Zero Tolerance Policy
Our office has a duty to provide a safe and secure environment for patients, staff and visitors. Violent or abusive behavior will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate termination of the patient-physician relationship. The following our examples of unacceptable behavior toward our staff and medical providers:
- Violence or any act of aggression;
- Excessive noise, g. recurrent loud or intrusive conversation or shouting;
- Threatening or abusive language involving swearing or offensive remarks;
- Derogatory racial or sexual remarks;
- Malicious allegations relating to members of staff, other patients or visitors;
- Offensive sexual gestures or behaviors;
- Abusing alcohol or drugs
- Drug dealing
- Willful damage to our medical practice and property;
- Threats or threating behavior, Harassment, Alarm or Distress
In order for our office to maintain a high level of satisfaction we ask that our patients participate in their healthcare. Calls for scripts refills or general questions will need to be done during regular business hours. Non-emergent calls and scripts refills will not be handled outside business hours. Request for script refills can be done by calling your pharmacy and requesting a refill or calling the office to request a refill. A request will usually be processed within 2 business days after a call to the office is placed. Please allow enough time before medication runs low to start the process for refills. We recommend requesting a medication refill when picking up the last refill dispensed by the pharmacy. Most medication refills require a doctor’s visit. Most medications need monitoring of effects and blood work before another refill can be prescribed. In those cases patients will be required to come in for a patient appointment.
General Guidelines on how often to be seen by a Physician:
-Diabetic Patients-Every 3 months with blood work
-Hypertension, Thyroid, Cholesterol Patients-Every 6 months with blood work
-Hormone or Birth Control Medication-Patient needs to be seen yearly. (Hormones will not be refilled until mammogram results are obtained in our office. Please make appointment for breast exam 3 weeks prior to needing a mammogram appointment.)
These are just guidelines and individual care may vary depending on your particular needs.
Lastly, if a patient has a question for the doctor, we request an appointment be made. We will make an honest effort to spend as much face to face time with our patients that have scheduled appointments. We limit time on the phone while we are seeing patients in the office. We will also try our best to respect your time by seeing you promptly in the office and not taking phone calls during you appointment time. We will not return calls to patients regarding test results. An appointment will need to be made to review labs and test results. If results are normal and there is no need to speak with a physician, a staff member will call and let you know they are normal and when you need a return visit.
Our personal time is very valuable as well. We are a dual physician family raising four young kids of our own. Please respect our personal time during non-office hours by not engaging us in health issues outside the business office resources available. We will respect your busy lifestyle and patient privacy in and outside the office.
Pain Medication and Addictive Medication (Narcotics)
We have a policy not to distribute pain medicine or narcotics chronically to patients throughout the practice. This rule applies to every patient in our practice. We will refer to a pain specialist or psychiatrist when the treatment modalities that we have tried have all been exhausted. If you have a pain medicine or psychiatric doctor already, we will assist in the referral to continue care with that physician. We will never call in a pain medicine or narcotic over the phone. We will refer you to the ER/urgent care if you are calling after hours for severe pain or anxiety. There are many modalities of treatment available that are not as harmful to your body as a narcotic medication can be. We will try modalities less harmful to your body to avoid dependence of your body to a dangerous medication in all cases. We will not chronically prescribe pain medication for patients thru this office.
Antibiotics today are rapidly growing resistance to many illnesses thru the United States. We hope to slow this growing resistance by prescribing an antibiotic medication only when absolutely necessary. We ask that our patients continue their antibiotics until they are completely gone and take them as prescribed. This will help to fight the infection and prevent patients from getting resistance to the medication at a later date. Please bring antibiotic medication to every appointment with remaining pills to keep track of the medication days left.
Antibiotics will not be prescribed over the phone. To get patients better, faster, we want to make it a policy that patient illness is urgent to us. We will get patients in the office ASAP. ASAP usually is the same day but late in the day calls will be the next morning. IF it is too long to wait then we will refer to the respective urgent care or emergency room depending on insurance preference.
The policy on referrals is the patients should hear from our office within five business days from the office appointment with us, to have an update on the status of the referral. Sometimes referral appointments can be made at the time of the visit. In most cases we need to call and wait for a response from insurance companies before scheduling an appointment. Please be patient, yet persistent in healthcare referrals. We ask patients to make sure phone numbers and contact information is always updated so we are able to pass on the referral appointment information. We will send all pertinent medical records to the referral physician before a visit. This is to make sure information is there before being seen at that office. It makes the referral visit much more effective and doesn’t waste time when being seen by another physician.
Our Staff is committed to getting the patients as much face to face time with their physician. They will do this by assisting the physician in taking as much of a detailed history as possible. Please bring medications with the dose, how many times it is taken and how long the medication has been prescribed to every visit. Many patients have found it helpful to carry a medication sheet with them in their wallets. This helps in minimizing confusion not only at the primary doctor’s office but with specialist or in the ER when patients are unable to remember everything at one moment. The staff will update the chart at every visit. They will also try to make sure labs, radiology and consult follow-ups are all available before seeing the physicians. A copy of these reports should be kept with patients in the home medical file. These documents help patients while traveling to an ER/urgent care or consult appointment to get help quickly and more effectively.
Office Visit Co-Pays and Deductibles
All office visit co-pays and deductibles are due at the time of services. In order to maintain compliance with our insurance carriers we are obligated to collect deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays. Please be advised if patients are unable to meet a co-pay, co-insurance or deductible amount, will need to re-schedule an appointment to another day. Payment plans are available only when approved by the physician.
We hope your experience with our office is a positive one. Our families look forward to working and serving your family. We work with all ages from birth to the seasoned persons, and all the ages in-between. Let us know how we can better help you and give suggestions as you see appropriate.
Edward and Erica Ruiz, MD’s
Board Certified Family Practice Physicians