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.
Lyme disease is a bacterial illness and inflammatory disease that spreads through tick bites. Deer ticks house the spirochete bacterium (Borellia burgdorferi) in their stomachs. When one of these ticks bites the human skin, it may pass the bacteria into the body. These ticks tend to be attracted to creases in the body, so Lyme disease most often appears in armpits, the nape of the neck or the back of knees. It can cause abnormalities in the skin, heart, joints and nervous system.
Lyme disease was first identified in 1975 in Old Lyme, Connecticut. More than 150,000 cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control since 1982. Cases have been reported from every state, although it is more commonly seen in the Northeast, Upper Midwest and Pacific Coast. Lyme disease has also been reported in European and Asian countries.
There are three phases to the disease:
Early Localized Phase. During this initial phase, the skin around the bite develops an expanding ring of redness. The ring may have a bull's eye appearance with a bright red outer ring surrounding clear skin in the center. Most people don't remember being bitten by a tick. More than one in four patients never gets a rash. The skin redness may be accompanied by fatigue, chills, muscle and joint stiffness, swollen lymph nodes and/or headaches.
Early Disseminated Phase. Weeks to months after the rash disappears, the bacteria spread throughout the body, impacting the joints, heart and nervous system. Symptoms include migrating pain in the joints, neck ache, tingling or numbing of the extremities, enlarged lymph glands, sore throat, abnormal pulse, fever, changes in vision or fatigue.
Late Dissemination Phase. Late in the dissemination of the disease, patients may experience an inflammation of the heart, which can lead to heart failure. Nervous system issues develop, such as paralysis of facial muscles (Bell's Palsy) and diseases of the peripheral nerves (peripheral neuropathy). It is also common for arthritis and inflammation of the joints to appear, which cause swelling, stiffness and pain.
Lyme disease is diagnosed through a combination of a visual examination and a blood test for Lyme bacteria antibodies. Most cases of Lyme disease are curable using antibiotics, but the longer the delay, the more difficult it is to treat. Your dermatologist may prescribe medications to help alleviate joint stiffening.
The best form of prevention is to avoid tick bites. Use insect repellent containing DEET. Wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors. Tuck the sleeves into gloves and pants into socks to keep your skin covered. After a hike, check the skin and look for any tick bites, especially on children. If you do find a tick, don't panic. Use tweezers to disengage the tick from the skin. Grab the tick by the head or mouthparts as close as possible to where the bite has entered the skin. Pull firmly and steadily away from the skin until the tick disengages. Clean the bite wound with disinfectant and monitor the bite mark for other symptoms. You can place the tick in a jar or plastic bag and take it to your dermatologist for examination.