Frequently Asked Questions
Are you taking new patients?
We are accepting new patients into our practice; however, due to the large number of patients we see on a regular basis and the need to reserve time each day for urgent care, appointment availability may be limited. Please call our office to schedule your first visit. (back to top)
Do you take my insurance?
Please see our Insurance page for a list of the insurance plans with which we participate. It is your responsibility to check with your insurance company regarding which services are covered under your plan. (back to top)
Can I walk in and be seen?
No. We are an appointment based facility. Please call our office to schedule an appointment. (back to top)
What should I bring to my appointment?
Please bring your insurance card and a photo ID, as well as a list of your current medications, to all appointments. If you are a new patient, you should also bring your completed new patient paperwork, which you can download from our site (click here). These forms can also be mailed to you, at your request, upon scheduling your first appointment. (back to top)
What if I can't keep my appointment?
We do have a 24-hour cancellation policy. Please call our office to either cancel or reschedule. While we do understand that occasionally an emergent circumstance may arise that will keep you from coming, a simple phone call alerting us to that effect would allow us to schedule another patient in your time slot. If you fail to keep your appointment without notifying us, you will be charged a $30 no-show fee. If you make a habit of no-showing, we will ask you to find another healthcare provider. (back to top)
What if I'm running late for my appointment?
If you arrive late for your appointment, you are intruding on someone else's appointment time and may be asked to reschedule or to wait until we can work you in. If you are going to be more than 10 minutes late for your appointment, please call the office to let us know, and we will determine whether you need to reschedule. (back to top)
If I miss my first appointment, how soon can I reschedule?
If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call ahead of time to reschedule it, and we will attempt to fit you into the schedule at the soonest available time. Patients who miss (no-show) their very first appointment without notifying us will not be permitted to become a patient here. (back to top)
Can I get an x-ray?
We do have limited x-ray capabilities. If you have a non-life-threatening injury, you may schedule an appointment to be evaluated. Your provider will determine if an x-ray is warranted. It is your responsibility to check with your insurance company regarding whether outpatient or primary care x-ray services are covered under your plan prior to being seen. (back to top)
When can I expect my test results?
If you have labs, an x-ray, or a pathologic procedure performed during your visit to the office, we must send them out to be processed. Once the results are back, your provider must analyze them based on the information you gave at the time of your visit. Someone from our office will call you directly. This could take from 2-14 days, depending on the lab test or x-ray.
Please note: You will receive a separate bill from the lab, pathologist or radiologist. We cannot help you with problems with lab, pathology or radiology billing: please call the number on your invoice. (back to top)
How do I get my prescriptions refilled?
If you are on routine maintenance medications, please check with your pharmacy to see whether you have refills on file. If not, you may call our office to request a refill for your prescription. Please call at least 3-4 days before you run out of your medication(s) so that we will have ample time to call in your refill.
If a staff member is not available to speak with you, you will be asked to leave a message. Please have the following information ready when you call: your name and date of birth, your provider's name, the name of the medication, the dosage (milligrams), how often you take the medication, and the name and phone number of your pharmacy. We will also need to know whether you normally get a 30-day (one-month) or 90-day (three-month) supply. Please allow the office at least 24 hours to refill a prescription, then check with your pharmacy. Our office will call you only if the medication is not going to be refilled. Any refill requests phoned in after 2:00 p.m. will be done the following day. Please note that if you have not been seen in the office within the last 12 months, you may be asked to schedule an office visit for routine follow-up before your prescription(s) will be refilled. (back to top)
We expect our patients to take an active role in their own healthcare. It is your responsibility to know what medications you are taking and whether you need refills. Each time you visit your provider, please bring a current, updated list of all chronic and routine medications you are taking (including both prescription and over-the-counter). Give the list to the nurse once you get into an exam room. Tell the nurse if you are allergic to any medications, and whether you are due for refills. If you need refills but are not scheduled for an office visit, please call and leave a message on our prescription refill voice mailbox. (back to top)
What if I want to see a specialist?
If you wish to be referred to a specialist for a new problem, please schedule an appointment with us to discuss the issue and our recommendations. We cannot refer you for a problem which we have not evaluated. If our referral coordinator is arranging a referral to a specialist or testing facility, she will contact you as soon as the appointment has been made. Please allow up to 7 days for her to complete the referral and contact you. (back to top)
How do I get a referral?
Some insurance plans require a referral every time you see a doctor other than your Primary Care Provider. Please know your insurance policy requirements for referrals and whether a special test or service is covered by your policy. If you have an appointment with a specialist, please request your referral 2 weeks in advance. If you wait until you arrive at the specialist's office and then call us for the referral, you will not get it that day. (back to top)
What if I can't keep the specialist or testing appointment you scheduled for me?
Please have the courtesy to call the specialist or testing facility if you cannot make your appointment that day. It is your responsibility to reschedule your own appointment if the day or time we set up is not convenient.
What if I'm scheduled for a physical and have an acute problem?
Most insurance plans will not pay for a physical examination and treatment of an acute issue on the same day. If you feel your acute problem is more concerning than your scheduled physical, we will address the problem and your physical will be rescheduled. (back to top)
Why can't I speak directly with my provider?
Because our schedule is structured so that our providers are seeing patients throughout the day, it is rare that you will be able to speak directly with your provider by telephone. Please be prepared to either speak with a nurse or leave a message when you call, and provide as much information as possible (note: we adhere strictly to the standards of privacy and everything you convey to any member of our staff is kept in the utmost confidence). This allows us to more efficiently accommodate you when we return your call. Not giving complete information will delay your message. Phone messages will be answered after the providers have finished seeing patients. We do strive to respond to all messages in a timely manner; however, some messages are more urgent than others and must be dealt with first. Messages left after 4:00 p.m. will be answered the following business day.
PLEASE NOTE: We ask you to consider that each and every patient in our practice is treated with the same courtesy and respect as you would expect to be treated. Our nurses are directly involved in the care of our patients from the time we open in the morning until we close each evening. They are checking patients in, performing x-rays, giving injections, and assisting the providers in clinic, as well as attending to refill requests and telephone messages. If they are unavailable to answer your call immediately, please leave a detailed message on their voice mail. The nurses' voice mailbox is checked on a regular basis throughout the day, and all messages left prior to 3:00 p.m. are most likely to be addressed the same day. Because your message must be addressed by a provider, however, and because our providers are able to review charts (lab/x-ray results, messages, refill requests, etc.) only as time allows between seeing patients in the clinic, before lunch or at the end of the afternoon, you may not receive a response until later in the day. Please do not leave multiple messages on the nurses' voice mail or repeatedly call the front office if you are unable to reach a nurse. We believe our voice messaging system to be reliable and trustworthy, and encourage you to be confident that your message has been received. If you feel your concerns need to be addressed more immediately, please schedule an appointment with your provider.
FHCAC has now been an established practice for over 20 years, and we are proud to serve a large number of patients, of all ages, in the Cheatham County area. Our primary focus is to provide the best quality care to all of our patients and to quickly and efficiently respond to their needs. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding. (back to top)
Why did you send me a bill? Doesn't my insurance pay for my visits?
Understanding how your insurance works can be difficult and confusing. In simplest terms, health insurance is designed to assist patients in obtaining care from primary care providers and specialists without having to pay large amounts of money for those services. To obtain this assistance (called "coverage" or "benefits"), you as the patient pay what is called a "premium", a biweekly or monthly fee that is generally deducted from your paycheck or other income.
After you are seen in the office, we send an invoice for our services (called a "claim") to your insurance company. After our claim is processed, your insurance company will send both us and you a summary statement called an Explanation of Benefits (or "EOB"). Your EOB will explain, in itemized detail, what services were performed, how much they cost, and how much your insurance will pay us for those services. The EOB will also show you how much of the cost was applied toward your deductible, how much was adjusted (discounted), and how much is your responsibility. The "amount due" on your statement from FHCAC is the amount that your insurance company has told us is your responsibility, whether it was applied to your deductible or coinsurance. We do not add additional fees or charges. We only bill you what your insurance tells us to. (back to top)
What is a deductible?
Depending on your policy, your insurance company will set aside a fixed amount (called a "deductible") that you must pay or "meet" before they will start paying for your medical care. All the medical care you receive, whether from PCP services, specialist visits, or outpatient testing such as x-rays or CT scans, will apply to your deductible. Once you have met your deductible, your insurance company will begin paying their portion of your charges, again depending on your policy, up to your coinsurance. Coinsurance does not mean another insurance policy (your "secondary" insurance). It is the percentage that your insurance company says is your responsibility to pay for healthcare services. For instance, if your policy has a $3000 deductible and a 90/10 coinsurance, this means that after you pay $3000 toward your medical bills, your insurance company will pay 90%, and you will pay the remaining 10%. Once your deductible is met, we will only bill you for your coinsurance. (back to top)
What about my copay?
Some insurance plans have small fees for office visits (called "copays"). If you have a copay, we expect you to pay this when you check in for your appointment. Your copay applies to each visit, even if we have asked you to follow up with your provider. Your insurance company will let you know if your copay applies to your deductible.
I still have questions. Can you help?
Of course! If you have any additional questions regarding any aspect of your care, from appointments to insurance, please call our office and one of our staff will be happy to assist you. (back to top)