Important Policies

To ensure that you have a pleasant experience with Dr. Toni Varela, NMD, please familiarize yourself with our policies.

Appointment Policy

Initial appointments customarily last from 60-75 minutes. Follow-up appointments traditionally last from 30-40 minutes. We generally recommed that all new patients schedule a follow-up appointment every 2-3 weeks in the beginning, and subsequent appointments at least once every 3 months. This is especially important if you are being treated for thyroid dysfunction or hormone balancing so that we may properly manage your care and symptoms, and help you to feel your best!

Once an appointment is scheduled and secured by a valid credit card on file, you will be expected to pay for services at the time services are rendered unless you provide 24 hours advance notice of cancellation or other arrangements have been previously arranged in writing.

Please refrain from wearing any scented products to our office; many of our patients are chemically sensitive. This includes scented lotions, oils, salves, balms, cologne, perfume, aftershave, hairspray, etc.

All consultations are charged for the time used, not the time booked. Please avoid discussing other people’s health concerns during your visit. We have limited time together and we want to ensure we give you the attention and time needed to best assist you. Health advice, supplement recommendations, and prescriptions cannot be given for non-patients or to third parties, including parents and legal guardians, outside formal consultations for the individual of concern.

Patients who are 16 years of age or younger must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian during consultations. Family members who are not legal guardians must have written parental permission to accompany minors. Patient consent must be given to allow third parties to sit in on consultations, including, but not limited to, friends and family members.

There are fees associated with all consultations including , but not limited to, follow-up appointments, lab reviews, phone consults, and online medical advice. Fees for follow-up appointments, lab reviews, and other services are not included in the initial consultation fee. Unscheduled calls or visits to the office, e-mail, messaging through, and injection visits are not to be used in place of an appointment.

Research requested by the patient is a billable service and will be charged at the doctor’s hourly rate. This includes but is not limited to requests to look at unaffiliated web sites for opinions and feedback based on the information on such sites.

Cancellation and Late Arrival Policy

A 24-hour notice is required to avoid a cancellation charge. If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, please give Dr. Varela no less than a 24-hour notice to avoid cancellation or applicable fees. Please cancel your appointment by TELEPHONE ONLY, as it is not guaranteed that your e-mail or online-message will reach us in a timely manner. If you late-cancel, which may include cancellations made via e-mail or messaging, or fail to show up for your appointment, your credit card of file will be charged $100 for a missed initial consult and $55 for a missed follow-up appointment. Higher cancellation fees are associated with appointments scheduled for IV therapy and medical aesthetics including , but not limited to, mesotherapy and CIT procedures.

Late arrivals will result in a shortened consultation/service. Please plan for traffic and parking. Please be sure to complete the new patient medical intake form prior to your appointment day. In order to accommodate all clients, late arrivals will result in a shortened service/consultation and last minute cancellations (within 24 hours of your appointment) will result in a cancellation charge.

If you are more than 15 minutes late to your appointment, your appointment time may be forfeited. In such an event, you will need to reschedule your appointment and you will be charged a missed appointment fee. If you fail to show up or late-cancel for an IV appointment, you may be charged for the supplies, materials, and injectable solutions that you were scheduled to receive.

Telephone Consultation Policy

We are happy to answer short questions and clarify instructions on the phone or via e-mail without charge. If a call or messaging is used as a substitute for an in-person appointment or results in professional/medical advice, a new prescription, change in prescription, or changed dose you will be charged the same rate as an appointment.

Phone consultations are scheduled for the Pacific Time zone. We will call you for your scheduled phone appointment. Please be sure we have your correct phone number to conduct the consultation prior to your appointment time. Please allow a 15-minute window of buffered time, as we may be running ahead or behind schedule.

Professional Fees

An initial consultation is customarily billed at $250, unless more than 1 hour is needed to conclude the appointment. A regular follow up appointment (up to 45 minutes) is billed at $150. Aesthetic treatments, injection and IV therapies, weight loss programs, laboratory testing, imaging, and other professional services are billed separately. Extended consultations, or more than 60 minutes for an initial appointment or more than 45 minutes for a follow up appointment, are billed at higher rates determined by the length of the appointment.

When paying cash to the office for laboratory testing or utilizing non-traditional tests or home-use tests, there may be additional fees incurred for lab analysis, processing, venipuncture, specimen collection and/or handling, transport and/or shipping of specimen, and laboratory test kit(s).

Prices subject to change without prior notice.

Payment Policy

Payment is due in full at the time services are rendered unless other arrangements have previously been made in writing. Check, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, debit cards, Health Savings Account (HSA) cards and Flex Savings Account (FSA) cards are accepted. All clients are required to provide and maintain a valid credit card number on file to schedule and confirm appointments. This card will be securely held in your electronic file, revealing only the last 4-digits, and may be used for future appointments, supplements, shipping, cancellation fees, etc. There are no refunds for services, treatments, procedures, consultations, packages, or gift cards. Merchandise may be returned for office credit only within 14 days of original purchase if items are unopened, unused and not damaged. We are unable to offer refunds for prescriptions medications including, but not limited to, compounded injectables and tinctures, thyroid medication, and hCG.

Insurance Policy

Dr. Toni Varela is not an in-network provider and does not bill insurance. Insurance in the state of California does not directly cover licensed doctors of naturopathic medicine. It is the sole responsibility of the patient to contact their insurance provider to determine whether services provided by Dr. Varela will be considered for out-of-network reimbursement. Some services may not be covered by certain health insurance plans. All paperwork and forms requested by the insurance company are to be completed and submitted by the patient. Dr. Varela does not submit paperwork directly to insurance companies or have direct contact with them for monetary reimbursement or claims. We are not responsible for unpaid claims by your insurance company for services we provide. Reimbursement cannot be guaranteed.

Most PPO plans will cover traditional labs and imaging costs. Lab testing and imaging is not included in your consultation fee. If you have a PPO, we will use labs that your insurance will most likely cover. You may want to call your insurance provider prior to your appointment to inquire if they prefer LabCorp for blood work. We also have other options available to you.

Services, labs, and imaging costs ordered through our office are not covered or reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid, Med-Cal, or any HMO insurance plan.

You may use your Flex Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for medical services provided by Dr. Varela. Please contact your insurance provider for more details on your personal coverage. You are ultimately responsible for the cost of your medical care and treatments at the time services are rendered. If you desire to seek reimbursement from your health insurance company for medical consultations provided by Dr. Varela, we are happy to provide a coded bill for your self-submit upon request.

Please understand that you may not seek insurance reimbursement for supplements, nutrient IVs, injections (shots), or aesthetic treatments unless your insurance provider tells you otherwise.

Medical letters can be provided upon request within a 48-hour advance notice. The charge for generating these letters will be billed at the doctor’s hourly rate.

The following services performed with Dr. Varela are not generally considered and accepted with respect to insurance coverage:

  1. Shots and IV drips
  2. Cosmetic procedures (including hCG weight loss programs and mesotherapy)
  3. Supplements such as botanicals, homeopathics, nutraceuticals, etc.
  4. Supplies such as Kinesio Tape, injection supplies, etc.

Prescription Policy

Prescriptions need to be obtained during your appointment. Patients are required to book an appointment at least two weeks before needing a prescription refill.

Follow-up appointments are recommended every two to three months to appropriately manage your care and prescriptions. Hormone prescriptions are customarily done on a 3-month basis and require a phone consult or office visit, as we as appropriate labs, in order to renew them.

No prescription dose changes will be made without an appointment.

Appointments are needed to review and properly document how well you are doing with your prescriptions and lifestyle changes. During your appointment, we will have the opportunity to review your blood work, symptoms, questions, and general progress. If you are unable to come into the office for an appointment and your prescription is going to run out, please call the office to schedule a phone consultation.

If you are sick or have side effects, please call the office immediately.

In the event you simply need a refill called in for a pharmaceutical you have been on for years, and we have deemed you stable and your symptoms are well managed, we will happily call in a refill for a $10 administration fee.

Should you need a refill of a prescription that was dispensed at your local pharmacy, please call the pharmacy with your refill number. The number of refills you have remaining should be clearly marked on your medication label. If not, please call the pharmacy that filled the prescription to inquire about remaining refills, not Dr. Varela. When your prescription has no remaining refills, you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment in order to obtain a new prescription. It is necessary to review symptoms and progress in order for the doctor to determine whether you need a change in medication or dosage.

Should you need a refill of any supplement or prescription dispensed by Dr. Varela, please inform the office at least one week prior to needing your refill. It may be an item that is out-of-stock, back ordered, on order, or we may have low inventory on the products you need. If you need to “stock up” due to leaving to go out of town, for instance, please let us know well in advance so we are able to fulfill your request in a timely manner.

If you feel that a medication is not working well for you, you have an adverse reaction, or your symptoms either do not get better or worsen, it is your responsibility to schedule a follow-up appointment as soon as possible in order for the doctor to review your symptoms and concerns and make any necessary changes to your treatment plan.

Lab Test Policy

Lab tests are ordered for established patients only when there is a medical necessity to determine current health status, confirm a diagnosis, or monitor progress. Lab requisitions and imaging referrals are completed during appointments only in order for the doctor to determine the appropriate tests and/or imaging that may be indicated. Reviewing and discussing the results necessitates a follow-up appointment.

Many of the laboratory tests we order are complex and are integral to diagnosing and treating multi-factoral or complex conditions. For this reason, lab results will only be discussed with your doctor during scheduled appointments. Results will not be available to you until you have the opportunity to discuss the findings with your doctor during an appointment.

All lab results will be reviewed and discussed during a scheduled follow-up appointment without exceptions.

Copies of your labs will not be mailed, faxed, or e-mailed prior to reviewing them with the doctor during a scheduled follow-up appointment. It is highly recommended to schedule a follow-up appointment to review labs at the time you receive your lab requisition. If you forget, please call the office as soon as possible to schedule your follow-up appointment to review labs. Please allow up to 10 business days for our office to receive and process your lab results.

If you misplace an order for testing, we require a 24-hour notice to rewrite the order. You may pick it up at the office or we can e-mail it.

Refund Policy

There are no refunds for services, treatments, procedures, shots, packages, gift cards, or consultations. Products and merchandise may be returned for office credit only within 14 days of original purchase if items are unopened, unused, undamaged, and not worn. We are unable to accept prescription medications, including thyroid medications, for returns. If you fail to show up for an appointment, show up late whereby you must reschedule, or late-cancel for an IV appointment or aesthetic procedure, you may be charged for the supplies, materials, and injectable solutions that you were scheduled to receive during your (missed) appointment.

E-mail Policy

As a courtesy, Dr. Varela allows patients to send short e-mails a limited number of times between visits. For non-urgent medically related questions, please limit e-mail communication to clarifications of previously discussed issues. These should require a simple answer, such as “yes” or “no.” Please allow up to 3 business days for a response (remember, the office is closed Saturday  and Sunday). For more complex and/or urgent questions or requests, please call. We will determine if your communication requires scheduling an appointment or other action.

In-Office Blood Draws for Labs

In-office blood draws ( ie. Allergy panels) cannot be performed on Fridays with Dr. Varela. Blood samples need to be shipped overnight to the lab to arrive on a business day and, therefore, cannot be shipped out on Fridays.

Privacy Policy

We maintain the privacy of medical and health information of any individual for whom we provide services (“Protected Health Information” or PHI”) and endeavor to comply with all relevant state, national, and international laws and regulations including the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In additional, all personal information is confidential and not disclosed to third parties unless under a court order or we have received signed documentation from the patient to release information being requested. This includes but is not limited to name address, phone number, social security number, and e-mail address. Information regarding a minor’s PHI may be disclosed to the legal guardian as required by law. It is important that you understand that your information can be used and shared in the following ways:

  1. For your treatment and care coordination. Multiple health care providers may be involved in your treatment directly and indirectly.

  2. With your family, friends, relatives, or others that you identify who are involved in your health care or health care bills.

  3. To protect the public’s health, such as reporting when the flu is in your area or if you are a physical threat to yourself, your doctor, the community, or your family.

  4. To make required reports to the police, such as gunshot wounds.

  5. Obtain payment from third party payers.

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