Office Policies

Insurance Cards

Please bring your current insurance card to each visit. It is your responsibility to know the benefits and provisions of your individual policy. We ask that you provide us with all current insurance information prior to receiving services. This includes both primary and secondary insurances. If you do not provide us with the current insurance information, we will be unable to file the insurance claim for you, making you responsible for the cost of all services. If you do not have any insurance, please request to fill out a sliding fee schedule application at the front desk. A discounted fee schedule may be available to you based on your annual household income. No one will be denied services due to inability to pay.

Copayments & Deductibles

If your insurance policy requires a co-payment, it must be paid before your child is seen. For your convenience, we accept cash, Visa, Master Card and Discover. No checks will be accepted for copayments as of January 1, 2016.

New Patient Registration

To register to become a new patient of PMG, you must first completely fill out a new patient registration form for EACH patient. This form can be picked up in either office location or submitted electronically by clicking on the blue “Registration” tab to the right of the page. Please note that once a form is submitted, it will be reviewed by our staff, and we will call you to set up your initial appointment. This process can take 24-48 hours. If you have questions regarding a completed new patient registration form, please contact our Public Relations department, or email: contactus@preferredmedgroup.com.

Sports Physical Forms

If you require a form for daycare, pre-school, camp, sports physicals or for any other activity, we request you bring the form with you to your child's well exam. We do not have these forms in the office. If you are a current patient in need of a well-child checkup, you may bring the form to your appointment, and it will be filled for you at no charge. If you are not in current need of a well-child checkup, we will charge a minimal fee of $5 to complete the form, and it will take up to 48 hours to process. Please note that if it has been more than three months since your child was last seen in the office, we may have to schedule an appointment.

Same Day Sick Appointments

It is our philosophy to never turn away a sick patient. If you are sick, please give us a call so that we can work you into our schedule at a mutually convenient time. A triage nurse may speak with you to evaluate the severity of symptoms to determine if a same day appointment is needed.

Late Appointments

We encourage all patients to be at the office 10 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment time. If you are more than 15 minutes late, you may be asked to reschedule the appointment. If you are sick and you want to be seen the same day, we will be happy to try and work you in, but you may have to wait until there is an available opening. We do this as a courtesy to our other patients who will be seen at their scheduled appointment time.

Cancellation and No Show Policy

As a practice, we work to respect the time of all of our patients and their families as well as the physicians and staff. If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, we simply ask that you call us 24 hours in advance to cancel. Appointments not cancelled at least 24 hours in advance will be considered to be a no-show. We reserve the right to charge a $25 fee for each No Show. For pediatric services, PMG reserves the right to discharge a patient (and all siblings) once the family has accumulated two no shows within an 18-month time period. This policy does not pertain to our child psychologist, who has a different cancellation and no show policy, which can be found on the child psychology portion of this website.

Discharging Patients

The doctor-patient relationship must be collaborative and open to function well. Our physicians reserve the right to discharge patients at any time due to non-compliance with medical instructions or office policies, repeated no shows, or unruly behavior. Once a patient is discharged, we will refer the patient to the Medical Center for urgent/emergent care for the following 30 days while you search for a new physician. After this time period has elapsed, we will no longer be able to see the patient in any circumstance.

Prescriptions and Prescription Refills

After an appointment, the providers have until Noon for a morning appointment or 5 p.m. for an afternoon appointment to get all prescriptions over to your preferred pharmacy. The prescriptions are sent in order of both necessity and appointment time. Therefore, many prescriptions may be at your pharmacy much sooner, but we cannot guarantee this. Our physicians will provide the necessary number of refills for each prescription before a reevaluation of your child is required. We typically do not refill prescriptions over the phone, including maintenance prescriptions for ongoing conditions such as ADHD or asthma for pediatric patients. These conditions require follow up appointments every three months to determine your child’s response to the medication and dosage level. Please schedule these follow up appointments in advance. We encourage you to schedule the next appointment as you leave the current appointment so that you will have your refill on time.
***For Adults*** we will refill some medications over the phone at the discretion of the Family Medicine Director, Dr. Bradley Carden. You must call us with your prescription bottles easily accessible. Required information: preferred pharmacy, name of medication spelled correctly, dosage, type (liquid or tablet), how many times it is taken per day and number of days that supply is needed. Please be mindful that all refill requests may take up to 48 hours to process, so please call in advance.

After Hours Calls

We are available to you 24/7 to handle any urgent or emergency situations. After hours calls are directed to our answering service, which will then get in touch with one of our physicians. These calls should be limited to urgent matters. Most of the time, it is not possible for the doctor to diagnose a problem without actually examining the patient. Always remember that if you are sick, you will be better served by calling at 8:00 a.m. for a same day appointment and having our doctor examine you rather than getting advice over the phone. Our doctors also do not prescribe medications without evaluating a patient in most cases. If your child is running a fever during the night, you should administer an appropriate dose of Tylenol or Motrin. Please remember that we will always offer to see your child first thing in the morning.

Returned Mail/Checks

Please update your patient information each time you are in the office. We must always have your most current address and phone number. There is an administrative charge if your bill is returned due to a change of address and also when a check is returned to us by your bank due to insufficient funds.

Medical Records

At your written request, we will transfer immunizations, growth charts and other medical records to another physician's office one time without charge. Under Alabama law, our providers have up to 30 days to release your medical records to another physician’s office once you have signed the official Medical Records Release Form. Most physicians require a record of immunizations before you can schedule your first appointment. We will be happy to print you a copy of your one-page immunization record and medical summary free of charge while your records are being processed. If you would like a copy of your medical record for yourself, there is a standard charge, as allowed by Alabama law. A request for additional records will be subject to a charge.

Immunizations

We require that all of our pediatric patients be immunized for ALL state required immunizations. Some vaccines, including many new vaccines, are optional and some insurance companies do not reimburse our cost for these optional vaccines. Therefore, you will be required to pay for the cost of the vaccines which are not paid for by your insurance carrier. If you have any questions, you should contact your insurance carrier for specific information regarding the reimbursement of vaccines.

Multiple Children

Our pediatricians want to give each patient their undivided attention. Please schedule an appointment for each child that you feel needs to be examined or discussed. Additionally, because the examination rooms are small, the providers request that only the parent and two children are in an exam room at any given time to ensure there is adequate room for each examination. If you wish to schedule appointments for three or more children, one child must be old enough to sit in a separate room, unaccompanied, during the appointment for the other two children. Otherwise, another parent or adult can come to the appointments to sit with the third child. This policy also applies to siblings who are coming along for an appointment.

HIPAA Compliance Regarding Release of Medical Information

In accordance with federal HIPAA regulations, medical information must be picked up at the office. Therefore, we cannot fax or email any medical information to you. For details on HIPAA law please see HIPAA regulations at our website. For your convenience, we are able to Web Enable you with our Patient Portal. This is a secure portal where you can review and print most pertinent medical information regarding your patient including upcoming appointments, lab results and doctor’s notes about your most recent visits.

Proof of Identity

For the safety of all of our pediatric patients, we require that a parent or legal guardian bring a child to his/her first appointment with us along with proof of ID, which will be scanned into the patient’s chart. We may ask to see your ID at each visit to ensure that you are the parent or legal guardian. This also applies to any adults over the age of 18 who have your consent to bring the patient to medical visits. These individuals must be written on the patient registration form. Their IDs will be verified at each visit. We do need copies of the IDs of our adult patients as well, per standard policy. We will scan this into the chart.

Proof of Custody

If both biological parents do not share joint custody of a child, then we require a copy of a custody agreement from a court or another document proving who has legal custody of the child as well as the authority to make medical decisions concerning the child. We will need this whether the custody-holder is one biological parent, a foster mother, grandparent or other guardian appointed by the court. We will scan this document into the child’s patient chart. This is for the protection and safety of the child in the case that an individual who does not have custody calls us regarding any medical information. For questions or details on this policy, please email: contactus@preferredmedgroup.com.

Cell Phones in the Office

In order to respect those around you, we request that you do not talk on your cell phone within our office. Once you are in the examination room, we ask that you put your cell phone away completely.

Eating and Drinking

In the interest of maintaining a clean, sanitary environment for all of our patients, we ask that you put away all food and drink during your time in our facility. This does not apply to babies with bottles.

Language and Dress

We at PMG have a commitment to maintain a professional environment for all of our patients and their families. Therefore, we request that all caretakers remain mindful of others coming in for medical services by using child friendly language and dressing appropriately for appointments. Inappropriate examples might include cursing, using vulgar language or insinuations of violence, or wearing revealing clothing, bedroom attire or swimwear. We appreciate your participation with us in this endeavor!

Smoking

For the health and wellbeing of all of our patients and staff, we kindly request that you come to your child’s appointment free from the smell of smoke. Smoke that travels on clothing or personal belongings can especially exacerbate pre-existing breathing conditions such as asthma. We see a high number of patients with asthma and so this is especially important.

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