General Policies & Information Information regarding scheduling of appointments, after hours care, referrals, prescription refill requests, etc.
Appointments - Our providers see patients by appointments only. We encourage your to see your primary care provider each time. If this is possible, we do function as a group and you have the option of seeing any of our other providers with open appointments. If you need to cancel your appointment, please give our office 24 hour notice, as this will leave us enough time to fill the open appointment time. If you are late for your appointment, your chart will be given to the nurse and provider. They will evaluate their schedule and your medical needs and decide if they will proceed with the appointment or ask that you reschedule it for another time.
Last minute cancellations and missed appointments ("no-shows") will be charged $40 to $50 fee. If a brand new patient fails to show up for his/her first visit with us, we will no longer accept that person or his/her family members into the practice. For established patients, the limit for no-shows is 3. After three no-shows for a patient or family, that patient/family may be discharged from the practice.
You are considered a new patient if it has been over 3 years since you have been seen in an appointment with a provider at our clinic.
After Hours Care - We provider 24-hour on-call care for our patients, which can be accessed by calling our main office number. You will be put in contact with our answering service, who can page our on-call provider for you. If you have not received a response from the provider within 15 minutes, please contact the answering service again.
Phone Calls - All calls to our clinic go through the automated call routing system. That system will instruct you on how to be connected with the appropriate Tumwater Family Practice staff-member. If you are trying to reach a provider, your call will be routed to that provider via their nurse. If you get their voice mail, please leave a detailed message and your call will be returned. Non-urgent patient calls may take 1-2 working days to return. If you are trying to reach a nurse, you will be connected with that nurse's phone extension. If you get their voice mail, please leave a detailed message and your call will be returned within the same day. Please understand that this may mean that you will receive a return call at the end of the day, depending on urgency.
Referrals - Most patients need to be seen by a provider prior to receiving a referral. Since most referrals have to be approved by your insurance company first, each referral may take at least 7-10 business days to complete. If you have not heard from us after 14 days, please call us to check on the status of your referral As always, emergent referrals will be expedited.
Prescription Requests and Refills- If you are requesting a prescription for a medication that we have not previously prescribed for you, an appointment with your provider will be necessary in order to ensure your safety. If you are requesting a refill of a medication that we have prescribed for you, please contact your pharmacy to request the refill. They will then fax us the medication refill request. This written process helps to insure that there is no miscommunication regarding your medications. We recommend that you call at least one week ahead of time to insure that you don't run out of your medications.
If you have had a change in pharmacy or need us to provide you with a written prescription, please make that request through your provider's nurse. These requests will be completed within 2-3 business days excluding weekends.
If you have an appointment to discuss your medications, please bring them to your appointment, as well as a list of all other medications/dosages you are taking, so that your provider may review them with you and update your medication sheet.
Paperwork Request (asking your provider to complete special paperwork/forms for you) - The turnaround time for completing requested paperwork is generally 3-5 business days. We now charge a fee for completion of certain types of paperwork. The provider completing the paperwork will determine if a charge is warranted and the amount to charge, which will generally range from $15 to $50. For paperwork with an associated charge, payment in full will be collected when you pick up the completed paperwork.
Retention of New Patient Medical Records - We recommend that all new patients arrange to have copies of their previous medical records transferred to our clinic. If we receive those records before you have come in for an appointment to establish care with one of our providers, we will store the records for you up to six months.
Lab Results - Your provider will let you know how he/she informs patients of lab results. If your provider prefers to notify you by phone or mail, please be aware that phone calls are generally only made for abnormal lab results unless otherwise requested. Normal lab results will be sent to you by mail. This process may take up to 1-2 weeks depending on the type and urgency of the tests performed.
Privacy - Our "Notice of Privacy Practices" describes our policies and responsibilities regarding patient privacy. If you do not recall having been given a copy or if you would another copy, the notice is available upon request and is also located in the lobby of our clinic.
Problem & Concern Resolution We encourage you to inform your provider if you have any concerns about your healthcare or about our polices/procedure. If you are uncomfortable discussing a problem with your provider, please feel free to discuss your issue with the appropriate department supervisor or our Clinic Administrator. We are all here to help and would appreciate the opportunity to resolve any issue that may arise.
Billing Policies & Information Contains important information regarding our billing policies and procedure. (How your patient account will be set up; Adding family members to your account; Our policy regarding payment of balances; Interpreting your billing statement, etc.)
Patient Accounts - Previously, it was our policy to place married couples and their dependent children (under the age of 18) onto one "Family Account" unless were specifically asked to make separate accounts. The adult family member who first called us to set up the account, was entered as the "guarantor" on the account and then each family member was added to the account when their first appointment was scheduled.
As per patient feedback and as an attempt to better protect our patients' privacy, we have recently decided to change that policy/ procedure.
Effective immediately for all new accounts being established, we will give each adult patient an account of their own. Minor children will be placed onto the account of the adult parent/guardian who arranges the medical care and signs the patient forms for the child.
We will eventually change call of our patient accounts over to this new system. Meanwhile, if you have an existing "Family Account" and would like to expedite the change of your account to the new type of account, please contact our Billing Department and they will be happy to arrange that for you.
Always be sure to inform the front desk immediately, if you have a change in marital status, insurance or address, so that your account can be updated.
Bills & Statements - If we have agreed to bill your insurance(s), we will submit a claim to them promptly following your appointment. When your insurance company responds to our claim, they will inform us what portion of the charges for that appointment you are supposed to pay according to your or your employer's contract with them. As soon as we have received a response from all of the insurance companies that we have agreed to bill for your appointment, we will send you a statement/bill if there is any remaining balance owed by you.
We will only send you a statement if we believe there is an amount due for you. The amount listed in the "PLEASE PAY THIS AMOUNT" box on your statement is due in full within 30 days unless you contact our Billing Department to make other formal payment arrangements.
If you believe you do not owe the amount listed in the "PLEASE PAY THIS AMOUNT" box on your statement, please contact our Billing Department immediately upon receipt of your statement.
Motor Vehicle Accidents ("MVA's") - We generally do not see new patients for accident related visits (unless they have an HMO insurance on which we are listed as their primary care provider). For your convenience, we will attempt to bill your automobile insurance if the policy includes Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, but we can not bill the other person's auto insurance. Your regular health insurance company may have a special policy/procedure with regard to handling claims related to motor vehicle accidents. Please speak with our Billing Department for complete details.
On-the-Job Injuries - Due to the complexities of providing care for patients who have sustained an on the job injury, we refer our patients to specialists who are trained in overall management of these claims.
Laboratory Billing - For your convenience, Tumwater Family Practice has a lab in the Suite across the hall from the main clinic that can collect and process many of the commonly ordered lab tests. Your lab specimen will either be collected by the nurse/medical assistant here (paps, etc.) and taken across the hall for testing or will be collected from you at the TFPC Lab (blood work, etc.) If your provider has ordered test(s) that the TFPC Lab does not run, the samples will be sent in to Quest Diagnostics for processing. In addition, Quest provides weekend coverage at TFPC so samples collected on Saturday will also be processed at Quest. It is possible that some of your tests will be processed by TFPC Lab and some will be processed by Quest, in this scenario you will receive bills from both companies only for the tests that each company performed. For TFPC Lab billing questions, call our regular billing department. For Quest billing questions, please call the number listed on your billing statement from Quest. If you have questions about why a test was ordered, please contact your provider's nurse.
X-Ray Billing - Also for your convenience, we have a South Sound Radiology X-Ray facility here. Although the X-Ray facility is located within our building, it is a separate company from Tumwater Clinic, so be sure to provider them with your current billing information. If you have questions or concerns regarding your X-Ray billing, please contact South Sound Radiology at (360) 252-9300 regarding your X-Ray bill. Because they are a separate business from us, our Billing Department does not have access to information regarding your X-Ray billing.
Tumwater Family Practice Clinic 150 Dennis St SW Tumwater, WA 98501 Phone: 360-754-6367 Fax:360-754-6429