Frequently Asked Questions: This page contains answers to common questions of patients and prospective patients.
If you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, weakness or believe that you are in need of immediate medical care, PLEASE CALL 911.
Dr. Crews is not always in the office during business hours. Coming to the office with chest pain or a serious illness may delay proper evaluation and possibly delay emergency care leading to added disability or death. Please notify the emergency department physician that Dr. Crews is your primary care provider so that the appropriate hospitalist is notified in case of admission. We can also fax records and information that may be needed to help coordinate care. Dr. Crews can be contacted by phone at (352) 360-0654. PLEASE NOTE that this is the only line that is answered 24 hours a day.
If you are a current active patient of the practice (must have had a visit within 12 months) please call the office as early as possible on a normal working day in order to speak with a staff member. Please leave a message if you get voice mail. We will call you back as soon as possible. We have same day and urgent care visits available for people who are ill or need to be seen urgently. Availability of these appointments may vary depending on demand and seasonal variations. We discourage walk in appointments because we do not want you to wait excessively in the office. By scheduling you you will have less exposure to other sick patients and we have the time and staff to address your needs appropriately.
We want to be your primary health care provider and attempt to see our patients in a timely manner. Since we cannot safely diagnose over the phone and depending on your age and medical history, we may need refer you to the emergency room or urgent care center (depending on insurance) for evaluation. On weekends, please call our main line and the answering service will forward your concerns to Dr. Crews.
A prescription is a professional service. Depending on the medication and/or medical condition a phone refill of a current medications may be available. Not all refill request can be honored. If you have a current visit (30 days) on record and the prescription has been originally issued by Dr. Crews, call the pharmacy and have them send the office a Fax or and ERX notification requesting a refill. This helps prevent potential medication errors from transcribing phone messages.
You may be required to come in for a visit prior to getting a prescription refilled. Antibiotics are not called in without a visit. If there are issues with your pharmacy benefit plan requiring additional documentation or change in medication to meet your formulary requirements we request that you to schedule an appointment. We may request your assistance in getting the required forms from your Pharmacy Benefit Manager in order to process special authorization. Please schedule an appointment by calling the office for an appointment. Prior authorization request may also require a visit before we can process the request due to documentation requirements or an administrative fee for time spent on authorization may be charged, this fee is may not be covered by your insurance. We process refill requests in batches and remind everyone that it may take as long as 3 working days for a refill to be processed. Please plan ahead. Refills on medications are predictable events and considered a routine problem and therefore are usually not processed on weekends or holidays unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Our secure Fax is active 24 hours a day, barring natural disasters and refills are processed during normal posted business hours.
Most importantly please get your medications refills at your appointment. Check the number of refills remaining on each bottle. It is best to bring in your bottles. Our medication prevention program BAG IT, encourages you to bring in your old bottles and be entered into a monthly drawing for medically relevant item. Discard old bottles to avoid confusion. We recommend that you do not use automatic refill service which will not be updated if your medication changes. Also note that prescriptions are only valid for one year from the date written regardless of number of refills remaining. Please speak with your mail order pharmacy about helping coordinate refills so that all medications needing refill will come due at the same time. Due to Mail Order Pharmacy plan requirements for additional refill request, we may ask that you schedule an appointment for refills.
Please also check to make sure your prescription is correct (dose, amount 90 versus 30 day supply) or reflects the way you are taking it prior to leaving the office so it can be corrected or updated. We provide a Visit Summary at each visit and ask that you review the document and notify us of any errors as soon as possible. Dr. Crews may limit refills on certain medications based on his professional opinion. A prescription is a professional service. In addition, state law requires that we comply with standards set forth by 64B8-9.014 Standards for Telemedicine Prescribing Practice as well as new laws regarding pain medications. An appointment may be required.
Call the office during normal business hours. The best time to call is from 3 to 5 pm Mon-Thurs. Be prepared to provide provide your full name, current phone number and specific information regarding your concerns or questions. A staff member will respond to your as soon as possible. Most billing issues require investigation and calls to insurance companies. This may take up to 7 working days. We will respond either by phone, patient portal or letter. Our office priority is patient care, so during busy times, care concerns will be addressed before billing concerns. If you do not get an acknowledgment to a voice mail message/portal or verbal message you have left, please call back to make sure your message was received.
Our biller is available during our normal business hours.
For Laboratory bills contact the billing laboratory. In most instances they need your current insurance information. Fill out forms and return to laboratory billing office. We provide the appropriate diagnostic code at time of order. We are not responsible for billing issues such as non coverage or error in billing ICD 9 association if error is done by the Laboratory (QUEST or Labcorp) billing service.
If you desire copies of your laboratory testing results you may leave SASE at check out for us to forward your laboratory results. Patients who have activated their patient portal account may review laboratory result online. They will be released as reviewed by your provider. IT may take up to 3 working days for results to be released. Each test will be released individually and you will get an email notification to check on the portal for your result. If additional action or follow up is required before your next schedule visit we usually contact you by phone and/or via portal message. Our medial assistants do not have the training nor expertise to answer your medical questions so the staff has been directed to offer you an appointment should you have additional questions before you next appointment. You may schedule a follow up appointment for all laboratory and diagnostic studies that are ordered/and or performed in our office.
Radiology reports are not usually mailed out. We would be happy to print you a copy of the report at your follow up visit. You should schedule a follow up appointment to discuss your results, especially if you have persistent concerns.
If you have any questions regarding your results Dr. Crews request that you schedule a follow up appointment. To schedule an apt please call our office at (352) 360-0654.
For non emergent appointments please call the office during normal business hours. Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. If the voicemail activates please leave a message and someone should get back with you as soon as possible.
Please be clear that you need a same day appointment if you are ill and voice the same in your message. Please do not call the administrator line to schedule apt, that phone is not staffed during normal working hours. We try to answer all calls within 5 rings to avoid unnecessary voice mails and "telephone tag" but we try not to interrupt care of patients presently in the office.
Our office is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Dr. Crews is in the office when patients are scheduled. We try to accommodate everyone when possible but there is a limit to the number of patients that can be seen in one day depending on the number of patients requiring care and their level of illness.
We have many patients with conflicting needs and have to prioritize and balance the visits with staff availability as well. Scheduling appointments allows us to limit the in office wait time. We discourage walk in visits because it leads to excessive waits for all patients. We want to proactively manage our patient flow so that we may provide the best possible visit and limit your exposure to other sick patients. In addition, if you believe you are experiencing an emergency, please proceed to the nearest emergency department we are not able to provide emergent care in the office.
At the present time we provide phlebotomy (blood drawing) for our patients for laboratory studies ordered by Dr. Crews at the time of your visit as staffing permits. Laboratory testing cannot be ordered until you have been seen and received an order from the physician. Most insurance companies and Medicare require medical necessity and appropriate diagnosis for testing which Dr. Crews must document in your record and this must be determined prior to drawing of blood. Results for testing ordered by other physicians will not be sent to our office and we cannot give you information or results. Please contact the ordering physician for an appointment to review your results or schedule an appointment for Dr. Crews and bring your laboratory studies with you for review. Please note it is your responsibility to know what laboratory will give you the best benefit. Please verify with our staff prior to getting your blood drawn that the correct laboratory is being used. By agreeing to get blood drawn in the office you are responsible for payment for blood drawing fee if not covered by your carrier.
You will need to schedule an appointment to have those prescriptions rewritten. A prescription is a professional service requiring medical record review and signature.
We will see patients who have ADVANTAGE plans (Part C) if they have out of network benefits. We are not participating in any Part C / Advantage Medicare replacement plans (such as Secure Horizon, Universal, Pyramid as an example). Due to the Medicare policy and the issues associated with managed care insurance companies it is not feasible to participate with these plans. In general, the administrative burden placed on our practice by these plans makes it prohibitive for us to participate. Contact your Medicare office or nearest SHINE office for information regarding these plans and participating providers.
We will only communicate medical information via our patient portal due to HIPAA regulations. Please see patient portal information under FORMS.
A prescription is a professional service, the chart must be reviewed and the appropriateness of the prescription must be assessed each time. The work required to refill prescription is a service for which payment is required.
We get a multitude of requests for pre-authorization of medications or medical supplies. All documents must be reviewed, charts must be reviewed and calls need to be made. Prior authorization documents take an average of 15 to 20 minutes to be competed and once we fax it back to the authorizing agency it may take some time for them to process the information and make a determination. Dr. Crews has indicated medical necessity when he makes his recommendation and writes a prescription. Authorizations are for coverage determination, your insurer makes the decision regarding your care based on contract and coverage. We would be happy to schedule you an office visit for the completion of paperwork and discuss the benefits and risk of alternatives if your medical recommendations are not covered.
When we are asked to complete a form for travel insurance, disability or produce other documents requiring professional opinion, completion or signature a request and authorization must be signed prior to completion of paperwork. SEE patient forms Medical Report Release, download and complete and bring or fax to the office. At this time forms cannot be accepted via the portal. It may take up to 3 business days to complete such forms if approved by Dr. Crews. We may require an office visit for completion of forms such as WELLNESS clearance, Work forms and release to work. There is a charge for completing this paperwork.
Newer policies may have deductibles for laboratory testing. Due to changes of coverage by the major insurance companies it is imperative that you discuss and verify your preferred medical laboratory at time of your laboratory draw. If you are not sure who should draw your blood please ask for an order form and call your insurer and you may proceed to your participating laboratories drawing station for blood draw. If you have a billing problem and need correction of coding please let our staff know so that we can forward the appropriate information to the lab.
If you receive a bill please review the bill. Your laboratory may not bill your secondary insurance of the bill is part of your deductible. PLEASE read your statement and contact the laboratory for assistance.