Thank you for your interest in our practice. Upon booking every appointment, you agree that you have read the Office Agreement and agree to all below. This information is here to develop a sense of whether our services are suitable for you and get to know our practice. Please read through ALL of the items below to know us better.
Your Words Matter!
We at LA Integrative GI strive to maintain a serene and healing environment for everyone. We expect courtesy, respect, and appropriate language, verbal or written, with other patients and our staff—even if things are not going your way. We would not tolerate verbal abuse or a display of temper and reserve the right to refuse care or terminate a patient relationship. Please be considerate of the energy that you bring into our space. Be assured that a good one will go a long way. Thank you!
Information on Our Website-Current but Not Always Realtime
We keep the information on our website current and up to date as much as possible. However, there might be times when there is a lag between making a policy change or updating information and having the webmaster make website changes. When in doubt, you may check with us in writing.
Links to the Table of Contents
- Your Consent
- Your Time with The Physician
- Appointment Scheduling
- Separating Consultation Service – from Support Service
- Membership Program: Treating Physician vs. Consulting Physician
- Limited Availability of Spots for Signing up for the Membership Program
- Pre-Visit Check-In & Data Capture
- New Patient Practice Inquiries
- About LA Integrative Gastroenterology, Inc.
- Functional, Holistic, and Anti-Aging Medicine
- LA Integrative Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Inc. Basic Policies
- Farshid Sam Rahbar, MD, and Insurance Companies
- LA Integrative GI and Insurance Companies
- TeleMedicine (Video or Phone Consultation)
- Email Correspondence
- Missed First Appointment
- Required Deposit to Secure Your Appointment
- Expect Delays
- Our Response Time
- Courtesy with Our Staff
- Give Your Feedback
- Understanding the Anatomy of a Visit
- Phone and Online Video Visits
- Your Choice of Follow Up Visits
- Your Choice of New Patient Visit Time
- In and Out – Estimated Times for an Office Visit
- Patient Portal
- Disclosures and Disclaimers
- Consent Information
- Request for Review and Re Signing of Documents
- Request for Prescription Refill
- Lab Testing Under the Holistic Model
- Use of Scribe
- Take Your Own Notes
- Use of Recording During Visits:
- Medical Records Review
- Fee for Medical Records Review
- Your Request for Copy of Medical Records
- How to Claim Expenses from Your Insurance
- The Art of Patient Interview
- If You Receive a Check from Your Insurance: Handle with care!
- Patients that are Under 18 years of Age
- Prior Authorization for Prescription Drugs
- Our Office Ambience and Parking Info
- No Refund Policy
- No Promise, No Guarantee
- Disability Evaluation and Completing Disability Forms.
- How to Order and Receive Nutritional Supplements
- Medicare Patients
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.
The physician’s time is yours when you have a dedicated time scheduled for you. If you make an inquiry, we may ask that you make an appointment.
If you have an appointment but wish to be seen sooner, you may continue to communicate with our appointment scheduler via email, the Patient Portal, or, lastly, phone. If we have appointment cancellations, we are always happy to make adjustments to see you sooner.
We allow a little extra time at the end of each appointment, whenever possible, to accommodate our patient’s needs.
Experience shows that ongoing support is essential to all patients professionally and administratively. To maintain the status of the service we have provided, we are now offering enrollment in our Membership Program.
Implementation of our Membership Program. will begin with our new patients entering the practice. However, we will give priority to our established patients. We invite all those interested to request enrollment as soon as possible before available spots run out. After we reach our threshold, we will establish a waiting list.
Membership spots will be limited and considered case-by-case and on a first-come basis.
Although we hadn’t fully implemented this policy in the past, we will be moving forward to provide the highest quality service and care.
As a Treating Physician, Dr. Rahbar will provide medical evaluations, order diagnostics (lab & imaging, etc.), prescribe medications, assist with referrals, recommend supplements, and be involved in ongoing medical support and continuity of care.
As a Consulting Physician, Dr. Rahbar will only conduct medical evaluations and provide recommendations that you can implement through the care and supervision of another treating doctor.
To visit Dr. Rahbar as a Consulting Physician, you do not need to pay for a membership plan.
Patients may request additional follow-up consultations or request enrollment in our Membership Program.
We offer our membership program as 6-month or 12-month packages, the latter being the most patient cost-effective. For more information, please visit our website.
Membership spots will be limited and considered case-by-case and on a first-come basis.
Credit Card Processing Fees
A 3.9% credit card processing will be added to each credit card transaction for the physician’s professional services.
This fee covers the administrative cost of running a transaction using a 3rd party credit card system. We retain zero dollars of this fee.
We encourage our patients to pay via ZELLE or CASH to avoid incurring the additional 3.9% fee.
Patients may choose to pay for their membership program and supplements by credit card.
We request all new and follow-up patients to log in to their Patient Portal and fill in the “Complete Medical History” online.
While we generally send an email reminder, we require this form to be filled out to the best of your knowledge prior to your appointment.
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 inquiries as a last resort.
LA Integrative Gastroenterology, Inc. was established in February of 2009. Dr. Rahbar has practiced functional medicine since early 2007. Our greatest satisfaction is realizing that our patients achieve health benefits by receiving our services. Positive outcomes and customer satisfaction remain our primary 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.
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 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 personally, is not contracted with any insurance company.
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).
New information as of 04/01/2023:
LA Integrative is not contracted with Medicare. Dr. Rahbar has opted out of Medicare.
We no longer submit claims to Medicare nor provide a superbill for patients’ claims for Medicare.
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.
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.
We typically do not provide professional opinions via email unless dealing with unusual situations. Established patients are encouraged to sign up with our Patient Portal. We request that you please see our “Rules of Engagement”.
If you are a “no show” for your first appointment, our system will permanently block future appointments.
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 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.
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 acknowledgment of their efforts will go a long way.
We Welcome Your Feedback
If you wish to compliment or gove feedback about a staff member, whatever it is, we invite you to give your feedback. One way is to email us.
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 generally involves about 20%-25% of the dedicated time. This stage may also involve an additional review of records, preparing a letter to the referring physician, a final review of the information documented before sign-off, additional documentation in electronic medical records, preparation of proper codes for billing, creating “super-bill” and more. 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!
- Emphasis will be mainly on the 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 appointment time, please page the doctor by calling the office and pressing 1.
- 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 patients.
- 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 60 min follow-up visit.
- Among follow-up visits, 60 min is the most cost-effective. Click here for more details.
- A visit with ample time allocated generally creates a more rewarding experience.
The new patient appointments are generally booked as 75-90 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.
- New patients 3-4 hours
- may include check-in, intake by staff, meeting with the physician, some testing, lab draws, scheduling, instructions, implementation of proposed tests and plans, 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 the 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 the patient portal.
These have been posted online for your review on the Forms page and below
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 an ample amount of time to ask questions, obtain a second opinion if you desire, and read the information provided to you. Click below for more info.
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.
- Please have your pharmacy send a refill request through the ERX (electronic Rx) system. fax us a
- The alternative might be faxing it to 310-553-5377; however, this method is becoming obsolete as of 2022.
- Please allow at least 72 hrs for processing.
- If a refill is appropriate, we will provide your pharmacy with the authorization.
- We may message you in the patient portal if it is time to establish a follow visit for therapeutic monitoring of medication. Upon receiving such a message in the patient portal, please promptly take the proper action to avoid interruption in your medication.
Insurance carriers, including Medicare, may not pay or reimburse for some holistic services we propose–including some tests and diagnostics. The insurance carriers may consider several of the testing models that we recommend as “experimental,” “investigational,” “not medically necessary,” “not validated,” or “not US-based,” and for these or other reasons, may not provide coverage for these tests.
Patients should not expect reimbursement if they agree to proceed with these tests. Specifically, patients should not expect reimbursement for services we initiate through Vibrant America and Vibrant Wellness, and similar holistic labs.
In addition, laboratories will not honor “test cancellation” after the specimen has started to be processed.
As a general policy, we will not be involved in disputes that may arise between a policyholder and insurance carriers for denied labs that were considered as “experimental,” “investigational,” “not medically necessary,” “not validated,” or “not US-based,” etc.
Tracking Your Lab Results
• When you complete a test, there is no guarantee 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 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 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 take 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.”
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.
Please be prepared to take your own notes of the plans and next steps, especially if scribe service is not available.
- You may record all or part of 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.
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 the physician knows the patient’s story. Second, to review the records and patient be a “no show” or cancel the appointment would turn out 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
The best way to send us records is for you to upload them through a Dropbox secure link that we will provide to you upon your request.
There is generally no fee for the review of records up to about 100 pages associated with a visit. If there is a need for dedicated time to review medical records, we will notify you in advance of any fees involved.
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.
- 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 (best method)
- Complete a special request online:
- Patient Request for Medical Records, Online HIPAA Compliant form
- Or complete PDF form for Patient REQUEST for Medical Records from Our Office and send back to us.
- Allow up to 15 days for processing, or let us know if you have a special request.
- Some expenses such as office visits may be reimbursable by your private PPO insurance non-government programs.
- 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 come through more than a week after your visit.
- Please make your request for “superbill” in writing, if after a 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.
Despite looking “simple”, the interview process and history taken 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 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.
- 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 drugs is generally a highly time-consuming process and may involve several steps and a 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.
- 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.
- We share the office with other physicians.
- PARKING is valet or self park and is located on the P1, the first floor underground. The Fee is the same for valet and self park. The maximum charge in 2023 is $22 for Century City Medical Plaza (our building).
- No refund will be honored after a visit/consultation is started.
- We do not provide any “promise” or “guarantee” towards any of our services.
- 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.
- For additional options and resources, please visit our “SUPPLEMENTS Page”