1. What kind of medicine do you practice at this office?
There are many different names for this type of medicine: holistic, integrative, natural, functional, alternative, or complementary medicine are probably the most popularly used. Essentially, we do a very thorough investigation of the body’s biochemistry, and put this together with a comprehensive history, medical as well as psychosocial where applicable, to come up with the least invasive, least toxic approach to correcting the patient’s stated problems. Beyond this, in restoring biochemical balance, we can help to prevent future problems from developing.
2. Is Dr. Leder a medical doctor?
Yes. She is a graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she studied a traditional course in medicine.
3. Is Dr. Leder associated with any particular hospital?
Because of the specialized nature of her work, very little if any she recommends can be followed in the hospital, so the affiliation would not be very meaningful. If a patient has a particular medical problem requiring hospitalization, they can be referred to someone in a group of traditional specialists in the appropriate field in the Hackensack area by Dr. Leder. The doctor will collaborate to assist the attending hospital physician in any way needed, and would like to be contacted by the hospitalized patient. directly by phone as well to discuss their progress.
4. Does the office take any insurances, insurance reimbursement as direct payment (i.e., do they accept “assignment”)? Will my visits be covered?
We do not accept any insurances; our office operates on a fee-for-service basis. All patient claims can be submitted to their insurance companies for processing. If a patient has out-of network (traditional) benefits, the visits should receive coverage according to the out-of-network fee schedule used by that insurance carrier.
One exception to the above is Medicare. Medicare patients pay us on the date of service as well, but, per Medicare regulations, the fee schedule is different than for non-Medicare, and Medicare bills are submitted to Medicare directly by our office.
5. Does the doctor participate in any HMOs or networks?
The networks direct the length of visits and the services permitted for a given patient. As this office does a very thorough workup, the constraints placed upon them would interfere heavily with the work we do. Networks are therefore not a viable option for us if we wish to continue to provide an exceptional level of medical care.
6. I believe in this kind of medicine, but I don’t know if I can afford to go “alternative.” What do I do?
If you have further questions about finances, don’t hesitate to call the office. Our options are not limitless, but perhaps we can give you some ideas about how to proceed. It is our goal to try to help anyone who wants to improve their health whenever possible.
7. What are your office hours?
We are available to see patients by appointment on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, except for holidays. Schedule an appointment when you need assistance. Without a scheduled appointment, we cannot guarantee that the doctor will be available for you.
8. What is your cancellation policy?
When you schedule an appointment, you may call to reschedule or cancel up to 24 hours prior to the appointment time. If you fail to cancel, you will be charged 50% of the expected fee for your visit. If you call on the same day and we are able to book you later on that day, the fee will be waived.
We do call to confirm scheduled appointments on the business day prior to your upcoming visit. If we do not reach you directly, we leave a message where possible as a reminder. Sometimes we cannot get through or you may be having trouble picking up your voicemail. Whether or not we are able to reach you, keeping the appointment is ultimately your responsibility.
9. What is the general format of the first few visits (the intake process)?
On the first visit, we schedule 50 minutes with the physician. You will answer many questions about your health and habits. Because many people have extensive histories and bring in many old records, etc, this process alone sometimes extends beyond the initial hour. The next phase would be to accomplish the physical examination (required), specimen ordering, gathering of additional old data, and specimen collection and mailing. The final phase in the intake process is the review of the data collected from labs and diagnostic testing, and setting up of a protocol (what to do). Occasionally, the first set of results shows the doctor something that needs to be followed up on, and a second or reflex test is ordered. So, the completed intake will take a minimum of two visits, and likely three or four.
10. Will I be given a protocol on the first day?
Often the doctor will make some preliminary suggestions about things that can be done while waiting for the results of test to come back, but, much as with any medical doctor, the test results are the guide to what must be done to treat each patient. Other types of alternative practitioners who are not medical doctors may well have a different approach, based solely on history. This is not the case in our office. In this sense, we follow the medical model of evidence-based therapy. Thorough testing is at the heart of our practice.
11. Do I need a primary care doctor, or can Dr. Leder be my primary care doctor?
This is a personal choice.
If you already have a primary care doctor, Dr. Leder will gladly work with them to optimize your healthcare. She is available in the office three days per week, and is not in any HMOs, so it might be to a patient’s advantage to have a relationship with a primary care doctor while they are seeing Dr. Leder. In some instances, people do use Dr. Leder as their primary care doctor. In these instances, they often use the local walk-in centers for quick emergency needs on the days or nights when the office is closed.
If someone has special problems, Dr. Leder will refer them to a specialist who will care for certain aspects of their case in conjunction with Dr. Leder.
12. Does Dr. Leder prescribe bioidentical hormones?
Dr. Leder has been working in the area of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for many years, both with men and women patients. She has her own approach to hormone therapy, but more importantly, she discusses the use of hormones, both pro and con, with each patient before she starts them on a treatment plan. Many elements are put into the plan to protect her patients from any potential negative or theoretical outcomes while still deriving the many benefits of using bioidentical hormone therapy.
13. Do you provide chelation therapy in your office?
Dr. Leder received her certification in chelation therapy over fifteen years ago. She provides safe and conservative chelation for cardiovascular indications (for both calcified plaque and soft plaque) and for heavy metal detoxification. Beyond these basic indications, medical conditions too numerous to list are often quite responsive to chelation therapy, amongst them hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, dementia and autism, to name just a few.
14. Does the doctor treat children on the spectrum in accordance using a biomedical approach?
Dr. Leder has attended a number of holistic Conferences on spectrum disorders, starting in 2002. and has taken two several extended Practitioner courses. She works with autistic children according to this protocol, and keeps abreast of the ever-evolving treatment regimens as the evolve.
15. Do you provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy in your office?
Dr. Leder does recommend the use of hyperbaric oxygen for her patients where indicated. If this treatment is advised, we will investigate the closest most cost effective facilities for our patients.. She may also recommend other specialized therapies that would need to be done at outside centers that provide additional services, offering to the most convenient local sites offering such services.
16. Do you offer treatment for Wilson’s thyroid syndrome?
Dr. Leder has been using Dr. Wilson’s protocol for the treatment of thyroid dysfunction since he first made the public aware of it nearly twenty years ago.
17. Does Dr. Leder work with iodine, as per the Abrams/Flechas/Brownstein model?
Dr. Leder was at one of the earliest conferences given by this group, and has been utilizing oral iodine as a therapeutic tool for a number of years in her practice.
18. How do I know if the doctor treats my particular condition?
We have included a section called “Special Areas of Attention” and you may look at that section to see if your particular condition is mentioned. However, as stated in that section, the specific diagnosis is not always necessary in creating a biomedical treatment protocol, though it may offer some guidance in determining which tests would best be done initially. Since the approach is to balance the body’s chemistry, the test results, history and symptoms may well be the key to designing a treatment program. Because of this, relatively rare syndromes may be approached with some success even though no specific protocol for the condition may exist. In designing programs, the emphasis is on a detailed understanding of the individual situation more so than on a specific medical diagnosis, although this is a piece of the puzzle.
19. Does Dr. Leder practice orthomolecular psychiatry?
This area of holistic treatment was Dr. Leder’s initial area of interest, and remains an ongoing specialized focus of her practice.
20. Do you provide a consultation prior to the visit?
The front desk staff is usually able to answer most patient questions. If you feel that it wold be helpful, a free 10 minute phone consultation with Dr. Leder is available to help you to understand how our medical approach would be helpful to you. You may request a consult via phone, email, or directly by submitting your request on our contact page.
Until the doctor has taken a comprehensive history from you on your first full in-office visit, she will not be able to give you a fair and adequate idea of what her testing and possible treatment strategies might be. At the end of this initial process, you should be able to get a better idea of what the doctor’s plans for testing and treatment might be, and decide on this informed basis if you would like to pursue a biomedical approach further.
21. Does the doctor prescribe and supervise weight loss protocols incorporating the use of HCG?
She uses the original protocol described by Dr. Simeon, and works with local compounding pharmacies to provide pharmaceutical grade product to her patients.