New patients

Welcome to Brandywine Family Medicine, the office of Dr. Valerie Elener. We are pleased you chose us to provide your primary care. You can print out the new patient paperwork and complete it at home then bring it with you, we can mail you a copy, or you can arrive a few minutes early to your appointment and complete it here. The paperwork usually takes 10 - 15 minutes to complete. 

Please bring your insurance card, photo ID, and copay to every visit.

The more information we have about your medical problems the better we are able to care for you. If you have any old records, please bring them with you. We will review them and then return them to you. Please bring in a list of medications you are taking, or pictures of the bottles, or the bottles themselves for us to see. This includes insulin and topical creams. Please bring in a list of medication allergies and reactions, as well. A family history of your parents, grandparents, siblings, and children also helps us take better care of you.

We will ask you who can have access to your health information; spouse, sibling, friend, child, or parent. Unless someone is listed as a contact for you, we can not discuss any aspect of your care with them, including scheduling appointments or taking refill requests. Please keep this information updated with us. We try to keep up on these requests but we err on the side of caution. This includes billing information as well.

Patient Portal

We use Athena for our electronic medical records and billing. Through a patient portal, you can directly message Dr. Elener, the staff, or Stacie the office manager about billing questions, medical questions, lab results or request an appointment. Just ask the next time you are in and we can set you up or you can give us a call to do this. Each patient needs their own patient portal for recording information.

Please don’t request refills for your spouse or child on your portal.

Medical Records

If you are seeing a specialist we will forward pertinent medical records to them at their request or your request and there is no charge. If you are transferring to another primary care provider in our area or another state, we need a written release from you to copy the records and send them out. There is a charge to copy records if you are transferring out, or for an insurance company or lawyer's office. We will send you a copy of your records on a disk for the cost of $25.

Ask us if you have any questions. It usually takes us a week or two to copy records depending on staffing.


We accept most commercial insurances and welcome both traditional medicare and most medicare managed care plans. We accept all Medicaid plans.

We ask that all copays, deductibles, and past due balances be paid at the time of visit. We do accept payment plans. 

We highly recommend that you know the details of your insurance before you use it. We have a worksheet you can use to review your policy so you know what is covered and where you can go for labs and imaging studies. We recommend you keep a copy of it on your phone for reference. Call your insurance company if you have questions. It is your responsibility to know your insurance. 

Our electronic medical records system tells us if you are eligible, meaning if your policy is active, on most major plans at the time of a visit. For smaller plans we must call and verify eligibility by phone. If you are not eligible you will be asked to pay at the time of the visit and then you submit a claim form to your insurance for reimbursement or you can reschedule your appointment. We also see patients with no insurance and you will be asked to pay at the time of the visit as well.

Dr. Elener tries to only order labs and studies that are necessary and will be covered by insurance but each insurance plan has its own rules and sometimes requested labs are not covered. If you want to be sure that lab work will be covered by your insurance and at what rate, you should call your insurance. If you get a bill from a lab for lab work we will try to do what we can to get it covered by updating diagnosis codes but make no guarantee that everything will be covered. Some labs, like vitamin D levels, are usually not covered and you will be responsible for paying for these if you want them done. The lab will usually warn you when a lab may not be covered on your plan, especially medicare, and will ask you to sign a waiver. 

Referrals are what we get from insurances for you to see other providers if you have a managed care plan. We need to know who you are seeing, their NPI number, the office address and phone and fax numbers, and the reason and diagnosis you are being seen for. These take 1-3 days for us to process and may take longer if the insurance company does not get back to us for a day or two. Often we need to fax them office notes or other test results as part of the process. We have no control over what your insurance company will approve. To get out-of-network approval for services it usually means that the service is not available in-network, not just that you prefer to see someone out of network. Be aware that you may have reduced coverage when out of network and have higher copays and deductibles. If you have any questions about this, you should contact your insurance. We often know the details of some of the major plans we work with on a regular basis, but with the smaller independent plans, we have no way of knowing this information. We only backdate referrals in an emergency, not because you forgot to get a referral. We can not do a referral while you are waiting in another office, we have to have 48-72 hour notice. 

Preauthorizations are what we acquire from insurance for certain tests and procedures and medications. Sometimes these need to be updated annually. Again these take 1-3 days to process and sometimes we need to send office notes and forms to them for review before we hear back

Formularies, or the list of what medications are covered under your health plan, are relatively set and we have to prescribe within their guidelines for the medications to be covered. Often generic drugs are at a lower tier, meaning they are cheaper for you than the branded counterpart. Again if you have any specific questions about what your insurance covers you should contact them. We have a worksheet that you can use to review your policy so you know what is covered ahead of time. Know your insurance.

Financial Policy

Payment is due at the time of service for co-pays and deductibles, or if you have no insurance and are paying cash. Past due balances, including collections, will be collected at the next time of service before further services are provided. Payment plans are accepted.

We do send people to collections after 90 days for unpaid balances if our attempts to contact you and receive payment or set up a payment plan have failed.

We reserve the right to hold non-urgent medical care until unpaid balances are taken care of. 

There is a $40 missed appointment fee if you cancel or no show without 24-hour notice.

Auto accidents

We will be happy to see you for auto accident-related care.

Though we do request that you pay at the time of service and then you can get reimbursed from your insurance company. We will provide you with a billing claim form at your request.

 You can also get care at the various urgent care centers or emergency rooms.

Worker's Compensation

We do not bill for worker’s compensation visits and recommend you go to one of the urgent care centers for care and follow-up. Often your employer has a particular provider they want you to see.

Prescription Refills

You can call the office and leave a message on the prescription refill line, extension 102, or use your patient portal to request prescription refills.

We do need the medication, strength, a number of doses per day, 30 or 90 day supply, local pharmacy address or phone number, or mail away pharmacy name.

We can not refill an ambiguous request such as “my white blood pressure pill to Walgreens”.

Physicals vs. Problem visit

A physical is a review of your past medical history, an evaluation of your preventive health status, and a physical examination.

During a physical, we can not discuss new problems such as abdominal pain, orthopedic problems like back pain, or discuss chronic issues like depression or hypertension. Insurance does not pay for a problem and well visit on the same day. Likewise, we can not do any procedures like skin lesion removals on the same day as a problem or well visit. It must be a separate office visit for it to be covered. 

Please keep an updated list of allergies, medications, problems, specialists with you at all times. We can give you a printout you can keep or take a picture of it with your phone. Other facilities like the emergency department or other offices can’t just pull this up off the computer.


Patient Responsibilities
Please keep us updated about changes to your insurance, address, phone, and email address. 

  • Please come to your appointments on time or give at least 24-hour notice.
  • Please bring your ID, insurance card, and copay to every visit. 
  • Please be courteous to staff. Please and thanks you go a long way.

Our Responsibilities

  • To give you good health care.
  • To respond to your questions and requests in a timely manner
  • To try and be patient with you when you are upset or not feeling well

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