We strive to make your visit as smooth and comfortable as possible. Below you will find helpful information to get you prepared for your upcoming appointment and ongoing care.
Frequently Asked Questions
Medical Specialty and Diagnosis
What is a Nephrologist?
A Nephrologist is a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the Kidney such as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), electrolyte disorders, Glomerulonephritis (presence of blood and/or protein in the urine), and Hypertension. All Nephrologists complete a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Nephrology.
I was told that I have kidney disease. Does this mean I need dialysis?
Not all patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) require dialysis. Being told that you have CKD can be frightening. Seeking consultation with a Nephrologist is the first step in understanding your situation. Our physicians will review your records, explain the situation, and create a customized treatment plan for you.
I have a Kidney Stone. Do I need to see a Nephrologist or a Urologist?
This depends. If surgical intervention is required, then a Urologist is needed. A Nephrologist can help you with medical interventions to help prevent future stones.
How do I make an appointment?
Clinic hours are 9:00 AM to 11:15 AM and 2:00 PM to 4:15 PM Monday through Friday. Please call our main office number (703-961-0488) between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday to schedule an appointment.
Please have the following information on hand:
- Referring physician’s or practice name
- Reason for referral
- Demographic information (date of birth, home address, best contact number, Social Security number)
- Insurance information. New patients will be mailed a packet to be completed prior to the visit. The forms are also available for download.
How long will my appointment be?
Initial consultations may last approximately 30 minutes. Follow-up visits typically last 15 minutes. The length of time may vary depending on your needs.
How soon will I be seen?
We make every effort to schedule your appointment as soon as possible. If you prefer to see a particular Nephrologist, this may increase your wait time. If the matter is truly urgent please have your referring physician contact us to discuss your case.In the event of a medical emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.
Do I need a referral?
This depends on your insurance plan. Please contact your insurance provider to determine if a referral from your primary care physician is required. If a referral is required and not provided, your insurance may bill you the full amount of the visit.We always welcome new patients, however, we will not negotiate with your insurance provider on your behalf.
I have been referred to a particular Nephrologist. Do I have to see him/her?
While you may have been referred to a particular Nephrologist in our group, you are welcome to see any of our Nephrologists. All of our Nephrologists are board certified and are accepting new patients.
How do you communicate with my referring physician?
After each office visit, we fax a copy of our office note to your referring physician, usually within 24-48 hours.
Which hospitals in the area do you service?
Our group has privileges at the following hospitals:
- INOVA Fairfax Hospital
- INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital
- INOVA Alexandria Hospital
- INOVA Mount Vernon Hospital
- INOVA Loudoun Hospital
- Reston Hospital Center
- Stone Springs Hospital Center
- Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center
- Novant Prince William Medical Center
What happens if I am admitted to the hospital and I would like you to follow along?
We are more than happy to see you if our services are needed. We ask that your Hospitalist physician contacts our office to request a hospital consultation.
How do I obtain a copy of my medical records?
If you need a copy of your medical records, please call our main office at 703-961-0488.
- Please sign the release of records statement (available for download here)
- Please fax or email the signed release of records statement to our main office at 703-961-0480
- When our office receives the signed release of records statement, we will send your medical records to you or to your physician as requested.
Is there a fee for obtaining a copy of my medical records?
• There is no fee for sending records to your physician
• There is a small fee for making a personal copy. (Statement about forms of accepted payment). Once payment has been received, we will send your copy via the US Postal Service.
Procedure and Labs
How do you monitor how well my kidneys are working?
We look at the results of blood and urine tests as well as imaging, such as ultrasound.
Where do I have my labs done?
We do not perform lab testing in our offices. You may have your blood work done at any lab that participates with your insurance provider. Please contact your insurance provider for a list of local labs.
Do I need to fast before my blood work?
Not necessarily. It depends on the tests being ordered. Please review the lab order with your Nephrologist during your visit to ensure that you understand if fasting is required.
I am supposed to have kidney biopsy. What should I do to prepare?
Please call our main office at 703-961-0488 to discuss any questions you may have prior to your biopsy.
Insurance and Fees
Which insurance plans do you accept?
We work with most commercial insurance carriers as well as Medicare and Medicaid. Please call our main office at 703-961-0488 with questions.
Why do I have co-pay?
Many insurance plans require copay by the patient. Please contact your insurance provider to determine if co-pay is required to see a specialist.
When do I have to pay my copay?
Your copay is due at the time of your visit.
Who do I contact with questions about my bill?
For any inquiries, please call 703-961-0488 and ask to be connected to one of our billing specialists.
Why am I receiving a bill?
Your insurance plan may not cover the entire cost of the visit. The balance is the responsibility of the patient. For any inquiries, please call 703-961-0488 and ask to be connected to one of our billing specialists.
I am having financial difficulty paying my bill. What do I do?
We are more than happy to work with you to develop a payment plan. Please call 703-961-0488 and ask to be connected to one of our billing specialists.
Do you have a Patient Portal?
Yes. Log on to FollowMyHealth (you will need to register if this is your first time)
Through the patient portal you can:
- Update your demographic information
- Check your appointment date and time
- Review your medications and diagnosis
- Review your office vital signs
- Review your lab results, which will be available to you after your Nephrologist has reviewed them with you
I was told that I need to follow a kidney/renal diet?
Where do I find additional information?
The National Kidney Foundation provides an excellent information including example recipes. In addition seeking consultation with a certified dietitian is often recommended.
I was instructed to reduce my dietary intake of potassium.
What are some potassium rich foods?
Here is a list of the most common potassium rich foods.