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Billing and Payment Policy
Patients are required to pay their bills for rendered services not covered by their medical insurance. This includes deductibles, co-insurances and non-covered services.
If you receive a bill from our office, please review it and pay it promptly. If you have a question regarding the bill, please call our billing representatives for a detailed explanation. Patients that ignore or fail to meet their financial responsibilities for rendered services will be considered for discharge from our practice.
Please give at least 24 hours notice if you are unable to keep your appointment. Please note you will be charged a fee for the office visit if you do not cancel with advance notice.
It is our policy, and the policy of your insurance company, that all co-payments be paid at the time of medical service. Therefore, there will be a $10 billing charge for each co-payment not paid at the time of service.
We understand that, at times, a patient may become upset or stressed because of any number of issues or inconveniences. All personnel at The Asthma Center have been trained to courteously carry out our policies and assist patients. We expect that our staff and patients always communicate with each other in a civil and courteous manner as is appropriate in the professional environment of our office.
It is our goal to practice excellent medicine. At this time, the complexity of our lives and healthcare delivery has been complicated by rules imposed by insurance companies, drug formularies, and the federal government that may cause delays and inconveniences. We know some patients may get frustrated and may not fully understand the policies of their insurance companies or that of our practice or that other factors can lead to difficulties or delays. However, raising one’s voice, acting in an abrasive or hostile manner with our personnel, making inappropriate demands, or violating practice policies creates an atmosphere which has no place in our professional setting.
If you have a problem that you cannot settle with our staff, you can, and should, freely discuss it with one of our physicians.
It is our goal to continually improve the quality and efficiency of our medical care and service. We ask for and appreciate your cooperation and understanding in this group effort.
Emergencies and After-Hours Care Policy
Should you need to speak to one of The Asthma Center physicians regarding a medical problem related to our practice, it is best to call early in the day so that we have time to review your chart and respond professionally. If you have an emergency, let the receptionist know about it in order to get immediate attention.
One of our specialists is on-call at all times in order to handle our patients’ emergencies or urgent problems.
In case of emergencies, call 215-569-1111. From there you can get the information to contact our page operator. The page operator will contact the on-call physician. If your call is not returned within 30 minutes, please call the operator again. Please have your pharmacy number available.
In an emergency, patients are requested to contact our physicians and/or go to the closest emergency room (some insurances require prior referral/authorization by your primary care physician).
First Appointment Checklist
For your first visit, make sure to bring the following:
- All completed forms and literature reviewed before arriving for initial visit
- Valid insurance card(s) and photo ID
- HMO referral (if needed)
- List of prescriptions and/or over-the-counter medication, including dose and frequency
- Reports of any recent x-ray or lab results
Follow-Up Visit Policy
Office visit availability is limited to one patient per appointment time; we do not double-book patients except for emergency visits. Scheduling visits months in advance, particularly during pollen season, is necessary and often avoids unnecessary delays in getting good medical care while affording one the best chance of the most convenient time and date requested. Office follow-up visit availability is on a first-come, first served basis. In other words, if you call at the last minute, just before you need an office visit, or because you ran out of medication, most of your preferred appointment times will likely be taken. Therefore please schedule your next appointment at the end of each office visit.
We are usually able to see patients close to their scheduled appointment time. In some instances, you might see a patient called in ahead of you; these patients are not on the physician’s schedule and are receiving allergy injections or are undergoing other laboratory tests. In addition, emergencies may arise in our office which may result in some patients being seen sooner.
If you know you can’t make an appointment, please cancel it by phone and immediately reschedule your next follow-up appointment. It is the patient’s responsibility to schedule follow-up appointments as recommended and reschedule appointments when he/she cancels or misses an appointment. Please plan and be prepared to schedule your next appointment at the end of each office visit.
Group Physician Practice Policy
Our medical practice is a group practice. This means that each patient in the practice is a patient of our group as well as a patient of each individual physician.
The Asthma Center physicians have common approaches to patient care. While our individual personalities may vary, our practice of medicine is quite uniform from physician to physician. This approach ensures continuity of care regardless of which physician is available. This approach also provides for continuous and consistent on-call emergency service for weekends and holidays. Finally it allows each patient to eventually get the benefit of the cumulative knowledge of the group which will always be greater than any single physician.
In the event that a patient would prefer to see a specific physician in our group at the time of your visit, he/she may make a request to the nurse that brings them to the examining room. We can usually honor such a request, but this may at times require an extended wait for the specific physician. Although the office schedule can be checked for a specific physician in advance of a visit, usually that physician will be available for your followup but on occasions, physician schedule do change. Under these circumstances, we ask for our patients’ cooperation and understanding by seeing any physician of The Asthma Center that is available.
- All appointments must be scheduled. It is best to schedule your appointments well in advance in order to be able to receive a time and date that meets your needs. Therefore, when asked to return for a follow-up, please schedule your appointment before leaving the office.
- Please try to be on time for your appointment.
- Please give us at least 24 hours’ notice if you must cancel your appointment.
- We ask that patients not smoke or wear heavy scents out of consideration for our asthma/allergy patients.
- Please do not bring food or drinks into our offices.
- If you think you may be late for your appointment, please call and ask whether or not we can accommodate you–before your arrival.
Prescriptions for medications are given at the time of your office visit. Enough medication is prescribed to last you until your next office visit and under normal circumstances, you should not run out of medication. In the event that you find you are running low on medication, you can call the office for a refill. Your chart will be reviewed by the physicians, and a refill will be prescribed, provided that you are compliant with our recommendations and that the refill is appropriate at the time of the request. Please be aware that if you are non-compliant with our recommendations, including followup evaluations, then refills of medications will be delayed until you are re-evaluated to determine the appropriateness of that medication. Typically, requests for refills will not be renewed after 6 months from your last visit.
Prescription refill authorizations are given during normal working hours (8am – 4:30 pm) when we can review the patient’s chart and should not be requested after normal business hours.
Prescription Change to Insurance Formulary Preferred Brand Policy
Many insurance companies have selected or are in the process of selecting “preferred” medications. Some pharmacies and drug formularies, at the request of your medical insurance company, have asked us to switch your prescribed medications to their preferred brand(s), which may be similar but not exactly the same as the medication we prescribed. Although you may do well on the insurance-preferred brand, we have no way of knowing in advance whether the insurance-preferred brand will be equally effective and as well tolerated by you as your physician-recommended medication. If you agree to follow the insurance/pharmacist/formulary recommendation, then please notify us directly and we will comply with your request. Please note that not switching medications to the insurance-preferred brand may require the patient to incur additional expenses for medications.
Primary Care Physician Policy
Your physician at The Asthma Center is a specialist and cannot act as your primary care physician or general doctor. All patients must have a primary care physician manage other medical symptoms that are not due to allergy, asthma, sinus and related problems. If you have a medical problem which is related to our specialty or a question regarding our treatment, then call us directly to discuss it. All other medical problems should be reviewed with your primary care physician.
In the event that you are insured by an HMO, you should also notify your primary care physician of any acute problems that may require an emergency room visit before or immediately after you speak to one of our doctors. Should you go to the emergency room without a referral from your primary care physician, it may not be covered by your HMO plan if you have not spoken to your primary care physician. Please refer to your individual HMO plan in this regard.
Guidelines for patients whose healthcare insurance requires a referral, issued by their primary care physician, in order to be treated by The Asthma Center specialist.
With HMO insurance, your healthcare insurance requires that you have a valid referral for each and every office visit and procedure, which in turn, gives our group authorization to provide these services. Your primary care physician is the only one who may issue a referral.
It is advisable to obtain your referral well in advance of your office visit with The Asthma Center specialist. ATTEMPTING TO GET A PROPER REFERRAL ON THE DAY OF YOUR VISIT IS USUALLY UNSUCCESSFUL AND MAY UNNECESSISARILY DELAY YOUR APPOINTMENT.
It is the patient’s responsibility to review his/her referral prior to the office visit to verify that the referral has been properly completed, is valid and lists all the proper procedures (i.e. spirometry, skin testing, allergy injection, etc.). If your primary care physician faxes a referral to us, it would be wise to obtain and review a photocopy of their fax prior to your visit. If electronic referrals are used, please review with your primary care physician’s office staff specifically what services have been requested. IF YOUR REFERRAL IS ISSUED ELECTRONICALLY OR SENT BY FAX, YOU MUST CONTACT OUR OFFICE AND LET US KNOW SO THAT WE HAVE PROPER AUTHORIZATION FOR YOUR VISIT.
Patients arriving at our office without the proper referral will be offered the following options:
- a) Reschedule the office visit or
- b) You may use our telephone to call your primary physician in order to request an immediate referral by fax (urgent cases only). This usually is time consuming and unsuccessful since your primary care physician may not be available at the time of your visit or may require advance notice for referrals.
We have tried to make the referral process as “user-friendly” as possible. Please do not be upset or angry with our office if you meet frustration with your healthcare insurance referral policy. We are simply following the procedures with your medical insurance has set for your healthcare and for which you have contracted.
National Provider Identifier (NPI)
For your convenience, the following are the National Provider Identifier (NPI) numbers for our practice and individual physicians which are required on all referral forms.
|Allergic Disease Associates, PC||1710033477|
|Marc F Goldstein, MD||10938663334|
|Donald J Dvorin, MD||1316095664|
|George A Belecanech MD||1376691626|
|Irene C Haralabatos, MD||1386792430|
|Nancy D Gordon, MD||1679621734|
|Raquel B Empedrad, MD||1902896988|
|David F. LaRosa, MD||1871704627|
|Melissa S Gross, CRNP||1740675008|
allergen(s):Pollen, Ragweed & Mold Spore Counts will Return in the Spring of 2018