Policies and Procedures

Craddock Health Center has a proud heritage of medical care in Sylacauga dating back to 1912. The Health Center is now reemerging as a progressive, total health care center, offering a full range of medical diagnostic and treatment services.

APPOINTMENTS

Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Friday. Inorder to serve you in a quick and efficient manner, making an appointment and arriving for your appointment on time are both to your benefit. Being punctual helps us reduce the amount of time you might be asked to wait.

Of course, emergencies receive priority treatment. If circumstances such as an emergency arise preventing your physician from meeting your appointment, you will be given the opportunity, you will be given the opportunity to reschedule your appointment or continue to wait, which ever is more convenient for you.

HOLIDAYS

When the office is closed, an Emergency Department Physician will see you in the Emergency Department of Coosa Valley Baptist Medical Center as an emergency. If hospitalization is necessary, your Craddock Health Center physician or the physician on-call for him will attend you.

Naturally, an "after hours" trip to the hospital involves more expense than the usual office visit. You will be responsible for the hospital expenses, and if your physician is called in or the physician on call for him is called in, there will be a physician's fee as well. This fee will be charged and billed by Craddock Health Center.

REGISTRATION

During your first visit, specific information must be recorded to create a permanent medical history for you. The professionals at Craddock Health Center use a state-of-the-art computer system to store this information, to keep records of past visits, and to aid in scheduling appointments. While this does save time foryou, please allow sufficient time for this interview, especially for a first visit or for updating your file on following visits.

It is important that you keep your medical files updated. Any changes of address, employment, or any other item needs to be reported as soon as possible to the patient representatives at the reception desk. By helping us keep this information current, we can serve you more quickly and efficiently.

PAYMENT POLICY

Payment is due at the time of service. If the patient has an insurance Craddock accepts assignment on the insurance will be filed, however, the patient should be prepared to pay their co-pay on the date of service. All service is delivered on a cash basis until deductibles are met each year.

BILLING

It is preferable to pay your bill as you leave the Health Center. This enables us to save the ever increasing costs of mailing your bills. These savings are passed on to you by avoiding future fee increases.

If this not possible, an itemized statement will be mailed to you. To avoid any misunderstandings, please discuss your financial concerns or problems early. Our trained account specialists will be happy to discuss your charges and payments with you. Ask for a specialist at the reception deck.

INSURANCE

It is most helpful for you to fully understand your insurance coverage, and to bring any pertinent information with you, especially for the first visit. The insurance department at your place of employment is your best source of information about your coverage and should provide any necessary forms you might need to fill out.

Your insurance company may require that you complete a portion of your claim form. However, claims to Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Medicare, Medicaid, and PMD are processed electronically and will not require extra paperwork.

Please understand that your insurance benefits will not always pay all of your medical expenses; except for industrial injury cases, each patient is responsible for his or her own bills. If a patient has health insurance, the insurance company is responsible to the patient and not the Health Center.

You will receive a monthly statement, even though an insurance claim may be in process.

If you come to Craddock Health Center because of an on-the-job injury, do not register at the reception desk. Go immediately to the Worker's Comp representative, all necessary paperwork will be handled by a specialized team.

MEDICAID

Medicaid patients must present their Medicaid Authorization to the front desk personnel upon each visit. Medicaid may refuse payment of your charges if you fail to present authorization before each office visit.

MEDICARE

Craddock Health Center accepts assignment on Medicare. You will receive a bill from the Health Center which will reflect your annual deductible and the 20% that Medicare does not pay on the allowable charges. If you have supplemental insurance, if may cover this difference. Medicare regulations require that the deductible be collected from the patient. Physicians are not allowed by law to waive the deductible. Of course, any procedure that is non-allowed by Medicare is due and payable by you.
Please let us know fiyou have a Medicare Supplement.

ACCOUNT INFORMATION

Craddock provides personnel to assist you with reading and understanding your Statement and your insurance. If you would like to discuss your account by phone you may reach the accounts agent by calling (256)245-5241 and ask for accounts. If the agent is assisting another patient you may reach voice mail, if you do please leave your name, birthdate and phone number and your call will be returned within 2 days.

PATIENT SATISFACTION

It is important that you receive satisfactory service when you honor us with your patronage. In order for us to know what our level of performance is you may occasionally be asked to complete a brief satisfaction survey. The response from you and other patients will then be used to target areas for improvement or change. Please take a minute to give your input.

PATIENT EDUCATION

Patient Education at Craddock Health Center provides a vital service for doctor and patient. Designed to enhance the physician's care with health education related to a specific diagnosis such as diabetes or to provide preventive health care instruction such as self-breast examinations, patient education is often the key to full recovery, health maintenance, or illness prevention.

Counseling sessions are held by health care professionals for individuals or for the patient and family members, as desired. A minimal fee is charged for a session and most patient education activities are specifically designed for the patient involved. A broad spectrum of program topics are offered including those related to cardiology, diabetes, gastroenterology, various surgical procedures, and cancer, just to name a few.

Patient Education is an excellent example of Craddock's dedication to your good health.

GETTING FORMS FILLED OUT

If you have a form other than your health insurance coverage claim that needs to be completed or signed by the physician you should ALWAYS leave it with the receptionist. DO NOT LEAVE FORMS WITH THE PHYSICIAN OR THE NURSE. Before you leave the form please complete all of the patient information, such as name, address, and phone number. The form will be completed within seven days. When the form is ready the receptionist will call you.

MEDICAL RECORDS CONFIDENTIALITY AND RETENTION

Your medical record is held in strictest confidence by Craddock Health Center. In order to assure this confidentiality is maintained your medical record will not be released to anyone unless you have given your written consent. If you need a copy of your medical record sent to another physician you should ask the receptionist for a Medical Records Release Form. After you have completed the form your record will be copied and mailed. Records are copied and mailed on Friday of each week.

In keeping with records retention guidelines, your medical record will be retained for no more than seven years beyond the last date you saw a physician at Craddock. In the case of treatment of a minor the record will be retained for two years beyond the age of consent.

ADVANCE DIRECTIVES

What are advanced directive?

Advanced directives are decisions you make about the type of medical treatment you want should something happen to you and you become unable to make those decisions. Put your wishes in writing before you become too ill to make them. These wishes should be made known to anyone you think might need to be notified.

You can get additional information on advanced directives from your attorney, the public library, your pastor, your local or state chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons, the Commission on Aging or the local Legal Aid Society.

A SIMPLE OVERVIEW

This has been a simple overview of our basic policies and procedures. If you want further information, please feel free to call Craddock Health Center. We are here to serve you.