Saint Helens Internal Medicine
Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get a refill of my prescription medication?

You are responsible for knowing when your medication(s) will need to be refilled.  Never
allow yourself to run out of medication.

Please contact your pharmacy directly for refills.  They will then fax us a refill request.  
Please allow at least 48 hours for requests *.   However, most refill requests are responded
to on the same day we receive your request.  The required time frame is because the refill process requires that we review your chart for data to be sure the refill is correct and appropriate.

Refill requests called directly to your physician's office will be processed when time allows, usually at the end of the day.  We recommend that you use the online patient portal for refill requests, it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

When calling in a prescription refill request, it is helpful to have the following information
in hand:

    • Patient's full name              
    • Phone number (best contact number)
    • Date of birth
    • Medication Name and strength (dosage)
    • How often the medication is taken
    • The name of the Pharmacy you use

After your provider receives your refill request, they will decide whether to refill your medication;  if it has been months since you have been seen, your provider may wish to have you come in to see him/her before prescribing any more medication.

* The 48-hour time period does not include after business hours, weekends or holidays.

How can I prepare for my annual physical?

If you have a morning appointment, please "fast" for 12 hours prior to the appointment.  If your laboratory blood tests have already been completed prior to your appointment, it is not necessary to fast.  "Fast" means do not eat or drink anything other than plain water, black coffee or tea for at least 12 hours prior to your appointment.   Please ask your provider if you should take any of your regular medications during the "fasting" period.

It is a good idea to bring a list of your medications, nutritional supplements and any other "over the counter" medications, a list of any past immunizations/vaccinations, and a record of previous surgical procedures or hospitalizations.

Please arrive 10 minutes early, and allow up to 1 hour for the exam.  Bring your insurance card, co-pay, and photo identification with you.

How can I get a referral from my primary care physician to see a specialist?

Contact your physician's office for a referral.  If your insurance requires a written referral, please allow at least 5 business days for us to complete the referral.

What is a prior authorization?

Most insurance companies are now requiring prior authorization of diagnostic tests such as MRI, CT scan, and nuclear medicine studies. Contact your insurance company to see if your plan requires a prior authorization of major diagnostic tests. If your insurance does require such authorization, contact your PCP to initiate the process.

Can I pay my bill online?

You may pay your bill online using our Patient Portal link.  You are also welcome to call our office and pay by credit card over the phone.  You may also come into our office and our helpful receptionists will be happy to assist you.

How we handle insurance at Saint Helens Internal Medicine

We bill your insurance provider for each visit, and you cover the co-payment or deductible, just like you would at any doctor's office.  The amount that you owe depends on the specific health insurance plan you have.  If you have any questions, please call the phone number on your insurance card to learn more about your coverage.  For your co-payments or co-insurance deductibles, we accept cash, checks, debit and credit cards.

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