General Questions & Answers
What is HIPPA?

The HIPAA Privacy Rule controls the use and disclosure of what is known as Protected Health Information (PHI). Many of the applications of the Privacy Rule are simply common sense. Others are somewhat more complex and afford you, the patient, a great deal of flexibility in accessing the content of your medical record and gives you more control in how that content (PHI) is used. In addition the Privacy Rule enables you to control the disclosure of your PHI to certain entities.

See our Notice of Privacy Practices.

Can I see you even if you don't participate with my Health Insurance?

Even if we do not participate with your health insurance, we are happy to provide your care. You are responsible for payment at the time of service. We will submit your insurance claim such that you will receive the reimbursement you are entitled to.

Check your benefits. Most PPO (Preferred Provider Organizations) plans and POS (Point of Service) plans cover out-of-network services though at a reduced rate so you incur more out-of-pocket expenses. Most HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plans do not cover any out-of-network services

What if I have an Emergency or need after-hours care?

Emergencies should be handled in accordance with the guidelines provided by your insurance company. In the event of a life or limb-threatening emergency, you should call 911 and/or go to the nearest hospital emergency room and have them notify your family physician upon your arrival. In the case of an urgent situation that is not life or limb threatening, please contact our main number, 410-546-5141, for further instructions. After-hours telephone service is available by calling our main number, 410-546-5141. Your will be given a number to call should you require the assistance of the on-call physician. Our answering service will receive your call and page the doctor on call if you have a medical need that cannot wait until the next business day. Urgent Care is available at the Main Office on a walk-in basis only during the following hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please note that lab results and prescription refills are not available through the clinic or by telephone during evening and weekend hours.

How do I refill a prescription?

Prescription refills can be performed through this website or by contacting the office at 410-46-5141. Please follow the voicemail menu system regarding prescription refills. We ask that you allow for up to 24 hours for your refill request to be processed. Please note that routine prescription refills will not be performed after office hours or on weekends. All prescription refills for controlled substances must be picked up in person at the office.

Click here to visit our Prescription Refill page.

How will I receive lab or X-ray results?

We now have the ability to notify you of routine lab and X-ray results via the internet. We have added a "Patient Records" feature to our website that will allow you to log on to your account to see your test results. This will typically be in the form of a letter explaining your results. Simply contact the office to activate your account. If you don't utilize the internet, your results will be conveyed to you via a letter or phone call. We will make every effort to notify you within 10 days of receiving your results. If your test result precedes an upcoming office appointment your physician may elect to discuss your results at the time of your appointment.

What is your financial policy?

We are a fee-for-service practice therefore all charges are due at the time of service. Cash, check, and most major credit cards are accepted as payment for services. As we do participate in a few insurance plans co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles are due at the time of service. If we do not participate with your insurance, we will continue to file your claim such that you will receive payment reimbursement according to your particular health insurance company. Therefore,
we ask that you present your current insurance card at each visit. In order to avoid billing problems, it is vital that you provide us with updated information as changes occur. We value each one of our patients, and we simply ask that our patients value our services enough to fulfill their financial responsibility.

What should I bring to my appointment?

We asked that new patients download and complete our online "Medical History and Patient Registration" forms. Both established and new patients should bring their Insurance Card and Drivers License to each visit so that we may verify both insurance information and personal address.

How do I obtain a referral?

Referrals may be requested either by calling our referral line at 410-546-5141 or by utilizing our online Referral Request tool. We ask that you allow at least 48 hours to process your request. All referrals will need to be picked up at the office prior to your appointment. Unfortunately we are not able to neither fax nor mail referral forms. There may be times where you will be asked to schedule an appointment with your physician or healthcare provider in order for you referral request to be granted.

Click here to visit our Referral Request page.

Do you participate with my Insurance?

We participate with some major health insurance companies. Click the following link to see the full list of participating Insurance Companies.
Click here to visit our Insurance Participation Page.

How can I obtain a copy of my Medical Records?

You will need to fill out and sign a Medical Records Release form in order to receive a copy of your records. Your original records will remain property of the practice.
On October 1, 1994 the law allowing physicians to charge specific sums for preparation and production of medical records went into effect. This law is codified in the Health-General Article ยง 4-304(c)(3). The law also states that these fees may be adjusted annually for inflation using the Consumer Price Index on July 1 of each year. The statute does not designate an entity to compute the increases. The adjusted rates for medical record copying are as follows:

  • A preparation fee of no more than $19.09, plus

  • A fee of no more than 63 cents per page copied, plus

    • The actual cost of shipping and handling.

Physicians may demand payment of these fees and charges before turning the records over to a patient or other authorized person (such as the patient's parent, guardian or lawyer), but probably not before complying with a proper subpoena. Production may not be withheld under an emergency request from a state or local governmental unit concerning a child protective services or adult protective services case pending payment. Med Chi's Professional Ethics Committee has opined that records should not be withheld from another health practitioner pending payment of the copying fees if to do so would hinder an ill patient from receiving needed medical attention. Finally, the law does not authorize any practitioner to withhold production of the medical records until the fees for medical services themselves have been paid.

What are your office hours?

We are open Monday through Thursday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, and Friday from 8:30 to 12 PM. We are closed for lunch daily from 12 PM to 1 PM. On some Fridays in the summer, we may be closed.

What hospitals do you participate with?

Both Dr. Branton and Dr. Jarrah are affiliated with Peninsula Regional Medical Center. In order to provide the best inpatient and outpatient care Drs. Branton and Jarrah have contracted the services of Hospitalists Dr. John Visioli and Dr. Fernado Acle. Both Dr. Visioli and Dr. Acle are board certified in Internal Medicine and their focus is on providing medical services to individuals requiring inpatient hospital care.

What is a "Hospitalist"?

Hospitalists are physicians typically trained in Internal Medicine or Family Practice who specialize in hospital inpatient care. They are experienced in dealing with the types of acute medical illnesses that bring a patient into the hospital, like pneumonia, meningitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, and angina. In addition to their specialized medical knowledge, hospitalists are intimately familiar with the inner workings of the hospital, and are able to facilitate interactions with ancillary services like physical and occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, social services, and nursing case management. The concept of the hospitalist has been around for over 10 years, but has only recently become more prominent. The combination of rapid advances in acute hospital care and increasing time constraints in the ambulatory clinic have led to a division of labor, in which hospitalists take care of all inpatient responsibilities, allowing primary care physicians (PCPs) to spend more time with their patients in the office. This division of labor has also led to significant benefits in terms of reduced length of hospital stay, thereby helping to rein in the growing costs of healthcare in this country.

What is a D.O.?

If you're like most people, you've been going to a doctor since you were born and perhaps didn't know if you were seeing a D.O. (osteopathic physician) or an M.D. (allopathic physician). You may not even be aware that there are two types of complete physicians in the United States.
The fact is, both D.O.s and M.D.s are fully qualified physicians licensed to perform surgery and prescribe medication. Is there any difference between these two kinds of doctors? Yes. And no.

D.O.s bring something extra to medicine:

Osteopathic medical schools emphasize training students to be primary care physicians.

D.O.s practice a "whole person" approach to medicine. Instead of just treating symptoms or illnesses, they regard your body as integrated whole.

Osteopathic physicians focus on preventive health care.

D.O.s receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system -- your body's interconnected system of nerves, muscles and bones that make up two-thirds of its body mass. This training provides osteopathic physicians with a better understanding of the ways that an injury or illness in one part of your body can affect another

D.O.s and M.D.s are alike in many ways:

Applicants to both D.O. and M.D. medical colleges typically have a four-year undergraduate degree with an emphasis on scientific courses.

Both D.O.s and M.D.s complete four years of basic medical education.

After medical school, both D.O.s and M.D.s can choose to practice in a specialty area of medicine -- such as surgery, family practice, internal medicine or any other subspecialty. After completing a residency program (typically two to six years of additional training).

Both D.O.s and M.D.s must pass comparable state licensing exams.

D.O.s and M.D.s both practice in fully accredited and licensed health care facilities.

Are you accepting new patients?

Yes, we welcome new patients; however, our panel is closed to several insurances. Please review our list of participating insurances. If you wish to transfer your medical care to us but do not have an immediate need, we would like to send you some information on our services before your first appointment to acquaint you with our services. Simply call and we will send you a "Welcome Kit" or simply utilize the features on this website to request an appointment, complete a registration and medical history form. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) who has advanced education and clinical training in a health care specialty area. In fact, your Nurse Practitioner is truly an extension of your Physician in that she treats patients under the authority and established protocols of your Physician.

What about a new prescription?

New prescriptions or those which have not been prescribed for you in the recent past will generally require your Physician to examine you to make sure your treatment plan is inclusive of all other factors that may be indicated in your medical history.

Why is it necessary for you to make a copy of my insurance card and ask my address and phone number every time I come in?

We understand your concern and, frankly, we ARE doing this to be certain we do everything possible to maximize YOUR insurance benefits and settle the account as expeditiously as we can. Insurance companies, policies, and coverages change more frequently than we often know and can delay your benefits if our filing and demographic information is not current. Spending those few seconds on the front side save us both time and resouces on the back side.

What payment arrangements are available?

For our self-insured or uninsured patients, the lesser of full payment or $100 is due at time of service. For services exceeding $125 on the same day, a 20% cash discount will be given for payment in full.

Payment arrangements can be made for self-insured patient balances or balances remaining after all applicable co-payments and insurance coverages have been received or exhausted as follows:
Minimum monthly payment is the lesser of $25/month or the account balance when the original agreement balance is under $150.

Minimum monthly payments are 1/6 of the original agreement balances when the original balance exceeds $150.

A $5 late payment fee is applied if payment is not received or postmarked by the 15th of each month a payment is due.

Patients with account balances will receive a monthly statement of activity. Should a second monthly statement become necessary for failure to receive full payment or establishment of a payment plan, patient will have 10 days to make payment in full or be assessed an additional $10 processing fee.

We will make every effort to work with you and your insurance carrier, when applicable, to keep your account current. If circumstances of non-compliance and/or non-cooperation occur, we reserve the right to take whatever legal or other action is necessary to bring your account current, including, but not limited to, outside collection proceedings and/or termination from the practice.