Frequently asked questions
Do I need to fast for my physical?
Ideally, yes. Some blood tests are more accurate when you are fasting.
How long should I fast for "fasting" bloodwork?
Should I take my medicines before my appointment?
Yes, with the following exceptions:
How/when do I get lab/test results?
- Most lab/test results are automatically released to you through "MyChart" within 1 week. Your doctor may wait until all test results are complete before contacting you or commenting on results.
If you choose not to sign up for MyChart, your doctor may call you, send you a letter, or have you come in for a follow-up visit to review your results.
Please call your doctor's office if you have not received your results within 2 weeks.
If you have questions about your results, please schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor to review your results.
Can I get tested for COVID-19?
Yes. For more information on what tests are available, who should get tested, and where to get tested, click HERE.
How long does it take for my referral to be processed?
HMO referrals for routine diagnostic tests or consultation with a specialist can take up to 5-7 business days. Please contact your doctor's office if you have any questions.
Do I need a referral to see a specialist?
Your primary care physician is your best resource in evaluating most medical conditions, and can help guide you toward the most appropriate specialty care if needed.
Whom do I contact if I have questions about my doctor's visit bill?
Call the phone number printed on your bill, or contact the billing office directly at 866-747-2455.
Why am I getting a separate bill for my labs/imaging/other tests?
Charges for your doctor's visit do not include additional services such as blood tests and imaging studies. These are billed separately by the facility that provides these services. Even if you have blood drawn at your doctor's office, the tests are typically run at an outside lab, which then bills for these tests separately.
Why did my insurance pay only a part of my bill?
Most insurance plans require that you pay a co-payment, coinsurance and/or deductible for your health care expenses. Contact your insurance company for specific information about your coverage.
Should I take my medicines before my appointment?
How do I request medication refills?
You can request refills by doing any of the following:
Send a message via "MyChart" including the medication name, dose, and pharmacy.
Call your pharmacy. If you have refills left on your prescription, your pharmacy will refill the medication. If you do not have refills on your prescription, the pharmacy will contact your doctor to request a new prescription.
Call your doctor's office with your request. Be sure to include the medication name, dose, and pharmacy.
Turnaround time for refill requests is 3-5 business days.
If you use a mail order pharmacy, order medications at least 2 weeks before you run out.
Requests for medication refills are handled during REGULAR BUSINESS HOURS only.
Your doctor may request that you come in for an appointment to get your medication refilled.
Why is my doctor asking me to make an appointment for refills?
Certain medications require that you see your doctor regularly to monitor efficacy and/or side effects of treatment.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Call your doctor's office directly. Visit our DIRECTORY for a list of doctors and locations.
How do I cancel an appointment?
Call your doctor's office directly. Please provide at least 24 hours notice if you are cancelling.
What should I bring to my appointment?
Current insurance card and office visit copay.
Driver’s license or other valid photo ID
A list of all prescription medications and vitamins/supplements you’re currently taking, including doses. If you can, please also bring the medications in their original bottles.
A list of specialists you see, including phone numbers.
Why do I need a follow-up appointment?
Follow-up appointments are essential for good medical care. At a follow-up appointment, you and your doctor may:
monitor chronic medical conditions
evaluate if an acute condition has improved, stabilized, or worsened, and adjust treatment plans accordingly
check or review labs or other test results
monitor medication effects and make appropriate adjustments to therapy
Virtual appointments and Telehealth
Virtual appointments are conducted via telephone or a secure video-conferencing platforms like ZOOM.
How do I schedule a COVID VACCINE appointment?
For complete instructions on WHEN, WHERE, and HOW to schedule your COVID vaccine, go to: https://www.smfp.care/covid-vaccine.
How do I email my doctor?
You can send a brief message to your doctor through MyChart.
What is the best way to contact my doctor?
Most medical issues are best addressed by scheduling an appointment with your doctor. To schedule an appointment, please call your doctor's office or request an appointment through your MyChart account.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine involves the use of electronic communications and software to provide clinical services to patients without an in-person visit. We are doing "virtual" visits either by phone or through a secure video-conferencing platform like Zoom.
Does my insurance cover telemedicine services?
- Insurance companies are increasingly covering telemedicine visits with your doctor, but you may be responsible for a copay (similar to what you may have with an in-person visit).
Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans have broadened access to telehealth services on an emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, so that beneficiaries can receive a wider range of services from their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility.
Some insurance companies (such as OSCAR) offer their own telemedicine service for their members. Please check with your insurance if you have questions.
How do I schedule a telemedicine visit?
Please call your doctor's office. The staff will walk you through the process, including assisting you in signing up for "MyChart" (if you have not already done so), and downloading the telemedicine program we use (Zoom). You will sent a Zoom link for your appointment. Please click on the link 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to enter the "virtual waiting room". Your doctor will admit you when (s)he is ready to start the virtual visit.
Is telemedicine HIPAA compliant?
Yes, HIPAA applies to virual visits as well as in-person visits.
What equipment do I need?
Is telemedicine secure?
Recent news reports have highlighted security related issues with Zoom. While the Zoom portal that our offices and clinics use has not been impacted, we have taken the following steps to safeguard Zoom sessions: