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A Patient Centered Internal Medicine Practice

 
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F.A.Q.- Frequently Asked Questions

Should I select one physician for all of my care?

It is usually best to select one physician or provider for most of your care.  Sage is a group practice, and you may on occasion see a different provider for urgent problems.

What are physician assistants and nurse practitioners and when will I see one?

Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants are healthcare professionals licensed to diagnose and treat medical problems including conducting physical exams, ordering and interpreting tests, providing preventive health information, and prescribing medications.  Sometimes you will be offered an appointment with one of these providers for urgent care.  Some patients prefer to be seen by Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants for their routine healthcare as well.

How do I refill a prescription?

You should phone in your request to your pharmacy directly. We have established a system with the pharmacies to allow the quickest refill possible. However, it is important that you don't wait until your prescription runs out before calling.  Please allow 24 hours for refills of non-urgent medication.

How can I reach my doctor or other provider?

Call the office and ask to speak with the medical assistant working with your provider.  Sometimes you will reach voicemail; sometimes you will reach the medical assistant.   If you reach voicemail, please leave your current number and a number where you may be reached later in the day.  Please have all relevant information ready, such as reason for call, medication name, and pharmacy phone number.  We return non-urgent phone calls the same day or next work day.

If it is an urgent matter, please hold on to speak with a receptionist.  Please do not leave urgent messages on voice mail.

May I conduct my healthcare by email?

Due to privacy concerns, we cannot communicate with you by routine email.  We are working to develop secure e-mail for our practice. 

How can I find out my laboratory test results?

You should receive laboratory results within two weeks by mail, although some tests may take longer.  If your results require immediate attention, we will contact you by phone.  Please be aware that if you call the office for non-urgent test results, it may take us one to two business days to return your call.

When tests are done at the hospital, we might not be aware the testing has actually taken place.  Please call our office and inform us that you have had test done so that we might watch for the results.

Must I see a Sage Provider to receive a referral to a specialist?

For all patients, it is good that your primary care provider knows about your health.  It is usually necessary to be seen by your doctor and referred to the correct specialist for additional care.

For managed care patients, it is important that you see your primary care provider first to ensure you are being seen by the right specialist for your condition and also to properly authorize the care you require with your health plan benefits.

Note:  With some forms of insurance, Sage cannot refer for behavioral health issues.  Your insurance card would carry this information, along with an 800 number to call for such referrals.

May I choose the specialist?

Sage maintains an extensive referral network of qualified specialists.  These are good doctors and also doctors that communicate well with Sage.  We like to use these doctors for most patients, but you may select another specialist, so long as they participate with your insurance and your network.

Can I see my OB/GYN for my annual Pap Smear?

If your OB/GYN participates with your insurance and your network you will not need a referral.  If you are not sure about this, please check with our office before you go.

What if I need medical care and the Sage offices are closed?

If you are having an important health problem after hours, you should call the Sage number and you will be contacted by your physician or a physician on call.

When should I go to the emergency room?

You should seek emergency care at the closest hospital emergency room if you experience an injury or condition that could permanently endanger your health if not immediately treated.   If you need emergency care, contact your primary care physician first if possible to determine what treatment is required. If a delay could seriously jeopardize your health, get treatment at the nearest emergency department first and then notify your primary care physician as soon as possible.

Remember, if your injury or condition is life-threatening, call 911.

What happens if I need hospitalization?

One of our physicians is dedicated solely to caring for patients while they are in the hospital. The team is responsible for directing the care of our patients, including arranging specialty care consultations, ordering diagnostic tests and keeping your primary care physician updated on important developments and plans for care after discharge.

What if I need a form completed by the office or physician?

There is a charge for every form that needs to be completed.   The charge varies by the number of pages and the amount of information required on the form.  Prepayment is necessary before the form is completed.  Please allow 5 to 7 days to complete the form.

What if I need a copy of my medical records?

We require a signed medical records release before processing any records requests.   We do charge $10 for a copy of your medical records to be released to you.   Other fees may apply if records are released to other entities, such as lawyers and insurance companies.   We do not charge, however, to provide medical records to other medical entities.    Please allow 7 to 10 business days for these records to be copied and released.

What happens if I am late for my appointment or I fail to show up?

We recognize that patients may need to cancel or change an appointment but request that they provide at least 24 hours notice so we may offer their appointment time to another patient.

If you arrive over 15 minutes late to your appointment you may be asked to reschedule as this delay affects not only the physician, but other patients that are scheduled after you.  For office visits, there will be a $25.00 charge for NO SHOW patients or patients who cancel their appointment less than 24 hours in advance, as these appointment times could have been given to patient(s) in need.

For physicals and annual exams, there will be a $50.00 charge for NO SHOW patients or patients who cancel their appointment less than 24 hours in advance.

If neglecting to show up to your appointments begins to be a pattern, the physician may discharge you from the practice.