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Patient Policies

General Information

    Please use main entrance for dropping off patients. If you need assistance, come inside and someone will be glad to help. As you see marked on the map below, we have a wheelchair available for patient use. Feel free to borrow the wheelchair but please return it when you have finished. When you arrive please sign-in at the reception desk, and have a seat. We have coffee and snacks available in the waiting area, feel free to have some while you wait.

    We work in the same manner as a major medical center. When Dr. Schutz is at a conference, or out of town for any reason, a qualified physician with an interest in Hematology-Oncology will answer questions, take care of problems, and visit the hospital. That physician is in contact with Dr. Schutz and discusses all findings with him. If you ever feel that you need to speak with Dr. Schutz, just ask the covering physician and Dr. Schutz will call you directly. This is just another one of the services we offer to ensure that you get the best care possible.

Phone Calls

    All patients are encouraged to call with any questions concerning their care. Calls regarding medication refills or matters of a routine nature should be placed during regular office hours, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Our team of nurses, lab, and office staff are well qualified to answer your questions in a prompt and efficient manner. If your call requires a physicianís personal attention, it will be returned at the physicianís earliest opportunity.

   After office hours, urgent or emergency calls are received by our professional medical answering service and forwarded to the on-call physician. Regardless of the day or hour, our phones are answered 24 hours a day. In extreme emergencies, you should go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room where a physician is on duty.

    Always call 864-591-1700, even after hours. After hours our calls are received by an answering service.

When you call After Hours:

v    state whoís calling

v state the question or problem

v leave the full name of the patient

v a phone number where you can be reached including area code

v If someone does not return your call within 15 to 30 minutes, please call again.

Emergencies

If you require emergency care during office hours, call the office immediately. Identify your call as an emergency, a nurse or physician will assess your situation and provide immediate instructions.

IF AT ANY TIME YOU EXPERIENCE A LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY! The ambulance will take you to the nearest emergency room. The emergency room physician will call and advise us of your situation.

Appointments

    Patients are seen by appointment and every effort will be made to accommodate your needs. Same day scheduling is available for urgent care appointments.

    Your time is valuable. From time to time emergencies do come up which may put the doctor slightly behind. Therefore, if you wish to call before you come to check if we are running behind please do so and we will try to give you an estimate. We appreciate your patience.

Electronic Medical Records

    Electronic Medical Records (EMR) replace the old paper trails and lengthy transcription updates. According to the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ): "Access to an electronic medical record will not only enable us to organize and retrieve critical data, but will dramatically improve the quality of both our research and our patient care." Like CINJ, we offer this critical service to you. The use of EMR allows all the doctors and nurses at our facility, and all attending physician at the hospital, access to accurate and up-to-date information regarding your treatment and care.

Benefits of EMR to You:

v Gives instant 24 hour access to your records

v Improves quality of patient care

v Decreases treatment variance

v Improves our efficiency which improves your overall care

Insurance Information

    It is important to bring your most recent insurance card with you when you come to the office. If your insurance coverage changes, inform us as soon as possible. Donít assume that your coverage stays the same if you are issued a new card.

Medicare

    If you are enrolled in Medicare, we are obligated by law to attempt to collect your co-insurance. Medicare has a fee schedule that we must abide by. Medicare reimburses us 80% of the allowed amount and expects you to pay the other 20%. If you have a Medigap plan, the secondary will pay your 20%. You are also expected to pay your deductible at the beginning of the year.

Managed Care

    Are the letters HMO, PPO, POS, or PCP noted on your insurance card? Better check, because if so, you are part of the managed care world. Many of the plans also require that we obtain a pre-certification number authorizing us to perform services. Unless these referral and pre-certification numbers are obtained prior to providing services, no insurance payment will be made. When this happens you may be personally required by your insurance company to pay for your services. To assist you, Horizon may call to verify your insurance requirements and to obtain these numbers, but it is often very difficult to get a response. Please help us by requesting a referral number from your primary care physician. You, are responsible for knowing the guidelines of your managed care plan, since every plan is different.

Other Insurance

v You should read your insurance benefits book carefully. In it you will find instructions on how to obtain coverage information about your specific insurance plan.

v If required by your insurance plan, and you have notified us, we will be happy to obtain prior approval for services ordered by Dr. Schutz.

Precertification

   The physicians and staff of Horizon appreciate the opportunity to provide you with medical care. As part of our service to you, we are happy to obtain pre-certification, if we know it is required by your insurance company, for tests and consults performed outside of our office (such as x-rays and CT scans). The patient is responsible for letting us know if pre-certification is required and to verify that it has been obtained.

Billing Information

    For your information, your primary insurance will be billed first, and what is not covered by the primary will then be sent to the secondary, if you have more than one insurance company. Thus, the bill you receive in the mail will reflect the balance due that is not covered by your insurance company. This is the amount that you are responsible for, and an envelope will be enclosed for convenient payment. If you need to make alternate arrangements for payment, you can speak with the business manager in our office.

Prescription Information

   Some insurance companies require that prescriptions be pre-approved before they can be filled. In order to minimize delays, call your pharmacist to find out if the drug you were prescribed requires authorization from your insurance company. Also know that insurance companies may change the list of prior authorization drugs at anytime, so a drug you didnít need approval for before may need to be approved now. Being knowledgeable about your insurance coverage will certainly reduce delays and minimize confusion. We understand that this process may seem aggravating, but we will do all we can to help.

Prescription Refills

    First of all make sure to notify us and your pharmacy if your insurance has changed. This will help alleviate delays when you need refills. Donít wait until the last minute to get prescriptions refilled. Make sure you get all your prescriptions during your visit with the doctor, and make sure those prescriptions will last until your next visit. Getting your prescriptions while seeing the doctor, rather than calling them in, will ensure accurate refills and will keep you from running out of medication. Note, if you are taking a narcotic you will need a hard, paper copy to get a refill. Patients who excessively call in refills will be subject to a fee. If you must call in a refill do so at least 3-4 days prior to running out. This is important because some of the drugs you may be taking are not common; thus the pharmacist may have to special order the drug which could take a day or two. When you call in refills have your old bottle handy so you have all the pertinent information. For example, you need to have the name of the drug, quantity, dosage, number of refills left, and possibly the doctors name. Dr. Schutz will only refill a prescription for the drugs he has prescribed for you. If you are on other medication that was prescribed by different physician you will need the original doctor to refill that prescription. Simply put, be aware of your medications. Know what you are taking and keep track of your refills. Doing so can eliminate your frustration, prevent undo pain and suffering, and improve your overall care.

Special Services

    We understand that this is a very trying time for you and your family so we want to make your visit with us as pleasant as we can. For those patients receiving chemotherapy please feel free to bring a friend or family member with you. Please limit your guests to one or two, we simply donít have enough room for everyone to sit. We also have movies available for you to watch, or if you would like to bring one from home please do so. If you do want to bring your own movie please donít bring anything over R-rated. We also have blankets available for your comfort, just ask. You may bring food or snacks to have during treatment if you wish.

    For your convenience we will also be glad to schedule X-ray and scan appointments for you. Please remember that this may take time depending on your insurance guidelines and appointment availability. Our goal is to make you as comfortable as possible and provide you with the absolute best patient care we can.

     Please let us know if you are in the hospital for any reason so we can help in any way we can and at the same time maintain your medical records at our office. The more information we have, the better we will be able to serve you.

Patient Education & Support

   Education helps cancer patients increase their knowledge and understanding of their illness and treatment, ease fears, and assist with knowing what to expect. Horizon provides patient/family education classes for patients. We have a complete listing of resources and information available to aid our patients. For more information about our educational programs and the services that are available, please talk with the nurse in the office at any time.

   The National Cancer Institute has a cancer information service to provide accurate answers to your cancer related question. Call toll free at 1-800-4-CANCER or 1-800-422-6237.

    Note: Our patients have requested that medical flyers and booklets not be displayed, but they are available, just ask.

Cancer Research

   The physicians of Horizon are committed to participation in clinical research. Through participation in research, patients have access to major cancer treatment centers and expertise throughout the country.

    Horizon Hematology-Oncology has been an active participant in the Upstate Carolina Clinical Oncology Program (UCCOP). UCCOP is one of 50 community programs funded in part by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). It is one of only 8 original CCOPís still in existence. The program links community physicians with NCI clinical research programs so that more cancer patients can participate in the latest treatments from the NCI while remaining in their own community.

The Cancer Challenge

    Patients faced with the diagnosis of cancer are flooded with fears, burdens and anxiety. Traditional cancer program look only at the physical consequences of cancer. Patients are left trying to keep their lives together emotionally and spiritually.

    At Horizon we know the mind can help the body to heal, but sometimes patients need help to do that.

   Cancer is a chronic disease that may require adjustment in the physical, social, financial, and emotional aspects of life in order to maintain stability and quality. Behavioral medicine is a service which looks at the emotional side of a patients and their family and then helps the patient use very specific techniques to help them cope with the disease. Patients learn to understand changes they may be going through and how to better deal with them. Families learn to understand their emotions and in doing so, become better care givers.

Behavioral Medicine Services Include:

v     Rehabiliation Services    

v Support Group

v Nutrional Support Services  

v Pastoral Services

v Stress/Anger Management         

v Relaxation Therapy

v Psychosocial Services         

v   Visualization Skills

v   Individual/Group Counseling    

v Imagery Training

v Individual/Group Psychotherapy

Horizon can assist you with a referral for these services.

Patient Responsibilities

    The patient is responsible for providing accurate and complete information about their insurance status, complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medication, advance directives and other maters of care.

   Patients are also responsible for acknowledging when they do not understand a treatment course or care decision. Please ask the Horizon staff or physician for an explanation.

 
 
 

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