboratory studies and pertinant doctor's findings adds useful information as well.
Can Dr. Bernstein be my primary care physician?
Dr. Bernstein specializes in Holistic Functional Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Her focus is to treat the whole person using primarily natural means. Some patients feel comfortable using her for most of their needs but it is strongly recommended that the patient have a primary physician for acute medical emergencies and other issues they would rather have treated with conventional medical therapies. Dr. Bernstein does not personally admit to any hospital. Patients who have HMO insurances will need a referral since Dr. Bernstein is considered a specialist. Dr. Bernstein is not on call for medical emergencies since that is not her area of expertise.
Does Dr. Bernstein accept insurance?
Dr. Bernstein accepts many insurances. She is in network with most Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, most Horizon plans, Aetna, AmeriHealth PPO, Independence Administrators and Personal Choice. She is a Medicare provider and accepts Tricare as well. She doesn't accept Medicaid. She is out of Network with United Health Care and Cigna and will currently submit a superbill for the patient's visits. She is not in network with either Keystone or Amerihealth HMO or POS and cannot submit for those plans. Copays are expected to be paid at the time of the visit. Cash, check, credit cards and debit cards are accepted for payment. Patients for whom she does not accept insurance or are out of network are responsible for their fee at the time of their visit. The fee is based on the complexity and time involved of the visit. Initial visits range from approximately $240 to $360 and follow-ups range from $120 to $240. Acceptance of various insurance and fees are subject to change.
Do I need a referral if I have Aetna HMO?
Yes. I am considered a specialist. My specialties are Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Nutrition.
Does the Integrative Functional Nutritionist, Audrey Fleck, accept insurance?
Audrey is in network with many insurance plans and many plans cover nutritional
counseling. Plans vary as to which conditions are covered, the amount of time
per visit and the number of visits per year. It is best to contact your insurance
company to review your benefits. We are happy to be of assistance as well.
Remember, if your insurance changes, so may your benefits. Audrey is in
network with Independance Blue Cross, Aetna, Highmark and Cigna.
Can I see the Integrative Functional Nutritionist without being a patient of
If you are generally very healthy, but have a couple of straightforward health
concerns, the answer is definitely yes. You can see her individually or in a
group session. On the other hand, if you have a more complicated medical
history and want both medical and nutritional support, we advise you to see
Dr. Bernstein first.
What is a HSA (health savings account) or Flex spending?
Some employers offer these programs. Employees can put a certain amount of money away each pay cycle and that pre-taxed money can be used for copays, office visits, nutrients recommended by a physician etc. We encourage all of our patients to look into and participate in such plans as a means of cost savings and personally choosing to invest in their own health.
Will Dr. Bernstein see men and children?
Dr. Bernstein treats men, women and children. Her approach is to use natural means when ever possible. She will provide lifestyle and nutritional advice to people of any age.