How are charges determined for primary care services?

How are charges determined for primary care services?

If you call to ask any medical office about prices, you’ll probably find that nobody is able to give you a direct answer. “How much will my visit cost?” will always be answered with some version of “it depends.” While that answer is true, a better answer might provide an estimate or range or an explanation about how those charges are generated. I’m hopeful that this article will be the best answer to that question you’ll ever receive.

This is a breakdown of every factor that goes into determining how much you are charged for a certain primary care medical service. These examples are related to primary care charges, but should translate well to specialist and urgent care charges, and at least provide a baseline of understanding for hospital-based charges.

  1. Insurance Company and In-Network Status.
  2. Benefits on Insurance Plan.
  3. Length and Content of Visit.
  4. Preventive or Diagnostic Coding.
  5. Services Provided.


As often as possible, you’ll want to visit providers that are “in-network” with your insurance. Being in-network means your provider has a contract in place with your insurance company to accept payment from your insurer and help you receive the benefits under your insurance plan.

Part of signing a contract with an insurer is agreeing to a “contracted rate” for medical services. This rate is determined through negotiations between the insurer and your provider, with some providers able to make deals for higher pay for the same services. Larger practices and hospital-affiliates can use their scale to negotiate better terms on their deals. Basically, they can get paid more for the same service because the threat of the large hospital leaving the network is greater than the threat of a small, independent practice leaving the network.

  1. Family Care receives roughly $70 for a 99213 from Aetna, one of our most used office visit codes. The closest large hospital-based primary care to our office receives ~$110 for the same code. If you have a deductible to meet for primary care services, you’ll be paying $70 at an independent facility or $110 to the large hospital for the same type of visit.

This contracted rate also varies significantly from one insurer to the other. Going back to CPT Code 99213, here is a range of rounded prices from various insurers at Family Care for the same code:

CPT Aetna BCBS Cigna United Healthcare
99213 $70 $85 $75 $70

BCBS allows higher reimbursement for the same service than most other insurers, mostly because they also have stricter standards for quality and claim management in their provider networks and provide a lot better coverage for services than other plans. However, two people that received the same service can be charged different amounts, based on the contracted rate that your provider has in place with each insurer.

If you go out-of-network, the provider is technically allowed to charge you whatever they want! There are a few requirements for limiting charges, but you’re essentially operating outside of any contracts and subject to whatever rules the provider has in place. At Family Care, we offer uninsured or out-of-network patients the same rate as our lowest paying insurer. At large hospital facilities, they’ll double the price and act like they’re doing you a favor by giving you a 10% discount.

Summary: In-network providers sign contracts to follow rules that protect the patient and allow you to access your insurance benefits, so stay in-network. Larger facilities cost more, and contracted rates vary based on the insurance company.


We just covered an aspect of the charges that is beyond your control – the negotiated rate between your insurer and your provider. This section is related to how charges are assigned between the two parties that will pay for your healthcare expenses – either the patient or the insurer. The final answer is determined based on the benefits on your insurance plan and the contract you signed with your insurer.

These days, there are two main types of plans you can decide from:

  • PPO / “Copay” Plan: This plan has higher premiums, but you pay less when you need care.
  • Deductible-Based Plan: This plan has lower premiums, but you pay more when you need care.

There are lots of options in-between these two choices, but we’re going to be over 5000 words with this article already and the exceptions could fill a book, so we’re just going to simplify things and focus on these two most common options.

If you have a Copayment for primary care services, your costs are essentially fixed. Every time you visit your primary care provider, you’ll likely owe a $X copayment. You’ll likely have a deductible for non-standard services, labs, and procedures (eg. minor surgeries, in-house diagnostic tests, EKGs, etc.), but you’ll know to expect a $X copay almost every time you seek care. Because those types of plans are fairly easy to understand and you don’t really need to worry much about factors that go into the total cost of your visit (because you only need to pay your copay, regardless of the amount of total charges), this article will be focused on deductible-based plans.

Under a Deductible-based plan, you pay 100% of all non-preventive medical charges until you have met your deductible. After meeting whatever deductible amount you have on your plan, your responsibility for future charges drops to a Coinsurance Percentage, usually around 10%-20% of all charges. This means you still have a variable rate of responsibility after your deductible, but it is calculated at a much lower amount. You will continue paying variable-rate bills at that lower percentage until you have met your Out-Of-Pocket Maximum (OOPM) for the year.

The benefit of a deductible-based plan is usually seen in your monthly premiums. Plans that cover more expenses (ie. Copay plans) are guaranteed to have higher fixed costs through monthly premiums, while plans that cover fewer expenses (ie. Deductible plans) are guaranteed to have higher variable costs based on usage. Here is a quick example of a three-month period for two different patients receiving the same care – one with a copay plan and one with a deductible plan.

Patient Plan Type Premium Visit #1 Visit #2 Visit #3 3-Month Total
Alice Copayment $700 $25 $25 $25 $2175
Betty Deductible $350 $125 $75 $225 $1475

In this example, Betty had to pay $425 more to their provider for the same services that Alice received for only $75. However, Alice also paid the insurance company $2100, while Betty only paid the insurance company $1050 in the same period. Overall, Betty owed more to the provider when they sought treatment and medical care, but still saved a significant amount in total out-of-pocket expenses by having a lower fixed premium expense each month.

As I outlined in a previous BCBS State Health Plan article, there is always a point of usage where both plans match overall expenses equally. In general, the more health problems you have, the more you should want higher premiums and lower expenses for receiving care. You don’t want an unexpected cost to be the reason you don’t receive treatment, or a reason to avoid seeking the care you need. The promise of a set expense when receiving care is valuable and lowers barriers to treatment for many people who have chronic or complicated conditions.

On the flip side, if you do not have many health problems and don’t expect to require healthcare services often, you’ll want to save your fixed expenses each month and just save money until you need care. If you save $350 per month on your premiums, but must pay an extra $100 every three months to your provider, you’ll still be way ahead on costs, overall.

The trick is to figure out which side of the chart you’ll end up on and try to match your coverage accordingly. Every insurance plan can benefit someone, but the hard part is finding the insurance plan that benefits you, specifically.

Summary: The benefits on your insurance plan determine what percentage of the total charges you’ll be responsible for paying at each visit. Better coverage means higher monthly premiums, but lower expenses when you seek care.


We’ve covered the “Insurer-Provider” and “Insurer-Patient” relationships that impact payment responsibilities, so this one is basically the “Provider-Patient” section.

For any service-based industry, time is money. If you hire a mechanic, plumber, landscaper, contractor, lawyer, or accountant, it is generally accepted that these professionals charge by the hour. The same is true for medical providers, with a few exceptions and requirements.

Primary care services fall under three main categories:

  • Office Visits. Any discussion or consultation with a medical provider that results in the treatment, diagnosis, or management of a patient’s problem, concern, or illness.
  • Preventive Services. Standardized screening services, as determined by the patient’s age, gender, risk factors, and family history. These are essentially “scripted” visits and do not necessarily consider a patient’s individual medical history when being performed.
  • Lab Services. Samples and specimens collected to obtain preventive or diagnostic lab results.

For Office Visits, you will be billed based on time and complexity of the visit. Short, simple appointments are cheaper than long, complicated appointments. Family Care utilizes coding calculators to provide accurate charges for services, which follows the current AMA recommendations and requirements for medical decision making outlined here. The entire table is a great resource, but here is a quick summary of our 4 most common codes, the non-preventive codes used for standard consults/problems/issues:

  • 99212: 10-19 minutes, minimal complexity, minimal risk
  • 99213: 20-29 minutes, low complexity, low risk
  • 99214: 30-39 minutes, moderate complexity, moderate risk
  • 99215: 40-54 minutes, high complexity, high risk

In general, your visit only needs to hit at least 1 of the 3 factors to reach each threshold. This is why time is the simplest way to understand the charges, but also why a short visit might end up being charged at a higher amount. For example, a 15-minute visit about acne would be a 99212, while a 15-minute visit about anxiety and depression might be a 99214. This difference is mostly related to the extra requirements we have from insurers and resources we must allocate to manage the higher complexity problems.

Keep in mind that the times listed are also not the amount of face-to-face time you see the provider, but the amount of time the provider takes to see you. Here is the definition of “time,” according to the AAFP:

The definition of time consists of the cumulative amount of face-to-face and non-face-to-face time personally spent by the physician or other QHP in care of the patient on the date of the encounter. It includes activities such as:

  • Preparing to see the patient (e.g., review of tests);
  • Obtaining and/or reviewing separately obtained history;
  • Ordering medications, tests or procedures;
  • Documenting clinical information in the electronic health record (EHR) or other records; and
  • Communicating with the patient, family, and/or caregiver(s).

For most visits, especially chronic conditions, your provider spends at least 5 minutes before your visit reviewing your records, results, and preparing to speak with the patient about whatever problems you have presented with at your visit. After your visit, your provider will also spend at least 5 minutes (usually more) documenting your visit, sending prescriptions, writing referrals, and coordinating your care with specialists. Because of this, a 99212 is uncommon. Most visits take 15-20 minutes of face-to-face time and 5-10 minutes of prep / post time from your provider. It is rare that an entire problem can be introduced, diagnosed, addressed, and treated within just 19 minutes, but it does happen!

At Family Care, regular office visits are charged at a 99212 (shortest) or 99215 (longest) rate about 10% of the time each, at the 99213 or 99214 rate about 40% of the time each, so a 99213 or 99214 should be expected for most visits.

Summary: You are basically paying by the hour and complicated conditions require more time. Charges are generated by the provider’s total time spent preparing, administering, and documenting your healthcare, not just the face-to-face time spent with your provider. A short, simple visit will have lower billable charges than a long, complicated visit.


Instead of a “relationship” between the provider, patient, or insurer, coding guidelines are more of a regulation that providers must follow based on CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. There are two codes that combine to determine the codes used for each visit – CPT Codes and ICD10 Codes. Each one of these codes has the potential to be used to represent preventive services or diagnostic services, which greatly change the likelihood of a particular service being paid for by an insurance company.

Preventive services are essentially screenings to identify any problems and make sure you are up-to-date on healthcare guidelines based on your age, gender, and risk factors (eg. Are you due for your mammogram?). I wrote a few thousand words about preventives services here, so I won’t go into that topic much here.

Diagnostic services essentially cover everything else, but can briefly be summarized as things that are related to health problems or concerns that are unique to an individual (eg. Knee pain, influenza, high blood pressure, etc.). Outside of your annual preventive exam and services specifically outlined as preventive under your insurance benefits, you should start with the default expectation that all services will be considered “diagnostic.”

CPT Codes are the answer to “what service did I have?” Each CPT code represents a different type of service that fits within the same standards for medical care and decision making. Every unique service is represented by a unique CPT code, with some groups of codes representing a service that is classified as “preventive.” Here are a few examples of how a CPT code works:

  • Example A: Alice and Betty both see a doctor for an in-person visit and get an EKG performed during their exam. Both patients will have CPT 93000 added to their charges.
  • Example B: Chris and Dave both have a lipid panel drawn to check their cholesterol. Both patients will be charged for CPT 80061 by the laboratory.

ICD-10 Codes are the answer to “why did I have that service?” Each ICD code represents the problem, issue, illness, or concern that explain why you sought medical treatment. Like CPT codes, ICD codes also have groups that represent a preventive or diagnostic service. The new ICD-10 system uses fun categories based on the types of problems each category represents (eg. If an ICD-10 code starts with the letter Z, it is considered preventive).

Now that we know what CPT codes and ICD-10 codes are, and the difference between preventive and diagnostic, I can explain how the relationship between these two codes ultimately determines your benefits. This table explains the possible outcomes:

  Preventive ICD-10 Code Diagnostic ICD-10 Code
Preventive CPT Code Preventive Diagnostic
Diagnostic CPT Code Diagnostic Diagnostic
  • If both the CPT and ICD are Preventive, the claim will be considered Preventive.
  • If either the CPT or ICD are Preventive, the claim will be considered Diagnostic.

Going back to the previous examples, here is what would happen with different scenarios.

  • Example A: Alice did not have any heart problems at her visit, but received an EKG because her insurance allows one screening EKG after she turns 65 years old. Betty has had two heart attacks in the past 5 years and was ordered to get an EKG by her cardiologist because he noticed a murmur. Alice’s EKG will be paired with a preventive ICD-10 code and be considered a preventive service. Betty’s EKG will be paired with a diagnostic ICD-10 code and be considered a diagnostic service.
  • Example B: Chris has never had problems with cholesterol before and had his lipids checked as part of a routine annual wellness exam. Dave has a long history of cholesterol issues and was recently admitted to the hospital for heart failure. Chris’s lipid panel will be paired with a preventive ICD-10 code and be considered a preventive service. Dave’s lipid panel will be paired with a diagnostic ICD-10 code and be considered a diagnostic service.

The same service is provided, but the pairing to designate “preventive” or “diagnostic” will ultimately determine which class of benefits the charges are considered under.

Summary: CPT codes are the “What” and ICD-10 codes are the “Why” for any insurance claim. If both are preventive, the claim will be preventive. If one is diagnostic, the claim will be diagnostic. The same service can be considered either preventive or diagnostic, depending on why it was ordered.


We’re close to 3000 words already, so we’re lucky that this section is short and easy! If you have something done, you’ll be charged for it. If you don’t have something done, you won’t be charged for it. Simple!

To make this short section helpful, here are a few examples:

  • Visit A: 20-minute visit, only. $100.
  • Visit B: 20-minute visit, plus a flu test. $125.
  • Visit C: 20-minute visit, plus a flu test, plus a vaccine. $225.

The more things you have done, the more you will be charged. Think of it sort of like a restaurant menu and ordering different items, except those items are different services.

In primary care billing, there are only about 25 codes that are used with any frequency. Things can get complicated with hospital services, visits that require multiple providers or specialties, or when any drugs are administered, but thankfully we can pretty much list every code we’ve used more than once per year.

These codes are our basic uninsured rates, so they do not consider the network contracted rates that are described in the first section of this article. Generally, these listed prices are within 10% of our average, so it can be used as a good estimate.

Summary: There is a separate fee for every service, test, vaccine, or treatment you receive. If you have more things done, you will pay more in total.


Medical billing can be complicated, but there are some basic concepts that should help you work out any problems or discrepancies and help you predict your cost of care. If you understand your insurance benefits and how your charges are generated, you shouldn’t be too surprised by any one charge. Understanding these concepts will also help you speak with your insurer or provider to dispute any discrepancies or file an appeal. Getting guaranteed medical billing information up front is difficult for a lot of reasons, but I hope this information helps establish an estimate for charges under any type of insurance plan and provides a framework for patients to understand their coverage and charges better.

If you are a patient at Family Care and have any questions about this information, please contact Ryan!

The New Patient Experience

Welcome to Family Care! To help you acclimate to our practice and adjust to a new way of doing things, we thought it would be helpful to outline exactly what to expect during your first visit to Family Care. Our goal with this page is to walk you through the process of becoming a new patient, including scheduling, billing, and contact processes, as well as the expectations we’ll have for you as our patient. We hope to cover every detail that you might consider relevant during your first few appointments to our office so you’ll know what to expect and feel more comfortable during your initial visits to Family Care.

How do I make an appointment?

Call 919-544-6461 or complete this form.

When will my appointment be scheduled?

Each of our providers schedules New Patient visits at certain times during the day. You will be able to select from any available upcoming new patient appointment times for the provider you prefer. Once you become an established patient, more possible appointment times become available.

  • Sabrina Mentock, MD: Not currently accepting New Patients.
  • Elaina Lee, MD: Accepts 2 New Patients per week.
    • Wednesdays at 9am and 11am.
  • Sarada Schossow, PA-C: Accepts 14 New Patients per week.
    • Monday & Tuesday at 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm.
    • Thursday & Friday at 9am, 11am, 2pm, and 4pm.
  • Frankee Rodriguez, NP: Accepts 14 New Patients per week.
    • Monday & Tuesday at 9am, 11am, 2pm, and 4pm.
    • Wednesday & Thursday at 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm.

The exact available times may vary by 30 minutes on any given day, but this is a good starting reference.

Generally, if you do not have a preference which provider or time slot you schedule, our next available new patient appointment is within 7-14 days.

Waiting List. We do have a waiting list that we keep for last minute cancellations, if you are somewhat flexible with coming in with less than 48 hours’ notice. To be placed on the waiting list, you must complete the New Patient Registration form and submit your completed New Patient Paperwork prior to your appointment. This helps us work you in for a visit quicker by having all your paperwork completed and ready to go before your visit.

To be added to the waiting list, please follow these steps:

  1. Complete all three New Patient Registration forms.
  2. Schedule an appointment for your New Patient visit.
  3. Ask the scheduler to add you to a cancellation list and provide alternative days or times that would be best for you. If we have any openings that match your availability, we will contact you to move your appointment to an earlier date.

What will I do before my New Patient appointment?

Before your scheduled appointment, please review these necessary steps to establish as a new patient at our office:

  1. Verify your insurance is active and in-network with Family Care.
    • In-Network with Blue Cross Blue Shield
      • Including NC State Health Plan, FEP, BlueOptions, BlueCare, BlueHome, and almost all others.
    • In-Network with CignaUnited Healthcare, & Aetna
      • Excluding HMOs and some third-party providers.
    • Other Insurance, or Uninsured? Please reference our “Out-of-Network” policies.
  2. Complete all three of our online New Patient forms. Start with #1 and you will be transferred to the next form after you hit Submit.
  3. Request records from your previous provider. 

If you download a document to complete by hand, instead of completing the online version, you will need to print, complete, sign, scan, and return the documents using our File Upload page.

What will I do at my New Patient appointment?

Your very first visit to our office will be structured differently than all future visits. Because you are new to our practice, we must get you setup in our system, establish your history, and create a baseline for your future medical care. This visit will cover these specific things:

  • Acute Illness & Injury. If the primary reason you are setting up a New Patient appointment is because you are sick or injured, we will address your symptoms and concerns related to an acute condition. If you are not currently sick, we’re glad you’re well! We would then skip this section and spend more time on your Future Care Plan, instead.
  • Medical History. Before your visit, we rarely know anything about your medical history. This is obviously very important, so we will review all your previous diagnoses, treatments, procedures, prescriptions, and medical problems. We need this information to help you become healthier. Once you have become an established patient, we will already have this historical information documented and you will not necessarily go through this same type of review again.
  • Current Medication Refills. If one of your reasons for establishing care with a new primary care provider is to continue medications that were previously prescribed by another provider, we can often prescribe these refills at your initial appointment. To take over prescribing a medication, we would first need records related to your prescription history. This includes office visit notes from your previous provider that indicate the diagnosis and condition for the medication, as well as the dates and amounts of your recent prescriptions. We cannot prescribe a medication for a chronic or long-term condition until we have this information, so you may want to ensure that your previous records are transferred prior to your appointment if this is important.
    • We do not prescribe controlled substances at your New Patient appointment. There are no exceptions. After reviewing your previous records, if your provider agrees that you should start or continue a controlled medication after your visit, you may receive a prescription at your follow up visit after signing our Controlled Substance Agreement.
  • Future Care Plan. After reviewing your medical history and discussing your concerns, your new primary care provider will establish a plan for your future medical needs. For most people, this involves scheduling your annual wellness exam and ordering recommended blood work to be drawn at your next appointment. If you started a new medication for a chronic illness or condition at your new patient appointment, you may be asked to follow up to check your progress after 30-180 days, depending on the medication. All new controlled prescriptions require a 30 day follow up visit.

Because of the amount of time it takes to establish you as a patient, we do not perform annual wellness exams or preventive services at your initial visit. Your New Patient visit is considered a standard, non-preventive office visit. Your preventive exam (aka. the “free” visit on most insurance plans) is usually scheduled as your second appointment to our office. This is still a “covered” service under all insurance guidelines, but it is not considered “preventive,” so any copayments and deductibles would still apply to this visit.

What changes after I have already established as a patient at Family Care?

Full Schedule Access. The reason we limit the scheduling for new patients is to ensure that our providers have the time and resources available to manage their existing patients. Each provider schedules 30-minute appointments and only has availability for a certain number of visits per week, so we want to be sure they have enough time to properly care for their existing patients. We analyze the average number of visits each patient might require per year and have calibrated each provider’s new patient volume to ensure that existing patient needs are met before we consider adding new patients.

Once you have established as a new patient, our full range of scheduling options will be open to you. Instead of selecting from 2-4 appointment times per day, you will have potential access to all 16-24 possible appointment times each day. We reserve 4 times per day, per provider, for existing patient “same day” appointments (we do not schedule these times until the same day of the appointment and only use them for acute illnesses), as well, which means you’ll usually be able to schedule a sick visit within 24-48 hours, if needed. These appointments are often taken before 10am, so call early!

Telephone / Portal Triage. We cannot provide medical advice for non-established patients, but we can help existing patients because we have an established medical history. As an established patient, you will be able to call or message our office for medical advice outside of an appointment. You will be able to call and talk about your symptoms with our nurse, and maybe seek a recommendation for an over-the-counter medication. In many cases, the advice you’ll receive may still be to schedule an appointment to fully evaluate your concerns, but you can at least talk with someone prior to the visit.

Annual Wellness Exams. You will be able to schedule your annual preventive exam. We do not perform annual wellness exams during your first visit to our office, so the New Patient visit is necessary if you’d like to schedule this appointment. This is generally advertised as the “free” preventive visit through most insurers, so we structure the appointment to comply with most insurer’s coverage standards to help you get the most out of this visit at no cost to you. For details on what this appointment covers, please read about our preventive wellness exams.

How much will my visit cost?

This is an important question! Unfortunately, there is no perfect answer, so we can only explain the possibilities. There are many factors that influence the cost of your visit, so hopefully this can set your expectations and help you understand how the costs are calculated. To help simplify the potential outcomes regarding your patient responsibility, we created this Flow Chart you can follow and have linked our Self-Pay Price Listing.

In general, appointments are billed based on the amount of face-to-face time you spend with your provider. New Patient appointments are generally 5%-10% more expensive than regular appointments for similar tiers of services, so your first visit is likely to be more expensive than subsequent visits. These visits are approved services by insurance (CPT 99201-99205), but they are not considered preventive. If you have a copay or deductible, that would apply to your initial visit.

A good estimate of the total cost of the visit is between $100 and $150. If you do not have insurance, or have not met your deductible, you can expect to pay this amount at checkout. If you have a co-payment, you can likely expect to just pay your co-payment amount.

If you have any additional tests (eg. EKG, flu/strep testing, etc.), you can expect additional fees for those services. These services may be covered under your co-payment, or they may be considered part of a separate “Lab-Only” deductible that many co-payment plans feature.

Basically, a short visit with no testing is relatively inexpensive, while a long visit with many tests would be relatively expensive. Most visits fall somewhere in-between, so we use ~$125 as a good starting point for your expectations, which you can adjust after considering everything you’d like to cover during your visit. If you have any specific price questions that are not available on our Uninsured Price List, please contact our office for a custom quote.

How can I verify my benefits for a New Patient Visit?

The two components of a health insurance claim are the CPT Code (what you had done) and ICD code (why you had it done). The combination of these two codes determines your level of insurance benefits. You will be billed for one of these New Patient CPT Codes:

  • 99201 – New Patient Consultation, 10-15 minutes, Level 1
  • 99202 – New Patient Consultation, 20-25 minutes, Level 2
  • 99203 – New Patient Consultation, 25-30 minutes, Level 3
  • 99204 – New Patient Consultation, 30-45 minutes, Level 4
  • 99205 – New Patient Consultation, 45-60 minutes, Level 5

If you have any other services during your visit (eg. EKG, vaccines, labs, samples, etc.), you will have CPT code line items for these services, as well. In general, all the tests and services we provide are between $5 and $40, even if you didn’t have insurance at all, outside of the consults themselves.

Your ICD Code (aka Diagnosis Code) will be dependent on your reason for the visit, but it would NOT be considered a “preventive code.”

You can reference your enrollment paperwork for benefit details, obtain benefit information through your insurer’s portal, or speak with a customer service representative from your insurance over the phone. You should attempt to verify your coverage for CPT 99201-99205 when billed as a diagnostic / non-preventive service to fully understand your coverage.

What is likely to happen?

The most likely scenario for your first visit really depends on a few different factors regarding your health.

  1. You have no concerns or problems to discuss, you just need to establish care with a new provider.
    • Your first visit will be fairly quick, with most of the time spent in discussion about your future care. We are still required to take a full medical history to establish you as a patient, even if that history is mostly blank and you have never had any serious problems. We have you complete health history paperwork and you will review the information you provided with your provider to confirm accuracy and possibly identify any gaps that were not addressed on the form. This provides a baseline for future care and will end up saving you a lot of time during future appointments. We will also identify and discuss recommended screening procedures based on your current age and responses you provide to our health history form.
  2. You have some minor concerns or an acute illness/injury to discuss.
    • We can address and treat these immediate concerns at your first visit. Your initial consult will be focused on helping you feel better that day, but we will also review your medical history and set a baseline for future care. We will make recommendations and plans for future preventive screenings, but you may require follow-up care on your illness/injury before setting up a preventive wellness exam.
  3. You have some serious concerns or a major illness to discuss.
    • We will begin with obtaining a detailed history of your specific issues and focus the majority of the visit on those problems. We would like to have records from a previous provider or emergency room, if possible, but that is not required. If we have those records, the visit will include a review of your previous recommendations, treatments, and diagnoses to determine if that plan has been working for you. Your future care plan will likely be focused only on these issues and preventive measures will be addressed once your immediate concerns have been stabilized or resolved.

Your initial visit is an approved service and you will be approved as a “established patient” for up to three years after your most recent visit. The visit is necessary for us gather the information we need to take care of you. For almost everyone, this is the only time you will have certain restrictions on what you are able to do during a non-preventive appointment.

We hope this has been helpful! If you have any questions, please ask!