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As many patients are aware, changes within the healthcare system have placed enormous pressures on primary care physicians, impacting patient care. In our current system, physicians are often seeing 20-30 or more patients per day, with patient panels per physician of over 2000. Additionally, there are burdensome and time consuming paperwork requirements from insurance companies. Patients rarely see their primary care doctor when they are hospitalized, and home visits are almost obsolete. In this environment, it has become increasingly difficult to provide optimal care.

Dr. Reitman has made the decision to restore the direct relationship between the patient and the physician. In lieu of insurance re-imbursements, we charge an annual professional fee. This practice model has been referred to as “concierge” or “retainer-based” medicine. There is little involvement of third party insurances; we are working directly for you, the patient. Dr. Reitman’s patient panel is limited to 300-400 patients, which allows her to spend more time with patients in the office, make house calls when appropriate, and coordinate care in the hospital.

Dr. Reitman’s new practice emphasizes courteous and professional service, longer and unhurried visits, same or next day sick visits, and a pleasant, comforting “old-fashioned” environment. We have made every effort to remove the frustrations and aggravations generally involved in going to the doctor.

Rather than using insurance, the only charge is an annual professional fee which covers essentially all of Dr. Reitman’s services. There are no other bills.

Even people with excellent medical coverage often find they do not have convenient access to the medical care they need. For example, when they call their doctor’s office, they may be placed on hold for minutes, or have to press numbers on a voice mail line to get through to a live person. When they’re finally offered an appointment, it may not be soon enough, or at a time that fits their schedule. They may wait an hour or more in a crowded waiting room to be seen, and then feel rushed through their visit before all their questions are answered. Simple questions aren’t answered over the phone, and they can’t send an e-mail to their doctor when they have a concern.

It includes all office visits with Dr. Reitman, a comprehensive annual physical exam, and a thorough panel of blood tests. Also covered are routine immunizations, EKGs when indicated, rapid tests for strep throat, and administration of allergy shots. In addition, our nurse draws blood, so it’s no longer necessary to wait in line at the hospital or lab when you need tests.

Dr. Reitman communicates with MedStar Montgomery Medical Center (formerly Montgomery General Hospital) in Olney. She is often able to facilitate communication between different specialists, patients, and their families.

Dr. Reitman has opted out of Medicare. Medicare will not cover any portion of the professional fee, or any other related expenses. Medicare patients may, however, sign a waiver acknowledging that they agree to a private relationship with Dr. Reitman and are then welcome to join the practice. Of course, your Medicare coverage with all other doctors, hospitals, and facilities remains intact.

No. This is simply a plan to see a doctor without the restrictions and frustrations associated with insurance companies, billing headaches, and paperwork.

No. Dr. Reitman’s program is not dependent on insurance. Your insurance is used only for other doctors, hospitals, tests, etc. In fact, it is not necessary to have insurance at all to be in the practice, though it is very strongly recommended.

Dr. Reitman is not a member of any HMOs. However, you are welcome to join Dr. Reitman’s practice, as long as you know that the practice’s professional fee is not covered by your insurance company, and that you may still need referrals and approvals through a doctor designated as your HMO “primary care physician” (PCP). In some cases, we may be able to assist you in requesting these referrals from your PCP’s office, but the decision to give the referral is made by the other office and the HMO insurance company.

Yes. While you are responsible for the annual professional fee, you may be able to submit bills to your insurance company for reimbursement. As you have already paid Dr. Reitman, and as we are not affiliated with any insurance companies, that reimbursement is appropriately yours to keep. For insurance purposes, Dr. Reitman is considered an “out of network” physician. Reimbursement levels are determined by your particular policy and may be subject to an annual deductible.

In many cases, yes. Check with your plan administrator. Our office manager is well acquainted with this question. By using pre-tax dollars designated for medical expenditures, many of our patients find these plans may reduce their out-of-pocket costs by as much as 30 to 40%.

At this time Dr. Reitman sees young adults 18 and above. The annual professional fee is reduced by half, if at least one parent is also a member of the practice.

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No. You may choose one of three options: once a year, twice a year, or quarterly. The fee changes slightly depending which option you choose.

Yes. A growing number of doctors around the country are changing to smaller, more service-oriented practices as the intrusions and frustrations of modern medicine become more difficult for patients and physicians alike. All of the practices charge additional fees for improved service, easier access, and longer unhurried appointments.

Yes. Dr. Reitman can be reached 24 hours a day through her office or answering service. She answers non-urgent questions via e-mail as time permits. If Dr. Reitman is out of town, Dr. Phillip G. Henjum covers her practice for emergencies. There is no additional fee for his services when Dr. Reitman is not available.

Dr. Reitman is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, Magna Cum Laude, and graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1995. She has been practicing locally for twenty-five years, initially as Assistant Professor for Georgetown University, followed by thirteen years with Johns Hopkins Community Physicians in Rockville, where she was the Office Medical Director for four years. She has been featured as “Top Doctor” in both the Washingtonian and Checkbook magazines.

Yes! Dr. Reitman may make house calls in the Olney area, on occasion, when it is not practical or possible to be seen in the office, and when hospital evaluation and tests are not necessary. It is very gratifying to see someone in their home environment, and can be a relief to the families of elderly or physically challenged individuals. When Dr. Reitman believes a house call is appropriate, it is included in the annual fee, and thus there is no additional charge for house calls.