Get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we get asked at North Coast Family Medical Group.
How long is my appointment going to take?
Single complaints are generally 10-15 minutes; and multiple complaints or complex problems are 20-30 minutes. Physicals generally take 30-45 minutes. However, some seemingly simple appointments turn out to be more complex. We will do our best to have you in & out of your appointment and make sure all your needs are met! To help keep the medical providers on track, please be up front with our schedulers about your need for an appointment so we can allot an appropriate amount of time. Don’t be embarrassed! We need to know how to best help you!
What kind of an appointment do I need?
Patients sometimes feel like a physical is the best way for a medical provider to examine all the concerns that they are experiencing; however, physicals help to identify new concerns and follow up visits usually will directly address the issues. Patients with urgent non-life threatening medical need should contact us first to determine whether we are equipped and available to help in the time frame needed or a visit to the emergency room might be required. We have weekday evening hours to help meet our patients’ needs.
What is a P.A. (Physician Assistant) and what can she/he do for me?
Our Physician Assistants are a valuable resource for our patients. Please go to our Physician Assistant page for more information about them.
Why do I have to update my information and show my insurance card every time I come in?
We find that patients’ personal and insurance information is changing all the time. We do our best to ensure that we have current contact and billing information so we can reach you and make every attempt to bill your insurance. Insurance companies often change addresses and policy numbers so we must check often for those changes. Paperwork should only be required at the first visit and at yearly intervals.
Can I bring my children with me to my appointment?
If you feel like it would be inappropriate for your children to stay in the room while you are being examined, please find childcare for them. Our office personnel are not available to watch children and their safety could be compromised without proper supervision.
What if I’m late for my appointment?
We will attempt to see patients in many circumstances, but our general office policy is that patients who are late for their scheduled appointments may need to reschedule or wait until the next available appointment time. Your medical provider’s medical assistant can assess your urgency to be sure your medical needs are not delayed.
Will I get in for my appointment on time?
We do our best to allot the appropriate amount of time for each patient’s appointment; however, some appointments are more complex than anticipated or some new problems are brought up at the time of the appointment. Sometimes the new problem must be addressed at that time. This may cause the provider to run behind, but we make every attempt to stay as close to our schedules as possible. If at all possible we prefer that you wait in our office for your appointment because the provider may catch up very quickly if someone does not show for their appointment or something is more simple that expected. To help keep the medical providers on track, please be up front with our schedulers about your need for an appointment so we can allot an appropriate amount of time. If your schedule is very time restricted, an appointment at the beginning of the day or immediately following a break might work best to stay on time.
Will there be a charge if I cancel or miss a scheduled appointment?
A 24 hour advanced notice is required if you must cancel or change your appointment. Our scheduling department is available daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM to help schedule a convenient appointment for you, please press option #4 when calling the office. In case of a last minute schedule conflict that results in you having to cancel an appointment scheduled for the following day, our office can be reached from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM during urgent care hours and we have a voice mailbox available 24/7 to take any cancellation notices.
If a scheduled appointment is missed without giving a 24 hour advanced notice, there is a $25.00 charge applied to your account. Please note that excessive missed appointments may be grounds for disengagement from the practice.
Our policies are created to allow for more effective scheduling and to ensure all patients wishing to be seen may be accommodated. Please help us better serve you by notifying us as soon as possible if you must change or cancel your appointment.
Can I see another doctor besides my Primary Care Physician (PCP)?
Yes, you may see other physicians in our office under most circumstances. The physicians prefer to see only their own primary care patients or for their patients to see our physician assistants, for continuity of care purposes, for wellness exams. Rarely insurance issues may dictate that a provider might not be appropriate for you to see.
Can I get my lab work prior to my appointment?
Some medical providers will order lab work prior to appointments; however, you might want to wait until the visit in case the medical provider feels like another test is appropriate after examining you.
Can my older child come for an appointment without an adult?
Patients under 18 years of age may come to the office for treatment without
a parent/guardian with a form consenting treatment. If you intend to do this, please download this form and send it with your child.
Please consider that our medical providers must assess whether it is medically appropriate to treat the minor patient considering the situation. If it is medically inappropriate to treat the minor without a parent or guardian present, then the patient may need to be rescheduled regardless of the consent form.
Can I just get a referral without a visit at my primary doctor?
Some types of appointment can be done via self-referral or we may give a referral without a visit. Women may self-refer to an OB/GYN. For established patients, you may leave a message with us to get a referral for a urologist for a vasectomy. If specific concerns are involved, though, a visit to one of our medical providers will be required. Please see our Insurance Information page for more information about referrals.
How often should my family and I get physicals?
Children have a set schedule of physicals recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. You can view this at AAP Preventative Healthcare Schedule.
Adults should have regular wellness exams as well. Your physician will be able to guide you in the frequency of these periodic health exams. For more information about preventative health services, you may visit the American Academy of Family Physicians page at AAFP Preventative Healthcare.
What immunizations do my family and I need?
The bulk of immunizations that you need will be given to you as a child at your wellness exams. To see a list of immunizations recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other immunization resources, you can go to AAP Pediatric Immunization Schedules.
Adults need some booster immunizations or may have missed some childhood immunizations. Our office recommends tetnus shots done at 10-year intervals throughout life. You as an adult may need other immunizations such as Hepatitis A or B, Boostrix, influenza shots, or HPV injections as well. Please check with your provider to see what might be needed for you depending on your history and age group.
Travel immunizations are sometimes required for travel abroad. These are rarely covered by insurance. Please check with your insurance to see what they will cover. To check to see what travel immunizations might be needed for your area of travel, you may contact our office for a recommendation to a travel clinic.