Frequently Asked Questions

Do you take insurance?


We are unable to accept insurance. The amount of time needed to provide state-of-the-art care for the complexity of chronic multisystem disorders such as mast cell disease is not sufficiently reimbursed by any insurer. We are not able to bill insurance, but some patients may be able to gain partial reimbursement by submitting their claims to their insurance companies if they have out of network benefits and have met their deductible. We do not accept Medicaid or Medicare or any type of insurance.




What is the cost to see Dr. Dempsey? What is included?


The fee is $2000 for the Initial Consultation which includes the review of medical records, a full history and physical exam and a determination for what testing should performed. The second visit called an Initial Follow-up occurs about 4-6 weeks later, and the fee is $2000. This includes a complete analysis of all the testing and the presentation of the diagnoses based on these results. A personalized treatment protocol is constructed, and the plan is reviewed with the patient. Additional follow-ups are scheduled as needed to monitor progress and to adjust the treatment protocol. The fee for regular follow-ups is $650.




What is the cost to see Dr. Afrin? What is included?


The fee for the initial visit is $2,000. This includes the review of prior records, the visit itself, ordering of any necessary diagnostic testing, and composition after the visit of a comprehensive report. The visit typically lasts two hours so that a complete history can be taken, a complete physical exam can be performed, and a comprehensive assessment can be provided. The report is given to the patient and any of the patient's other healthcare providers. An initial follow-up visit is scheduled approximately 4-6 weeks later. The fee for this visit is $2000 and can be done in person or on the phone. During that visit, Dr. Afrin will review all of the test results and determine the diagnosis and possible treatment options. A follow-up report that thoroughly discusses the findings and recommendations is provided to the patient and any of the patient's other healthcare providers.




Is the cost of labs included?


Laboratory testing is a separate expense. Typically, many of the tests ordered are covered by insurance and are billed to the patient's insurer by the laboratory to which the specimens are submitted. Testing for mast cell disease is challenging for a number of reasons. Therefore, it is possible that an initial round of testing may yield negative results, in which case we usually recommend an additional 1-2 rounds of testing. Most patients who truly have mast cell disease obtain diagnostic laboratory test results within 1-3 rounds of testing. An occasional patient may require additional testing (typically, endoscopic biopsies of the gastrointestinal tract) to clinch a diagnosis of mast cell disease. Some insurers may not cover all of the tests we recommend, and some insurers may require co-payments from the patient.

Some of the multisystem diseases that Dr. Dempsey diagnoses and treats, requires additional testing through outside labs that do not participate with insurance. If these tests are recommended, the cost will be reviewed with you by the staff and the payment will be due at the time of the testing. It is sometimes possible to submit the invoices from these labs to your insurance company for reimbursement, but there is no guarantee.




Are you currently accepting new patients?


Yes




How far in advance are available appointments?


Please contact the office directly by calling 914-730-7390.




I am visiting from out of town. Where should I stay if I make an appointment with you? Do you have a center I can stay at?


We are located at 3010 Westchester Ave. Purchase, NY 10577. There are an ample number of places to stay in the area with many different prices. We do not recommend specific hotels due to the unknown requirements of individual patients who come to see us. Please Google hotels near our address and you will find various types of accommodations.




If I am visiting from out of town for a diagnosis but want you to work with my primary doctor when I return home, how will that work? Will you Skype teleconference with her doctor? What fee should I expect for this?


I will provide your doctor with a comprehensive report of my findings and recommendations. They are free to reach out to me directly with any questions or requests for guidance. There is no fee for working with your doctor(s).




Do you have an information sheet on costs & duration of stay for out of towners?


We do not yet have an information sheet on costs. If diagnostic laboratory testing for mast cell activation disease is needed and the patient chooses to pursue that testing while here, three days are needed. The patient comes for the visit and submits specimens for some of the tests on the first day. On the morning of the second day, the patient begins a 24-hour urine collection. On the morning of the third day, the patient completes the 24-hour urine collection and submits it to the lab, after which he/she is free to return home. It typically takes about a month to receive the results from all of the tests.




Do you work with patients overseas?


Absolutely. Dr. Dempsey and Dr. Afrin have been seeing patients from other countries for many years.




What should I expect as far as costs for the first 3 appointments so I can properly budget?


For the typical patient (in whom a diagnosis of mast cell activation syndrome is suspected but not yet proven), the fee for the first visit is $2,000, which includes review of prior records, the visit itself (typically extending two hours so that a complete history can be taken, a complete physical exam can be performed, and a comprehensive assessment can be provided), ordering of any necessary diagnostic testing, and composition after the visit of a comprehensive report to be provided to the patient and any of the patient's other healthcare providers. Once diagnostic test results have been received, the fee for the second visit is again $2,000 (whether the patient returns in person or a discussion is held over the phone), as this is again a long interaction (typically about 1.5-2 hours) which includes a discussion of the test results and the prognostic and therapeutic implications of the diagnosis. Each additional follow-up visit (typically lasting 1 hour) is $650.




What is the approximate wait time for an appointment?


Please contact the office directly by calling 914-730-7390.




Do you accept pediatric patients?


Dr. Afrin only sees patients age 16 years and older. Dr. Dempsey is currently accepting patients age 12 and older.




Do you specialize in the diagnosis, ongoing treatment or both?


Both -- with the caveat that Dr. Afrin personally treats only those patients who live in proximity to our facility (within a 2-3 hour drive). The doctor who prescribes a treatment is the doctor who is responsible for attending promptly to any adverse outcome from the treatment, and a doctor cannot promptly attend to a distantly located patient, nor can a patient quickly come for a visit with a distantly located doctor.




I am not able to fly due to my illness. Do you work remotely and offer Skype consultations?


We hope to provide telemedicine services in the future for patients who cannot travel at all. For patients who can make it to the office for their initial consultation, the follow-up visits can be done via Skype or phone.




Do you and Dr. Afrin have a separate waiting list of patients? Or, will you both be working to see patients on the same list?


We currently have separate lists, but we will offer a patient seeking an appointment with one of us the opportunity to see the other if applicable.




How long is the wait for a new patient to see Dr. Dempsey?


While it is difficult to predict how long it will take to get to see each patient on her waiting list, we are estimating it to be about 1-2 years.




How long is the wait to see Dr. Afrin?


Please contact the office directly by calling 914-730-7390.




Do you have a list of other MCAS specialists around the country you recommend?


As MCAS is a relatively newly recognized disease state, there is still much that needs to be done as far as reaching a consensus on its diagnosis and treatment. There are other doctors in this country who are interested in mast cell disease but they might approach it in a manner different than our own. With that in mind, we do not feel comfortable at this time providing a complete list of doctors who are treating MCAS.




What type of lab tests have to be completed while I am waiting to see Dr. Afrin before a first visit?


Diagnostic testing for mast cell disease is a complex affair. The testing plan often is adjusted based on factors unique to the patient which we learn during the initial visit. If any of the patient's local physicians would like to pursue testing for mast cell disease while the patient is waiting to initially see us but are unsure how to proceed and desires guidance, it would be best for them to contact us with their specific questions and we'll be happy to engage in those conversations.




How long should a new patient plan to remain in the vicinity of the office for the initial visit?


If the patient comes to the initial visit already having a definitively established diagnosis and only seeking management recommendations, then the patient needs to come for only the visit (i.e., travel in the prior evening or that morning and then travel home immediately following the visit). However, if the new patient is only suspected of having mast cell disease but has not yet had the diagnosis proven, and if the patient would like to pursue an initial round of diagnostic testing while visiting, then 2-1/2 to 3 days are typically needed. Typically, the patient will arrive the prior evening or the morning of the visit, with blood and a small urine sample obtained immediately following the visit, followed the next morning by initiation of a 24-hour urine collection. When the collection is completed the following morning, the patient submits it to the lab and then is free to return home.




I would like to schedule an appointment. What is the best way to do that?


To schedule an appointment, please contact our staff at 914-730-7390 or e-mail info@armonkmed.com.




I want to interivew Dr. Dempsey for a media request. How do I reach her?


For media requests and interviews, please email kruby@rubymediagroup.com