Dermatologic Center for Excellence
9276 Main Street, Ste 1A / Clarence, NY 14031

Monday - Thursday 7:00 am - 5:00 pm

(716) 636-DERM (3376)

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Our team of professionals and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well-being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics, which can be found on the side of each page. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you.

Patient General Forms

Please note there has been a recent change to our Financial Policy (effective 1/13/2020).

We now require a Credit Card to be kept on file for all patients. If you have questions in regards to this policy, please take the time to read the FAQs Regarding the Credit Card on File Agreement found below as to why we have made this change.

Patient Care Instructions Forms

 

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Credit Card on File Agreement

Do I have to leave my credit card information to be a patient at this practice?

Yes. This is our policy and it is a growing trend in the healthcare industry. Insurance reimbursements are declining and there has been a large increase in patient deductibles. These factors are driving offices to either squeeze more patients into shorter periods of time or to stop accepting insurance. We have decided to focus on becoming more efficient in our billing and collections processes instead.

How much and when will money be taken from my account?

The insurance companies on average take approximately 2-4 weeks to process submitted claims. Whatever the allowed amount is, your copay, coinsurance, and deductible are taken into consideration. It simply depends on your individual policy what you may owe. Once the insurance explanation of benefits is received and posted to your account, you will be sent a statement showing your portion. You will have 30 days to send an alternative form of payment if you prefer. If no alternative payment is received, your patient financial responsibility will be processed. Please Note: If your card is denied, a $10 late fee will be added each month following, until the balance is paid, as noted in our financial policy.

How do you safeguard the credit information you keep on file?

We use the same methods to guard your credit card information as we do for your medical information. The card information is securely protected by the credit card processing component of our HIPAA compliant practice management system and credit card manager. This system stores the card information for future transactions using the same sort of technology that any online retailer would. We can’t see the card number – only the last four numbers, giving us no way to use the card outside of the billing system. There is no way to export the card information out of our system.

What are the benefits?

It saves you time and eliminates the need to write checks, buy stamps or worry about delays in the mail. It also drives our administrative costs down because our staff sends out fewer statements and spends less time taking credit card information over the phone or entering it from the billing slips sent in the mail, which are less secure methods than us storing the information. The extra time the staff has can now be spent on directly helping the patients, either over the phone, with insurance claims or in person.

I always pay my bills on time. Why do I have to do this?

The entire billing process is time consuming and wasteful, and the few patients that we do have to send to a collection agency end up costing a lot of money. Reducing unnecessary costs are essential to allowing us to continue to be an in-network provider with most insurance companies. Nothing is changing about how much you end up paying.

What if there is a payment discrepancy or I have other payment questions?

Please contact our billing department directly to settle payment discrepancies or for other payment questions. This policy in no way compromises your ability to dispute a charge or questions your insurance company’s explanation of benefits.

Will I still receive a paper bill by mail?

Yes. You will receive one bill which will show what will be charged to your card in 30 days. If you prefer to pay by an alternative method, you may do so during that period. If you do not wish to make any payment method changes, just hold onto the statement for your records and your card will be charged.

 

 

As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.

Shingles is a painful rash that is caused by the varicella zoster virus. It usually appears as a band or strip of blisters on one side of the body that goes from the spine around the front to the breastbone. However, shingles can also appear on the neck, nose and forehead.

Shingles derives from the same virus that causes chicken pox. After having chicken pox, the virus lies dormant in nerve tissue underneath the skin. Years later, and with no known reason, it reactivates and causes shingles. Shingles is contagious and can easily pass through touching from one person to another. The virus develops into shingles for people who have had chicken pox and develops into chicken pox for those who have not had it. Shingles appears most frequently among older adults (age 60+) and in people with compromised immune systems. Generally, a person only gets shingles once; it rarely recurs.

Symptoms for shingles include:

  • Pain, burning, numbness or tingling on one side of the body. The pain often precedes any other symptoms.
  • A rash that appears a few days after the pain. It may be itchy.
  • Blisters that break open and then crust over.
  • Fever, achiness or headache.

Some people never get a rash or blisters with shingles, but simply experience the pain.

Shingles is diagnosed based on a medical history and physical examination of the telltale rash. If you suspect you may have shingles, it is important to contact your doctor as quickly as possible. Early treatment can reduce the pain and severity of the episode. Two types of medications are prescribed to treat shingles:

  • Antiviral drugs to combat the virus, such as acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir.
  • Pain medicines, from oral pain pills and antidepressants to anticonvulsants and topical preparations that contain skin-numbing agents.

Shingles usually heals in about 2 to 3 weeks without any problem. However, there is a small percentage of patients (10% to 15%), predominantly over age 50, who experience pain that lasts beyond one month after the healing period. This is called postherpetic neuralgia. Catching shingles early and beginning treatment can reduce the likelihood and severity of postherpetic neuralgia. See your dermatologist for pain relief.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a vaccine, called Zostavax, for the prevention of adult shingles. It is approved for adults age 60 or older who have had chicken pox. Essentially, the vaccine delivers a booster dose of chicken pox. The vaccine has proven to be very effective in reducing the incidence of shingles and postherpetic neuralgia.