Appointments


ARRIVAL TIME

Please arrive promptly for scheduled visits. Arriving late can make all following appointments late and slow down the rest of the day. We will try to work late-arriving patients into the schedule if possible, since we realize that traffic and unforeseen delays can occur. However, patients arriving 10 minutes past a scheduled appointment will have to reschedule another appointment, unless there has been an open slot created by a cancellation, or we are running significantly behind in our schedule. We are trying to leave open appointments for urgent and emergency call-in appointments, so you can be seen when you are sick. Sometimes, however, the schedule is already quite full from previously scheduled appointments, and we have to add sick patients into the schedule. When this happens, we run behind. Those patients who are being added are grateful, but those whose appointments were made months ago are unhappy due to the wait. It is a delicate balance.

 If this is a problem for you, scheduling one of the earlier appointments in the morning or afternoon will help if you have other commitments or must be at work. We will try to inform you when we are running behind. If you are not under a time constraint, please relax, bring a book or a magazine, strike up a conversation with another in the waiting room, or ask the secretary to estimate your wait and go for a walk. We realize your time is valuable and are trying hard to balance demand and accessibility.

 

APPOINTMENT CANCELLATIONS

If you are unable to keep your appointment, please give us at least 24 hours notice so that someone else may use the time slot. We often have patients who need to be seen sooner and can accommodate them in the newly open slot if we have advance notice.

We have a no-show policy of $25.

In addition, if you have no-showed for 3 scheduled appointments or canceled 3 appointments with fewer than 24 hours notice, we will not reschedule a future appointment. Patients who have no-showed for a single extended appointment:  new patient visit, consultation, physical or a scheduled procedure may be refused future appointments.

 

REFERRALS

Please review and familiarize yourself with your insurance contract. If your doctor refers you to another doctor, or another doctor has referred you to one of our physicians for treatment of a medical problem, this is called a referral. It is NOT the same as authorization for payment by your insurance company. An insurance authorization is an approval from your insurance company for payment of medical services rendered by the doctor to whom you were referred.

It is your responsibility to read and find out if your insurance contract covers medical evaluation and treatment by this medical practice. We must receive insurance authorization at least 48 hours before a new patient appointment in order for you to be seen. We take more than 200 different insurance products but there are some that we do not take. We are working on electronic insurance real-time verification which will be extremely helpful. Unfortunately, if the proper authorization has not been given, your insurance may not pay the bill and you will be responsible for payment in full.

Some insurance companies have created a confusing maze of covered services and uncovered services, apparently trying to avoid payment whenever possible. We will do our best to help you through the process, but if your insurer denies payment, you will be responsible. Common areas in which this problem arises are well-patient visits or physicals, vs regular medical visits for medical problems. Most people have insurance which will cover a well-patient visit once yearly but may not cover visits for medical problems such as hypertension, diabetes or elevated cholesterol. For example, those with high-deductible health plans have to pay for problem visits, but wellness visits and screenings are covered.