When you make your appointment, be sure to let our receptionist know the nature of your visit (sports physical, ear pain, second opinion, rash.) Also, please let us know at the time you make your appointment if you have several questions or concerns, or if you want more than one child checked. Reason: We want to schedule enough time for your concerns. If we try to squeeze multiple issues (or children) into a single "quick visit" time slot, it either results in cutting you off (not fair to you), or making our other patients wait while we finish (not fair to them.)
Our "on-time" and "late" policy
We understand that even the most organized mom or dad can run late sometimes. If that's the case, call us before your appointment time. We can reschedule your appointment for a time that's better for you. If you are late for the appointment but don't call us, we will probably give your time away to another patient.
- Patients arriving early, on time, or up to 10 minutes late will be seen in the order they were scheduled.
- Sick patients arriving 10-30 minutes late will be seen, but will have to wait while we see patients who were on time.
- "Well" patients (physicals, rechecks, etc.) arriving more than 10 minutes late will be asked to reschedule.
- Any patient arriving more than 30 minutes late, or walk ins, will be asked to reschedule.
Our same-day visit policy
We know that when your child is sick, you worry about his or her health. Sometimes you want to have him seen right away to make sure it's not serious. So you won't have to go to the emergency room, we offer same day sick appointments for children.
Our policy is: Established patients of our practice who call ahead for a "sick visit" appointment by 2:30 on weekdays will be offered an appointment time before we close for the day.
Please note, so that there is no misunderstanding:
- We will try our best to accommodate your schedule, but we can't guarantee that the time we can work you in will be your first choice. We must offer appointment slots on a first-come, first-served basis. Be sure your babysitter knows to call you before 2:30 pm if your child gets sick.
- If you are more than 30 minutes late for your slot, we won't guarantee that you'll be seen (as described above.)
- You must call ahead. "Drop ins" aren't fair to families who called ahead.
- We reserve the right to determine what constitutes an urgent "sick visit." Visits that are not considered urgent, such as well-baby exams and physicals, bed wetting, constipation, etc., may be asked to schedule for another day so we can work in truly ill children.
We have made prior arrangements with some insurers and health plans. For these plans, for which we "accept assignment," we submit all insurance claims for our patients and bill those plans directly. If you have insurance with a different carrier, we can still prepare and submit the claim for you at no charge on an "unassigned" basis.
Different insurance plans have different definitions of what is covered. Please be aware of the limits and conditions of your own policy! In the event your health plan determines a service to be "not covered," you will be responsible for the fee. In that event we will bill you, and payment is due upon receipt of that statement.
We cannot accept any insurance that cannot be verified. Please bring proof of insurance to each and every office visit! If you don't, we will have to bill you directly until you can provide proof of insurance.
Due to insurance rules, all required co-payments must be collected at the time you arrive for the appointment. Any other arrangements must be made in advance with our Office Manager. We accept cash, check, and credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, and American Express).
For all services rendered to minors, the adult accompanying the patient is responsible for payment, whether a parent/legal guardian or not. If your child will be brought to the appointment by his babysitter, grandma, etc., be sure he or she is aware of this policy.
Please contact our Office Manager if you have a question about insurance or billing matters.
We are committed to helping you walk through simple problems over the phone. During the day, we can help you determine if your child needs to be seen in the office or just needs some TLC at home. After hours, an on-call doctor is always available by phone. We want to get you to the ER quickly for true emergencies, but save you a trip when you don't need to go.
Tips for calling us:
- For truly life-threatening emergencies, call 911 first.
- For poisonings, call the Arkansas Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222
- For other concerns regarding sick or injured children, call us first. If it is an emergency, you can press "0" at the telephone menu. Tell the individual who takes your call, "This is an emergency." Do not let our staff put you on hold.
- We do prioritize phone calls according to the nature of the call. If you are asked to wait on hold, please be patient. Another family may have called with an emergency.
- Our phones are generally busiest early in the morning (8:00-9:30 am) and in the late afternoon (3:00-5:00 pm.) Contacting us during our "off-peak" hours is more likely to result in quicker service. If we're busy and must take a message, we generally try to call you back as soon as possible. If your call isn't returned within 45 minutes, please call us back.
Sick child calls:
When calling about your sick child, have your child nearby in case you need to check something about his or her condition. Also, have a pen and paper handy to take down instructions. Your call might be handled by one of our doctors or nurses, depending on who is available. After listening to your concerns and asking additional questions, the doctor or nurse will either suggest making an appointment to evaluate your child, or recommend an at-home course of treatment. Our nurses are specially trained to make decisions about which children need to be seen in the office and how to give care at home. Our doctors review all the advice that our nurses give and are available if the nurse can't help you.
Prescription refill calls:
When calling for a prescription refill, please have ready the name of the medication, dose, and dosing instructions, as well as your preferred pharmacy. Please allow 24 hours for routine prescriptions and 1 week of ADHD medication refills -- plan ahead so you don't run out of important medicines. We cannot refill medications we did not prescribe, or medications for patients we have never seen or haven't seen in the past year. We never prescribe new medications over the phone. We never prescribe antibiotics over the phone.
Paperwork request calls:
When calling for paperwork (shot records, physical forms, etc), please have ready the address or fax number to which you would like the records sent. Please allow three working days for paperwork requests to be completed. In some cases, your paperwork cannot be sent unless you sign and file a written consent with us (we'll let you know if this is the case.)
We are pleased to provide comprehensive health care for children. However, occasionally we will recommend a referral to a specialist. In this case, we will obtain the necessary authorization from your insurance company and set up the referral for you. This can sometimes take several days to complete. We cannot authorize referrals for patients we have never seen or for problems that we have never discussed in the office. (We like to send a letter of introduction to specialists describing the child's problem, but we can't provide this service unless we've discussed it together recently.) Also, because of insurance rules, we cannot give retroactive referrals for consultations which one of our pediatricians did not initially recommend.
Nighttime and weekend calls:
After office hours, our calls are handled by nurses from Arkansas Children's Hospital. The nurses are trained to give pediatric advice. One of our doctors is on call to answer questions if the service cannot. We pay for each call placed with the service. Therefore, please limit nighttime and Sunday calls to emergencies or urgent problems that can't wait. Calls about mild illnesses (like diaper rash), behavioral problems, and well-child issues can usually wait until the next morning.
We reserve the right to terminate the physician-patient relationship for:
- Frequent no-shows or last-minute or "retroactive" cancellations. People who continually fail to keep appointments prevent us from being able to offer those appointment slots to others.
- Inappropriate behavior or language to staff or other patients.
- Falsifying insurance or health information.
- Repeated abuse of our office policies.
- Past due accounts when the patient's family does not make a good faith effort to meet a payment schedule.