Office Policies

Office Hours

Monday: 9AM-7PM
Tuesday: 9AM-5PM
Wednesday: 11AM-6PM
Thursday: 9AM-5PM
Friday: 9AM-5PM
Saturday: 9AM-1PM

Appointments

In general we provide same-day appointments for the sick child. Upon calling our office you may be offered to talk to one of our doctors to determine the urgency of your problem. If your problem occurs off-hours, is urgent, and requires immediate attention, one of our doctors will contact you regarding your call. 

Well care visits are scheduled during normal business hours by our reception staff. We can usually provide well care appointments within a week or two. No well visits will be offered on Saturdays.

Prenatal "Meet the Doctor" appointments are available upon request. 

Emergencies

Genuine emergencies are difficult to define but tend to fall into the category of problems with breathing, bleeding, or consciousness. In a real emergency every second counts! Fortunately such situations tend to be rare. In a true emergency you should always call 911 and be taken to the nearest emergency room. Our practice offers hospital privileges at Saint Clare's Hospital in Denville and Morristown Medical Center.

Emergency Care:  908-852-8096   24-Hour Beeper Coverage for existing patients         

Insurance

We participate in most insurance plans: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Aetna, Oxford Health Plans, GHI, Magnacare, United Healthcare, and United Healthcare Community Plan (Medicaid), Amerihealth, TriCare, Standard & Prime, Multi Plan, Qualcare, PHCS, Coventry Healthcare, Medicaid traditional . 

Reaching us after hours

When calling after hours you will get a voice mail indicating our office is closed.  It will instruct you as to which prompt to choose in order to reach the physician on call.  Calls or pages to the physicians after hours should be limited to urgent calls only.  Please wait until the next business day for not urgent issues.  Messages left in voice mail for the office staff will not be answered until the next business day so it is not recommended that you leave an urgent message in the office staff’s voice mail.  When leaving a message for the office staff, please speak slowly and clearly.  Repeat your phone number twice.  As our message system is automated it may be difficult to decipher your phone number if it is not spoken slowly and clearly.

Prescriptions

It is our policy that no new medications are prescribed without the patient being evaluated in the office by the doctor first.  For all refill prescriptions, please have your pharmacy fax or phone requests to our office.  Patients receiving maintenance controlled substance prescriptions are requested to call their refill requests 24 hours prior to picking up the prescription.  In addition, patients receiving these types of medication are required to have quarterly visits with the doctor to ensure the safety and efficacy of the medication.

Payments

Our office does not accept personal checks for copays.  We will accept cash, debit cards, Visa, Master Card or Discover Cards as payment. Most insurance plans require you to pay a copay at every visit.  This co-payment is a contractual agreement between you, your insurance company and our office.  Your copay is expected at every visit including rechecks for illnesses.   It is our policy not to get involved in separation and divorce cases.  Whoever brings the child for the visit will be asked to pay the required copay.  If you have a financial agreement with your ex-spouse you must take care of that privately.  We will be happy to furnish you with a receipt of payment.  Your insurance company has the right to deny charges if your copay obligation is not met.  This may result in you being responsible for the entire visit.  In addition, some plans require that you reach a deductible amount before they will begin paying.  We will submit the claim to your insurance carrier.  They will instruct us on the amount you are responsible for and we will send you a statement of your account.  Prompt payment of your bill is appreciated and expected.  Accounts that are more than 120 days old will be forwarded to our collection agency unless a payment schedule has been established with our billing department.  Our billing department is able to set up a fair payment plan to ensure that your account remains current.

Patient Responsibility

Please be sure to check with your insurance carrier to determine that our doctors are participating physicians in your plan.  It is your responsibility to know your benefits and the limitations of your plan.  Most HMO’s and POS plans require you to choose a primary care physician.  If you have not registered our doctors as your child’s primary care physician prior to a visit, your insurance will deny the claim and you will be responsible for the visit.  In addition, some plans do not require you to register a primary care physician, however, if you do not your carrier may require you to pay the higher specialist copay amount.  Your insurance card is required at every visit so please be prepared and bring your insurance card with you to every visit and present it to the receptionist.  Please inform us immediately if your insurance plan or carrier has changed to avoid unnecessary claim denials and prevent you from being responsible for charges due to incorrect insurance information.  In addition, most insurance plans cover one well exam per year.  Please check with your insurance carrier as to your benefits regarding well exams as you will be responsible for payment on premature well exams.  Remember, it is your responsibility to know your individual plan.  It is impossible for our office staff to know every patient’s benefits as most employers negotiate plans that are most cost effective for them.

Referrals

We will be happy to provide referrals to sub-specialties but keep in mind that if the doctor has not seen your child for a particular issue,  or it has been over six months since your child has last been seen by the doctor you may be required to come for an office evaluation before a referral is given. We require 48 hours notice for a referral. Most referrals are done electronically so if your insurance carrier’s website is down, or the internet is down we will not be able to do a referral until the issue is resolved.  So please do not arrive at the specialist’s office without your referral or you may be forced to reschedule your appointment.  Also, because referrals are electronic we do not have the ability to back date a referral.  Referrals must be done prior to your visit.  In addition, we require the specialist’s name, phone number and NPI number when requesting a referral.  This information can be obtained from the specialist’s office when you make your appointment.

Medical Records

Medical records must be requested in writing and signed by a parent or guardian.  A copy fee will be determined by the size of the chart or records requested.  Our normal fee is $1.00 per page front and back or .50 for a one sided copy.  This fee is payable in cash or credit card at time of pick up.  We will not accept a check.  Please allow thirty days for the preparation of records.  In addition, you will be asked to sign a receipt of medical records when you pick the records up.  We will not mail or fax the records.  Immunization records are available free of charge and can be picked up in person at the office.  Please click on the link below to download the Release of Patient Information Form

School/Camp Forms

We will be happy to complete any school or camp forms.  However, we do require 48 hours to 1 week to complete the forms.   All forms should have the patient’s name and date of birth on them.  If you are requesting the forms be mailed back to you please include a self addressed stamped envelope with your forms.   Currently we do not charge for completing these forms. We reserve the right to change this policy at any time.  
Effective immediately we will no longer fax school physical forms, absent excuses, immunization records, patient health records, lab forms or referrals. These forms will need to be picked up at the office during normal business hours. Referrals and physical forms still require 48 hours notice so please allow ample time for your request to be processed and for you to pick the forms up.

New Policy on Vaccines

Effective January 1st, 2014, Hackettstown Pediatrics will implement a new policy on vaccination. Because all available scientific evidence favors vaccinating according to the schedule set forth by the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics, and because not following this schedule can potentially harm children who do follow the recommended schedule by unnecessarily exposing them to vaccine-preventable diseases, we will no longer see families who choose to not vaccinate their children. We will also no longer follow “Alternative Vaccination Schedules”. Patients who currently use such schedules should discuss with their provider the best way to catch their child up.

As health care providers, it is our responsibility to protect as many children from disease as possible. Vaccines may be one of the greatest advances in medicine in that they have saved countless millions of lives and illnesses. All vaccines have been, and continued to be studied for potential harmful effects, and in most cases vaccines are developed and tested for at least a decade before being used routinely. No current available studies support the idea of vaccines causing harm, and no data supports the use of schedules other than that set forth by the CDC and AAP. Parents who choose not to have their children vaccinated according to guidelines not only put their children at risk of getting sick, but also indirectly put other children at risk. This is why we feel strongly that the best way to protect the health of all children in our practice is to ensure that everyone follows the recommended schedule.

Please feel free to discuss any questions that you have about this policy with your provider.

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