Practice closure notice
January 2014 Update
We truly regret the fact that some our patients did not receive notification of our practice closure during 2013. Please be assured that we tried to do our best to inform as many patients as possible.
More than 3 months ago, on October 1, we sent the letter below to all of our patients with an email address in our system. Unfortunately, some patients had changed their email addresses or there were typos in the address or the email was caught in a Spam filter, so we understand that some emails were not received. We sent paper letters to all patients who didn't have an email address, but we received many returns due to address changes. We posted this letter on our website, but some patients haven't been on the website. We also posted the letter on our Facebook page, but, again, many patients haven't been on the page. We also used our text message reminder system to send texts to patients who have had appointments since the system was started requesting that they check the website.
We extend our sincere apologies to our patients who missed all these notifications and were surprised to be learning of our closing after the fact.
You can use the link to the left to obtain record request forms if you need a copy of your records.
If you have billing questions, you can mail your inquiry to the current office address until April 30, 2014. Any unresolved billing issues will be sent to a Collections company after that date.
will begin working for a new practice called Fauquier Health ObGyn in late February 2014.The office is in a building right next to Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton VA. This is about 32 miles (about a 45 minute drive) west of the office on Rt 66 and 29 just past Centreville and Gainesville. While this location might not be reasonable for some patients, you are VERY welcome to continue to see her there if you choose. However, this is a different practice with a different electronic record, so patients coming to Fauquier will be NEW patients in that practice. Dr Garreau will NOT have access to your WHA chart, so you will still need to bring a copy of your medical record with you to your first visit. Please understand that she will NOT be able to provide any medical services for you (such as prescription renewal, phone advice, mammogram orders) until after you have become a Fauquier patient. She hopes to see some of you there!
Fauquier Health ObGyn 253 Veterans Drive, Suite 210 Warrenton, VA 20186 (540) 316 5930
will be opening a new office on Eldon Street in Herndon VA for Center for Vein Restoration. While the office will open on January 13, 2014, Dr Soto will not be providing care at this site until the late summer 2014 when she completes her training in this subspecialty. If you find yourself with symptomatic varicose veins (leg heaviness, fatigue, cramping, poor exercise tolerance in your legs), please call (855) 824 8346 to schedule a consultation (bring a pair of comfortable shorts with you!). If Herndon is not a convenient location for you, there are actually 21 other sites to choose from. Not everyone requires a procedure to treat their symptoms, but, for those who do, the procedures are minimally invasive and involve very limited discomfort with no lost time from work. For a quick overview, please visit www.centerforvein.com
Dear WHA Patient,
Years ago, we could never have imagined writing this letter. But now the time has come, and we are just so sad to say "good bye" to you. We will be closing our practice of Women's Health Associates PC at the end of this year.
Many people are aware that medicine in general, and small private practices in particular have changed a great deal in the past 10-20 years. Insurance reimbursements are decreasing, so we are paid less for the same services. Insurance companies will not negotiate with small practices, so larger groups are forming. Expenses such as rent, medical supplies and malpractice insurance are climbing. We have enormous computer and IT support expenses, and these are only increasing with the additional future requirements for meaningful use. It is easy to see that earning less and spending more is not a recipe for economic success.
Outside of our economic struggles, we have simply not been able to achieve a work/life balance that is sustainable or acceptable. With work days lasting from 12 to 24 hours, and on-call duties every other night, every other weekend, and every other holiday, we are not able to give our families or ourselves the energy and attention that they deserve. We have tried to find other arrangements for call, but this has not been successful.
This has still been a very difficult and emotional decision to make. While the practice has been exhausting, it has also been intensely personal and rewarding. There are some of you who have been patients for 10 or even 20 years. There are dozens of baby girls delivered here who have now grown to be our patients. We have entire families who have delivered all their children with us. We have treated three generations of the same family, and we have seen entire groups of sisters or coworkers. We have removed your fibroids or stopped your bleeding or helped you through infertility or treated your pain or enabled you to not get pregnant. We have heard your personal and medical stories, and we know your families. There is no specialty that is more intimate and connected with its patients.
You have rewarded us with your loyalty, your referrals, and your commuting back to see us after moving far away (even some patients who have moved to other states or even other countries have come back to see us!). We have treasured your thank you notes, baby photos, flowers and candies, but, even more, your kind words and personal connection.
Medical Records: While the practice will not provide any medical care after December 31, 2013, we will keep one staff member for four months; until the end of April 2014. She will close out all billing and insurance issues, and she will have access to our EMR database and a copier until the end of April 2014. It is in your best interest to request your records now, as all records will be sent to a medical record retention center on May 1, 2014. Starting on May 1 the processing time and cost of your records will be out of our control; an increase in both should be anticipated. Due to HIPAA regulations, we are required to receive this record request in writing. We have included a Record Request form with this letter. We have also included a list of ObGyn practitioners in this area.
Please know that we do not take this decision lightly. Our lease will be expiring and we both will be moving on to situations where we can spend more of our time actually practicing medicine instead of working on administration, finance and IT. We will also have more family friendly schedules.
We sincerely apologize to those of you who might be upset by this change. We appreciate your being a part of our practice. If you have any overdue appointments or tests, we encourage you to complete them with us prior to December 31st.
Our best wishes for you and your health,
Elizabeth Garreau MD
Theresa M.Soto, MD