TO KEEP OUR PATIENTS, OUR STAFF AND OURSELVES SAFE DURING THIS TIME WITH POSSIBLE RAPID TRANSMISSION OF VIRUSES, WE ARE INSTITUTING THE FOLLOWING SICK VISIT POLICY:
ALL SICK VISIT REQUESTS WILL BE SCREENED FOR RECENT TRAVEL AND SYMPTOMS BY THE FRONT STAFF
ALL SICK VISIT REQUESTS MUST BE EVALUATED WITH A PHONE CALL SCREEN BY A PHYSICIAN PRIOR TO BEING PLACED INTO THE OFFICE SCHEDULE
PHYSICIANS WILL LIMIT OFFICE SICK VISITS TO THOSE PATIENTS THAT HAVE A LOW RISK FOR CORONOVIRUS AND REQUIRE A PHYSICAL EXAMINATION OR FURTHER TESTING TO INITIATE PROPER TREATMENT. CALLING IN MEDICATIONS WILL BE ENCOURAGED.
PATIENTS WHO MEET SURVEILLANCE CRITERIA MUST BE REFERRED TO THE LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT. IF THEY APPEAR TO NEED HOSPITALIZATION, THE RWJ ER MUST BE CONTACTED ABOUT THEIR VISIT TO THE HOSPITAL PRIOR TO THEIR ARRIVAL
ALL SICK VISITS WILL BE PLACED IN ROOM 1. THE PATIENT, THE MEDICAL ASSISTANT AND THE PHYSICIAN MUST WEAR A MASK. WEIGHTS WILL NOT BE TAKEN AND VITALS WILL BE ENTERED OUTSIDE OF THE ROOM TO LIMIT EXPOSURE.
CONFIRMATIONS FOR OFFICE VISITS MOVING FORWARD WILL INCLUDE A PHONE SCREEN FOR RECENT TRAVEL AND SYMPTOMS TO LIMIT INCIDENTAL EXPOSURES
Our physicians are available for your care throughout the day. We are available 24 hours a day for true emergencies. If you need your physician, they will be contacted and your questions will be addressed by your physician or covering doctor. Sometimes our staff returns phone calls after they have consulted with the appropriate doctor. IF YOU HAVE A TRUE EMERGENCY, ALWAYS CALL 911.
When you call our office, the staff will ask you for your contact information. They will also send you the initial forms to fill out, in order to streamline your office visit. It is important for you or your family to bring us the radiology images and reports that need reviewing. These may be in the form of films or on a disc. Our doctors like to ensure your quality of care and review and compare the images themselves, and the reports alone do not allow us to do so. Please remember to bring them along on your office visit, as well as your list of medications for review.
If you are having a procedure or test done, you most likely need to make a follow-up appointment as you leave in order to review the results of the test or study. We ask you to return to be best able to review results and answer any new questions that you, or we, may have.
Payment is expected at the time of your visit. We will accept cash, credit card or check. Payment will include any unmet deductible, coinsurance, co- payment amount or non-covered charges by your insurance company.
Plan Co-payments: It is our policy to collect all plan co-payments at the time of your visit. Certain types of exams or testing may not require a copayment. We cannot always determine this for every insurance plan. If we collected a co-payment in error, the amount will be refunded to you after we have received notification from your insurance plan.
We participate in a variety of insurance plans and our group considers new options regularly. At every visit, our staff will verify your insurance plan coverage and confirm that we participate with your plan. Please have your insurance card available so you can provide the most current information to our staff when making your appointment. This will ensure that your claims are submitted to the correct insurance plan.
We ask all our patients to complete our patient information forms prior to their appointment. Our staff will provide instructions for completing the forms. On the date of your appointment, we will need your current insurance card for proof of coverage benefits. Please also bring a valid driver's license or other valid photo identification.
We will submit your claims to the insurance plan you have provided at the time of your visit. If your insurance changes during the course of your care, it is your responsibility to provide us with the correct information. If we do not receive the correct information in a timely manner you may be responsible for the entire balance of your insurance claim. In processing your claims, the insurance company may need you to supply certain information before they will pay the claim. It is your responsibility to comply with their request.
Please understand your insurance coverage is a contract between you and the insurance company. Any disagreements or disputes regarding your specific benefits should be directed to the insurance plan or your employer's Human Resource Department.
All of our physicians have agreed to participate with Medicare and to accept assignment on all claims. Accepting assignment means that we must accept Medicare's approved amounts. However, you should know that Medicare only pays a portion (generally 80%) of the approved amount after your deductible has been met. You are responsible for the deductible and the coinsurance (generally 20%) unless you have a supplemental plan that covers these fees. You will be billed for any allowable balance not covered by Medicare and/or your supplemental insurance plan.
The time we have reserved for you is very valuable. Missed appointments seriously affect our doctor's ability to see all patients that require care. Consequently, we will impose a $50 charge for missing a new patient appointment and a $25 charge for missing a follow up appointment unless we receive at least 24 hours prior to your allotted appointment time. The only exception to this rule is a verifiable medical emergency.
Copying Medical Records: Requires office staff time and supplies. We will provide a copy of the most recent office note and pulmonary function testing free of charge. We will charge $1 per page for copying other parts of your medical record.
Form Completion: PICSNJ charges the following rates for the completion of forms: Disability Form- $25: Family Medical Leave Act Form- $25. All other forms will be completed free of charge.
Avoidance measures that improve the control of asthma and reduce medication needs:
• Tobacco smoke:Stay away from tobacco smoke.Patients and family members should not smoke.
•Drugs, foods, and additives: Avoid them if they are known to cause symptoms.
• Occupational sensitizers: Reduce or, preferably, avoid exposure to these agents.
Reasonable avoidance measures that can be recommended but have not been shown to have clinical benefits:
• House dust mites:Wash bed linens and blankets weekly in hot water and dry in a hot dryer or in the the sun. Encase pillows and mattresses in airtight covers.
• Replace carpets with hard flooring, especially in bedrooms. (If possible, use a vacuum cleaner with filters.Use acaricides or tannic acid to kill mites, but make sure the patient is not at home when the treatment occurs.)
• Animals with fur: Use air filters. (Remove animals from the home or at least from the sleeping area.Wash the pet.)
•Cockroaches: Clean the home thoroughly and often.Use pesticide spray, but make sure the patient is not at home when spraying occurs.
• Outdoor pollens and mold:Close windows and doors and remain indoors when pollen and mold counts are highest.
• Indoor mold: Reduce dampness in the home; clean any damp areas frequently.
This glossary, written in layman's terms, is intended to help patients understand their conditions, related diseases and other medical terms. Please feel free to ask your physician to answer any questions you may have concerning your diagnosis or these terms at your scheduled appointment with that doctor.
Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency: An inherited condition that may cause Emphysema even in non-smokers. It is easily detected with a blood test and, if found, can be treated.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease): A chronic progressive neurologic disease caused by degeneration of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that are responsible for muscle activity, leading to weakness of those muscles and loss of function. Besides losing the ability to perform everyday functions, it can interfere with breathing and swallowing.
Asbestos: An "inert mineral" that can cause serious respiratory abnormalities, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, pulmonary fibrosis and respiratory failure.
Asbestosis: A condition of the lungs caused by inhalation of asbestos particles.
Asthma: A chronic disease of the bronchial tubes characterized by recurrent episodes of inflammation and constriction of those bronchial tubes causing dyspnea, wheezing cough and mucus production. Asthma may either be allergic or non-allergic, and asthma symptoms may be "triggered" by exposure to allergens, irritants, cold air, respiratory infections, acid reflux and cold air.
Black Lung (Coal Miner's Pneumoconiosis): An occupational lung disease resulting from work in and around coal mines.
Bronchiectasis: A chronic condition (included under COPD) of the bronchial tubes in which they are widened and chronically inflamed, usually the result of a previous severe infection such as whooping cough, tuberculosis or pneumonia, or sometimes related to recurrent infections from an immune deficiency or Cystic Fibrosis. Patients with bronchiectasis get recurrent infections and have cough, phlegm, wheezing and shortness of breath.
Chronic Bronchitis: A condition (included under COPD) where patients have persistent cough with phlegm, and may have wheezing and shortness of breath. It is usually the result of smoking.
Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID): A disorder characterized by low levels of serum immunoglobulins (antibodies) and an increased susceptibility to infections.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease): A group of diseases of the lungs affecting the bronchial tubes and/or lung tissue, most of which are a result of smoking. They include emphysema, chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis. While asthma is not usually included in this group in the United States, it can be associated with the above conditions.
CT SCAN (computed tomography): A type of X-rayused to show a cross section of the body’s tissues and organs.
Cystic Fibrosis: A hereditary (genetic) disease of the lungs and gastrointestinal tract associated with frequent infections and shortness of breath.
Dyspnea: The sensation of not being able to take in enough air into the lungs (shortness of breath).
Emphysema: A chronic respiratory disease (included under COPD) where there is over-inflation and destruction of the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs, causing a decrease in lung function, wheezing, and dyspnea. It is often associated with Chronic Bronchitis and usually caused by smoking (but can occasionally be caused by a hereditary condition, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency).
Lung Cancer:Amalignancy arising within the lung, most commonly resulting from inhalation of carcinogens such as tobacco and asbestos and, less commonly, radon. It is usually classified as either small cell or non small cell (includes adeno, squamous, large cell and undifferentiated), which may affect treatment. Additionally cancers can be found in the lungs that arise elsewhere and spread to the lungs.
Mesothelioma:A cancer of the lining around the lung almost always caused by inhalation of Asbestos.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): A method of obtaining detailed pictures of internal body structures without the use of radiation or radioactive substances of any kind. This is accomplished by placing the patient in a magnetic field where radio waves are turned on and off.
Myasthenia Gravis: A neurologic disease causing weakness of various muscles that can impair breathing.
Occupational Lung Diseases: Diseases contracted, usually at work, through inhalation of various dusts and gases. They may affect the lung tissue, causing scarring (fibrosis), or the bronchial tubes (airways), causing wheezing and shortness of breath. Included are Pneumoconioses (contracted from mineral dusts) and occupational asthma. Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS), a condition similar to asthma causedby a specific inhalation, may be occupational or non-occupational.
PET SCAN (Positron Emission Tomography): The image produced by the PET scan contains information about metabolic processes taking place in the body that may be helpful in diagnosing cancer or finding the spread of a cancer.
Pleural Effusion: Fluid that collects in the space between the lungs and chest wall. It may be caused by many different conditions. Some fluid may have to be removed with a needle (thoracentesis) in order to determine the cause and the necessary treatment.
Pneumonia:A disease of the lung tissue that is usually infectious in origin (bacterial or viral).Some non-infectious inflammatory diseases of the lung are also designated as pneumonias.
Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs): Tests performed to determine the type and severity of breathing impairment. They are important in evaluating for the presence of lung disease, response to treatment and disability extent.
Pneumoconiosis: A group of lung diseases caused by inhalation of fine particles of mineral dusts that leads to scarring of the lungs with impairment of breathing. These diseases usually occur secondary to occupational exposures and include: Asbestosis, Coal Miner's Pneumoconiosis, Beryliosis and Silicosis.
Pulmonary fibrosis: Diseases of the lungs characterized by diffuse and often progressive scarring of the lung tissues, impairing the lungs' ability to transfer oxygen into the blood. Causes include exposure to mineral dusts (see Pneumoconiosis), some arthritic conditions (including scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis), toxins, some medications, assorted diseases and unknown factors.
Respiratory Failure: Severe impairment of the lungs (can be acute or chronic), greatly reducing the lungs' ability to transfer adequate amounts of oxygen into the blood. This is often life-threatening and the causes are varied.
Sarcoidosis: An inflammatory disease affecting the lungs and other organs, whose cause is not known.
Silicosis: A fibrosing disease of the lung caused by inhalation (usually occupational) of fine particles of silicate dust (usually derived from sand).
Sleep Apnea: A common conditionin which impairment of breathing (pauses in breathing or shallow breathing) disturbs sleep. Patients usually have periods of loud snoring during sleep and sleepiness during the day.
Tuberculosis (TB): An infectious disease of the lung caused by a bacteria, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. It is treatable with antibiotics.