Ever wonder what happens when you visit Bear Creek Pediatrics? Before you walk through the door? When you’re at the front desk? While you’re waiting in the exam room? Let’s go step-by-step, take a look behind the scenes, and find out…
Before You Arrive
It is important for us to meet the healthcare needs of your children, whether they are taking medication, needing immunizations, or have other pertinent health history. If you are transferring to our office from another clinic, you should complete a release of information form (one for each child), which will allow us to obtain your children’s prior medical history. We use tablets in-office for new patient registration, but you can also fill out patient registration forms instead, prior to your first visit.
At the Front Desk
Your appointment day is here! Please arrive 15 minutes early to allow for time to update information, confirm insurance, collect co-pays, and fill out any needed screening forms. If you are new to our clinic, you will need to fill out registration paperwork for each child. For long-time patients, our front office staff will verify your information every visit, just to make sure we can contact you when needed. You might be surprised how often phone numbers and email addresses change! Insurance coverage also changes frequently, so please bring your insurance card to each visit.
We try, of course, to be as fast and efficient as possible, but occasionally unanticipated concerns or emergencies will arise. Our goal is to give every one of our patients as much time as needed to make the best possible assessment, provide the best possible care, and answer all of your questions. We do our best to let you know when a provider is running behind, but please feel free to ask for an update if it seems like you’ve been waiting in the reception area a long time.
With the Medical Assistant (MA)
Once your child is brought back to the exam room, one of our medical assistants (MAs) will get a complete set of vital signs — height, weight, temperature, and blood pressure — and ask some necessary medical history questions. This allows your provider, especially in the case of a sick visit, to get a quick picture of what’s going on before entering the room. All this important information helps guide the treatment plan.
Medical assistants have medical training, so they’re prepared to spot any warning signs that might come up when taking vitals and history. If they see a sign of concern — if, say, a child who came in for a cough and cold symptoms is wheezing and breathing rapidly — they’ll move quickly to get a provider into the room right away. Situations like this are the reason why you may sometimes have a longer-than-usual wait; we’ll rearrange appointment order if it’s necessary to safeguard the health and safety of one of our patients. Once all of your information has been gathered, the MA will leave the exam room and let your provider know you’re ready to be seen.
In the Exam Room with a Provider
Now it’s your turn! Once your provider reviews your history and asks if you have any other questions or concerns, they begin their exam. Once your provider has finished the well visit, or made a diagnosis and recommended treatment for a sick visit, your child may need immunizations, testing, or other in-office treatments. If that’s the case, your provider alerts your MA, who will prepare and deliver whatever you need to complete your appointment. Prescriptions will be sent to your pharmacy electronically.
Once your exam and treatment are complete, you head back to the front desk to check out. This is the perfect time to schedule your next appointment or pick up any needed forms. Patients who pay out of pocket should pay at this time.
After You Leave
Once you walk out the door, there are still a few important things that are happening inside our office. If your child needs a referral to an outside specialist, we will complete that within 1-2 days. If you have not heard back from the referred provider after 7-10 business days, let us know so we can help get you scheduled as soon as possible.
Once office notes have been completed, they are given to our medical biller who then submits charges to your insurance company. Our biller tracks these claims and updates your account after payment is received, which can take up to 45 days. Every insurance plan is different, so we may not know what treatment is covered until a payment is received. If you have a balance due, our biller will send a paper statement to you. You can call our office and pay the balance over the phone, or mail us a check.
When You Call With a Concern
Our medical assistants are busy rooming patients, administering shots, sending referrals, AND answering phone calls! If our MA is not at her desk when you call, leave a detailed message, and she will get back to you as soon as possible, typically within 30 minutes. Our MAs work as a team to answer all phone calls, questions, and concerns about medical issues. They’re able to answer many of these questions themselves, per phone triage protocol, but if needed they’ll consult with one of our providers to get you the best possible care advice. We do not have staff for after hours phone advice, so consult the phone triage advice line associated with your medical insurance.