Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
TELL ME MORE ABOUT DR. SZAKACS:
Dr. Gail Szakacs is board certified in Internal Medicine. She graduated from Hamilton College in 1995 with honors. After three years of working in the healthcare field and doing medical research, she attended St. George’s University School of Medicine where she was a member of the Iota Epsilon Alpha International Medical Honor Society. After completing her Internal Medicine residency at St. Michael’s Medical Center (a Seton Hall University program) in Newark, NJ, Dr. Szakacs worked as a Hospitalist in CT before discovering the power of functional or integrative medicine and moving to private practice. Since 2006, she has dedicated her consultative functional medicine practice to the integrative care of those with chronic illness and neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as preventative medicine to optimize long-term health and wellness. Dr. Szakacs is passionate about education and making the healing power of a personalized functional medicine approach more accessible to people around the world. She does this through mentoring clinicians in the US and abroad, as well as in her writing and local community events. Very soon, she will start adding audio and video content to her educational platform to help even more people discover the crucial role that functional medicine plays in optimizing health and wellness.
DO YOU ACCEPT INSURANCE?
We do not accept insurance or Medicare. However, we provide you with a detailed receipt for services (and associated ICD-10 codes) that you can submit to your private insurance company directly. Medicare may not be billed.
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It is your responsibility to contact your insurance company before committing to our program to determine the exact policies of your insurance company.
With the exception of email/private message communication with the doctor/staff, we encourage you to submit all other types of services to your insurance carriers. Although it varies by insurance plan and we can never guarantee partial or complete coverage for any service offered by us, some insurance companies may cover medical services performed or recommended by Dr Szakacs.
In our experience, we have noted the following trends in recent years:
Examples of our services that are more likely to receive at least partial coverage – initial consultations; in-person follow-up consultations; blood draws in our office and sent to Quest.
An example of our services that will not be covered is email/private message communication with the doctor.
Most insurance carriers do not cover phone/video consults, IV therapies or specialty lab testing, but these services/items tend to be very insurance company, state, and plan specific.
IS DR. GAIL ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS AT THIS TIME?
Yes, Dr. Szakacs is accepting new adolescent and adult patients at this time.
Those less than 13 years old will be considered as new patients on a case-by-case basis. If your child is less than 13 years old, please contact Dr Szakacs at the office to discuss further.
WILL DR. SZAKACS BE MY/MY CHILD’S PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN?
No, we require that all patients in our practice have their own primary care physician. While Dr Szakacs is trained as a primary care physician, she now focuses on consultative functional medicine care and does not offer acute care services.
Dr. Szakacs believes in good and open communication among all practitioners to promote optimal wellness for each patient. Pending written consent from her patients, she works closely with the primary care clinicians and other specialists for each of her patients to improve compliance and optimize health outcomes.
WHAT CONDITIONS DO YOU TREAT?
We integrate the care of adolescents and adults for general health and wellness, as well as with neurodevelopmental delays, including Autism Spectrum Disorder and other chronic illnesses, through a consultative and personalized approach. We work with patients and their other clinicians to integrate their therapies, medications and other interventions in a thorough and holistic fashion. We examine the biochemical, immunologic, environmental, metabolic, and nutritional aspects of a patient’s health and assimilate all of this information in forming an individual program for each patient. For parents planning conception, we can help improve your health pre-conception and also help you make good quality diet, environmental and lifestyle choices for a healthy pregnancy.
Dr. Szakacs brings a functional medicine approach to a wide-range of health concerns but has special interests in treating the following:
Allergies and Sensitivities (foods and environmental/molds)
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Detoxification (including multiple chemical sensitivity, vaccine sensitivity, toxic exposure)
General health and wellness
Insomnia and other sleep problems
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
PANDAS – Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep
PANS – Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome
Small Intestinal Bowel Overgrowth (SIBO)
HOW LONG ARE VISITS WITH DR SZAKACS?
Initial Consultation (2-3 hrs, depending on complexity and testing, etc done at visit)
Follow-Up CONSULTATION (scheduled in 1 hour blocks; charged for portion of hour used)
IV/Infusion Therapies (scheduled in 30 min blocks)
Blood Draw (scheduled in 30 min blocks for the procedure; plan for an extra 5-10 min to fill out necessary lab paperwork)
DO I/MY FAMILY NEED TO TRAVEL TO CONNECTICUT FOR APPOINTMENTS?
ALL initial consultations must be done in-person at the Beyond The Prescription office in Norwalk, CT. Periodically, on a case-by-case basis, the doctor may also do initial consultations in-person at the North Reading, MA location. Each patient in the practice must be seen and examined in the office by Dr Szakacs at least once per year thereafter to remain an active patient of the practice and receive ongoing medical advice/care and related services (like letters, getting refills on medications, etc).
While we always encourage follow-up consultations to take place in-person (in the office), we realize you may prefer to do some of the follow-up consultations by phone or video. As a result, we make those options readily available for you. Keep in mind that neither substitutes for an in-person visit and will most likely not be covered by insurance.
WHAT ARE THE CANCELLATION POLICIES?
All services are provided by appointment only and this scheduled time is reserved for your exclusive use.
For INITIAL CONSULTATION:
All new patient appointments must be canceled 7 business days prior to your scheduled appointment.
For FOLLOW-UP CONSULTATION or PROCEDURE Appointments in the CT OFFICE:
We require 2 business days-notice for cancellation of follow-up consultations whether face-to-face or by telephone, or for an infusion, blood draw or IV appointment.
For ALL appointments in the MASSACHUSETTS OFFICE:
ALL patient appointments in the Massachusetts office must be canceled at least 7 business days prior to your scheduled appointment.
FEES FOR LATE CANCELLATION/NO SHOW:
Beyond the Prescription retains the right to bill 50% of the standard fee for any office visit or procedure that is cancelled late. Rates vary by service; please check our website for our current rate schedule. Fees paid for cancellation of follow-up or procedure appointments are non-refundable and may not be used as credit to a future consultation or procedure, except that 25% of the fees paid for cancellation of an initial consultation or any appointment in the Massachusetts office may be applied to a rescheduled appointment.
In addition, given the costs and prescription requirements for IV medications, any appointment for an IV that is not cancelled at least 2 business days prior to an appointment in the Connecticut office, or 7 days before a procedure in the Massachusetts office, unless promptly rescheduled and used within the “use by” date of the medication will result in a charge for the IV medications as they cannot be used for another patient. Fees paid for cancellation of office procedures are non-refundable and may not be used as credit to a future consultation or procedure.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DOCTOR IN BETWEEN SCHEDULED VISITS?
You may find that email correspondence or private messaging within the patient portal is the best way to contact us. Every month or so you will receive an invoice for the doctor’s time spent on email/messaging at the doctor’s discretion. If these are very brief or infrequent communications, there will be no charge. Email and private message contact with the physician is a non-covered service under insurance company policy. These fees will be directly billed to the patient and patients acknowledge by using this service that these fees are their responsibility. You should not submit invoices for email/message correspondence to your insurance provider.
WHAT ARE YOUR FEES?
Fees are based upon the type of service provided. Payment for all consultations or procedures is due at the time of the visit. Our current fees are as follows (as of September 1, 2018)
|Description of Appointment
|INITIAL CONSULTATION with Dr. Szakacs
May be in person or by telephone or video with a minimum billing increment of 5 minutes. However, at least once per year, patient must have an office consult to be seen/examined consult by Dr. Szakacs in the office setting.
|$400/hr. or part thereof
|BLOOD DRAW with Dr. Szakacs
|INTRAVENOUS (IV) THERAPY with a SINGLE Medication – ONE of the following… Glutathione, Phosphatidalcholine, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) or Magensium Sulfate
|INTRAVENOUS (IV) THERAPY with MULTIPLE Medications – More than one of the following… Glutathione, Phosphatidalcholine, N-Acetyl-Cysteine, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) or Magensium Sulfate $195 for the 1st IV plus $170 for each additional IV on the same day
|$195 for the 1st IV plus $170 for each additional IV on the same day
|Multiple or Extensive EMAIL / PRIVATE MESSAGE CORRESPONDENCE (within on-line patient portal) – including, but not limited to, questions or updates between consults, letters, forms for school/camp/work, calls not scheduled as consults, etc
|$350/hr or part thereof (in 5 min increments) at the doctor’s discretion
* Please note that if you choose to submit our invoices to your insurance company for reimbursement, telephone/video consults are not generally covered by insurance and email/private message within on-line patient portal communication is not covered.
WHERE TO PURCHASE SUPPLEMENTS RECOMMENDED BY DR. SZAKACS?
Buying quality supplements from reputable sources is important. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, supplements are not closely regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Buying quality supplements is important, but buying them from a reputable source also becomes crucial to get the freshest, highest-potency nutrients.
While there are various options on-line, including the individual websites for each supplement company, Dr. Szakacs recommends considering FullScript, a purely on-line dispensary with hundreds of professional-grade supplements, to streamline and enhance your functional medicine experience. Occasionally, there is a supplement that Dr Szakacs recommends that may not be available on FullScript, but Dr Szakacs can help you make other arrangements to get the recommended product(s).
Dr Szakacs chooses to provide this as an optional service for you and hopes it will help improve accountability, consistency, and ensure the quality of what you are buying. Dr. Szakacs receives a modest percentage of supplement sales, which are offered on the platform at a reduced price. There is no obligation to purchase recommended products or to purchase from Fullscript.
HOW DO WE GET STARTED?
Please review our website and all the FAQ to become familiar with our practice.
Step 2 – After completion and acceptance of the New Patient Inquiry Form, several forms will be made available to you (New Patient Contact Form, New Patient Intake Questionnaire, Basic Office Consent Forms) and instructions for other necessary information and items.
Step 3 – Once the doctor has reviewed the electronically completed forms and accompanying documents, we will confirm that this practice is right for you (allowing up to 2 weeks for this process) and invite you to sign up for the exclusive on-line patient portal to set up the initial consultation. At that time we will also ask for any remaining or pending information that is necessary prior to the first meeting.
PLEASE NOTE: After reviewing the requested information, sometimes we feel a patient’s needs would be better served elsewhere. If this is the case for you/your child, we will promptly contact you and provide you with other practice names and/ or resources to help you with next steps and finding the optimal practitioner for you.