Patient Policies

We look forward to providing you with the highest quality medical care and healthcare services. These patient policies are designed to help you understand how Northwest Health Care Associates operates so you can most efficiently access the healthcare you need. We greatly appreciate any feedback that you feel would help us serve you better. Please click on a topic below to reveal more information.

We see patients in our office by appointment only. Office visits are categorized as Preventive (“well patient/ check-up”) visit, Emergency Office visit (typically for acute illnesses or problems of an urgent) or Complete Physicals which is a comprehensive exam focusing on preventive care or maintenance of existing medical conditions.

When you call Northwest Health Care Associates to schedule an appointment, our scheduling staff will ask several questions. The length of your time with the physician will be based on this discussion. The questions are designed to help appropriately schedule the type of appointment you need. We are typically able to schedule Emergency Office visits (for acute illnesses or problems of an urgent nature) with a doctor on the same day you call.

Your appointment will be scheduled to allow ample time to fully address all of your concerns or needs . Any “as long as I’m here” concerns that you may bring up can delay the doctor from seeing or treating other scheduled patients. Please indicate everything that you wish to address with the physician at the time your appointment is being scheduled.

There is paperwork that must be completed before most visits, before you can see the physician. Some are your responsibility and some our office staff must perform. Our office staff will explain these details and encourage you to arrive early to insure that all administrative tasks are completed well before our nurses are scheduled to take you back to see the physician. If you do not arrive at the time indicated by our staff, you risk not being ready to see the physician at your scheduled appointment time. If you arrive 15 minutes or more later than the time you were asked to arrive, you may be asked to reschedule your appointment for another day.

Northwest Health Care has a number of physicians and medical assistants who provide services to our patients. Patients are here for a variety of reasons and are rarely brought back to an exam room in the order they arrive. The sequence of being taken to an exam room does not correlate with the order the physicians will see patients. Our goal is to keep every patient as close to their scheduled appointment time as possible and to inform you if we are experiencing any delays.

The amount of time you should plan to be in our office depends on the reason you are here. In general, first-time patients and patients who are here for Complete Physical Exam visits take more time.

Sometimes for reasons beyond its control, every medical office will run behind schedule. Physician, office, and hospital emergencies impact schedules and result in unpredictable waiting periods. We make every effort to maintain our schedule and minimize any inconvenience to you. However, emergencies do occur. If a delay occurs, we will inform you as soon as possible and we will gladly reschedule your appointment if you would prefer not to wait.

If you will not be able to keep a scheduled appointment, please notify our office as soon as possible so we can use that appointment time for another patient. If by chance, you forget your appointment and do not call to cancel within 12 hours of appointment time we can elect to charge you a $25.00 missed appointment fee.

The Northwest Health Care Associates staff makes every effort to answer the phone when you call during our normal office hours. Our staff will answer your questions and transfer calls to the appropriate person to help you as quickly as possible. At times, we experience a high volume of calls and our automated system becomes activated to assist you. The auto attendant will list departments available for various patient needs and allow you to transfer to the appropriate department. If a staff member does not answer your self-directed call, please leave a voicemail message and someone will call you back as soon as possible. If you are calling after 3 PM or on the weekend, we may not get back to you until the next business day.

If you believe, you have a TRUE MEDICAL EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY and do not attempt to contact Northwest Health Care Associates.

If you are an established patient of Northwest Health Care Associates calling after business hours with an urgent medical problem and no staff member answers your call, please direct your call through the Answering Service. To access the answering service call 847-843-7030 and follow the automated prompts. Leave a detailed message including a phone number where you can be reached. The physician on-call will be notified and someone from our office will call you back as soon as possible.

All patients are encouraged to call the office with any questions they may have related to their medical care. If your call is not answered directly and you must leave a message for our nursing staff, please give a brief description of why you are calling and the best number and time for us to return your call. Our staff will not be able to answer your phone call without accessing your medical record and, in most cases, your questions will need to be discussed with one of our physicians before your call is returned.

If you are calling between 8 AM and 3 PM Monday through Friday, every effort is made to return your call the same day. If you are calling after 3 PM or over the weekend, we may not get back to you until the next business day.

The ability to prescribe narcotics, benzodiazepines, and other controlled substances is a privilege that is granted by the DEA. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has strict regulations governing the prescribing of controlled substances. The physicians at Northwest Health Care Associates take this privilege very seriously. This policy is designed not only to safeguard this privilege, but to also ensure that Northwest Health Care Associates provides appropriate patient care.

Controlled substances are prescribed for short-term use only. If required for periods longer than a few weeks, and a definitive diagnosis has not been established, a diagnostic evaluation (which may include referral for consultation with one or more specialists) will be initiated to determine the diagnosis. If the patient chooses not to pursue a diagnostic evaluation, will not be able to continue to prescribe narcotics.

If / when a diagnosis has been determined, the patient will be referred for definitive treatment or to Pain Management if long-term chronic pain management is required. If controlled substances are prescribed by Northwest Health Care Associates, the patient will not seek controlled substances from any other provider. Prescriptions will be filled at one pharmacy / pharmacy chain. Controlled substances prescriptions will not be filled by phone (no after hours, weekends, or holiday refills). Controlled substances will be taken only as prescribed. Abuse / overuse will not be tolerated. Lost prescriptions will not be rewritten / refilled. Controlled substances are not to be shared or sold.

Misrepresenting a condition or situation in order to obtain controlled substances is illegal. If it is felt that a patient is not being honest, Northwest Health Care Associates will refuse to prescribe controlled substances. Additionally, law enforcement agencies may be notified. Random drug screens (at patient’s expense) may be requested. Promptness for all appointment(s) is expected. Violation of, or refusal to comply with any of these guidelines may result in controlled substances no longer being prescribed and / or dismissal from the practice.

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