Frequently asked questions

What is a Internal Medicine and what does an Internist do?

The medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and medical treatment of adults. A physician who specializes in internal medicine is referred to as an internist.

What Is a Copay?

A copay is a fixed amount you pay for a health care service, usually when you receive the service. The amount can vary by the type of service. You may also have a copay when you get a prescription filled.

What Is a Deductible?

An annual deductible is the dollar amount you must pay out of pocket during the year for medical expenses before your insurance coverage begins to pay. For example, if your policy has a $2000.00 deductible, you must pay the first $2000.00 of all medical expenses before your insurance company begins to pay for any services. Deductibles vary by insurance plans and policy. Please review your insurance policy for individual coverage and benefits.

What is Coinsurance?

Coinsurance is your share of the costs of a health care service. It’s usually figured as a percentage of the amount we allow to be charged for services. You start paying coinsurance after you’ve paid your plan’s deductible.

What is the cancellation policy at your office?

Effective April 4, 2016, any appointments that are not cancelled or rescheduled with at least 24 hours advanced notice will result in a $50 charge billed to your account. Cancellation fees are not billed to or payable by your insurance company. It is the patient’s responsibility.

Is there a fee for cancellation?

There is a $50 charge billed to your account for appointments that are not cancelled or rescheduled with at least 24 hours advanced notice.

What forms of payment/insurance does Bethel Medical Center accept?

We accept Cash, Check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. For a complete list of insurance plans that we accept, please click here.

What do I need to bring with me for my first appointment?

Please make sure that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. Please bring your Insurance Cards (if applicable) and Photo ID. To save time, you can also print and complete the New Patient Registration Form and HIPAA/Patient Bill Of Rights Form and bring them with you to your appointment. Please bring a list of any medications you may be taking as well as the name, address and phone number of the pharmacy you use. It is also helpful to bring copies of any available medical records, laboratory and radiology reports.

How should I prepare for my first visit with my new physician?

On your first visit you will meet your physician, recount your medical history and other information and have a physical exam. Please bring a list of any medications you are taking, including over-the-counter and herbal preparations. A family member or caregiver is always welcome to come with you. Remember, however, that your physician may ask very personal questions. It is important that you answer these questions honestly and fully as the answers may have important implications for your care.

What should I expect at my annual physical exam?

An annual physical exam differs from a routine office visit because it is a more comprehensive medical history and physical examination for which more time is allotted. It includes a review of all medical problems, medications, and recommended screening tests appropriate for your age and history. Your physician may also want to include an EKG and as well as a series of lab tests (blood work).

What hospitals do you serve?

We serve Holy Cross Hospital of Silver Spring, Holy Cross Hospital of Germantown, and Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.

Do your providers see and treat children in the office?

We see and treat patients who are 21 years or older.

How do I reach my doctor if I am sick and it is after hours?

A doctor is always on call when the office is closed. To access the on-call physician, please call the office and our answering service will page the on-call physician. If it is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1.

How can I get copies of my medical record?

To obtain a copy of your medical records, Bethel Medical Center requires a signed Authorization to Release Medical Records Form or a signed letter before the request can be processed. You may fill out the request form in our office or fax or mail us a brief letter. You must state that you want a copy of your records and to whom they are to be sent to in the letter, along with your full name, current address, D.O.B., daytime telephone number and legal signature. Please allow up to two weeks from the date the request is received to get records. According to Maryland state law (Health General Sec. 4-304), there is a charge for copies of medical records. The current rate is $22.88 preparation fee and .76 cents per page if the records are sent to another provider. The federal HIPAA regulations do not allow a charge for a preparation fee for records provided directly to the patient. There are additional fees for postage.

How do I transfer my medical records to Bethel Medical Center?

You may request records directly from your former provider, or you may fill out an Authorization to Release Medical Records to Bethel Medical Center Form, and we will fax the request to your former provider.

I have a question about my bill, who should I talk to?

If you have questions about your bill, please speak with our Billing and Accounts Coordinator, Shawna Magallanes. You may reach her at our office, (240) 221-3116.

How can I pay my bill?

You may pay your bill either online using our online payment system, by calling our office directly at (240) 221-3116, or by mailing your payment to: Bethel Medical Center, 121 Congressional Lane, Suite 510, Rockville, MD 20852. All payments by check made payable to: Bethel Medical Center.

How do I get my prescriptions refilled?

Please call our office if you need your medication to be refilled. You may also have your pharmacy fax us a request. We will process your request within 48 hours of receiving the fax. Please make sure you request your medications prior to running out of them.

What languages do your staff and providers cater to?

We have providers and staff who are fluent in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Twi, and Ga.

How do I obtain a referral?

Many insurance companies require written and/or electronic referral forms to be submitted prior to seeing a specialist. If we are providing your primary care, we will be happy to assist you in obtaining a referral. We request that you give at least 72 hours advanced notice of your appointment with the specialist to process the necessary forms. When making a request for a referral, please be sure to provide us the name of the physician you will be seeing, the address, phone number, and fax number to complete the referral process.

How do I find out what I need for travel to a particular country?

Make sure you are up to date on routine vaccinations before every trip. These vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, Tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chicken-pox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your annual flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a full comprehensive list of required and recommended immunizations for each country for individuals traveling abroad. This information can be found on the CDC website. At the time of your travel consultation, our physicians will also discuss the required immunizations for travel to various countries.

What happens if I need to travel to a country and do not want to take one of the listed shots?

Countries vary on requirements for short term travelers, and the Assurance Travel and Immigration Services will work to ensure that you meet all the requirements for the countries you will be visiting. In countries where yellow fever vaccines are required, border control officials will deny entry to visitors who have not been vaccinated. The requirements for persons seeking longer term visas or residency permits are usually more extensive than the requirements for short term travelers, so additional testing and more extensive immunizations may be required.

What about my children? Can Bethel Medical Center be involved in their travel medicine needs as well?

Yes, we are able to provide travel medicine services to children.

Does private insurance cover travel medicine services?

Most health insurance plans do not cover travel vaccines and medicines. Assurance Travel and Immigration Services does not accept any medical insurance plans. However, we do provide you with a receipt that has all the detailed information you need in order to submit your claim. Check with your insurance company to determine what is covered by your policy.

What should I bring to my appointment?

It is best to bring your immunization record. Some travelers already have an International Certificate of Vaccination (ICV), or “yellow card”, which is a record of immunizations already completed. If you do not have records of immunizations or vaccinations, contact your primary physician, school nurse, or parents to gain such information prior to your appointment.

What if Medical Care is needed abroad?

Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a list of local doctors and medical facilities. If your illness is serious, consular officers can help you find medical assistance, and, if you desire, inform your family and/or friends.

Can you provide a yellow card?

The yellow card is the International Certificate of Vaccination, which is used most specifically to document yellow fever immunization and other required vaccinations. A yellow card will be provided at the time of your immunization.

What happens if I am pregnant or trying to become pregnant?

Consult with your OBGYN ideally at least 4–6 weeks before you leave. We can then review your itinerary, make recommendations based on the health risks at your destination, and give you any vaccines you may need. Pregnant women should avoid travel to areas with malaria. If you must go while you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about taking a drug to prevent malaria. Malaria is spread by mosquitoes, so you should also wear insect repellent for additional protection.

What is a Civil Surgeon?

A Civil surgeon is a doctor, selected by the USCIS to conduct medical examinations of aliens in the United States who are applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence, or who are required by the USCIS to have a medical examination.

What is a Immigration Medical Examination?

Medical examinations verify good health and admissibility to the U.S. on medical grounds. The exam can identify medical conditions that require follow-up medical care after emigration to the U.S. or Adjustment of Status to permanent residence.

What does a Immigration Medical examination include?

An Immigration Medical Examination for individuals seeking adjustment of INS status includes a full comprehensive physical exam, blood work (RPR test for syphilis), Tuberculosis (TB) skin test, Immunizations and/or titers.

What forms and documents should I bring to my Immigration Medical examination appointment?

You should bring your photo I.D., passport, Information regarding your INS A-number, and a USCIS I-693 form, and vaccination records.

How long will it take before the results and documents to be ready?

Your forms will be ready in 2-3 days. Laboratory test results usually return within 24-48 hours (Monday through Friday). The tuberculosis test must be read between 48 to 72 hours. If the tuberculosis test is positive, a chest x-ray is required, which can add another day or two to the process.

Does private insurance cover Immigration Medical services?

Most health insurance plans do not cover Immigration Medical Services. Assurance Travel and Immigration Services does not accept any medical insurance plans. However, we do provide you with a receipt that has all the detailed information you need in order to submit your claim. Check with your insurance company to determine what is covered by your policy. Payment is requested at the time services are rendered. We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Cash. We do not accept personal checks or money orders.

What are the vaccination requirements?

Vaccines for these diseases are currently required for U.S. immigration: Mumps Measles Rubella Polio Tetanus and diphtheria Pertussis Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) Hepatitis A Hepatitis B Rotavirus Meningococcal disease Varicella Pneumococcal disease Seasonal influenza Note that this list may change as new vaccines are developed. For example, HPV and zoster vaccines were once required, but no longer. Please check with the USCIS Vaccination Requirements.

What is the Patient Portal?

The Patient Portal is a secure, online service center where you can access your personal health information, address administrative needs, and make non-urgent medical requests.

As a patient, why should I care about the Patient Portal?

The Patient Portal is a great tool because it helps you be more actively involved in your own health care, and you can use it at YOUR convenience. It’s a time saver, too, with self-service options like “Request Rx refills” and “Request an Appointment.”

Where do I find the Patient Portal?

The Patient Portal is accessible from BMC’s website using any computer or smart mobile device with Internet access. You may also login to the portal here.

Is it free to use the Patient Portal?

Absolutely free. There are no costs.

Is it mandatory that I sign up for the Patient Portal?

No, it’s not mandatory, but we’re strongly encouraging everyone to sign up, so they can take advantage of all the resources the Portal offers.

What happens if I don’t have a computer, email, or internet access?

We will continue to communicate with you through phone calls and/or letters.

How do I register for a Patient Portal account?

For your convenience, a username and temporary password has been created for you. This information has been emailed to you. You will need to login with the information and then change your temporary password to a permanent one. If you did not receive this information you may also register here.

Is the Patient Portal mobile friendly?

Yes. The patient portal is mobile friendly. You may login to the portal using the PrognoCIS My Health Records App in the app store. iPhone AppStore and Android Google Playstore.

Can I have one Patient Portal account for my entire family?

No. Each member of your family must have their own individual Patient Portal account; messages and information transmitted become part of each individual’s permanent health record.

Is there an age limit to enroll in the Patient Portal?

Yes. Patients must be at least 18 years old to sign up.

How many sets of forms are there for me to fill out?

There are three sets of forms.
– Patient registration form
– Patient’s Bill of Rights/HIPAA
– Statement of Problem or Injury

What can I do through the Patient Portal?

Patients can view health information such as:
– Recent doctor visits
– Discharge summaries
– Medications
– Immunizations
– Allergies
– Lab results
– Future Appointments
The patient portal also allow patients to:
– Exchange secure e-mail with their health care teams
– Request prescription refills
– Check and request appointments
– Check benefits and coverage
– Update contact information
– Make payments
– Download and complete forms
– View educational materials

Can I request my medical records using the Patient Portal?

Yes, using the Patient Portal, you can communicate with your doctor about non urgent requests and issues.

Who do I contact with questions I may have about any health information shared through my Patient Portal?

Please contact our office by phone for any additional questions about your health status.

Will I receive appointment reminders through the Patient Portal?

Yes, with the Patient Portal, we can send you appointment reminders.

Is my health information secure?

Our Patient Portal has the best privacy and security safeguards in place to protect your health information. To make your information safe from unauthorized access, our Patient Portal is hosted on a secure connection and accessed via an encrypted, password-protected login. Additionally, our system has an “audit trail” feature that keeps a record of who accessed your information, what changes were made, and when. To help the cause though, we also strongly encourage you to follow some common sense security tips — Always remember to protect your USER ID and PASSWORD from others, and make sure to only log on to the Patient Portal from a personal or secure computer.

I can’t log in. What could the problem be?

Our hope is that the system is always accessible and glitch-free, but if log in issues do arise, the problem could be:
– The site is experiencing technical difficulties.
– Internet service has been interrupted.
– Your USER ID and PASSWORD have been typed in incorrectly. Remember, they are CASE SENSITIVE!

Is it possible for me to accidently lock myself out of my account after too many log in attempts?

Yes. It is possible. After 3-5 failed attempts you could be locked out. If this happens, you’ll need to contact our office directly to remedy the problem

Are USER IDS and PASSWORDS case sensitive?

Yes. They are case sensitive. If you’re having trouble logging in make sure you are being careful with how you’re typing in this information.

What do I do if I forget my USER ID and/or PASSWORD?

The Patient Portal offers help on the login screen. Click on the problem you need to solve, and the system walks you through the remedy. If you can’t solve the problem, contact our offices for help.

Our Patient Portal is compatible with most web browsers: Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox. Currently, the Patient Portal is not compatible with Microsoft Edge.