HEALTH HINTS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL TRAVELER
The Center of Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendations for international travelers apply primarily to vaccinations and prophylactic measures for U.S. travelers planning to visit areas of the world where diseases such as polio, typhoid fever, yellow fever, viral hepatitis, and malaria occur.
In general, the risk of acquiring illness when engaging in international travel depends on the areas of the world to be visited. Travelers to developing countries are at greater risk that those who travel to developed areas. Personal and specific preventive measures against certain diseases may require advance planning and advice from your physician. Our professional staff at Heights Medical can provide a vaccine required for traveling to specific countries. We can also prescribe the necessary medication and answer all questions regarding travel to high risk areas.
Minimize your risk for travel illness by scheduling an appointment with our office.
Due to the large volume of referrals required by many of the Managed Care HMO’s our office participates with, the following policy has been instituted to reduce error and promote the continuity of your health care:
- All requests for referral require a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours notice either by telephone or by written request. It is advisable to arrange for follow up referrals from your primary care physician as soon as you are aware the specialist needs to see you again. In most instances, this gives anywhere from 3 days to two weeks time to give our office notice of follow up visit, thereby giving adequate time to accurately authorize and prepare your referral.
- This office will issue no back dated referrals. It is the patient’s responsibility to obtain a referral prior to receiving services by a specialist. Most referrals are given for one visit and therefore additional referrals must be obtained if follow up care is necessary.
- If a physician from this office wants you to see a specialist, please contact our office within the next few days and ask to speak with our referral coordinator. In most instances, the physician has already supplied the necessary information internally, however, this practice will eliminate error, confusion and the unnecessary cost of visits not covered by a referral. Many referrals require pre-authorization, that is an additional phone call to the insurance company for medical necessity review. For this reason, it is in your best interest to contact the office as soon as possible so there is no delay in obtaining the necessary authorization.
- Check with your managed care company or review your member handbook to familiarize yourself with your benefit plan. It is always in your best interest to be fully cognizant of your benefits as this will enable you to protect yourself financially as well as medically
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR MANAGED CARE COMPANY, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK. WE WILL BE HAPPY TO ASSIST IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE. YOUR COOPERATION IS GREATLY APPRECIATED.
Protecting Your Medical Identity
Most people are aware of the risk of identity theft related to financial records, social security number, etc. As a recipient of healthcare services, you also need to be aware of the risk of other people using your identity to obtain medical services under your insurance coverage. Medical Identity Theft is a real risk in our society and the consequences can be very serious. For example, if a person uses your identity to obtain services, your medical record may be compromised by the other person receiving treatment for illness that would be contradictory to your history.
Due to these risks, our office takes precautions to help protect your medical identity. This includes requiring our admissions staff to require that you show photo identification at the point of admission or at the point of your first visit. Please be understanding of our staff when they ask for your ID, as it is part of the process to help protect your Medical Identity. You should also be proactive in guarding and protecting your insurance numbers, Medicare number, and Social Security number.
You should be aware and watch for the following Red Flags as possible signs of Medical Identity Theft. If you become aware of any of these areas of concern, please let us know so we can assist you in making the necessary corrections and notifications of appropriate government agencies. If you prefer, we also encourage you to contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP to report any issues.
- You receive a bill or a notice of insurance benefits (Explanation of Benefits EOB) for services you did not receive.
- You receive a collection notice from a bill collector for a bill that you think does not relate to services you received
- Your insurance company notifies you that coverage for legitimate hospital stays is denied because insurance benefits have been depleted or a lifetime cap has been reached.
- You notice information added to your credit report by a healthcare provider or insurer.
- You receive an inquiry from an insurance fraud investigator or a Law enforcement agency.
Please take every measure to keep your identity…your identity.