Thank you so much for choosing acupuncture and for giving me the opportunity to provide treatment to you. The following page provides special information for new patients about the way my practice and the office at 54 Herrick is run. I encourage you to read over the information on this page, as well as the information on this website as it will help to prepare you for your first treatment and answer questions you may have about acupuncture.
I will do my very best to help and I ask that while in my care you do your best to help yourself as well. Included in this information you will find information about how to maximize the efficacy of your acupuncture treatments. Implementing even some of these guidelines can dramatically reduce the number of treatments you may need and will improve your overall health and quality of life.
I hope that you will find the following materials helpful. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have. I look forward to working with you.
All the best to you!
I am currently available at my office in Southwest Harbor on Tuesdays from 9-5pm and Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 8-5pm. Appointments tend to fill up 1-2 weeks in advance November through May and 2-3 weeks in advance June through October. During the summer and fall it is recommended to make appointments in advance through the entire season if you wish to come in regularly.
I am available to you directly by phone or email for appointment bookings, questions and concerns. I am generally available Tuesday through Friday between 8am and 5pm for patient communication and do my best to respond to all inquiries in a timely manner. Emails or voicemails left between Friday afternoon and Monday morning may not be responded to until Tuesday unless it is an emergency.
Because I specialize in care for women during pregnancy, birth and the post-partum period, I attend births roughly a dozen times a year. Because of the unpredictable nature of birth it can be impossible for me to know exactly when I might be called to a birth and for how long I might need to be there. What this means is that I may, at some point, be required to cancel your appointment on fairly short notice – sometimes on the day of your treatment itself. I take great care to ensure as much as possible that individuals already en-route to their appointment are never cancelled and that all cancelled patients are rescheduled in a timely manner. If you feel that this arrangement is not something that will work for you please let me know and I will be happy to help you find a provider who will better meet your needs.
Timely cancellations are appreciated, but I completely understand that they are not always possible. You will never be charged for canceling your appointment with 24 hours notice. Forgotten appointments and last minute non-emergency cancellations will be forgiven twice a year. After this, forgotten appointments and last minute non-emergency cancellations will be billed to you at my regular rate, but only if they can not be filled by someone on the waiting list. Cancelled appointments due to unfavorable and unsafe driving conditions are always forgiven.
About 54 Herrick
54 Herrick is a community-based wellness office with five practitioners that offers an array of natural health services, classes and program to the MDI community and beyond. Unlike many health offices 54 Herrick does not have an office manager or receptionist. When you arrive make yourself comfortable and I will be with you shortly.
Because of the close proximity of our treatment rooms to our waiting area we ask that you not watch videos or movies on cellphones in the waiting area and that you keep conversations relatively quiet.
54 Herrick’s massage therapist has big, friendly low-allergen Certified Therapy Dog named Sargeant who you may encounter briefly in the hallway and waiting area. If you have any concerns about the presence of a dog in the building during your treatment please contact Sarah prior to your first appointment so that we can accommodate you.
Things You Can Do to Make Your Treatments More Effective
• Arrive for your treatment feeling nourished. Treatments are most effective if you arrive not too hungry, but not too full. Typically it is a good idea to have a snack 20 minutes prior to receiving acupuncture so that you won’t feel hungry during your treatment.
• Allow for rest after treatment, if possible. This is difficult for most individuals, but the benefits from your treatment will increase if you can allow yourself at least one hour to rest and relax (lie down, take a walk, etc) after your appointment.
• Follow herbal, lifestyle and dietary recommendations to see if they create improvement. If you are offered and accept an herbal formula, dietary suggestions or recommendations on lifestyle changes try and follow them to see if they help.
• Provide basic care for your body and mind. It seems so simple, but providing basic care for ourselves is often neglected. Here are the essential things you body needs. Providing them for yourself may increase the efficacy of your treatments.
• Food. Try to eliminate processed foods containing chemical preservatives, dyes, flavor enhancers, high fructose corn syrup, trans-fatty acids (partially hydrogenated oils) and MSG. Reduce sugar intake as much as possible.
• Water. Our bodies need 8-10 8oz. glasses of pure water each day. Avoid water treated with chlorine unless it has been properly filtered.
• Rest. Without adequate sleep and rest our bodies are not able to repair the damage caused by stress. We each require a different amount of rest for optimal functioning and we usually know when we are not getting enough. Try and make time for more rest if you feel tired.
• Exercise. Adequate exercise is essential for keeping the lungs, heart, immune system and neuro-muscular system functioning optimally. Try and engage in exercise at least 2-3 times a week that increases your heart rate and induces sweating.
• Oxygen. We breathe an average of 12-15 times every minute, but the number of individuals who have problems (neck/shoulder tension, headaches, stress-related illnesses) from low-grade oxygen depletion is astounding. Breathe deeply for good health!
Acupuncture and Insurance
If you have a good idea of what your insurance company will and will not cover you’ll be well informed about your policy and will know what to expect from your insurance.
Sarah is currently an in-network provider for United, Cigna, Harvard Pilgrim, Aetna and Anthem BCBS. Not all plans these companies offer cover acupuncture, so it is important to speak with your insurance company directly.
What Sarah Will Do
Sarah is happy to send a claim form to your insurance company. Just give her your insurance information as part of your initial paperwork and she’ll handle the rest!
If your claim is denied Sarah will give you an itemized bill that you can send in yourself. Occasionally claims that are denied when filed through Sarah are approved when filed directly by you. You are responsible for all charges not covered by your insurance company. Herbs and supplements are typically not covered by insurance.
What You Can Do
In order to keep your costs down, Sarah does not have an office staff and she is not able to spend time determining your coverage. You will need to contact your provider to find out the specifics of your policy and follow up with your insurance company if your claim is denied.
About Auto Insurance
If you have been injured in an auto or motor vehicle accident, your (or the other party's) car insurance will usually pay for acupuncture treatment in full. This is a completely separate system from your health care plan, and I am happy to give you itemized bills so that you can get reimbursement from the auto insurance company.
About Workers Compensation
Workers Compensation will fully cover acupuncture. If you are being treated under Workers Compensation and would like to receive acupuncture you will need a referral to Sarah by your case manager. Sarah will then bill Workers Comp for you directly.
About Medicaid and Medicare
At this time, Medicaid and Medicare do not provide coverage for acupuncture. If you have Medicare and additional supplemental insurance that covers acupuncture, Sarah will be happy to work with you to get a denial from Medicare and bill your supplemental insurance.
About Physician Referrals
If your insurance company requires you to have a referral, be sure to obtain it and take it with you to you acupuncture appointment. It's also a good idea to keep a copy for your own records. Sarah is more than happy to work with your primary care physician and answer any questions or concerns they may have.
Acupuncture and Tax Deduction
If you are paying out of pocket for your treatments, acupuncture treatments can be deducted on your federal tax return as a personal medical expense.