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
- Update Intake Forms
- Financial Policy
- Credit Card on File Agreement (see below for further explanation/FAQs)
- Medical Records Release From Our Practice
- Medical Records Release From Another Provider/Practice
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.
Because of the ultraviolet radiation it emits, the sun is inherently dangerous to human skin. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology stipulates that there is no safe way to tan. Tanning is the skin's natural response to damage from the sun. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency proclaims that everybody, regardless of race or ethnicity, is subject to the potential adverse effects of overexposure to the sun. That's why everyone needs to protect their skin from the sun every day.
How We Burn
When ultraviolet light penetrates the epidermis it stimulates melanin, the substance responsible for skin pigmentation. Up to a point, the melanin absorbs dangerous UV rays before they do serious damage. Melanin increases in response to sun exposure, which is what causes the skin to tan. This is a sign of skin damage, not health. Sunburns develop when the UV exposure is greater than the skin's natural ability to protect against it.
Sunscreens and Sunblocks
The sun emits two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays that are harmful to human skin. UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis and lead to wrinkles, age spots and skin cancers. UVB rays are responsible for causing sunburn, cataracts and immune system damage. Melanoma is thought to be associated with severe UVB sunburns that occur before the age of 20.
Sunscreens absorb ultraviolet light so that it doesn't reach the skin. Look for sunscreens with the active ingredients PABA, benzophenones, cinnamates or salicylates. Sunblocks literally block the UV rays instead of absorbing them. Key active ingredients for sunblock success are titanium oxide and zinc oxide.
There is no sunscreen or sunblock that works 100%. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the manufacture and promotion of sunscreens. Sunscreens are given a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) number that indicates how long a person can remain in the sun without burning. It is recommended that people use products with a SPF of 15 or greater. Sunscreens are not generally recommended for infants six months old or younger. Infants should be kept in the shade as much as possible and should be dressed in protective clothing to prevent any skin exposure and damage.
There is no such thing as "all-day protection" or "waterproof" sunscreen. No matter what the SPF number, sunscreens need to be re-applied every 2 to 3 hours. Products that claim to be "waterproof" can only protect against sunburn up to 80 minutes in the water. Products labeled "water resistant" can only protect against sunburn up to 40 minutes in the water.
Even in the worst weather, 80% of the sun's UV rays can pass through the clouds. Additionally, sand reflects 25% of the sun's UV rays and snow reflects 80% of the sun's UV rays. That's why sunscreen needs to be worn every day and in every type of weather and climate. The sun's intensity is also impacted by altitude (the higher the altitude the greater the sun exposure), time of year (summer months) and location (the closer to the Equator, the greater the sun exposure).
Protecting Yourself From Sun Exposure
- Look for sunscreens that use the term "broad spectrum" because they protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Choose a sunscreen with a minimum SPF rating of 15.
- Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you head out into the sun to give it time to seep into the skin.
- Apply sunscreens liberally. Use at least one ounce to cover the entire body.
- Use a lip balm with SPF 15 or greater to protect the lips from sun damage.
- Re-apply sunscreen immediately after going into water or sweating.
- Re-apply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours.
- Use sunscreen every day regardless of the weather.
- Wear sunglasses to protect the eyes from UV rays.
- Wear wide-brimmed hats and protective clothing to limit skin exposure to the sun.
- Stay in the shade whenever possible.
- Avoid using tanning beds.
Treating a Sunburn
If you experience a sunburn, get out of the sun and cover the exposed skin as soon as possible. A sunburn will begin to appear within 4 to 6 hours after getting out of the sun and will fully appear within 12 to 24 hours. Mild burns cause redness and some peeling after a few days. They can be treated with cold compresses on the damaged area, cool baths, moisturizers to prevent dryness and over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams to relieve any pain or itching. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids when you experience any type of sunburn.
More serious burns lead to blisters, which can be painful. It is important not to rupture blisters as this slows down the natural healing process and may lead to infection. You may want to cover blisters with gauze to keep them clean. Stay out of the sun until your skin has fully healed. In the most severe cases, oral steroids may be prescribed to prevent or eliminate infection along with pain-relieving medication.