New Patient Checklist

It is crucial when choosing a pediatric practice for your children that you have given serious consideration to the fit between the practice philosophies and your own. Excellent care happens when the physicians and office staff are aligned with your family priorities and philosophies regarding medical care. Only then can shared decision-making be based on mutual respect.

Please read the following checklist carefully to be sure HoCo Peds is the appropriate medical home for your children. We look forward to meeting you and forming a mutually rewarding relationship.

New Patient Checklist

Vaccines Simply put, in our minds, vaccines save lives! They are a vital and necessary part of our fight against contagious illnesses that can cause significant harm to all people; but especially to infants and children.  Therefore, our physicians at Howard County Pediatrics require all of our patients be appropriately vaccinated to be part of our medical home.  Families may come to us with a desire to vaccinate but may prefer to use a schedule that is different from the schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Advisory Commitee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  In our experience, choosing a schedule that significantly varies from the guidelines provided by the AAP and ACIP: increases rates of illness in the community, results in a greater chance for vaccination errors, increases the health risks to the patients and personnel who enter our office, and causes more children to be harmed or die from vaccine preventable illnesses.  With this in mind, It is our practice policy not to delay required vaccines more than six months from the ages recommended by the AAP. 
Antibiotics We work hard to not overuse antibiotics. We educate families on appropriate use of antibiotics, but follow evidence-based guidelines and don’t automatically treat ear pain or a green snotty nose with antibiotics. We do not routinely prescribe antibiotics over the phone as we do not believe that is good medicine. We will prescribe an antibiotic when we believe it is an appropriate treatment.  
Medical Home We work hard to provide comprehensive medical care and serve as your medical home. To that end, we expect that you contact our office FIRST before seeking specialty care, or heading to another provider for urgent care. We want to be involved in either providing care in our office where appropriate, or referring you to the most appropriate specialist and helping to coordinate your care. Whenever you do see a specialist, we ask that you request a report be sent directly to our office so we may stay informed and have the most up-to-date information in your medical record.  
Technology Our practice prides itself on efficiency through use of technology. You will be encouraged to consult our website and social media pages, register for and use our patient portal, and effectively use automated reminders for any upcoming  appointments.  
Office Hours We make every effort to meet the needs of our patients, offering both routine well visits and sick visit appointments  during traditional business hours and on Saturdays. We do offer a limited number of afternoon walk-in appointments on a first come, first serve basis.  To ensure we provided you with the most efficient care we highly recommend you call ahead to schedule an appointment. Please familiarize yourself with our office hours to see if they work for your family.  
After Hours We have a physician on call 24/7/365. When our office is closed overnight and you have an urgent issue that cannot wait until morning, you can call our main number after 7:30pm to leave a message for the Doctor on call (should phone service to our office be interrupted, you can still reach us at 1-888-992-9339 for urgent issues).  The Doctor on call will be notified and you will recieve a call back with advice regarding your child's problem.  You may wish to check the "Is Your Child Sick?" section of our website for helpful information before using this service.  
Insurance Make sure we participate with your insurance plan. It is your responsibility to know the limits and coverage of your particular health insurance policy, to show your cards to us at each visit, and to pay any copays or deductibles at the time of service. Our billing staff will do their best to assist you with insurance questions; however, If you have questions about your coverage, it is best to check with your specific insurance company. Our office does not want you to be surprised by a bill, but must always bill your health plan based on federal guidelines and the actual services provided.   
Billing and Fees Insurance co-payments are expected to be paid at the time of service.  If your insurance plan has a co-insurance or is one that requires a deductible, we will bill  you for the amount identified by your insurance company.   
Scheduling Appointments

For acute care, call the office to speak with our front desk staff who will listen to your concerns and schedule an appointment for you.  Sometimes an appointment may not be needed, but you are seeking advice.  Your call will be given to one of our Triage Nurses who can advise you regarding your issue, or check with the physician and call you back. If our Nurse is on with another caller, you will be asked to leave a message and you will receive a return call.

For well visits, call our routine appointment line. Well visits may be scheduled up to 6 months in advance.  We will remind you at each well visit when your child is due for their next one.

Timeliness & Missed Appointments

Our practice makes every effort to run on time with appointments, as we believe everyone’s time is equally valuable.  As a courtesy, we will remind you of your upcoming appointments via phone/text message/email. We ask that you arrive 15minutes before your scheduled appointment time (to allow time for parking, check-in, updating your insurance info, etc.). We understand sometimes things happen beyond your control that may cause you to be late. However, we reserve the right to ask you to reschedule if you arrive late for your appointment.

Missed Appointments: Broken appointments represent a cost to us, to you, and to other patients who could have been seen in the time set aside for you. We reserve the right to charge a fee for canceled or missed appointments. We request 24 hours notice for cancellation of appointments or a $50 charge may be assessed.