New Patient Info

What Paperwork Do I Need?

Medical History

If you plan to make an appointment at Whole Heart Family Medicine, please download the new patient paperwork (PDF below) and fill these pages out PRIOR to your first appointment.

 

Please bring a copy of your driver's license and insurance card to your appointment and come 20 minutes early so we have time to enter your medical information into our system before you are seen. If you want to have your blood drawn at your first appointment, be sure to come fasting (nothing to eat or drink but water for at least eight hours prior to your appointment time).

New Patient Packet

For your convienience you can print and fill out this form prior to your first visit

What Should I Expect At My Appointment?

Patient and Doctor

At Whole Heart Family Medicine, we believe everyone should have access to high quality medical care. But since it takes time to practice good medicine, and insurance companies come with limitations (a five minute appointment is often reimbursed the same as an hour appointment), we have to find creative ways to maximize our time together and still provide a comprehensive level of care. One way we do this is through providing written and online resources for further education. Another way is by scheduling different appointments to address different medical concerns, so we have enough time to fully address each issue.

 

For a medical practice to survive financially in an insurance world, they typically need to see a higher volume of patients in a day . . . but at WHFM we refuse to compromise our standard of care because of insurance regulations. We insist on providing the best possible medical care to everyone. We do not believe in rushing our patients in and out the door – we value listening well so we can make an accurate diagnosis and come up with the best possible treatment plan. This just means we may have to see some patients more frequently if they have multiple needs to address. 

 

We allot 30 minutes for a new patient appointment and 15 minutes for all follow-up appointments. YOU always get to choose how we spend our time together, but we suggest starting the appointment with your most pressing concerns.  Anything we do not get to that day, we will gladly address at another appointment.

 

We try to work in sick patients for same-day appointments when needed, which may mean working through lunch or staying late, so same-day appointments are focused on addressing the patient’s urgent concerns that day, not other chronic medical management.

 

We respect your time and do our best to stay on schedule, but there are times in which medical needs arise that may cause us to run behind. We appreciate your understanding in such situations and promise to give you the same devoted attention we offer to everyone else.

 

What Is Your Refill Policy?

prescription refill

We encourage all our patients to keep a list of their current medications and bring this list to each appointment for us to keep current. For those who prefer to keep track of their medications digitally, the Medisafe app is a great resource.

 

Please check the refills on all medicine bottles before coming into the office so we can take care of these needs at your appointment. By minimizing calls to the office for refills, our staff can spend more time focusing on your needs while you are there.

 

We will give you enough refills to last until your next appointment, so if you are running out of medication then it is probably time to follow-up. However, if you need to cancel your appointment for some reason – under most circumstances we can call in one month’s worth of medication so you have time to reschedule.

 

We do not accept faxed requests for refills (pharmacies often send these automatically, which can cause confusion). However, we will gladly address any medication needs when you or your pharmacist directly reach out to us. 

 

We will respond to phone messages and prescription requests as soon as possible, but no longer than two working business days. However, we encourage our patients to use the online portal to contact us whenever possible. This is the most accurate and secure way to manage your medical needs . . . and may yield a quicker response.

 

Do You Prescribe Controlled Medications?

Pharmacist holding bottle of medicine

According to SC law, physician assistants can only initiate a narcotic prescription for five days or less. At WHFM we prescribe narcotics for acute pain only when absolutely necessary. Patients in need of chronic pain medication will likely be referred to a pain specialist to manage their care.

 

Other Schedule II medications (like stimulants for ADD/ADHD) are also prescribed sparingly, and only after proper testing has been done by a psychologist.  At WHFM, we believe in targeting the root cause of disease and have had success helping many patients manage their ADD/ADHD using other methods. We make every effort to minimize risks related to prescription medications so we exhaust all other treatment options first. However, we will assess each patient’s needs individually and come up with a personalized treatment plan for each patient.

Patients on any Schedule II medications (narcotics or stimulants) are required to sign a drug contract annually and submit to periodic urine drug screens. Any discrepancies will result in termination of their prescription. Patients on chronic narcotics must be seen monthly for medication management. Patients on stimulants must be seen every three months (sooner when dose adjustments are made.)

 

Do You Take Insurance?

Health Insurance cards

Yes - we accept most insurances. For self-pay patients we offer a discounted rate.

 

Is The Blood Work Covered By Insurance?

Blood Work Insurance

Typically, yes!  It is covered 100% by Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare. The lab we currently use is in network with most major insurances, so even with private insurance it is almost always covered at your current insurance rate. However, deductible rules apply to blood work just like they do to everything else, so you may end up paying out of pocket for your testing if you have not yet met your yearly deductible.  In any case, the lab is very easy to work with and will gladly work out a payment plan if needed. 

 

Can I Come Just For a Cardiovascular Work-Up (and continue to see my current medical provider for everything else)?

cardiovascular work-up

Absolutely! For those who already have a primary care provider and just want an advanced cardiovascular work-up, we are happy to manage just this part of your medical care. You can continue to see your current medical provider for everything else.  Feel free to refer your medical provider to our website for more understanding about our advanced testing.

 

Can I Make A Telemedicine Apointment?

Telemedicine

Stay tuned – we are working hard to make this available soon!

 

Telemedicine appointments are a convenient option for medical visits that don’t require a physical exam (like blood work reviews and certain medication follow-ups).  During a telemedicine appointment we would meet with the patient via a secure video conference call.  This is a great option for patients who work and want to schedule their appointments from the office, for busy moms who don’t want to drag their kids to their appointment, or for patients who live out of town but who still want to get an advanced work-up.

 

Telemedicine is a growing field, but coverage depends on the individual insurance plan and state laws. Feel free to call your insurance company and explore your coverage for telemedicine because eventually this will be an option for our patients at WHFM.