We ask that you read this introductory letter carefully. It provides our office policies, some general information about your insurance and your responsibilities as a patient in our office.
Welcome to our office…
In order to provide you with courteous and efficient service and the best of health care, we ask you to review and print this letter for future reference. We have attempted to anticipate your questions and provide you with as much information as possible about our practice in order to make our relationship a more pleasant one.
The entire staff is committed to providing you with the finest podiatric medical and surgical care available in this area. We have selected our office staff for their training, knowledge, and desire to help people. We take pride in our staff, and we would like you to share our confidence in them.
Our medical care is confined to Podiatric Medicine and Surgery of the foot and ankle. We specifically take care of diseases, deformities, and injuries of the foot and ankle. This includes the medical and surgical care of the bones, joints, nails, and skin of the foot and ankle. We are affiliated with William Beaumont Hospital System, McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, Sinai-Grace Hospital, Huron Valley Hospital, and the Detroit Medical Center-Hospitals Group. If you are at any Emergency Center anywhere, you can request that we are contacted and if necessary arrange for your transfer to one of our facilities, if this is consistent with your best interest at the time. Many fractures and sprains can be splinted in the Emergency Center and referred to our office for treatment. You should obtain any x-rays or testing and bring them along with you to our office for reviewing.
Patients are seen by appointment only. To obtain an appointment please call the office during regular business hours. A receptionist will assist you in obtaining a convenient time to fit your schedule. We understand that your time is valuable and we will make every effort to see you at your scheduled time. It is important to us that your time spent in the office is as informative and pleasant as possible. Understandably, our office routine is occasionally disrupted by surgery, emergencies, or prolonged and difficult problems that must take priority. We appreciate your understanding and patience when this happens, and as such we promise to devote the appropriate attention to your care. For the same reason, we appreciate your advance cancellation of an appointment that you cannot keep. A charge will be made for broken appointments not cancelled without a twenty-four hour advance notice.
People sometimes call the office wishing to speak to the doctor. We have instructed our assistants to handle all incoming telephone traffic. Transmission of messages by our staff can enable us to take care of your needs more rapidly than if we handled each call personally. Our telephone policies are meant to allow us to care for patients with a minimum of interruptions and to answer necessary questions and take care of urgent problems. We hope that you understand this and will assist us with your cooperation. However, telephone calls used in lieu of an office visit will be billed accordingly. Outside of regular office hours, if your medical problems are urgent, or if you encounter a problem which cannot wait until regular office hours, our twenty-four hour a day answering service will locate us and we will contact you. You may go directly to the Emergency Center at any William Beaumont Hospital, McLaren Oakland Hospital, Sinai-Grace Hospital, Huron Valley or any DMC-Hospital Group location.
Prescriptions and Refills…
Prescriptions and refills are issued during office hours only. At other times, it is difficult to determine if a prescription or refill is indicated since your medical records are not available for review by a doctor. This means that the doctor will not routinely refill prescriptions during the evenings or weekends. The best method for having a prescription issued or refilled is to call our office first and then request the local pharmacist contact our office during regular office hours. The pharmacist should be prepared to give our assistant your name, the medication you are requesting, and if it is a refill.
The quality and extent of health insurance coverage varies widely, and we suggest that you make yourself aware of the coverage and limitations of your particular policy. Please understand that not all services are a "Covered" benefit in all insurance policies. Your policy is a contract between you and your insurance company. We are not a party to that contract. We cannot always determine the benefits of your insurance policy. Medicare, Blue Shield, and most private insurance companies select certain services that they will not cover. Payment for these services is the responsibility of you, the patient.
We strongly encourage that you carefully read your insurance policy so that you will know the conditions and circumstances of the coverage that is available to you.
When we are able to verify your coverage and benefits in advance for any of the plans we currently participate with, we will "accept assignment" of your insurance benefits and we will bill the carrier(s) directly. "Accepting assignment" means that your insurance company may (should) send us the bulk of the payment for treatment and that you, the patient, will pay us directly for any deductibles, co-payments and fees for "non-covered" services. When the insurance company does not pay us, or at sixty-days from the date of billing the insurance company (insurance companies are required by law to pay or deny claims within thirty days), whichever occurs first, you will be responsible for any remaining balance. If an insurance company later pays us for an uncovered service, we will refund to you any overpayment(s) that you have made directly to us.
We participate fully with all Blue Shield of Michigan plans, Blue Care Network, All Medicare plans, Aetna, Cigna, HAP, HealthPlus, Humana, United Healthcare, Tricare and many unlisted HMO plans. There are many other individual companies we also participate with so please consult your plan directory or our front desk staff for our participation status. "Full participation" means that we accept their payment in full for services (Excluding any deductibles, co-payments required by your insurance carrier, uncovered services or supplies. These fees are payable at the time service is provided.) Understand that the patient or responsible party is liable for any charges left unpaid after ninety day as well as charges incurred for collection of those fees.
For those patients with plans that require referral by a Primary Care Physician, it is your responsibility to first obtain the referral authorization and make sure that is with you or on file in our office at the time services are provided. In most cases we cannot call for a referral on the day of service. Each plan is different; some require a written referral while others have only a referral number. Patients requiring a referral for care or evaluation cannot be seen without a valid referral on file.
Liability of Workers’ Compensation and Accident Insurance Claims…
Payment of a bill is the direct responsibility of the individual who has received the medical treatment or the signed guarantor. We do not feel that involvement in a liability action is reason for a delay in our payment. If Workers’ Compensation covers your medical care, it is your responsibility to present a letter of authorization for your treatment along with billing instructions. These should include the name, address, and phone number of the insurance carrier, and the file or claim number. If you do not have the authorization, the bill is your responsibility at the time of treatment. If a medical report is needed, for any reason, we will comply, but there is a fee to you for this service.
Our fees are considered to fall within the usual, customary, and acceptable range by most insurance companies. Therefore, services are covered up to the maximum allowance determined by each carrier, except for those carriers who reimburse on an arbitrary "schedule of fees", which bears no relationship to the current standard and cost of care in our area.
As many of you know, statement and billing costs have become expensive. In order to help keep your medical costs down, we ask that you pay for office visits and treatments at the time service is rendered, unless payment arrangements have been approved in advance, and IN WRITING by the doctor. There is a statement charge added for those fees not paid at the time of your visit. Requests for non-customary assistance such as disability reports and special information requests are not included in our office fees and billed separately to the patient. X-rays and charts are a part of your permanent medical record in our office. X-ray copies may be provided upon advance notice and payment of duplicating charges if older hard copy films.
We will always be happy to discuss any fee or charge with you. Please feel free to call or stop in at an appropriate time for a full explanation by the doctor or staff. Bills not paid within sixty-days become past due accounts. We realize that temporary financial problems may affect timely payment of your account. If such problems do arise, we encourage you to contact us promptly and discuss them with us personally.
Please advise the front desk administrative assistant of any changes in your address, phone number, marital status, responsible party for bills, employment status, or insurance coverage that may have occurred since your last visit.
We are a caring and committed office of physicians and staff here to provide you with the finest quality care.
Dr. Michael Salter
1460 Walton Blvd., Suite 60, Rochester Hills, MI 48309
32255 Northwestern Highway, Suite 110, Farmington Hills, MI 48334