Click on the topic below to open questions and answers for each

Q.What is HIPPA?
A. 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 form.

Q.What if I have an Emergency or need after-hours care?
A. In the event of a life or limb-threatening emergency, you should call 911 and/or proceed to the nearest hospital emergency center. Upon arrival please make the hospital staff aware of the name of your primary care physician. 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. You will be given a number to call should you require the assistance of the on-call physician. Urgent Care is available at the Main Office on a walk-in basis only during the following hours: Monday-Thursday from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm and Friday from 8:30 to 12N. Please note that lab results and prescription refills are not available through the clinic or by telephone during evening and weekend hours.

Q.How do I refill a prescription?
A. Prescription refills can be performed through our website, our patient portal or by contacting the office at 410-46-5141. Please follow the voicemail menu system regarding prescription refills. We ask that you allow 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. Visit our Prescription Refill page.

Q.How will I receive my test results?
A. You now have the ability to review your lab and x-ray results through the patient portal. Most test results will be discussed during follow up office visits. You may also receive a letter from your physician detailing your test results. 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.

Q.What is your financial policy?
A. 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 may receive payment reimbursement according to the details of your particular health insurance. We will 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 demographic and insurance information as changes occur.

Q.What should I bring to my appointment?
A. 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 Driver's License to each visit so that we may verify both insurance information and personal address.

Q.How do I obtain a referral?
A. 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 fax or 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. Visit our Referral Request page.

Q.How can I obtain a copy of my Medical Records?
A. 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 Maryland 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: Print: Preparation fee not to exceed $22.88 for medical record retrieval and preparation. Fee for copying and mailing not exceeding $0.76 for each page of the medical record. The actual cost for postage and handling of the medical record. These fees may be adjusted annually for inflation in accordance with the Consumer Price Index. Electronic: A preparation fee not to exceed $22.88 for electronic format medical records retrieval and preparation. A per-page fee of 75% of the per-page fee charged by a health care provider under paragraph (3)(i) of this section ($0.76 cents) that may not exceed $80. The actual cost for postage and handling of the electronic format medical records. 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.

Q.What are your office hours?
A. 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 during the summer, we may be closed.

Q.What hospitals do you participate with?
A. 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 Hospitalist Dr. Fernado Acle and his partners. Dr. Acle is board certified in Internal Medicine and his focus of care is on providing medical services to individuals requiring inpatient hospital services.

Q.What is a "Hospitalist"?
A. Most hospitalists are board-certified internists (internal medicine physicians) who have undergone the same training as other internal medicine doctors including medical school, residency training, and board certification examination. The only difference is that hospitalists have chosen not to practice traditional internal medicine due to personal preferences. Some hospitalist physicians are family practice doctors or medical subspecialists who have opted to do hospitalist work such as, intensive care doctors, lung doctors (pulmonologists), or kidney doctors (nephrologists). There are many advantages of hospitalists in the care hospitalized patients. One advantage is that hospitalists' have more expertise in caring for complicated hospitalized patients on a daily basis. They are also more available most of the day in the hospital to meet with family members, able to follow-up on tests, answer nurses' questions, and simply to deal with problems that may arise. In many instances, hospitalists' may see a patient more than once a day to assure that care is going according to plan, and to explain test findings to patients and family members. Hospitalists also coordinate the care of patients' in hospital and are "captain of the ship." They are the physicians that organize the communication between different doctors caring for a patient, and serve as the point of contact for other doctors and nurses for questions, updates, and delineating a comprehensive plan of care. They are also the main physician for family members to contact for updates on a loved one. Similarly, because hospitalists are in the hospital most of the time, they are able to track test results and order necessary follow-up tests promptly. This is in contrast to the traditional setting where your primary doctor may come to the hospital the next day to follow-up the results and take the next necessary step at that time. Since the hospitalist's "office" is the hospital, and they are also more familiar with the hospital's policies and activities. Many hospitalists are involved in various hospital committees, and assist in improving important areas such as patient safety, medical error reduction, effective communication between physicians and staff, and cost effective patient care.

Q.What is a D.O.?
A. 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.

Q.D.O.s bring something extra to medicine:
A. 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

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

Q.Are you accepting new patients?
A. Yes, we welcome new patients; however, our panel is closed to several insurances. Please review our list of participating insurances and if you have any questions please contact our office staff. 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 prior to your first appointment in order 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.

Q.What about a new prescription?
A. New prescriptions or those which have not been prescribed for you in the recent past will generally require you to schedule an appointment with your physician to insure that the prescription is proper for your particular health care needs.

Q.Can I see you even if you don't participate with my Health Insurance?
A. 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 and to which is determined by your particular health plan. Check your benefits. Most PPO (Preferred Provider Organizations) plans and POS (Point of Service) plans cover out-of-network services although typically at a reduced rate. Therefore, you may incur more out-of-pocket expenses. Most HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plans do not cover any out-of-network services

Q.Do you participate with my Insurance?
A. We participate with some major health insurance companies. Click the following link to see the full list of participating Insurance Companies. Please note that the list may not be all inclusive as our participation with Insurance Plans is dynamic. If you have any questions regarding your particular insurance, it is always best to call the office to discuss your concern. Visit our Insurance Participation Page.

Q.What payment arrangements are available?
A. For our self-insured or uninsured patients, please contact the front office staff to review specific payment arrangements.

Q.How will the state of Maryland dispense the Covid-19 Vaccination?
A. UPDATED PHASE 1 COVID-19 VACCINATION GUIDELINES Based in part on the recommendations of the federal government's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the state is updating and expanding priority populations for vaccinations. Phase 1A. The state continues to progress through Phase 1A, and has expanded the priority populations to include all licensed, registered, and certified healthcare providers. Local health departments have begun to make arrangements with providers to get them vaccinated in the coming days and weeks. Vaccinations will also soon be underway for correctional officers, law enforcement agencies, and front line judiciary staff. Overall, Phase 1A includes more than 500,000 Marylanders. Phase 1B. The expanded Phase 1B includes all Marylanders age 75 and older, special needs group homes, high-risk inmates, developmentally disabled populations, continuity of government vaccinations, as well as teachers, child care, and education staff. The Maryland State Department of Education will immediately begin coordination with school systems to get their critical personnel vaccinated.Phase 1B includes an estimated 860,000 Marylanders. Based on the current pace of allocation, the state expects to fully enter Phase 1B by late January. Phase 1C. The new Phase 1C now includes all Marylanders ages 65-74, and workers in other critical sectors, including grocery stores, public transit, agriculture production, and manufacturing. Phase 1C includes an estimated 772,000 Marylanders. Based on the current pace of allocation, the state expects to fully enter Phase 1C by early March. Phase 2. The updated Phase 2 includes Marylanders ages 16-64 who are at increased risk of COVID-19 illness due to comorbidities, as well as essential workers in critical utilities and other sectors. Overall, Phase 2 includes an estimated 1.1 million Marylanders.