FAQ’s

How do I prepare for my first office visit?

How can I get a copy of my medical records?

How should I prepare for a laboratory test?

What is a physician assistant?

Will Medicare pay for a routine yearly physical examination?

Who can I talk to about a complaint?


How do I prepare for my first office visit?

Bring a detailed account of any new symptoms or issues that have prompted your visit. You may want to review any previous symptoms or conditions.

Bring a list of prescribed medications and any over-the-counter medications, supplements, or vitamins (including herbal remedies) that you are taking.

Write down any questions or clarifications you have for the doctor ahead of time.

Arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment. This will give you time to complete any documents necessary for healthcare requirements and take care of any copay’s that are due before your appointment.

Please turn off your cell phone when you are in the exam room and silence your phone in the waiting area. Please be courteous to other patients.

Food or beverages are not allowed in the exam room.

If you have a young child that needs supervision in the waiting area while you are in the exam room, please bring a friend or family member to watch them.

Advise your physician of any changes to your health profile, such as weight loss or gain, modifications to diet, change in sleep patterns, new exercise program, etc.

When you leave, ask your doctor when you should set your next appointment. Schedule future appointments and tests before you leave.

If you need to cancel your appointment for any reason, be sure to call so you can be rescheduled. Late cancellation may incur a cancelation fee.


How can I get a copy of my medical records?

All requests for copies of medical records should be directed to the Release of Information Supervisor

You may also call (423) 869-3684 for assistance. All requests are processed within ten business days after the appropriate completed release forms have been received.

Fees will vary depending on the volume of the records requested. Contact the Medical Records Department Supervisor (423) 869-3684 to determine the exact costs for the records you need.

 

How should I prepare for a laboratory test?

Many laboratory tests require fasting, which means having nothing to eat or drink, except water, for 8-10 hours prior to your blood draw. Prior to your lab appointment please contact us at (423) 869-3684 to receive specific instructions for your visit. You may take any prescribed medications at the usual times.

Common tests that require fasting include:

  • Lipid Profile
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • Glucose
  • Basic Profile
  • Comprehensive Profile

If you have questions about a specific laboratory test, please call (423) 869-3684.


What is a physician assistant and nurse practitioner?

Physician Assistants (PAs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are health care professionals trained and licensed to practice medicine as delegated by and with the supervision of a physician. PAs are qualified by graduation from an accredited PA program and/or by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). In the health care setting, a PA can take a complete health history, perform physical exams, order diagnostic tests, prescribe most medications, diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries, and provide patient education and preventive health care counseling. Along with handling most routine medical problems, PAs can do more extensive procedures that fall within their specialties. The initials PA-C after their surname means the physician assistant is certified and has passed the certification exam developed jointly by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the NCCPA.

PAs and NPs are qualified by accredited PA and NP programs and licensed by the state of Tennessee.  In the health care setting, a PA or NP can take a complete health history, perform physical exams, order diagnostic tests, prescribe most medications, diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries, and provide patient education and preventive health care counseling. Along with handling most routine medical problems, PAs and NPs can do more extensive procedures that fall within their specialties. All of our NPs and Pas are fully supervised by our medical doctors who are always present for their consultation and advice. PAs and NPs have full access to your medical records and medications, and are dedicated to fulfilling the medical plan as designed by the physician.


Will Medicare pay for a routine yearly physical examination?

Medicare does not cover the cost of routine physical exams by your physician or any tests related to the routine physical. However, Medicare replacement plans generally allow one physical per year. Medicare and Medicare replacement plans will cover one annual wellness exam per year. Medicare Part B also covers one screening mammogram per year for female beneficiaries.

Medicare generally covers items that are considered medically necessary. “Medically necessary” is defined as a service, treatment, procedure, equipment, drug, device, or supply provided by a hospital, physician, or other health care provider that is required to identify or treat a beneficiary’s illness or injury. Some treatments, however, may be limited by Medicare guidelines.

The Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) is a written notice designed to protect you from unexpected bills that you will receive if Medicare does not cover a certain service or supply. If you receive an ABN, you will need to make a decision about whether or not to receive the service or supply since you will be responsible for the charges. An ABN is not presented for services that Medicare never covers, such as a yearly exam.

As a Medicare beneficiary, it is your responsibility to keep your insurance record updated. You may do this by calling the office that coordinates benefits at (423)869-3684.


Who can I talk to about a complaint?

Excellence in service is priority one at Family Medical Clinic of Harrogate and there are a number of avenues available for you to share your opinions in this regard. You can always ask to speak to the supervisor of any department when you have an experience that you feel is less than excellent. We encourage you to take this step for immediate resolution of any problem or issue. Additionally, our practice manager is always available for any concerns you have. 

We also welcome compliments at FMC Harrogate. Please share with us in any way we have added value to your life and the lives of your family.