We are so pleased that you have selected Prima Medical Group for your medical care and look forward to a long and pleasant association with you. This information will detail some of the things that will help us to work together effectively to keep you in the best of health and to assist you should you have a medical problem.
We have four clinicians to provide you with the best in state-of-the-art evidence based medicine. We have two terrific, very experienced Nurse Practitioners, Robin Murphy and Mary Redfern. They work closely with the physicians and can handle a wide range of medical concerns and well-care visits, as well as prescribe medications and refer to specialists should that become a necessary part of your medical care.
Each time you move, change a telephone number, emergency contact or other demographic information please remember to update your records with us. It is especially critical that you present us with a copy of your insurance information on a YEARLY basis. Because of privacy concerns insurance companies frequently change the cards they send to members. We will ask to see your insurance card or have you verify it each time you are seen in the office. If we have an old card and your insurance company denies our claim to them for services rendered to you, the bill for the services will be sent to you until you provide us with your new insurance information. We want to avoid this at all costs, so please help us by updating your records with us each time a change is made.
Please call our office during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 415.924.1214 to schedule an appointment. Please be prepared to tell the answering receptionist the nature of your medical concern as this helps them to most effectively schedule you with your clinician. When coming for your appointment please arrive at least 10 minutes early. This gives our office an opportunity to verify your insurance and demographic information and collect any co-payment that your insurance company may require. Please note that our contract with your insurance company states that we are required to collect your co-pay at the time your are seen. Co-pays cannot be billed except in an emergency. We accept cash, checks, and credit cards as forms of payment. You may also use your debit card as long as it has a Visa or master card symbol on the card.
IF YOU HAVE A LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCY PLEASE CALL 911! For less serious concerns, we have a great group of physicians on call when the office is not open should you suddenly become sick. You may call our main number at 415.924.1214 and our answering service will take a message and contact the physician. Before going to an urgent care facility please call our office as most insurance companies require a prior authorization from a physician before they will pay for services at such a facility. This is especially true for HMO patients, as these companies require an authorization from your primary care physician (PCP) before they will cover a visit to urgent care. The only exception is of course a life-threatening emergency when you should call 911.
Should your clinician prescribe medication for treatment of a short lived or ongoing concern, it’s very important that you take the medication exactly as it has been prescribed. If you would like a refill of an ongoing medication, please FIRST contact your pharmacy and ask them to contact our office. They will most often send your request to us electronically as our clinicians now complete most medication refills via computer and these take just a few clicks to handle! This is the fastest and easiest way for you to obtain your refill. If that is not possible, or if you want to discuss a medication, please call our office. If you are on a controlled medication, State of California law requires that we see you monthly in order to do prescription refills for you. Lastly, many insurance plans now ask their members to use mail away services to fill prescriptions. If you have multiple prescriptions that need to be written for a mail order pharmacy we request that you make an appointment.
Same day care visits
Our office keeps a number of “same day care (SDC)” appointments for people who need to be seen on an urgent basis. We make every effort to schedule you with the clinician of your choice. If that he or she is not available, we will schedule you with a clinician who has an available appointment While we will make every effort to accommodate specific requested time frames, SDC appointments usually fill quickly Please call early in the day for the best availability. Illnesses such as colds and flu require an appointment; we cannot treat you over the telephone. No medications such as cough medications or antibiotics will be prescribed without an appointment. Clinicians also need to see problems such as back pain, sprains, and strains, abdominal pain, etc. The best medicine is practiced in person, face to face with a quality provider.
Authorizations and referrals
If you have PPO insurance you may self-refer to any of the outstanding specialists we currently recommend. Our front office staff has a list of the specialists that our clinicians have confidence in to whom they most often refer. If you are an HMO patient, your insurance requires that you be first seen at your PCP’s office prior to going to a specialist. PCP’s are trained to handle many common concerns and you may save time and money by seeing us first. Should you desire to see a specialist, please make an appointment to see your PCP or NP. Do not go straight to the specialist as we do not do “retro-active referrals” and you may be held responsible for unapproved specialty visits.
It is very important that you understand your insurance plan. Your HR director or your benefits coordinator at work can most effectively answer questions about your plan, benefits and co-pay. With thousands of insurance companies, it’s impossible for us to keep up with the rapidly changing market. You may also call your insurance company at the member services number listed on your card. They would be happy to assist you with any questions you might have. This is especially important surrounding “Yearly Physicals” or “Annual Exams.” It is your responsibility to know if this is a covered benefit under your plan. When billing concerns do arise, or you have questions about a bill you have received, please call our billing service at 415.493.3342. The person answering this number should be able to assist you.
Make your call or visit to the doctor most satisfying
- When you call the doctor, clearly state the reason for your call, i.e. a rash, a cough, etc.
- Write out your symptoms, questions, and a list of medications, over-the-counter drugs or other treatments, so we can fully assess your condition.
- As a new patient, it is helpful for us to have access to your medical records. We will be glad to help you obtain these records.
- Please ask questions. Your involvement is essential.