Frequently Asked Questions
Why does it take so long for the doctor to see me?
Though our office is a Primary Care medical office, we do have emergencies of different nature. Apart from the usual emergencies like patient's condition in the hospital turning worse etc, we have emergencies like..a teenager having suicidal ideas, a mom loosing her kid, a person loosing his/her spouse due to death or divorce. Consequently our physicians may need to spend more time with the patients when needed. We also encounter patients making appointments for one problem and discuss multiple problems. Our physicians never turn down requests to discuss the unanticipated problems even though it delays others. In humanistic medicine it's simply not possible. We are requesting you to kindly limit your problems to one or two major ones. If you cannot wait, please let our receptionist know so we can reschedule you or call some medications in. We ultimately are not responsible for the delay in seeing you due to circumstances beyond our control. We assure you that all phone calls are answered in the same day. Leave a number where you can be reached at all times even after 5pm. Please do not call repeatedly. E.g. If you call in the morning requesting a refill, do not call back in the afternoon to find out if it is done. This will only delay the process because we are attending to your call twice when we should be calling the pharmacy to refill your medicine.
So often, you will hear our staff say, they will not give you info about your labs, xrays even though you are related to the patient. This is because, you probably did not sign (or your spouse did not sign) an authorization to release medical information to your spouse (or you). It is against HIPPA privacy law to release information to anyone that is not authorized by the parties involved. This is to prevent certain spouses or other family members to take advantage of people with bad medical conditions if they are not in good terms with them. Please do not get angry with us. We are just trying to be compliant with this law. If you are really concerned about this, please call your congressman, and ask him to work towards putting a rider in the law that says we can release medical information to family members when they call.
Please allow at least 72 hours for refills. We will attempt to refill the last minute requests, but cannot guarantee it. As usual, remember, narcotics, sedatives, tranquilizers, sleeping medicines and muscle relaxants will not be refilled after hours and on weekends. Under no circumstances will these classes of medication be refilled before the proper timeframe. Requests such as I lost my prescription, I need another will not be considered. Legal regulations and compliance with DEA rules prevent us from being able to fill these until the time has lapsed that the prescription would have run out according the directions given.
While every attempt is made to make same day referrals, we cannot guarantee it. Referrals are done on first come first served basis. We need at least 72 hours notice before we can initiate a referral. The only exception is the urgent nature of the disease or the need for urgent car. E.g. Cancer gets an immediate referral and fractures or chest pain will be worked prior to elective surgery or annual testing. It is simply impossible to get in touch with insurance companies and get an approval in a few minutes. If you do not have a referral in your hand before seeing a specialist, please do not go for the visit, or you will be denied by the insurance carrier and will have to pay for that visit out of pocket.
Copays and deductibles
Some type of payment is expected at the time of service. Co-pays will be collected WHEN YOU SIGN IN. For your convenience we accept most credit and debit cards. Please note this is the standard all the health insurance companies actually require us to follow. Collecting co-pays must be done according to the contracts we sign with insurance companies. Also, if your deductible is not met, please let us know in advance and pay the fee for the visit. We will continue to provide 15% discount for patients who do not have any type of insurance and pay in full for their visit on the day of their visit.
Filling disability forms, nursing home admission forms and other forms take a lot of time. The physician has to dig through the chart to gather the information necessary in filling out these forms. Starting April 1, 2003, we will be charging a $25.00 fee for any form that we fill out. We reserve a right to waive this fee where appropriate. This does not include the Home Health orders and orders from assisted living centers. Please remember that your insurance company does not reimburse us for paperwork.
Our staff is instructed to be very polite and Christian in their conversations and other dealings with you. Rudeness on their part will not be tolerated. On the same token we urge you to be polite to our staff who have to cope with the stress of daily business and the many changes that take place in the our line of work.