Listed below are answers to frequently asked questions.   To read more about each topic, please click on the drop down arrow featured to the right of each question.  If additional questions arise, please call our office and speak with a staff member for more information.

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Dr. Fitch

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Dr. Gibson

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Hall

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Dr. Tardy

 

APPOINTMENTS: How do I make, change or cancel an appointment?

Making an appointment is easy. Sick visits are usually scheduled the same day you call for an appointment. We prefer not to schedule sick visits ahead of time, as we know children often get well before that visit comes. Sometimes in the afternoon we will schedule a child for the next morning. However, if we have sick visit availability, we like to see the patient that day if they need to be seen. We will schedule non-sick, non-urgent visits ahead of time for visits like warts, acne, constipation, follow-up visits, etc. We prefer not to schedule these visits if one of the other doctors is out, so we make sure we have enough sick visit slots to see those patients who need to be seen that day. Well visits can be scheduled up to a year in advance. There is heavy demand for well visits from March to May and in July and August. If you need your child's well visit during those months, please make your appointment several months in advance. Sports, school and camp physicals are included in well visits. We ask that you let us know in advance exactly your child is coming in for. This helps us to determine if it’s a chronic issue that may need more time allotted enabling us to minimize wait for you and other patients.

To change your appointment time, please call us as soon as possible. Cancelling wellness / physical exams requires 24 hour notice. This allows us time to schedule someone else that may be waiting to have an exam done. If your notice is not within 24 hours, a charge of $25 may be assessed to your account if we are unable fill that slot. For wellness / physical exams it may take several weeks before we can reschedule in busy months. We understand the need for doing these in a timely manner and for this reason we ask that you schedule the appointment in advance. We often keep a cancellation list in these busy months.

Billing

Please note that all co-pays are expected to be paid at the time of service. Whoever brings the child into the office is responsible for paying the co-pay. We accept payment in the form of cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, and Discover.

What if I miss an appointment?

Missing a scheduled wellness exam or cancelling within 24 hours of the appointment with Drs. Fitch, Gibson, and Tardy will result in a charge of $25 to your account.

What do I bring to the appointment?

Your insurance card, payment, immunization history for all new patients, pre-completed online patient forms for new patient or first appointment of the year, school physical forms should be brought to your appointment.

Is payment expected at the time of my appointment?

Yes, always. Whoever brings the child is responsible for payment, whether it be a parent, nanny, or other patient guardian. For more information about our Financial & Office Policies, click here.

How can I reach the practice after hours?

Once phones are rolled over to our after hour answering service, press 0 for an operator and you can have the doctor on call paged. If you press 1 you will get the Methodist nurse help line (22-NURSE). They do a wonderful job of answering questions. However, if the wait is too long or you would just like to speak to the doctor, there is always one on call. If you hear our "in office" voice message, or the phone just rings with no answer, you can reach our physicians directly by calling (303) - 715 - 6019. We rotate our call between the four Heritage Pediatrics doctors during the week and rotate call each weekend.

If it is after hours and you have a true life-threatening emergency, CALL 911. If it is after hours and you have an emergency that you know will require an emergency room visit, go to Methodist Children's Hospital Emergency Room and call us on your way. If the nurse help line instructs you to go to the closest Emergency Room (again call us on the way if you know you need to go) or you are wondering if you should take your child in, please call and have the doctor on call paged. We can often talk through medical conditions on the phone. We may give you home care instructions and follow up the next day in the office or with a phone call. We may instruct you to do a few things and call you back in an hour or two. If we think you do need to go to the Emergency Room, we will call ahead and let them know you are coming. If we think your child needs to be seen, but does not need an Emergency Room, we may direct you to an after hours Pediatric Urgent Care (shorter wait and lower co-pays).

Due to HIPPA regulations, we don’t have correspondence with the nurses at the 22-Nurse help line. If you speak with the nurse one evening or on a weekend and you want us to know about the phone call, please contact our office the next business day.

What if I need someone else to bring my child in?

We prefer that parents always bring in their children. However, urgent sick visits are sometimes needed when a parent is unavailable. A declaration of consent may be signed for your child if they are brought by another adult. It is best to be notarized. In many situations we may be able to accept non-notarized forms if we have a clear verbal consent for appointment.

To view and print this consent form, click here.

What holidays does the practice close for?

We close all day for: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We close for a half-day only on: Good Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Having a second child?

We always accept siblings of established families, even if our physicians' panel is closed to new patients. Please call our office with your anticipated due date. We are always honored to care for your growing family!

Do I need to call my insurance company after my baby is born?

Yes, you must call your insurance company and add your new baby within 30 days of the child being born. Either you or your companies HR department must make this call. We know this is silly. Your insurance company knows you were pregnant. But, even though they know this, even though they paid the hospital visit, and even though you may have other children on your family insurance plan, you still must call. If you fail to do so, you may have to wait until the next open enrollment to add your child.

Do I have to pay a copay for my well visit?

If extra time is spent at your well visit discussing other medical issues (like an ear infection, an acute illness, chronic abdominal pain or headaches, more extensive behavioral questions, an injury, etc), your insurance company may charge you a copay or apply the visit to your deductible. If this is the case, you will receive a bill in the mail.

In 2007 the American Academy of Pediatrics fought for coding changes involving well visits where additional medical issues were addressed. This allowed for both well issues and sick issues to be addressed at the same time and usually under the same copay. Prior to this, it was expected that the family would have to schedule an appointment at a different time which would require coming to the office on a different day (missing more work and school) and paying another copay. However, now that most health plans don’t require a copay for well visits, when extra time is spent in a well visit, a copay or deductible may get charged to you. We don’t want you to not ask questions because you are worried about an extra charge. Most questions asked to us in a well visit are simple questions that don’t require much additional time in the visit. However, some questions do require more time (to come up with a treatment plan and potentially write prescriptions) than is allotted to cover in the preventative well visit.

Please know that our desire is to address your questions and try to make it more convenient for you. There may be a time when we will need to ask you to schedule another appointment to discuss these issues if time in our schedule doesn’t allow for this on that particular day. If you know beforehand you have additional medical questions that you would like to discuss at the visit, please let our front office know when you call to make the appointment so that we can schedule the appropriate amount of time for the visit on the day of your visit.

Hospitalizations

For Dr. Tardy:
In most situations, if your child needs to be hospitalized for general pediatric issues, they will be admitted to Dr. Tardy's service at Methodist Children’s Hospital. In certain circumstances, your child may be admitted to a pediatric subspecialty service or a pediatric hospitalist. In this case, Dr. Tardy would not be writing orders for your child during the hospitalization, but will be following their progress closely.

For Drs. Fitch, Gibson, and Hall:
For infants and children who need to be admitted to the children’s hospital outside of the newborn nursery, we work with a children’s hospitalist group. These doctors only work in the hospital and they do a wonderful job of taking care of our patients while they are in-patients. Though we will not be writing the orders during the hospitalization, we will be following along closely and talking to you while you are at Methodist. If you go to an emergency room without talking to us and then get admitted, please call our office to let us know. Unfortunately, sometimes admissions aren’t communicated to us until after discharge.

Prescription Refills

Each prescription refill notice should be made 24 hours in advance. Refill requests for non-controlled substances should be made to us by your pharmacy. Once your doctor approves the request your pharmacy will be notified.

Controlled substances, such as those prescribed to treat attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) must be hand written by your doctor each month. All requests should be made 24 hour in advance. Please make sure to have complete information when calling, e.g. drug name, strength and dose. Use of these drugs is carefully tracked and documented so accuracy is important. (Dr. Fitch, Dr. Gibson, and Dr. Tardy charge a $5 preparation fee for all refills.)

Lab and X-ray Results

Most lab and X-ray results are available within 48-72 hours. However, some may take longer. If you have been waiting for results longer than 1 week, please call our office to request your results.

Insurance

WE ACCEPT MOST MAJOR INSURANCE PLANS
At Heritage Pediatrics, we strive to maintain a comprehensive insurance panel to best serve the growing communities of San Antonio and surrounding cities. Unfortunately, healthcare insurance options are rapidly changing and some networks will not let us participate in "narrow networks" or some ACA exchange plans.

Below is a listing of plans that we routinely accept. Please contact our office for specific plans that might not be featured on this list, as we are constantly updating our panel.

If you are an expecting parent, we recommend that you call your insurance plan after the delivery and give the full name (including Jr, III, etc, not including nicknames, which confuses the insurance company) and date of birth.

AETNA

BLUE CROSS & BLUE SHIELD

CIGNA HEALTHCARE
(Includes Cigna-Great West Plan)

COVENTRY & FIRST HEALTH NETWORKS
(Merging with Aetna)

HUMANA

MULTIPLAN
(PHCS, GEHA-some but not all plans, GPA - including Bill Miller's plan, & Principal)

MAXOR

TRICARE
(We accept the Standard and Reserve out of network plan only)

UNITED HEALTHCARE
(Includes All Savers, Golden Rule, Pacificare and UMR)

We also serve many families on medical cost sharing plans (Medishare, Liberty, Samaritan) which do not contract with physicians.