Diplomate of the Osteopathic Board of Family Medice

and of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners

Primary care FAQ

1. Appointments 2. Travel Vaccinations 3. Insurance 4. Referrals 5. General Physical/Annual Exam 6. Obtaining Test Results


How do I make an appointment?

New patients should call the office and ask for an appointment. Please describe your symptoms/reason for visit to the assistant when they ask so that the appropriate amount of time can be allocated for your visit. If you are hesitant because your might be overheard, you should wait and call for your appointment when you have a little more privacy.

How do I reach someone if the office is not open?

If you are ill and need medical advice, call and leave a message on our voicemail. Dr. Fritz‚ÄĚs voice mail is checked regularly when the office is not open. Your call will be returned so that Dr. Fritz can determine the best action to be taken. For all other issues, wait and call during office hours.

If you think that you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest hospital emergency room.


Travel Vaccinations

What vaccinations are needed to travel overseas?

This depends on where you are going. You should schedule a Pre-Travel Health Consultation. During this visit, Dr. Fritz will review your vaccination status (i.e., what vaccines you have had) and recommend vaccinations that you should have for your trip. He will also review general health precautions specific to the country you are visiting. Pre-Travel Health Consultations carry a fee of $120.



Insurance Coverage Questions

It is your responsibility to understand your insurance plan's policies concerning referrals and covered benefits. If you receive services that are not covered, you assume financial responsibility for the service. Similarly, if you see a specialist without a referral, you assume responsibility for that service.



How do I get a referral?

To obtain a referral you must initially see Dr. Fritz for the condition. If he has not seen you for the condition, we cannot give you a referral, even if you have a "PPO" plan. If you wish to be referred to a specialist of your own choosing, you must make that clear during your visit and you must provide us with the following information about the doctor:

  • First the last name.
  • Insurance ID number and NPI number.
  • Telephone and Fax number.
  • Medical specialty (e.g., gastroenterology, dermatology).

We ask that you give us at least 2 business days for your referral. If you need an update to a previous referral, you should contact us at least 2 business days before your appointment with the specialist.

Will you fax the referral to the specialist's office?

We do not fax the referral to the specialists office since the specialist's staff usually "misplaces" the referral and asks us to fax it a second or even a third time.

If you have Oxford or Aetna, insurance, the referrals are electronically processed on the insurer's website. The specialist's staff should print out the referral from the insurance website. They can also call member services and use the company's Interactive Voice Response system to retrieve referral information.


General Physical/Annual Exam

What should I expect during a General Physical/Annual Exam?

The general physical is a once-a-year visit to your physician for a general health check. It is often called a "preventive visit" since its purpose is not to treat illnesses, but rather to identify your risks of illness and to advise you on measures to take to prevent illnesses. Only the simplest of issues are actually addressed during one of these exams (e.g., a referral to a dermatologist or a prescription renewal).

Some insurance plans require patients to pay a second co-pay when the doctor addresses an issue during the preventive visit, even for the simplest of issues. Dr. Fritz will address specific health problems during your follow-up visit which should be scheduled for two (2) weeks after your physical.

The Annual Exam typically includes the following:

  • General physical exam.
  • EKG
  • Review of your family health history.
  • Review of your personal health history.
  • Review of your need for health screening tests (e.g., mammogram, colonoscopy).
  • Blood and urine tests for general health.

If you are scheduling a general physical and have some other problems that you want to discuss (e.g., a a persistent cough, cold symptoms, frequent headaches) you should schedule a separate appointment for the other specific problem.

A couple of insurance companies (i.e., Oxford, United HealthCare) have begun to refuse coverage of viral hepatitis screening. Be sure to remind us if your insurance carrier is Oxford or United HealthCare so that we will not request this blood test. To learn more about viral hepatitis, click here.

What blood and urine tests are given during the General Physical? The full list is too long and complicated to explain. Generally speaking, the tests are:

  • General tests of liver and kidney function.
  • Check for anemia.
  • Test of thyroid function.
  • Screening for symptoms of diabetes.
  • Check of cholesterol levels.

Will my insurance cover my General Physical?

While most insurance plans do cover the Preventive Exam, some do not. It is important that you verify your insurance coverage prior to your visit. Medicare does not cover general physicals. Many GHI plans do not cover preventive exams for adults beween the ages of 18 and under 45 and do not cover adult immunizations.


Obtaining Test Results

How do I obtain my test results?

You can schedule an appointment at the front desk before you leave the office. If we can not get a hold of you via phone we will send you a letter notifying you of your results and a reminder to call our office for an appointment .

Disclaimer: All material provided on this website is for informative purposes only. If you need specific medical advice, please contact the office for an appointment.