We look forward to providing you with the highest quality medical care and service so that you can live a longer and healthier life. We know that everyone is primarily looking for convenience in a doctor's office. These patient policies are designed to help you understand how ProPartners operates so you can most efficiently access the healthcare you need. We greatly appreciate any feedback that you feel would help us serve you better.
- Scheduling Appointments
- Keeping Appointments
- Office Visit Guidelines
- Situations requiring physician office visit
- Recommended frequency for Health Assessments
- Telephone Calls
- Urgent and After Hours Calls
- Calls for Medical Concern
- Prescription Refills
- Test Results
- Referrals and Scheduling
- Hospital Care
- E-Mail Policies
- Medical Records and Paperwork Requests
- Questions / Concerns / Complaints / Grievances
As a courtesy to all of our patients, we ask that you abide by the following guidelines related to the scope of each office visit. You will appreciate that you are typically able to get an appointment with a doctor on the same day you call. This will only continue to be possible if our patients limit their discussions with the doctor to the medical problem or preventive visit that they agreed to when the appointment was scheduled. Any "as long as I'm here" concerns that you may bring up put the doctor in a no-win situation where he must choose between disappointing you or making other patients wait past their scheduled visit time. Your appointment will be scheduled to allow ample time to fully address the primary reason for your visit.
We see patients in our office by appointment only. Office visits are categorized as Health Assessments (preventive "well patient check-up" visits) or General Medical visits (to address a symptom or an established medical diagnosis). When you schedule online or call ProPartners to schedule an appointment, our scheduling staff is required to designate your visit as one of these types. If you have a general medical concern and also require a Health Assessment, you should schedule the General Medical visit first. When all of your specific symptoms and medical problems have been addressed, you can then schedule your Health Assessment visit. In order to accommodate all of our patients in a timely manner we ask that each General Medical visit address only one new complaint. General Medical follow-up visits may address as many as three medical problems that have previously been treated by one of our physicians. Based on availability in their schedule, each of our providers (physicians and physician assistants) offers a limited number of "Extended Office Visits" which allow for patients to address two new medical problems or one new problem along with as many as three follow-up concerns. Please indicate everything that you wish to address with the physician at the time your appointment is being scheduled. The length of your time with the physician will be based on this discussion. We strive to offer same-day appointments for pressing medical concerns. In most cases, if you call with a new complaint on a weekday morning, one of our physicians can see you the same afternoon.
Preparing to see the doctor
There are several administrative and clinical tasks that must be completed on every visit before you can see the physician. Some are your responsibility and some must be performed by our office staff. We need your help to have all of these tasks completed "on-time" so you can see the doctor at your scheduled appointment time. Whenever possible, we encourage you to complete your paperwork and return it to us prior to your appointment day. Our office staff will explain these details and encourage you to arrive early to insure that all administrative tasks are completed well before our nurses are scheduled to take you back to see the physician. Depending on your visit type, these administrative tasks may take 15-30 minutes and the nurse's check-in tasks may take an additional 15 minutes. If you do not arrive at the time indicated by our staff, you risk not being ready to see the physician at your scheduled appointment time. If you arrive 15 minutes or more later than the time you were asked to arrive, you may be asked to reschedule your appointment for another day.
The order patients are seen
ProPartners has a number of physicians, dietitians, fitness trainers, and medical assistants who provide services to our patients. Patients are here for a variety of reasons and are rarely "taken back" in the order they arrive and the sequence of being taken to an exam room does not correlate with the order the physicians see patients. Our goal is to keep every patient as close to their scheduled appointment time as possible and to inform you if we are experiencing any delays.
Total time in the office
The amount of time you should plan to be in our office depends on the reason you are here. In general, first-time patients and patients who are here for Health Assessment visits take more time. The table below shows what you should expect, based on visit types. Please allow at least this much time in your schedule so we can provide the quality of healthcare you deserve.
|NEW PATIENT VISIT TYPE||TIME IN OFFICE|
|General Medical Complaint||1 - 1 1/2 hours|
|"Basic" Health Assessment||2 - 2 1/2 hours|
|Milestone Health Assessment||3 - 4 hours|
|ESTABLISHED PATIENT VISIT TYPE||TIME IN OFFICE|
|General Medical Complaint||1 hour|
|Follow-up Visit||30 - 60 minutes|
|New Medical Complaint||45 - 60 minutes||"Basic" Health Assessment||1 1/2 - 2 hours|
|Milestone Health Assessment||2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours|
Sometimes for reasons beyond their control, every medical office will run behind schedule. Physician, office, and surgical emergencies impact schedules and result in unpredictable waiting periods. We make every effort to maintain our schedule and minimize any inconvenience to you. However, emergencies do occur and people do not schedule their illnesses. If a delay occurs we will inform you as soon as possible and we will gladly reschedule your appointment if you would prefer not to wait. (If you do choose to wait, feel free to logon to our high-speed wireless internet connection, watch a game on one of our plasma TVs, take a tour of our fitness facility, or ask for a cup of coffee or a cold drink.)
If you will not be able to keep a scheduled appointment, please notify our office as soon as possible so we can use that appointment time for another patient. If by chance you forget your appointment and do not call to cancel within 24 hours of appointment time you will be charged a missed appointment fee ($50). As mentioned above, there are also times when you may have to reschedule due to late arrival. If you miss or are late for multiple scheduled appointments without notice, our physicians may elect to release you from the practice.
Office Visit Guidelines
Our clinical practice guidelines, state board of medicine, malpractice insurance carrier, and/or your health insurance plan require a physician to see you in the office under each of the following circumstances:
- Any symptom or new medical condition not previously treated at ProPartners
- Any new occurrence/recurrence of a condition that has been previously treated at ProPartners
- Any request for a medication not previously prescribed by a physician at ProPartners
- Any request for a diagnostic test/blood test
- Review of all abnormal lab test results that the physician believes require discussion or treatment
- Patients on prescription medications who have not had a Health Assessment visit within one year
- Patients over 50 who have not had a Health Assessment visit within one year
- Patients on diabetes medications who have not had an office visit within six months and a Health Assessment visit within one year
ProPartners physicians recommend a "Milestone Health Assessment" for everyone by the time they are forty and every three-to-five years thereafter. These assessments are very thorough and provide excellent baseline information for your ongoing health and medical care. Our office staff will provide you with detailed information about several types of Milestone Health Assessments.
In addition to periodic Milestone Health Assessments and annual "female exams" for women, a basic Health Assessment (preventive check-up visit) is required:
- Every year for people on prescription medications
- Every year for anyone fifty years of age and older
- Every two years for people in their forties (not on prescription medications)
- Every three years for those younger than forty (not on prescription medications)
- Every year for all people of any age with significant risk factors for the development of medical problems
ProPartners staff makes every effort to answer the phone when you call during our normal office hours. Our staff will answer your questions and transfer calls to the appropriate person to help you as quickly as possible.
If you are comfortable using email and web-based forms to communicate with your doctor's office, we believe you will receive FASTER service and avoid "phone tag" if you:
- REQUEST YOUR APPOINTMENTS ONLINE (Schedule Me Now)
- EMAIL OUR STAFF with questions and concerns (Contact Us page)
- Use our PATIENT FEEDBACK SURVEY to tell us how we're doing
We strongly encourage you to use these electronic methods whenever possible, and we promise to answer the phone "live" during office hours whenever we can to handle those communications that really require one-on-one conversations.
At times we experience a high volume of calls and our automated system becomes activated to assist you. The auto attendant will list departments available for various patient needs and allow you to transfer to the appropriate department. If a staff member doesn't answer your self-directed call, please email the person or department you are trying to reach or leave a voice mail message and someone will contact you as soon as possible. If you're calling after 3 PM or on the weekend, we may not get back to you until the next business day.
Urgent and After Hours Calls
If you believe you have a TRUE MEDICAL EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY and do not attempt to contact ProPartners. If you are an established patient of ProPartners calling at any time of day or night with an urgent medical problem and no staff member answers your call, please direct your call through the automated attendant to our "Urgent Mailbox". To access the Urgent Mailbox call our main office phone number at (913) 451-4776, press "4" (for medical assistance) and then "1" for the Urgent Mailbox. Leave a detailed message including your name, the spelling of your last name, your date of birth, and a phone number where you can be reached. It is crucial that you spell your last name and include your date of birth. The physician on-call will be notified and someone from our office will call you back within one hour.
Calls for Medical Concern
Patients are encouraged to schedule an appointment to discuss all medical concerns directly with a physician. If you don't believe your concern warrants a visit to the doctor, established patients of ProPartners may email our nursing staff at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions they may have related to their medical care. While email is the fastest way to contact our medical staff, you are welcome to leave a voice message for our nursing staff. Whether email or voice mail, please leave name and date of birth, give a brief description of why you are calling and the best number and time for us to reach you. Our staff will not be able to answer your questions without accessing your medical record and, in most cases, your questions will need to be discussed with one of our physicians before you receive a response.
As you know, our physicians and nursing staff are very busy during the day giving our full attention to patients in the office. If you're calling between 7 AM and 3 PM Monday through Friday, every effort is made to get back with you the same day. If you're calling after 3 PM or over the weekend, we may not get back to you until the next business day. Due to the time demands on our physicians, our patients do not typically speak directly with the physician by phone.
Prescription refills (including pain medications) are considered during office hours only. If you are currently taking a medication and would like to request a refill, please CALL YOUR PHARMACY DIRECTLY. This is the only way that we refill medications other than at an office visit.
Your pharmacy will send an electronic request to our office. If your refill request is approved by the doctor, it will be authorized at your pharmacy within 48 hours (of the time that we receive the request from the pharmacy). All refill requests received over the weekend will be handled by Tuesday. When a determination has been made concerning your refill request, you will receive an email from one of our nurses.
Please pay attention to the number of refills remaining on your prescription(s) and the amount left in the bottle. Typically, being out of refills of chronic medication indicates that you are due for an annual Health Assessment or follow-up General Medical visit. If you need to talk with our nursing staff prior to having a medication refilled, please email email@example.com and provide all pertinent information including: your name and date of birth, name of medication, any questions or changes you are requesting, as well as the pharmacy name, address, and phone number.
If our clinical practice guidelines or the physician notes in your medical record indicate that you are due for an annual Health Assessment or follow-up visit, your will need to schedule the visit prior to any prescription refills being authorized.
Depending on the laboratory and or type of test you have performed, it takes anywhere from a few hours to weeks for our office to receive results. Laboratory and other test results are received and routed directly to the ordering physician's email box to be reviewed. Our physicians will review and take action on all results within 48 hours of receiving them.
In most cases, you will be scheduled for a follow-up visit with the physician at the time that you are scheduling your "blood draw visit". You will discuss your condition and treatment plans at this visit in addition to reviewing the actual lab results. In the case of labs performed as part of a Health Assessment visit, the physician will notify you of test results directly via email. If there are abnormal results that require discussion or treatment, you will be asked to return to the office for a General Medical visit so that action may be taken. If there are significantly abnormal results that require immediate action, our nursing staff will contact you directly. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not received the results of any tests within two weeks or if you would like to receive the printed lab/test results via fax or US postal service.
Referrals and Scheduling
ProPartners nursing staff arranges referrals to specialists and schedules tests and procedures that are done outside of our office. Depending on your insurance plan, our nurses may need to obtain a "pre-certification" before scheduling your referral or test. In many cases, it will be more convenient for you to schedule the consultation or test yourself, directly with the office you are referred to. Our nursing staff will help in every way needed to instruct you and answer all your questions concerning the process. They will also be happy to schedule the appointment or test for you, if you or your physician prefer.
ProPartners has contracted with a group of internal medicine physicians who specialize in in-patient medicine to take care of our patients who need to be admitted to a hospital. These "hospitalists" are on staff at numerous hospitals in the greater Kansas City area and are always available to see ProPartners patients who are referred from our office or by an emergency medicine physician in any hospital Emergency Department that they staff. We have found that our patients receive better quality care and service if our physicians focus on office-based care and our hospitalists manage our patients in the hospital. Ask our staff for a list of the hospitals that are staffed by our hospitalists and then check your insurance plan to determine which of these hospitals that they also participate with.
There are many cases where email correspondence is the fastest, most accurate, and least expensive way for our staff to communicate with you. We encourage you to contact us via email or the online forms found on this website whenever possible. If you provide us with your email address, we will use it whenever practical to send you medical and office paperwork, test results, recommendations, appointment reminders, billing statements, general health information, announcements concerning our medical practice and its services, among others. Your email address is only used according to the "PATIENT CONSENT FOR USE AND DISCLOSURE OF PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION" form that every new patient of ProPartnersMD signs on their initial visit. We are prohibited from corresponding with or about our patients other than via the "confidential email address" that you provide us with. If you are uncomfortable with the use of email for these purposes, or if you do not check your email frequently, please do not provide us with your email address.
Medical Records and Paperwork Requests
Medical records are the property of ProPartners. Because we adhere to strict confidentiality regulations (HIPAA), we must receive a written request form with your original signature and a copy of your driver's license in order to release or forward your records. This request must include: the patient's full legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, and the full name, complete address, and phone number of the physician/facility where the information is to be sent. Our office staff will provide this form to you in our office or by email. There is no charge to have your medical records sent directly to another physician's office or medical institution. Our physicians and office staff receive frequent requests to write, complete, and/or send various letters, forms, medical records, and other paperwork for our patients. We are happy to provide these services and can often provide them at no charge if requested during an office visit. Otherwise we charge a minimum of $10.00 for completing a form or letter. The fee is higher for longer letters and forms that require a summary of your medical history. We also charge a fee for copying, handling, and mailing medical records at the rates established by Kansas law. If you require any of these administrative services, please email your request to email@example.com and ask our office staff about current fees.
Questions / Concerns / Complaints / Grievances
ProPartners staff is dedicated to the delivery of quality health care and patient satisfaction. However, we recognize that concerns may arise. We ask that you first try to resolve the concern with the person involved if you are comfortable doing so. If there is no satisfactory resolution, you may contact the Office Manager or the Director of Customer Service. If there is still no resolution, the Director of Customer Service will explain the grievance process and other options that may be available to you. You also have the right to notify any of the state or federal regulatory agencies governing healthcare organizations.
As a patient of ProPartners, our physicians have an ethical and legal obligation to provide medical services to our patients. There are occasionally instances when we will no longer be able to provide these services to you. Our medical practice reserves the right to terminate the physician-patient relationship for any reason but will do so only according to our practice guidelines after a determination by our Physician Review Committee. The steps involves in such a termination will include: written notice delivered to the patient by certified mail, a brief explanation of the reason(s) for termination, availability for the patient to continue to receive medical care and services for 30 days following written notification, recommendations for finding another primary care physician in the area, and an offer to transfer medical records to a newly-designated physician upon signed patient authorization to do so.
Controlled Substances Policy
The ability to prescribe narcotics, benzodiazepines, and other controlled substances is a privilege that is granted by the DEA. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has strict regulations governing the prescribing of controlled substances. The physicians at ProPartners take this privilege very seriously. This policy is designed not only to safeguard this privilege, but to also ensure that ProPartners provides appropriate patient care.
Controlled substances are prescribed for short-term use only. If required for periods longer than a few weeks, and a definitive diagnosis has not been established, a diagnostic evaluation (which may include referral for consultation with one or more specialists) will be initiated to determine the diagnosis. If the patient chooses not to pursue a diagnostic evaluation, ProPartners will not be able to continue to prescribe narcotics.
If / when a diagnosis has been determined, the patient will be referred for definitive treatment or to Pain Management if long-term chronic pain management is required. The physicians at ProPartners are not trained in Pain Management. Chronic pain management is not a part of our practice, nor is it a service that we provide.
- If controlled substances are prescribed by ProPartners, the patient will not seek controlled substances from any other provider.
- Prescriptions will be filled at one pharmacy / pharmacy chain.
- Controlled substances prescriptions will not be filled by phone (no after hours, weekends, or holiday refills).
- Controlled substances will be taken only as prescribed. Abuse / overuse will not be tolerated.
- Lost prescriptions will not be rewritten / refilled.
- Controlled substances are not to be shared or sold.
- Misrepresenting a condition or situation in order to obtain controlled substances is illegal. If it is felt that a patient is not being honest, ProPartners will refuse to prescribe controlled substances. Additionally, law enforcement agencies may be notified.
- Random drug screens (at patient's expense) may be requested.
- Promptness for all appointment(s) is expected.
Violation of, or refusal to comply with any of these guidelines may result in controlled substances no longer being prescribed and / or dismissal from the practice.
Testosterone Replacement Policy
Due to the fact that testosterone is a DEA-controlled substance with significant medical risks and abuse potential, all patients diagnosed with hypogonadism (testosterone deficiency) who receive prescriptions for testosterone replacement are required to sign an informed consent form indicating that they understand the risks and potential benefits of this treatment and agreeing to adhere to the following policy for laboratory monitoring and follow-up visits:
- New prescriptions and authorizations for refills will only be issued during office visits with my physician. ALL REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL PRESCRIPTIONS OR REFILLS THAT ARE RECEIVED BY PROPARTNERSMD PHYSICIANS FROM ME OVER THE TELEPHONE OR FROM MY PHARMACIST WILL BE DENIED.
- Lost or stolen prescriptions will not be replaced or reissued.
- I will be required to have my blood drawn to test for the adequacy and safety of testosterone treatment:
- One (1) month following initiation of treatment or any dosage adjustment, and
- Every four (4) months thereafter.
- I will be required to have an office visit with my physician following each blood test to review lab results and my symptomatic response to treatment before any additional prescriptions will be issued. It is my responsibility to make sure these visits occur before my testosterone prescriptions run out.
- I will safely and properly dispense of all needles, syringes, and other empty containers of testosterone, according to OSHA rules and regulations. This service is available at ProPartners for a nominal fee if I so desire.
Weight Loss Medications Policy
The physicians at ProPartners do not prescribe medications for weight management.
PPMD believes that long-term, healthy weight loss is only achieved with active management of dietary and exercise practices. Additionally, the medical risks associated with the use of these types medications, as well as the medical liability concerns of prescribing these types of medications, are felt to be unnecessary and unacceptable.
Orders From Non-ProPartners Physicians
ProPartners is not able to honor orders from non-ProPartners (outside) physicians.
ProPartners has determined that this "courtesy" service exposes the practice to unnecessary and unacceptable risks. A patient presenting with orders from an outside physician will be offered the option of seeing one of the ProPartners physicians or be directed to the appropriate facility ("draw station", outpatient radiology center, etc.) to have the order executed.