Attention, Parents & Patients!
Hope all the "after Halloween" stomach aches are gone.
Previously some emails have been long. We will plan to keep emails brief but with a little bit more frequency.
Most major businesses have open enrollment October-November, so we wanted to share a few reminders when selecting your health insurance plan:
1. Important to confirm, ALMOST ALL plans cover preventative health checkups.
However, after 3 years old, some plans allow one checkup per calendar year (2018) and others every 12 months plus 1 day. If you change health insurance companies, this would be a good time to move all kids, 5 years old and up to April, May, June & July for annual checkups. By doing this, ALL (camp, school and sports) forms can be completed and valid for summer activities and for the entire school year. This also helps avoiding the expense and inconvenience of form fees/extra visits before summer camps. School sports participation is NEVER allowed without a current sports form of medical clearance. Reprioritizing annual well child exams helps in meeting deadlines with the start of school rush in August. If your annual checkup is timed Sept-April, sports forms completed at checkups can become void on expiration- 1 year from your physical- which can sometimes be in the middle of an athletic season. Athletes are not allowed to play until presenting an updated physical exam. If your insurance has changed or if checkups are allowed per calendar year, we strongly recommend June/July checkups for rising 7th graders and older and April/May for kids entering 6th grade and under.
2. High Deductibles-->Until your deductible is met, SouthPark Pediatrics requires payment when statement is received for billed services.
Please recognize that, when called by "the insured" to discuss and clarify coverage for a member, insurance plans may offer inadequate explanations that reflect inaccurate perspectives on expenses passed on to you as part of your medical healthcare deductible. Different plans have different variables. If you have an on-going health issue or newly identified diagnosis that we address at your child's check-up, your insurance company will likely treat this as a separate "office visit" and charges will be applied to your deductible/out of pocket expenses for which you will receive a bill from our office. SouthPark Pediatrics attempts to provide you with comprehensive preventative care along with updated attention to known or newly identified health issues at the same visit. If at all possible from a scheduling point of view, we pursue this approach for your convenience so that you do not have to schedule follow up appointments for management of new health issues or those of a recurrent or chronic nature. Re-visiting management strategies and renewal of prescriptions at your annual check-up, seems to be reasonable timing for problems such as seasonal allergies, eczema, asthma and behavioral health issues discovered from our "Teen Screen". This philosophy prevents the need for coordination of parents' work/activities with child's academic and extracurricular activities, in order to return to SouthPark Pediatrics for further attention. Please review this link on our website to help you further understand this complicated healthcare matter.
3. Healthcare coverage tips specific to pediatrics:
A. Ophthalmology is not always covered and American Academy of Pediatrics recommends testing vision at 3 years old.
B. Dental insurance is recommended for 3 year olds and up.
C. If you suspect the need or plan to continue Occupational Therapy(OT)/Physical Therapy(PT)/Speech Therapy(ST) or anticipate the need for Behavioral Health guidance (especially during the teen years) for psychological counseling or psychiatric medical prescription you may want to consider adding dollars to your FSA. Remember to setup a flexible spending account (FSA) as a pre-tax savings.
D. For older kids, anticipate wisdom teeth surgery, and possibly orthodontics, so you can make sure to use your FSA for that as well.
Attention, Parents & Patients!
Just a reminder that if the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) series is started by age 14, it is only a 2-dose series, 6 months apart. If the HPV series is started after the age of 14, it is a 3-dose series (0, 2, 6 months). Please click here for details regarding this vaccine.
Trumenba (Men B Vaccine) protects against meningococcal serotype G disease, which is often seen on college campuses. It is a 2-dose series, 6 months apart, for patients who are age 16-23 year old. We would like to start giving this vaccine to our patients in this age range when they come in for their flu vaccine. Some health insurance companies have not reliably notified us yet whether they will be paying for this vaccine, and if so, whether the reimbursement they offer will cover our costs. This vaccine will be ordered on an as needed basis. If any of our patients would like this vaccine, please sign and submit the attached wavier via fax or mail to our office one week prior to your appointment.