Thank you for your interest in our practice. Upon booking every appointment, you agree that you have read the Office Agreements and agree to all of the following below. This information is here for you to develop a sense of whether our services are right for you and to get to know our practice. Please read through ALL of the items below to get to know us better.
By continuing to use LA Integrative GI service on or after January 1, 2020, you acknowledge and agree to ALL of our Office Policies and Agreements, which may be periodically updated and posted on our website.
New Patient Practice Inquiries
Email is preferred. Please send an email to contact us, if you are unable to see the information you desire on our website. Please keep phone inquiry as the last resort.
Pre-Visit Check-In & Data Capture
We require all our patients to log in to their Patient Portal prior to their visit and “Complete Medical History” ONLINE.
Generally, we send an email reminder. However, even without a reminder, please log into your Patient Portal prior to your visit.
Mobile Check-In is also possible, although using a computer is preferred.
When an appointment is provided, yet an earlier appointment is desired, please continue to communicate with our appointment scheduler (e.g. email, Patient Portal and lastly phone), who would be happy to work on an earlier appointment for you.
About LA Integrative Gastroenterology, Inc.
LA Integrative Gastroenterology, Inc. was established in February of 2009. Dr. Rahbar has practiced functional medicine since early 2007. Our greatest satisfaction is the realization that our patients achieve health benefits by receiving our services. Positive outcomes and customer satisfaction remain our main goals. A key factor to achieving health goals is active patient participation in their everyday health as well as interaction with their physician.
Farshid Sam Rahbar, MD, FACP, ABIHM, is the founder of LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Inc. – A Holistic & Integrative Gastroenterology Practice. Expanded training beyond traditional Western Medicine is necessary to deliver these additional services.
Functional, Holistic, and Anti-Aging Medicine
The practice of medicine, particularly Functional and Anti-Aging Medicine, is extremely complex. Despite all efforts, one cannot expect “guaranteed” outcomes. Patients should not expect “quick fixes” to “chronic problems”, though we have seen excellent results with most of our patients. We do not guarantee any treatment results or outcomes.
At LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, we incorporate comprehensive nutritional assessments, hormone evaluations, Functional Medicine Approach and Anti-Aging Disciplines into the caring of patients with digestive and other disorders. We customize the diagnostic & treatment approach for each patient. These services are generally available only to those patients entering into an agreement with LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition.
LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition is designed to provide a more comprehensive diagnostic and integrative service for those seeking more time with their physician and more physiological approaches to their health conditions. LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition is a unique consultative gastroenterology practice aiming to meet the needs of patients and health-care practitioners seeking alternatives through comprehensive and innovative approaches to digestive care.
LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Inc. is not a “Primary Care” practice. We encourage patients to have their own primary care physician (PCP). We would be happy to communicate your results with your primary care physician/internist at your request.
LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Inc. Basic Policies
LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition is not contracted with any insurance company.
For ANALYTICAL and NUTRITIONAL SERVICES, we require payment at the time of service. To learn about our fees, please see the FEES page or email us.
For TECHNICAL SERVICES, such as an Endoscopy or Colonoscopy, or Intestinal Breath Testing, we have created simple arrangements to assist our patients with payment for these services, using their insurance whenever possible. We check the insurance benefits to see how best a patient insurance can be used for payment for services. We will then provide our patients with one or more options whenever possible.
Currently, the Heidelberg Gastric pH test is not covered by any of insurance carriers. For more information about our fees, please see the FEES page.
Since each individual is unique, if you remain uncertain as what service might be right for you and what the costs will be, we invite you to pay for your initial evaluation, during which the physician will make specific recommendations about your next steps and potential costs associated with tests and treatment approaches. Some services may be covered under insurance.
Farshid Sam Rahbar, MD, and Insurance Companies
Farshid Sam Rahbar, MD personally, is not contracted with any insurance company.
LA Integrative GI and Insurance Companies
Los Angeles Gastroenterology & Nutrition Inc. has no agreement with any health insurance companies. All patients are required to pay directly at the time of service(s).
For some services (e.g. Endoscopy & Colonoscopy). Los Angeles Gastroenterology & Nutrition Inc may agree to bill your insurance.
When applicable, we will provide you with advanced payment options after the doctor determines the services you need and we understand your insurance benefits.
TeleMedicine (Video or Phone Consultation)
LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition offers online video or phone consultations on a case by case basis. This service may be ideal for established patients that have difficulty getting to the office. New Patients may also request this service pending our approval. We require a separate agreement for these consultations. Please read our Telephone or Video Conferencing Consent forms here. To request a Skype/Phone/Video Consultation, please visit our “FEES” page. Please note that privacy and HIPAA compliance is not guaranteed with these methods of communication.
Unless dealing with exceptional situations, we do not provide professional opinion through email. Established patients are encouraged to sign up with Patient Portal. Certain rules apply. Please see “Rules of Engagement”.
Missed First Appointment
For first appointments: If you are a “no show”, our system will permanently block you from future appointments.
Required Deposit to Secure Your Appointment
We require a non-refundable deposit amount at the time of scheduling a new-patient appointment. The required amount is posted on the “request appointment form”, or staff will notify you at the time of scheduling.
When dealing with human ailments, we cannot entirely predict the end of a patient encounter. Please allow flexibility in your schedule. While we strive to see every patient at the time of his/her appointment, emergencies and other circumstances beyond our control may delay your appointment.
Our Response Time
Our response time to your inquiries may vary depending upon the number and complexity of the inquiries we receive and our resources available. If you have not received a response in a time frame that you were expecting, please reach out to us again and if needed page the on-call physician.
Courtesy with Our Staff
Please be polite, kind, and courteous with our staff even if things are not going your way. It is human nature–your courtesy with our staff and acknowledgement of their efforts will go a long way.
Give Your Feedback
If you wish to make a compliment or have a complaint against a staff member, whatever it is, we invite you to give your feedback. One way is to email us.
Separating Consultation Service – from Support Service
The cost of the visit does not cover the need of ongoing support and the resources needed to sustain such support. Although patients are under no obligation to enroll in Support and Convenience Programs, we strongly recommend enrollment as a measure of convenience and cost saving. Support programs are offered case by case after review and based on availability. Please see Support and Convenience Programs.
Support and Convenience Programs
Our Support and Convenience Programs are provided to our patients, as an option, to cover a variety of services at a discounted “package rate” during the course of their treatment and interaction with our office. When not enrolled, patients can pay regular fees for every service as they go.
Understanding the Anatomy of a Visit
The dedicated time for your consultation in the office would have 5 components. What to expect:
- Pre-visit, completing registration (new patients), updating registrations or insurance (established follow up patients). This is the so called “check in”. New patients: Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment time to get you checked in. Established patients, please arrive a few minutes before your appointment time. We may use an electronic system such as an iPad to obtain “intake information”.
- Pre-visit, escorting patient to the exam room to obtain vitals and basic information such as medications/supplements, allergies, referral source, name of treating healthcare providers, past medical, past surgical, family history and more.
- Visit, meeting with the physician for review of data, review of medical records if any, physical exam, analysis of data and presentation of professional opinion and recommendations for testing or treatments.
- Post-visit, implementation where generally a staff member will go over the steps recommended during the visit and make proper scheduling or arrangements.
- Post-visit chart completion which generally involves about 20%-25% of the dedicated time. This stage may also involve additional review of records, preparing letter to referring physician, a final review of the information documented before sign off, additional documentation for example in electronic medical records, preparation of proper codes for billing, creating “super-bill”, etc. Ironically, this part of the visit is not seen by the patient and yet it is one of the most time-consuming parts of medical practice!
Phone and Online Video Visits
- Emphasis will be mainly on patient interview, records/results review,, therapeutic monitoring, any new recommendations, plans for implementation, and finally – documentation. As such, patients should expect that a portion of their dedicated time will be allocated to post-visit documentation.
- The phone and video conferencing consultations are highly structured. We aim to start and finish on time. If you have an appointment and have not heard from the doctor or the office within 5 minutes after the the appointment time, please page the doctor by calling the office and pressing 1.
Your Choice of Follow Up Visits
- Patients have the choice to request the length of their follow up visits, 45, 60 min, etc.
- We may propose what would be the best choice for a follow up visit, e.g. 45, 60 min, etc.
- The final choice, however, is the patient’s.
- In cases where all the aspects of the care and management were not discussed in the time frame you requested, we are happy to create another follow up appointment for you – office, phone visit, etc.
- In complex cases, where several tests are ordered, we propose at least a 45 min follow up visit.
- Follow up visits can be combined for more cost savings; e.g. 60 min + 45 min. Click here for more details.
- A visit with ample time allocated generally creates a more rewarding experience.
Your Choice of New Patient Visit Time
The new patient appointments are generally booked as 75 minutes. Patients, however, have the choice to ask for more allocated time for a more expanded experience with their physician. If this is desired, please contact the office for more details.
In and Out – Estimated Times for an Office Visit
- New patients 3-4 hours
- may include check in, intake by staff, meeting with physician, some testing, lab draws, scheduling, instructions, implementation of proposed test and plans, and answering questions and more.
- Follow up patients 1 – 1.5 hours.
- may include a combination of above
“Patient Portal” is a delicate zone for communication with physician and staff. The information exchanged will be part of your medical records. Please use courtesy and brevity in your correspondence. Please specify the subject and use One Question per One Inquiry. The privilege of patient portal use is conditional. Specific rules apply and a fee may be involved. Please see “Rules of Engagement”.
Please click here to see additional documents associated with the use of patient portal.
Disclosures and Disclaimers
These have been posted online for your review. Go to our Forms and Incentives page here.
Whereas the doctor routinely discusses the common risks associated with endoscopy and colonoscopy, patients may refer to General Consent Information for more details prior to their procedures. By signing the consent, you acknowledge that you have been given ample amount of time to ask questions, obtain a second opinion if you desire, and read the information provided to you. Click here for more info.
Request for Review and Re Signing of Documents
We may request resigning of Office Policies and Agreements when we believe there is a major change in our policies or when we believe it is important to reemphasize some terms of our agreement to create better patient outcomes.
Request for Prescription Refill
- Please have your pharmacy fax us a “Request for Refill” of your medication to (310) 203-4592.
- Please allow at least 48 hrs for processing.
- If a refill is appropriate and eligible, we will provide your pharmacy with the authorization.
Lab Testing Under the Holistic Model
Insurance carriers, including Medicare, may not pay or reimburse for some holistic services we propose including some tests and diagnostics. Laboratories will not honor “test cancellation” after the specimen has started to be processed. Click here additional disclosure
Tracking Your Lab Results
• When you complete a test, there is no guaranty that our office will receive the results –despite our best efforts.
• We require that all patients keep track of every test they have completed and to check with us to assure that we have indeed received the results.
• For example, if you completed three sets of X, Y, Z tests, you would expect three test results results to return to us. We will post the results on your patient portal.
• Posting the results to the patient portal is not automatic; it requires our review and manual posting to the portal.
• Some laboratories fax the reports. Others are color-coded and require that medical records liaison to go to the laboratory’s website and download the report and then upload the report to Athena’s medical practice platform. To be reviewed by the physician.
• It is evident that these steps are labor-intensive and takes time.
• Look for results in the patient portal. If you don’t see it, please send an inquiry through the patient portal under the category of “Clinical Question.” We will try to locate the results or give you an update.
• Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
• For more information, please see “Notification and Discussion of Results.”
Test Results Notification
• We will notify you if the lab has informed us of a “critical value” that requires prompt notification of the patient based on the physician’s judgment.
• We do not routinely call or notify you of results if you have an upcoming appointment, and (or) the results are posted to the Patient Portal.
• Please remember to track your results even if you do not have an upcoming appointment. It is your responsibility to be actively involved in your care. If you have completed any test, please be sure to reach out to us by mail, phone, email, or patient portal to receive your results.
• If your results require counseling, you would need to request a dedicated time by making a follow-up appointment. We do offer in-office and TeleMedicine visits.
• For more information, please “Notification and Discussion of Results.”
Use of Scribe
Whenever possible we use scribe staff to help with electronic documentation and discharge implementation. Please be prepared to take your own notes of the plans and next steps, especially if the scribe service is not available.
Take Your Own Notes
Please be prepared to take your own notes of the plans and next steps, especially if scribe service is not available.
Use of Recording During Visits:
- You may record all or part of the your visit.
- Recording of the “Recommendations and Plans” may be particularly helpful, if you wish to refer to it after the visit.
- Please NOTIFY the physician directly if you plan to record any part of your visit. Thank you.
- Recording without notification is not acceptable.
Medical Records Review
As a general principle, the physician will formally review your medical records concurrently during your visit, or after the evaluation is completed, not prior. We adopt this principle for two reasons: essential information from the records is best extrapolated after physician knows patient’s story. Second, to review the records and patient be a “no show” or cancels the appointment would turn to be a total waste of resources.
Feel free to send your medical records ahead of time. This will allow us to briefly review and organize them and if needed scan them in our system. Please bring originals to your visit as the fax copies may not be as clear and some reports are best reviewed in color format. Thank you
Fee for Medical Records Review
There is generally no fee for review of records up to about 100 pages associated with a visit. If there is a need for a dedicated time to review medical records, we will notify you in advance of any fees involved.
Your Request for Copy of Medical Records
According to CA Medical Board, if you made your request in writing for the records to be sent directly to you, we must provide copies to you within 15 days. The physician can charge a reasonable fee for the cost of making the copies. If the physician’s office advises you that a fee will be charged for the records, the medical records do not need to be provided until the fee is paid. For more information, please click here.
- If your physician requesting records, please have them send a written request
- If you are requesting records, please follow the following steps:
- Send us a request in writing by Mail, Fax or Patient Portal.
- Complete a special form for PATIENT REQUEST FOR MEDICAL RECORDS and send back to us.
- Allow up to 15 days for processing, or let us know if you have a special request.
How to Claim Expenses from Your Insurance
- Some expenses such as office visits may be reimbursable by your PPO insurance.
- Some expenses, such as Support & Convenience Programs, are not reimbursable by your PPO insurance.
- When appropriate, we can provide you with a “superbill” that you submit to your PPO insurance for possible reimbursement. We cannot determine as how much your insurance will reimburse you.
- If you wish to submit a “superbill” to your PPO insurance, please ask us promptly after your visit, and no later than 1 week from your visit.
- Preparation of a proper “superbill” is technical and time consuming. We reserve the option to charge you a $10 administrative fee per “superbill” should your request comes through more than a week after your visit.
- Please make your request for “superbill” in writing, if after visit.
- We do not provide courtesy billing. In instances that we submit a specific claim to insurance, all payments by the carrier should be sent to our office.
The Art of Patient Interview
Despite looking “simple”, the interview process and history taking from the patient is actually a highly complex process. Under our holistic model, our physician incorporates years of experience in creating targeted questions. Each response may trigger a new line of inquiry. Some questions may be asked in repeated manners during initial and follow up visits. PLEASE focus on the question and answer the question. Most questions are specific, for example looking for a time frame or intensity of symptom, or impact on quality of life. If you are not sure, you may express so.
If You Receive a Check from Your Insurance: Handle with care!
If you submitted the claim yourself for reimbursement, then you are entitled to keep the check. If the vendor submitted the claim to the insurance company, then most likely the payment belongs to the vendor.
Patients that are Under 18 years of Age
- Must be accompanied by a parent or an assigned person by parents or a legal guardian.
- A parent must also be a legal guardian before we can implement recommendations.
- Custody cases may require special handling. Please notify us of your role.
Prior Authorization for Prescription Drugs
- Prior authorization for drugs is generally a highly time consuming process and may involve several steps and physician’s time to process a request. To assist our patients and expedite the process, we generally refer prior authorization requests to specialty pharmacies.
- Unless you are enrolled in Support & Convenience Programs, we may charge you a fee for the time and efforts required to submit a prior authorization request.
Our Office Ambience and Parking Info
- We strive to make our office as pleasant, appealing, and comfortable as possible for our patients. Many patients find the aerial views of the city from the 18th floor very soothing and enjoyable.
- If you have a phobia, please request for closure of blinds
- We are on the 18th floor, not the Penthouse.
- We have been in this location at 2080 Century park E since 1996 and have no immediate plans to move.
- The office may appear small or crowded as we SHARE the office with three other part-time physicians.
- PARKING is valet and is located on the P1, the first floor underground. There is no self-parking in our building. The Fee is the same. The maximum charge in 2020 is to be around $20 for Century City Medical Plaza ( our building ).
- WE PAY fully for your parking when you have signed up with one of our Support & Convenience Programs.
No Refund Policy
- No refund will be honored after a visit/consultation is started.
No Promise, No Guarantee
- We do not provide any “promise” or “guarantee” towards any of our services.
Disability Evaluation and Completing Disability Forms.
- Important: Regular consultations are not a replacement for disability evaluation. If you have a disability form that needs to be completed, and we agree to this, you would require to make an appointment specifically for disability evaluation prior to completing your forms. Additional fees would apply. Check with staff for an estimated fee.
How to Order and Receive Nutritional Supplements
- The best way to order is by email.
- Send your email request to KimiaLogic@LAintegrativeGI.com
- Your email will be your “order confirmation”.
- Please specify your shipping address.
- For additional options and resources, please visit our “SUPPLEMENTS Page”