Office Policies and Fees

 

Office Policies

The goal of John Stracks, MD, LLC, is to provide optimal care to each patient. Together, the providers and staff have developed the following set of office policies to allow us to focus on you and your concerns.

Appointment and Cancellation Policies

Your appointment time is scheduled specifically for you, and you will receive your provider’s full attention during that time. Together, you and your provider will cover your concerns as well as review your care plan and any upcoming medications or lab orders.

Appointments

If you are a new patient, your initial appointment lasts 60 minutes. Your first follow-up visit will be 45 minutes, and subsequent follow-ups can range from 30–60 minutes. We work to schedule appointments for the right amount of time for you, not too much, not too little. And yet we know we can’t always predict exactly how much time you will need. We will let you know when you schedule how long and how much the appointment is. If you think you need more or less time than we have scheduled, please let us know when you schedule. Your provider will let you know when there’s about 5 minutes left in the appointment. If an extra 15 minutes is needed for your appointment time, that can be arranged, and an additional $90 fee ($99 as of June 1, 2019) will apply for the extra time. Please see below for more about the various appointment options and fees.

If you have an issue that cannot wait, there are a couple options. If you have a simple question, please relay a message through the medical assistant (M.A.) answering the phone or through the patient portal, Elation Passport. If you have a more complex issue, the M.A. can arrange a 15-minute phone consultation or in-office visit, for which the usual rates will apply. This is the best way to ensure that you receive your provider’s full attention each time you communicate with us. (See Out-of-Office Communications, below, for more specifics.)

Phone and Video Consultations

Phone and video consultations are available for established patients upon request and are billed at the standard rates using standard insurance phone visit codes.

Rescheduling and Cancellations

If your appointment is cancelled on short notice, we are not able to offer that time to another patient. Thus, any cancellation or rescheduling request must be made no later than 10:00 a.m. the day before your appointment so as to allow another patient to take that open appointment time. (Note that if your appointment falls on a Monday, then any rescheduling should happen by Friday of the previous week.)

By scheduling your appointment, you agree to allow us to charge your credit card one business day before your appointment. If you are a new patient, 50% of the office visit fee will be charged, with the rest of the fee charged the day of your appointment. For established patients, the full fee for the appointment will be charged. Once the appointment has been charged, we will not be able to refund the fee. However, we also know that sometimes emergencies and other issues arise. Thus, if you do need to change your appointment on short notice (or forget you have an appointment), we will offer you the opportunity to reschedule that appointment within 14 days with no additional charge as long as there is room in the schedule. To do so, please let us know that you need to reschedule on short notice, and we will assist you in rescheduling within 14 days. This can be done only once per appointment.

Lab Results

Please remember that it is your responsibility to get any labs done with sufficient time (i.e., 7–10 business days) for results to come back to John Stracks, MD, LLC, before your next appointment.

LAB ORDERS

Once you are an established patient, your next set of lab orders is created during appointments only. Unfortunately, adding lab orders on often results in the original orders being overlooked by the lab and leads to multiple visits to the lab for you. Please make sure to let your provider know during your appointment if there are any extra labs you are interested in. If you absolutely need labs added on in-between appointments, we can set up a short office visit (or phone visit) for you to take care of that.

John Stracks, MD, LLC, makes every effort to send you to an in-network lab. Please note, though, that ultimately you are responsible for ensuring that your insurance will pay for the labs at the testing center at which your labs are drawn. There is no on-site lab draw available at this time.

John Stracks, MD, LLC, is able to offer laboratory testing at competitive rates outside of the insurance system. If you choose to use this service, payment for laboratory testing is due at the time the labs are ordered. Please contact the M.A.s to avail yourself of this option.

Should you choose a lab where John Stracks, MD, LLC, does not have an account, please make sure the lab results are sent directly to us via fax at 773-337-7316. Please also check with us at least two days before your appointment to confirm the results have been received.

LAB RESULTS

Lab results are reviewed in appointments only. If your lab results are available before your appointment, your provider will send them to you with a brief comment. All lab results will then be reviewed in detail at your appointment. Please do not ask for interpretation by phone or email. Should labs need to be reviewed urgently, an appointment will be set up within 48 hours.

Prescription Refills and Requests

To ensure your safety, John Stracks, MD, LLC, has developed the following policies regarding prescriptions and refills.

Prescriptions

If you are a new patient, please communicate before or during your first appointment any prescriptions that you would like your provider to prescribe for you. Any first-time prescriptions must happen in an appointment. If you forget a prescription, you will need an appointment in the future (regular or short) to have it prescribed for you.

For new and established patients, during your appointment, your prescription will be filled for the length of time you need before checking in on the efficacy of the medication. You will also receive instructions, if needed, in your care plan for increasing or decreasing dosages and what to look for when considering doing so.

Any request for a change in dosage or type of medication not provided for in your care plan requires an in-office or phone appointment.

Refills

The easiest way to obtain a refill is to ask the pharmacy to contact John Stracks, MD, LLC, electronically. Please know that we always respond to these requests; if the pharmacy says we haven’t, there has been a communication glitch, so contact us directly and we'll rectify the situation.

 For both new prescriptions and established medications, the following time frames will apply for refills:

  • Most medication prescriptions (such as hormones for menopause and medications for thyroid or primary care) are written for up to twelve months. Annual labs and appointment with your provider are needed to continue to receive prescriptions after one year. A grace period of 30 to 90 days may be extended one time only. If a prescription mistakenly runs out before one year, ask the pharmacy to send us a refill authorization that we can send back to them.

  • Psychiatric medication prescriptions, such as antidepressants and bipolar medications, will also be filled for up to twelve months. To continue the prescription, appointments are required every twelve months. If needed, a 30-day (but not 90-day) refill can be sent in one time only, but an appointment must be scheduled before the 30 days is up to continue receiving the medication.

  • Schedule III, IV, V medications can be prescribed for up to six months. Refills can be authorized electronically within that six-month time frame. To continue receiving prescriptions for these medications, you will need to have appointments at least biannually. Refills outside of the six-month time frame cannot happen without an appointment, and there is no grace period. Examples of Schedule III, IV, and V medications include: Tylenol with codeine, testosterone (male), Qsymia, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Ambien.

  • Schedule II medications, such as Vicodin, Adderall, Ritalin, and other medications for ADD, will be filled for three months at a time. Refills will only happen in the context of an office visit.

Office staff will work with you as much as possible to set up reminders, but ultimately it is your responsibility to monitor the length of your prescription(s) and to schedule an appointment (and labs, if needed) before your prescription runs out.

Out-of-Office Communications

By design, we limit availability for out-of-office communications. This allows you to receive undivided attention during your appointments. It is also the fairest way we have found to make sure that all patients have equal access to our providers’ expertise.

Yet we know that there may be times when you will have questions about your health care between appointments. As a general rule, most logistical (i.e., nonmedical) questions can be answered by our staff and should be directed to them. If you do have a question, please contact us directly through our secure patient portal Elation Passport. A staff member will get back to you within 24 hours during the workweek, and most likely sooner. A response over weekend or holiday hours may take a little longer.

For reference, nonmedical questions include those about scheduling and rescheduling, pharmacies, prescription issues, lab problems, office hours, directions, referral status, medical costs, forms, and other similar topics.

Our staff is not able to dispense medical advice, so questions about medication doses, labs to order, why you are not feeling well, advice about referrals, advice about supplements, new medical topics, and feeling acutely ill should be addressed by your provider in your appointment.

Note that phone or in-person consultations are almost always available within 24 hours if you need answers to your questions. The usual rates apply to these consultations, and our staff will offer this option when needed.

Urgent Concerns, Emergencies, and Hospitalization

A provider of the practice is on-call 24 hours/day, 7 days per week, except when the office is closed for vacation. If you need medical advice outside of usual business hours, please call the office and follow the voicemail prompts to reach voicemail. Your call will usually be returned within 2 hours. Note that these phone calls will be billed at one-and-a-half times the usual office visit fees. The fee will be waived if you need to go to urgent care or the emergency room or to set up an office visit after speaking with the on-call provider. Fees will also be waived for issues such as missing lab orders, pharmacy errors, or clarification of a treatment plan.

This facility is not designed to respond to emergency situations. If you have an emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

At the present time, John Stracks, MD, LLC, does not provide inpatient care. Should the need for hospitalization arise, the hospital will assign a physician to care for you during your hospitalization. Your provider will assist the hospital physician with coordination of care.

 

Rates and Payment

Payment

Payment is due in full at the time of service by cash, check, credit or debit card, or HSA/FSA debit card. By scheduling an appointment, you agree to allow John Stracks, MD, LLC, to keep your credit card on file in a secure system. You will automatically be charged for any appointments one business day before your appointment. Please see our Cancellation Policy for details.

John Stracks, MD, LLC, does not accept insurance. The office will provide you with a superbill following your appointment to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement unless you have Medicare or Medicaid, in which case you are not able to submit according to federal law. Please contact your insurance company prior to your visit for any questions about reimbursement. 

Rates For Appointments

Rates for standard visits are listed below. Both new and return visit appointments can be arranged for longer than standard times and will be billed at the regular rates, but proportionally for the extra time.

New Patient Fees

  • 60-minute new patient visit for all conditions: $550 (as of June 1, 2019: $595)

Established Patient Fees

  • 15-minute visit (medication refills, self-limited illnesses; physician approval required): $135

  • 30-minute visits: $180 (as of June 1, 2019: $198)

  • 45-minute visits: $270 (as of June 1, 2019: $297)

  • 60-minute visits: $360 (as of June 1, 2019: $396)

  • 60-minute annual physical: $360 (as of June 1, 2019: $396)

Group Medical Visit Fees

  • 90-minute visits = $135

Rates for Other services

Checks returned for nonpayment will be charged $75.00 plus any bank charges incurred as a result.

Record copying is $50 plus applicable postage.

Completion of forms will be billed at the regular rates.

Letters to insurance companies will be billed at the regular rates.