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Our Policies

  • Activity Between Appointments

    We may charge for certain services where substantial activity is required on your behalf after your visit. Examples of these activities are requests for prescription refills, duplicate prescriptions, insurance or disability forms, or other needs occurring outside your regularly scheduled visit to our office.

    Please be aware that fees for these types of services are generally not covered by most insurance contracts.

  • After Hours Care | Urgent Medical Issues

    • Always call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
    • An Internal Medicine physician is on-call after hours for urgent healthcare questions. Call 231.487.5555 and an operator will connect you.
    • For after hours and weekend medical needs, we maintain a close working relationship with Petoskey Urgent Care (near Walmart). Walk-in appointments are available, and your records will be transferred back to us following a visit. For more information, visit petoskeyurgentcare.com or call 231.487.2000.

    Petoskey Urgent Care Hours
    Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    Saturday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

  • Appointment Reminders

    As a courtesy, we will provide you with a reminder notification of upcoming appointments, usually 2 – 3 days in advance. The reminder system will give you an option to confirm the appointment or leave a message for us. If you find it necessary to reschedule your appointment, please contact scheduling at 231.487.9702 and we will assist you in setting another date for your visit; scheduling hours are 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays).
  • Care or Services Outside this Office

    Our focus is on meeting your healthcare needs. To accomplish this goal, your care may require treatment and/or diagnostic services outside this office. We encourage you to become an informed consumer of healthcare services, and to be knowledgeable about your specific health plan and any limitations.

    If you have questions about whether a service or referral is covered by your health plan, please contact your plan’s member services to obtain definitive information. Our office can assist you in rescheduling services, but it is your responsibility to assure coverage. Please be aware that failure to verify coverage can result in unexpected patient balances.

  • Charges for Services

    The criteria for physician office coding are standardized through the American Medical Association (AMA). These standards include three key components: history, examination, and the complexity of medical decision-making. Each physician or provider is responsible for coding the services that they render, with review of the various coding rules by our billing staff at the time that the charges are entered.

    Acute or chronic issues are billed under problem codes, with prevent services billed with prevent codes. In the event that both problem and preventative services are addressed at the same visit, both types of services will be billed.

    About Your Billprint_logo
    Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan is pleased to announce that Millennia Patient Services (MPS) is now handling our patient bill processing and servicing for all patient accounts, like yours. Feel free to contact the Millennia Patient Services Patient Support Center at 866.270.8965 or payments@mpspayonline.com for additional information on your account.

    For your convenience, several payment methods are available:

    • Online: mpspayonline.com/imnm
    • By Phone: All major credit cards are accepted by calling:
      866.270.8965 (English) or
      866.829.7852 (Español)
    • By Mail: Make checks payable to Millennia Patient Services
      Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan
      c/o Millennia Patient Services
      P.O. Box 102607
      Atlanta, GA 30368

    imnm_DoubleWindowEnvWEB16-01

  • Chronic Pain Management

    The physicians and providers in our practice will manage your overall health in conjunction with any specialists that may be required. The management of chronic pain and the requirement for narcotic prescriptions will necessitate the involvement of a pain management specialist into your plan of care.

    Our staff can facilitate a referral to a pain management specialist if this type of service is necessary.

  • Financial

    We participate with many insurance companies. In cases where your insurance does not pay or where we have been unable to exact payment from them, you can expect to be billed for the services provided. Our billing staff can provide you with detailed information about your visit should the need arise.

    Payment is due at the time of service unless other arrangements have been made. Similarly, patient co-pays are due at the time of service. Returned checks will be assessed a fee. We reserve the right to charge for missed appointments and non-appointment activity required between visits.

    For your protection, it is our policy to provide a receipt for any funds collected at the check-in desk; any future inquiry about a payment received must be accompanied by this receipt or your canceled check.

    About Your Billprint_logo
    Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan is pleased to announce that Millennia Patient Services (MPS) is now handling our patient bill processing and servicing for all patient accounts, like yours. Feel free to contact the Millennia Patient Services Patient Support Center at 866.270.8965 or payments@mpspayonline.com for additional information on your account.

    For your convenience, several payment methods are available:

    • Online: mpspayonline.com/imnm
    • By Phone: All major credit cards are accepted by calling:
      866.270.8965 (English) or
      866.829.7852 (Español)
    • By Mail: Make checks payable to Millennia Patient Services
      Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan
      c/o Millennia Patient Services
      P.O. Box 102607
      Atlanta, GA 30368

    imnm_DoubleWindowEnvWEB16-01

  • Flu Vaccination

    Flu Season — Schedule Your Vaccination Today
    Call Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan at 231.487.9702 to schedule your flu shot.

    If you choose to have your flu shot after business hours or on a weekend, please have your records directed to Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan to ensure your medical record is kept up-to-date.

  • Fragrance-free Environment

    Due to patients and staff members who are sensitive, we ask that you refrain from using cologne, perfume or any products that contain a scent. Your compliance will allow us to provide a safe environment for patients and staff members, and your assistance is appreciated.
  • Hospital Care

    For patients who are admitted to McLaren Northern Michigan, Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan providers are committed to resuming care for their patients once they are discharged from the hospital for follow-up care, chronic disease management, and everyday health-related needs.

    For urgent medical questions, call 231.487.5555 to reach an Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan physician on call. Always call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

  • Insurance Coverage for Services

    Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan formally participates in most major insurance programs including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network, Priority Health, Medicare, and Medicaid. We will assist you by filing insurance claims on your behalf.

    You maintain financial responsibility for any co-payments, deductibles, and/or non-covered services and are expected to promptly remit payment.

    Our billing staff will process primary and secondary claims for you, unless otherwise required. Patient balances are to be promptly resolved. Insurance balances that extend beyond a reasonable time period may be reclassified as a patient balance. Please be aware that patient and insurance balances are pursued aggressively and account balances may be sent to an outside firm for further collection efforts. Late fees may be added for each visit that ages beyond thirty days. Accounts turned over to a collection agency may incur agency fees and any legal fees.

    Any questions about what insurance paid or your member benefits should be directed to the member services telephone number on the back of your insurance card. If you have a question for us about your statement, please contact billing at 231.487.9704; billing office hours are 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays).

  • Missed Appointments

    We understand that situations may occur that can interrupt your planned visit and cause you to miss your appointment. We ask that you contact our office as soon as possible if you have to miss an appointment, so that your appointment time may be cleared for use by another patient. When possible, please give us at least twenty-four hours notice of a scheduling change.

    There may be a missed appointment fee of $25 – 75 assessed, depending on the type of appointment and the length of visit.

  • Patient Privacy

    NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
    Your Information. Your Rights. Our Responsibilities

    This notice describes how you can access your medical information
    and 
how medical information about you may be used and disclosed.

    The Privacy Policy may be reivewed below. 
For your convenience,
    you may also click here to download a pdf. Please review it carefully.

    Northern Physicians Organization
    Health Information Exchange (HIE)
    Community Registry/HIE Patient Information

    Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan is a member of the Northern Physicians Organization (NPO), a physician-led group aligning doctors’ processes, communications, best practices, and ideas. NPO strives to actively participate in the healthcare discussion and create innovative solutions for our region so that we may improve the overall health and wellness of our patients.

    Northern Physicians Organization’s (NPO) Health Information Exchange (HIE) allows the physicians who care for you now (or in the future) to access information such as (but not limited to):

    • Lab test results
    • Diagnosis
    • Allergies
    • Medications
    • Procedures
    • Immunizations
    • Surgical History

    The goal of NPO is to eliminate the need for patients to share their medical history multiple times to different providers. The HIE system will prevent the re-ordering of tests (such as labs or x-rays). Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan has invested in this system so that your care can be easily coordinated with our providers and other specialists you may see.

    A consent form is available, as we believe that is is your choice to participate in HIE. Neither NPO nor our practice presume that you want to share your data. For more information, feel free to ask you provider, call our office, or contact Northern Physicians Organization (NPO) at 231.421.8505 or info@npoinc.org.

  • Patient Responsibilities

    Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan wants to be your partner in healthcare. The following policy outlines what your responsibilities are as a patient.

    • You are responsible for providing full and accurate information about past illnesses, hospital stays, use of medications and other matters related to your health
    • You are responsible for reporting any changes in your condition or problems in your treatment including your ability to care for yourself
    • You are responsible to ask questions when you do not understand or are not satisfied with the information or instructions given to you by the physician, provider, or staff
    • You are responsible for the consequences of your decisions if you refuse treatment or do not follow the instructions given to you by the physician, provider, or staff
    • Your are responsible for telling us when you are not satisfied with the care or services provided, would like to discuss ethical issues related to your healthcare, or when you have concerns about possible abuse or neglect in the home
    • You are responsible for following the rules of the practice, instructions in case of emergency, and being considerate of and respecting the rights of other patients and staff
    • You are responsible for providing accurate and timely information about methods of payment for services, and for resolution of any patient balances
    • You are responsible for discussing your wishes and choices about future healthcare. We encourage you to discuss your wishes with your family and physician. An Advance Directive or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decision Making can speak for you if you are unable to.

     

  • Pre-appointment Labs

    Unless you were provided a laboratory slip at your prior visit, it is not the practice of our physicians or providers to have blood drawn before the appointment. If laboratory services are required, your physician will order testing based on his or her examination.

    For your convenience, we have an on-site laboratory that offers an extensive testing menu.
    Click here for more information about the laboratory at Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan.

  • Prescription Refills

    Maintenance medications refills are authorized by your physician at an annual visit, at a time when you have our undivided attention and the benefit of a complete medical and prescriptive history. You should allow 2 – 3 business days for refills requested between appointments as approval from your physician or provider is required.

    Our office uses ePrescribe technology for prescription refills, and we prefer to have refill requests generated by your pharmacy. If you need a refill, please contact your pharmacy and they can communicate directly with us.

    You may also use the online PATIENT PORTAL or our prescription refill line (231.487.9705) to initiate prescription refills.

    Charges for care between appointments may be experienced, including duplicate or renewal prescriptions.

  • Preventative Healthcare

    What is the difference between preventative and problem-oriented benefits?
    It’s important that you know.

    Maximize Your Insurance Benefits
    National Healthcare Reform mandates that health insurance, including Medicare and Medicare Advantage, now provide some preventative benefits, including office visits, with no co-pay or deductible to the member. Knowing the difference between preventative and problem-oriented procedures can impact your co-pay or deductible.

    Preventative services are designed to keep you well; examples include: cholesterol tests,
    cancer screenings, or immunizations.
    Problem-oriented services are generally isolated to a particular complaint or illness;
    examples include: heartburn, cold or flu symptoms, back pain, or issues relating to the
    management of a pre-existing chronic disease.

    Understanding the Coding and Billing System
    The services provided during your appointment will be coded by your physician or provider based on services actually rendered. This means that the services may not necessarily be preventative, as the coding will depend on the care actually provided. If both prevent and problem-oriented services are provided, both will be billed. Please be aware that routine follow-up of a chronic medical condition is considered a problem-oriented service and is not part of preventative benefits.

    Our coding methods are determined by American Medical Association standards.

    Office visits are coded by examination detail, complexity, medical decisions made at the time of visit, or length of visit. Your bill will include all specific codes related to your appointment. Here are a few specific examples:

    • V codes are typically designated as preventative under the standardized International Classifications of Diseases, 9th Edition (ICD-9).
    • Some insurance carriers have reclassified certain V codes as problem-oriented services,
      so a code of this type is not a guarantee of coverage of under your preventative benefit.
    • Laboratory tests or diagnostic imaging are sometimes preventative in nature, but most are
      ordered for a medical reason and will be coded as such.
    • Medicare covers some screening tests, with limitations based on the purpose and the
      frequency of tests.
    • Some insurance plans also use preferred vendors for services, which can impact your
      out-of-pocket costs and deductibles.

     

  • Release of Records

    We take confidentiality of your health information very seriously. Every person has certain rights regarding who can access their medical record, and access can be granted only by the patient or authorized representative. Our Notice of Privacy Practices provides additional information on how your medical information will be used.

    Under Michigan law, the medical record is the property of the physician or practice providing care or treatment. As a patient, you retain ownership of the data in the record. Copies of the record can be requested by the patient or authorized representative. Authorizations must contain the name and address of the recipient, as well as enough data to identify the patient.

    Specific authorization is required if your medical history includes any records relating to substance abuse, AIDS/HIV and/or psychiatric problems. The Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan authorization form has an area for authorization of release of specifically-restricted or sensitive data.

    Our practice utilizes the services of DataFile for record release services. A proper request will be processed and mailed to the patient or desired recipient, usually within 7 days. There is a nominal fee for this service per Michigan law, and DataFile will invoice you directly for the services provided.

    If so desired, please contact our office for a record release form.

  • Same-Day Appointments

    At Internal Medicine of Northern Michigan, we understand that some conditions just can’t wait. For this reason, we keep a few appointments open Monday thru Friday to take care of these needs. Call the scheduling line at 231.487.9702 after 8:30 a.m. to make an appointment. For emergencies, always call 9-1-1.

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