Frequently Asked Questions
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What to do if I get sick?
If you feel extremely ill and don’t think you can wait to be seen, you should always go to the nearest emergency room or even dial 911 for extreme cases. However for most routine medical problems we can talk with you by phone and review the situation and see if it’s a situation Dr. Booton needs to see you in person for, or if it can be dealt with over the phone. The process starts with a phone call to the office and ask to speak to the medical assistant. If you already know you are going to need to make an appointment, a call to the front desk is all that is required. Communication via the portal is best left for routine medical questions, as it is answered only twice per day, and it not appropriate for time sensitive situations.
Situations which are easily manageable by phone include upper respiratory infections and urinary tract infections. Medical conditions which require a visit are those which the diagnosis is not clear, there is significant pain involved, there is a possibility of dehydration occurring and any situation which significant discomfort is involved.
Most questions about chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol issues or heart disease would require an in person visit. These are areas which require a careful review of the patient’s medications and recent medical history and are best conducted in person.
What is the best way to schedule an appointment?
You have several options when scheduling an appointment. You can message us via the portal that you are requesting an appointment. If you provide several options, we can try to accommodate your time and date requests.
If your request is more urgent, you should call the office and choose the “appointments” option on the voice attendant. Our office staff will make every attempt to answer the phone personally, but you may be prompted to leave a voice message if the staff is assisting other patients at the time of your call. Messages are checked frequently, and every effort will be made to call you back within 10 minutes of your leaving a message.
What happens if I need to go to the hospital?
Dr. Booton recommends you go to the nearest emergency room if you are in extreme distress or call 911. The hospital emergency department physician will evaluate you and decide if admission to the hospital is appropriate. If admitted, you will be cared for by a “hospitalist”, who is an internal medicine doctor who specializes in caring for patients who are admitted to the hospital.
Dr. Booton will be available for consultation with the hospitalist to answer any questions the hospital doctor may have about your past medical history. The hospitalist (and ER doctor) will send summaries of your visit to Dr. Booton who will have these available in your medical record. The hospitalist doctor will usually request that you have a follow up visit with Dr. Booton to review your condition and discuss any medication changes which occurred during your hospital stay.
What do I do in case of emergency?
You should always call 911 in case of an extreme medical condition. That would be defined as any situation where there is extreme pain or extreme discomfort that does not resolve quickly. If you have questions about what constitutes an emergency, you should call our office and ask to speak with the medical assistant on the “emergency line”. She can help you decide about proceeding to the emergency room or making an appointment to see Dr. Booton.
If this occurs after hours, the answering machine at the office provides voice prompts which will connect you to the answering service. The answering service will contact Dr. Booton or one of his call partners (Dr. Booton shares after hour and weekend call with several other internists). They will help assist you in sorting out your medical concerns if the situation cannot wait until the office reopens.
What insurance companies does Dr. Booton participate with?
See attached list.
This listing may not include all current plans Dr. Booton accepts. Additionally, this list is subject to change. Please verify your insurance is accepted when you make your first appointment.
What should I bring to my appointment?
You should always bring a list of all your medications, including any over the counter medications you may be taking. If possible, bring the actual bottles with you to the appointment as it’s important to know the exact dosages of all the prescriptions. Your other doctors may change the dose or type of medication you are taking and it’s essential Dr. Booton have an accurate list of all your medications.
Additionally, some patients find it helpful to prepare for their visits by writing a list of questions that they would like answered. For some patients, this is a helpful way to organize their thoughts and make sure all areas of concern are addressed during the visit.
How do I get my prescription refilled?
You should always call your pharmacist and request that they notify our office when you are ready for a refill. The pharmacists can contact us more efficiently, as they are electronically connected to our office. The refill process runs more smoothly if we hear from the pharmacy as opposed to directly from our patients. We may ask you to schedule an appointment if it has been over year since you have seen Dr. Booton. Many medications require regular monitoring and require at least an annual visit to the doctor.
How do I obtain my test results?
Dr. Booton will review your lab results shortly after he receives them from the lab. His medical assistant will phone you with the results within several days of your appointment. If you are “web enabled”, Dr. Booton can send you a message summarizing your lab findings and you can view the lab results directly online via the patient portal. We prefer using the patient portal versus standard internet communication as the patient portal is a secure, encrypted medical environment.
What should I do if I have a billing question?
Dr. Booton’s office has a billing specialist who will be glad to review your patient account with you. She can be reached via the patient portal or she can reached by phone. By calling the office and selecting the “if you have a billing question” option on the phone, you will be connected to Dr. Booton’s billing specialist. The billing specialist has experience in dealing with all the medical insurance companies and answering even the most confusing insurance questions.
What if I want to talk with Dr. Booton?
The best way to interact with Dr. Booton is by scheduling an appointment with him. That way he will have all of your records at his fingertips and will have dedicated time to your visit. If your question is of a routine matter, many times Dr. Booton’s medical assistant can answer your question as most likely other patient’s have had similar concerns. If you want to speak directly with Dr. Booton by phone and do not feel a visit to the office is necessary, by leaving a message with his medical assistant, Dr. Booton can call you during a break or after clinic hours to address your concerns. Obviously for medical emergencies, Dr. Booton or his assistant will answer your questions right away.
What about “Co-Pays” and other payment questions?
You will be asked to pay your co-pay at the time of service with cash, credit card, or check. The remaining charge will be sent to your insurance company for them to pay the balance of the charge and to determine if your visit was deemed a “covered service”. You may be sent a statement if there was a balance due after the insurance payment was applied, your insurance company has a deductible to which the charge is applied or if the service provided is not a covered benefit by the insurance company. We do accept Mastercard, Visa and Discovery credit cards both at the time of service and when you are sent a statement. If you do not have insurance, you will be expected to pay the full amount of your visit charge at the time of service. Returned checks will be assessed an additional charge.
What if I have to change my appointment time?
We request that you provide at least 24 hours advance notice to cancel or change a previously scheduled appointment. While we certainly understand unforeseen emergencies, and will make every attempt to be flexible, we do reserve the right to add an additional charge to your bill for “no shows” and failure to change your appointment time 24 hours in advance.
What do the letters FACP stand for at the end of Dr. Booton’s name?
FACP is an abbreviation for “Fellow in the American College of Physicians”. This is an honorary distinction awarded by the national organization which represents internists. This award is recognition by other internists for excellence and skill in medical practice, teaching or research.