We make every effort to answer calls as soon as possible but in order to minimize interruptions during office visits we may not be able to return your call until the end of the clinic day. If you have an emergency please call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department. You may also contact us by email but please remember this is not the most secure method and that your email may be read by family members or your employer. The Patient Portal service allows you to send notes or questions directly to your chart. Your response will come through a secure website, and you will receive notice by email when your Portal has been updated. These can also take a day to return. If you have an urgent medical need, it is still best to call early in the morning for a same day appointment. We keep several slots open daily for urgent needs.
Initial prescriptions and medication refills are designed to be completed during your scheduled appointments. We try to prescribe enough refills to last until your follow up appointment is due. The best time to schedule your next appointment is at your office visit or when you are out of additional refills. Some medications will have refills to last a year, but medications that require physical or laboratory monitoring may last only three to six months. Other prescriptions need additional time and administrative work to fill, and require an office visit. Some clinics charge additional fees to complete refills that are not associated with an office visit and we are working diligently to avoid this. Refill requests made outside of an appointment may take up to 3 days to process, so please plan accordingly. We are happy to assist patients with samples when available.
We do not refill prescriptions on nights or weekends as a general rule. Controlled medications cannot be called in to pharmacies and patients must be seen in person to refill.
Please be sure if you leave a message for refills to include your name, date of birth, preferred pharmacy, name of medication, dose and how often you take it.
Referral Requests and Pre-Authorization Forms
Some insurance companies have additional administrative processes that are required to see a specialist. It is the patient’s responsibility to obtain a referral before appointments with a specialist. These referral requests are to be completed during your scheduled appointments. We are responsible for sending you to the proper specialist for your specific problem. In appropriate cases we may be able to complete referral requests without an office visit. Some clinics are charging for this service because of the administrative costs involved. We are working diligently to avoid this. Our clinic appointments must take priority, so please be aware that it can take up to 3 days to process referral requests that are made without an office visit.
Laboratory services are available onsite for Urinalysis, Pregnancy, Strep, Influenza and Guaiac testing. Blood work is done in the clinic for your convenience. Our clinic does not bill for laboratory services other than those listed above. They will be billed separately from our laboratory of choice. If you feel you have received a bill incorrectly from the lab, we will assist you in any way possible, most questions about billing can be addressed with the lab. If your insurance requires your labs to be performed at a specific lab, we are happy to send an order to the hospital lab which will draw and process this for you.
Laboratory results are reviewed as quickly as possible and either called or mailed to you. The optimal time to make an appointment to review results with the doctor is when labs are drawn. You can also make an appointment to review lab results with the doctor when results are called or mailed to you. Results are also available on our Patient Portal service. If you have not heard about your results within a week, please call and let us know.
Payment of Fees
Payment of fees not covered by your insurance plan are due on the day of your scheduled appointment. These fees include copayment, deductibles and outstanding balances. You may pay by cash, check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. Checks that are returned will be charged a $30 returned check fee.
We will file your insurance claim as a service to you. We will do all that we can to process insurance claims, but please remember any balance that your insurance company does not pay or is considered a non-covered service is due from you or your responsible party.
Additional Services Not Covered by Insurance
The completion of forms (school physicals, work physicals, DOT exams, disability forms, FMLA forms, handicap placard forms) should be done at the time of your office visit. These physicals may not be a covered service by your insurance company.
Complete Physicals, Preventive Visits, and Problem Related Visits
Coverage of Physicals is different with each insurance carrier. Please check with your insurance company before scheduling an annual Complete Physical. There are many different insurance plans, and each plan may have different policies. Plus the policies regularly change. It is best for you to verify well visits and Complete Physicals with your specific insurance plan.
Complete Physicals are highly recommended. This is our only chance to cover preventive issues that are not part of routine problem generated visits. At your Physical we start with a review your medical history, family medical problems that place you at additional risks, social habits that may cause risk, and age associated risks. Then a thorough physical examination is performed to catch any such problem at an early stage before it becomes a greater concern. This is when you will have your breast exam, cervical exam and pap or for men a prostate exam, and screening for colon cancer, skin exam, etc. EKG and laboratory tests are performed to monitor for additional risks that can affect your health. Age or risk appropriate testing will be scheduled such as colonoscopy, mammogram, bone density or stress testing. Immunization discussion, and preventive counseling such as diet and exercise are also covered.
These visits are time consuming and are designed purely for preventive health issues, not problem focused. Most insurance companies will not pay for Complete Physical Examinations and problem specific complaints on the same day. It is a very frustrating part of dealing with insurance companies, and not necessarily our policy, but we have to abide by their rules.
We try to adhere to our appointment schedule as best as we can. Unfortunately, there are many times when this is impossible because people are very unpredictable as a rule. If you have a very tight schedule, we recommend making the first appointment of the morning at 8:00 a.m. or immediately after lunch at 1:30 p.m. All of the administrative tasks mentioned above are some of the reasons that we may run behind schedule and in fairness to all our patients we are instituting these policies.
There may be times when you could be asked to reschedule an appointment to discuss specific problems, especially if brought up during a physical or if you bring a list of complaints during a 15 minute appointment. Some problems take much longer to resolve properly and it would be inappropriate to rush through any issues you have, and unfair to those that are scheduled after you. Please let the scheduler know all your concerns when you make your appointment so that we can do our best to allow the appropriate time.
We do require 24 hours notice of cancellation for appointments. We offer reminders before upcoming appointments. If cancellation is less than 24 hours and we are unable to fill your appointment time you will be billed $25.00.
Statements and Collection Process
We send out statements and bills of outstanding balances on a regular basis. We are very careful to be sure we do not send out a bill if there is still an outstanding insurance collection issue. If you feel you have received a bill in error please let us know so that we may correct the situation or explain it more effectively. We all know this can be a confusing process.
Please do not ignore a bill, but we encourage you to be proactive with these. If you receive a final bill with collections notice please call the clinic to make appropriate arrangements. Only those overdue statements that are ignored or fail to make appropriate payments will be sent to collections. Once an account is sent to collections, there is a 43% charge added to the balance to cover administrative expenses and the cost of collections itself. Once in collections we will be unable to provide any more services to the patient on that account until the issues are resolved and full payment is collected.