Alpha-Omega Medical Care

Care for the whole family...

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OFFICE POLICIES

APPOINTMENTS

Visits are by appointment only. In the event you need to cancel an appointment, please provide notice 24 hours prior to your appointment so we may give the appointment to another patient or charges may apply (see Fees below).

Urgent visits that we are unable to accommodate within 24 hours during are referred to our affiliated urgent care center, Doctors Express.. Visits to the emergency room should be reserved for true emergencies. If you have a true emergency please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room first, then call the office. We will not process referrals to ReadyMed or ReadyMedPlus as there are many available alternatives of lesser cost.

AFTER-HOURS CALLS

After-hours urgent calls will be returned as soon as possible by the doctor. On occasion, your call may be returned by a covering doctor you have not met but who is qualified and in close contact with your doctor.

TREATMENT OVER THE PHONE

It is our policy not to provide treatment over the telephone. It is not considered good medical practice. In limited situations, at the doctor's discretion, treatment may be started over the phone with an office visit recommended as soon as it is available. You can download this link to read a nice explanation of the reasons why pediatricians (or doctors in general) cannot prescribe medication over the phone or use this direct link to the website of origin.

PRESCRIPTIONS

Refills are most efficiently processed through an electronic request from your pharmacy. Most pharmacies have this capability. Please allow at least 3 business days for prescriptions to be processed and plan accordingly. We recommend avoiding changing pharmacies frequently as it creates confusion. For safety, new medications will not be prescribed over the phone; a visit with the doctor will be required. Please note, if you are out of your routine medication, it most likely means that you are due for a visit with the doctor for monitoring of that prescription medication and an appointment should be scheduled.

Controlled substances: Prescriptions for controlled substances require office visits. Narcotics are dispensed for long-term use, if appropriate, only under treatment contract. Any short term use of narcotics for pain or cough requires an office visit for each use. We cannot process refills for lost or otherwise destroyed prescriptions or pills for any controlled substances.

LABORATORY

We use Quest Diagnostic Laboratories to process all our labs. Go to www.questdiagnostics.com to find a patient service center nearest you. The results from Quest flow directly into our electronic medical record and can be viewed by you alone on the patient portal you signed up for. If your insurance plan requires the use of another laboratory, you must notify us so we can give you the lab slip to take to that facility. Such lab results will not be visible to you via your web portal access to your chart.

FINANCIAL

Payment for services is expected at the time of service unless arrangements are made prior to service. Our office will file insurance claims for services rendered on your behalf. Having insurance does not relieve you of responsibility for payment. You are responsible for knowing what your insurance coverage provides. You are encouraged to review this before any procedures are scheduled and inform us of any pre-authorizations that are required by your insurance company. You are also responsible for making sure your insurance coverage is active and that Dr. Hamawi is listed as your primary care provider with your insurance company. Failure to do so may lead to non-payment of services by your insurance plan and you will be responsible for the bill. Co-payments are assessed by your insurance plan and may be assigned for any evaluation and management service even if provided on a day of routine physical exam as they are separate services from the routine exam.

Financial statements for bills due will be mailed to you. Any balance left unpaid for 90 days may be turned over to a collection agency without notifying you in advance. You will be responsible for all collection and legal fees and may be subject to dismissal from the practice. Collection fees may be assessed up to 50% of balances due. Financial arrangements can be made for payment of bills that are more than $250. We accept payment by cash, check, MC & Visa.We also accept payments via PayPal. Any bounced check will forfeit the ability to pay by check.

BILLING

All of our billing services are handled by an outside billing service. For any billing inquiries please call your insurance carrier first as many questions can be handled only directly through your carrier. If this avenue is not helpful, please call our billing service at 508-528-9777.

REFERRALS

Our list of preferred specialist physicians can be found at www.cmipa.com. You are responsible for knowing if your insurance requires a referral to see a specialist or for any particular study and requesting one from us in advance of your appointment. We are held responsible by your insurance plan for keeping expenses down. Therefore, referral requests may require a visit with Dr. Hamawi and are not guaranteed. We reserve the right to deny out-of-network referrals if the need(s) can be or could have been met in-network. Please allow 3 business days for processing. Referrals to our preferred urgent care setting are provided for visits that cannot be accommodated by a visit to our office within 24 hours.

HOSPITALIZATION

Our preferred hospitals vary depending on age:

Adults and children 16 and older:
St. Vincent Hospital / Worcester Medical Center
123 Summer Street, Worcester, MA

Children under 16:
UMASS University Campus
55 Lake Ave. North
Worcester, MA

Hospitalist groups at the local hospitals will care for you or your child during your hospitalization. If you are admitted, please inform your caretakers that Dr. Hamawi is your primary care physician and they will forward information to us upon your discharge.

FEES

Late copay $5
First missed appointment $25
Second or more missed appointment $50
Missed Saturday appointment $100
Bounced check $30
Record copying fees $15, $25, $45, depending on pages.
Collections fees Up to 50% of balances due.
All fees must be paid prior to scheduling any further visits.

CHARGES FOR NON-COVERED SERVICES

Sport clearance (for competitive sports): $40 first child, $25 each additional child per year. (Yearly physical must be < 1 year old or done at the same day.) Click here for explanation.

  • Calls are accepted during regular office hours at the above number.

  • You will be greeted by an electronic answering service. Please listen to the prompts carefully to achieve your needs. All calls are recorded for quality and training purposes.

  • Urgent calls during open office hours will be taken by a trained medical assistant who will ask you questions about your condition to help in handling the call. We kindly ask that you leave non-urgent information on the voicemail so as to keep the office running efficiently.

PATIENT E-MAIL AND ONLINE COMMUNICATION DISCLOSURE CONSENT

We have available a patient web portal for email communications and for viewing your chart. We will use all reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of e-mail information sent and received and your medical information viewable online. However we cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of these sources of communication, and will not be held liable for improper disclosure of confidential information that is not caused by our misconduct. Thus patient consent to the use of e-mail and for online access of records is required and includes agreement with the following conditions:

The practice of Alpha-Omega Medical Care may use e-mail and online viewing services to communicate the following information:
1. Receive and respond to questions from patients, including non-urgent patient health issues and prescription refill requests.
2. Display test results.
3. Provide other information including medical or drug alerts, patient education, new services or other patient information.

We will not share patient e-mail addresses with any third parties outside of those parties used to provide these services, who also agree to HIPAA standards of privacy and will not share this information with other third parties. The practice reserves the right to terminate this access at any time, for any reason and without advanced notice.

Parents will not be allowed online view of their teenagerís chart (13 and older) without the teenís knowledge. This will be strictly enforced. Parent viewing of teenagerís charts is discouraged in order to allow an avenue of safe discussion for the teen in trouble. This is a standard policy of most pediatric practices.

PRIVACY

The office is HIPAA compliant.. Click here for a copy of our Notice of Privacy Practices.

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