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Below is a summary of how our office functions so we can work together most effectively to keep you healthy:
A same-day appointment can be given on most days for an urgent problem, though choice of times will be limited based on availability. Routine appointments and physicals are scheduled in advance. Walk in visits are usually not available.
Many health plans require a “referral” from our office before a specialist can be seen. A “referral” is a form, often completed by our office on-line, which includes the name and identification number of the specialist, the reason and diagnosis for the visit, and other demographic information.
We can usually complete this process within 5 to 7 days.
For a non-urgent problem it is our policy not to fax a referral to a specialist’s office.
Requests for referrals can be called in to the office, or through our secure web portal. It is likely that one of our doctors will need to see you to determine if a referral is needed, and which specialist would best meet your needs.
Please familiarize yourself with your health plan’s requirements and determine if a written referral from our office is needed before you can be seen by a specialist. Even if one of our doctors “recommends” that you see a specialist, many plans require the formal written “referral.” It is your responsibility to know if you need a referral and to request it far enough in advance so we can process it prior to your specialist appointment.
Copayments and deductibles
Your insurance company requires that you pay your co-payments at the time of each visit. We cannot see you for the visit if you do not pay your co-payment.
If your plan has a deductible (for example, Medicare), then we will bill you after we receive the explanation of benefits (EOB). We do expect that you will pay your deductible promptly. We accept MasterCard and Visa.
It is your responsibility to have the most up-to-date insurance card and present it to us at each visit. If you give us incorrect insurance information, then we are obligated to bill you for the full cost of the visit (and then you can collect from your insurance provider).
We try to coordinate prescription refills with routine visits.
If you are running low on a prescription medication, please contact us several days before your supply has run out.
A prescription requested and approved by our doctors will be called to your pharmacy within one full business day.
If a written prescription is needed (to send to a mail-away plan), we may need 2 days. Please keep track of medications that are obtained from mail away plans; you may need several weeks before you actually receive the prescription in the mail.
It is best not to stop any medication abruptly while waiting for it to arrive in the mail. It is likely that if you are about to run out of your medications, that we will need to see you for a follow up visit and/or laboratory testing.
A complete physical at our office typically consists of routine laboratory testing done a week before (blood chemistries, cholesterol, etc.) and completion of a detailed health questionnaire (also done before the visit). At the visit, we will review the health questionnaire, do a complete physical exam, and review lab and any other testing. We’ll also make sure that you are up–to-date on routine testing (based on age and gender), any immunizations, and review issues of “healthy lifestyles.”
Questions and Communications
We do our best to answer questions as soon as possible depending on the nature of the question. If leaving a message with a question, please leave enough detail so we can respond appropriately. Also, please leave contact information including home/work/cell phone numbers.
Lab and other testing results
We do our best to contact you with all test results promptly after reviewed and interpreted by our doctors. For routine labs done at our office, that is typically less than one week (though certain tests do take longer for the lab to process). If a study is done at an outside facility (e.g. x-ray), it will often take a week or more for the study to be processed, interpreted, and for the report to be faxed or mailed to us. We will contact you with all results (even if normal); so if you don’t hear from us after a reasonable amount of time, please do contact us to confirm we received the result.
There will be a fee of $30 for a returned check.
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