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FAQs

General QuestionsFirst Appointment FAQElectronic Medical Record FAQ

General Questions

  1. Why do I need a referral from my Primary Care Physician (PCP) for my office visits?
  2. What is the importance of having a primary care physician?
  3. Why do I need to present my insurance card(s) for every visit?
  4. Why can't I talk directly to my Cardiologist when I call?
  5. Are there any medications or food that I should avoid before having a test?
  6. I need to have the doctor fill out my Disability Forms, who do I call?
  7. Why do I need to bring my medications with me to every visit?
  8. How do I get my medications refilled?
  9. How do I get my medical records?
  10. If I call with a question, when will someone call me back?
  11. I am scheduled to have a Cardiac Catheterization, when will someone call to let me know what time I should come in?
  12. When I went to my dentist recently, he asked me if my doctor told me to take antibiotics for prevention of infection. Why?
  13. Where will my testing be done?
  14. How do I get my test results?
  15. Will I see my primary cardiologist in the hospital and will he/she do my procedure(s)?
  16. If I'm having a problem, who do I call?

Answers

  1. Why do I need a referral from my Primary Care Physician (PCP) for my office visits?
    Many HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) insurance companies require a referral for you to see a specialist. This referral allows the specialist to receive insurance payment. Without a referral, the patient is directly responsible for payments.  It is the patient's responsibility to ensure that their PCP has forwarded a referral to the specialist or to bring it with him/her to their visit. (Back to questions)

  2. What is the importance of having a primary care physician?
    Most insurance plans require that you have a primary care physician that coordinates all of your care and makes referrals to specialists for conditions they cannot treat. The physicians of Michigan Heart are heart specialists and do not provide general medical care. Initially your cardiologist may prescribe some medications, order some tests and / or procedures. Once your heart condition has been stabilized, your care will be returned to your PCP. Medication refills will need to come from your PCP. Your PCP will address all of your other health concerns / needs. (Back to questions)

  3. Why do I need to present my insurance card(s) for every visit?
    Insurance companies change their coverage and billing procedures frequently. When you come for your visit the reception staff will make copies of your cards and ask to verify that your information is accurate. If there is any question regarding the billing/coverage of your office visit, our Billing Department has a copy of your current card so they can discuss coverage issues with your insurance company. (Back to questions)

  4. Why can't I talk directly to my Cardiologist when I call?
    Your health care concerns are important to us, and we take your questions very seriously. We like to give all of our patients the same high quality care and attention, but at the time of your call, your cardiologist may be with another patient or performing a procedure and cannot be interrupted. Also, your cardiologist may not be in the office at that time you call. 

    Our nurses are trained to answer most questions that you may have when your cardiologist is not available. When necessary, the nurse will contact your physician and he/she will return your call. 

    When calling with a question, we ask that you provide the necessary information to the person answering the phone. Your concerns and questions will be given directly to a nurse. The nurse may be able to answer your question immediately or may need time to review your chart then return your call as soon as possible. (Back to questions)

  5. Are there any medications or food that I should avoid before having a test?
    Some tests require that you stop taking certain medications prior to the test. There are also foods that you should not consume or you may be asked to not eat for a number of hours before the test. Our test schedulers will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding medications or food consumption before your test. You may call(734)712-5200 to have your questions answered. (Back to questions)

  6. I need to have the doctor fill out my Disability Forms, who do I call?
    If you have had a heart bypass or other cardiac surgery, if you have had a heart attack or were hospitalized for congestive heart failure within the last 3 months you should give the forms to your cardiologist. All other reasons for disability must be directed to your primary care physician. (Back to questions)

  7. Why do I need to bring my medications with me to every visit?
    We ask that you bring your medications or an accurate and complete list to every office visit so that every medication can be correctly documented. Often patients have prescriptions from several physicians, making it even more important that all medications are recorded so they may be reviewed for drug interactions and potential side effects. (Back to questions)

  8. How do I get my medications refilled?
    Your cardiologist may start you on new cardiac medications. Frequently, samples are given to make sure you will tolerate the new medications. Your cardiologist may write the initial prescription. Please obtain your refills from your primary care physician who has access to all of your medical information. (Back to questions)

  9. How do I get my medical records?
    If you wish to get copies of your records for yourself or other physician, simply ask at your appointment or stop by the office. You will be required by law to sign a release of information form indication to whom and where you want information sent. These requests can take up to ten business days to process. OR, you may call our medical records department at (734)712-5203 (Back to questions)

  10. If I call with a question, when will someone call me back?
    If your call is urgent, a nurse will contact you as soon as possible. Your records may need to be reviewed and/or your cardiologist may need to be consulted before your call is returned. If you are having an emergency, please call 911. If your call is non-urgent, a team assistant or nurse will return your call generally within 1-2 business days. We may need to consult with your cardiologist to answer your question. (Back to questions)

  11. I am scheduled to have a Cardiac Catheterization, when will someone call to let me know what time I should come in?
    Someone from the Cath Lab will call you with a time to arrive. You may get a call up until approximately 5pm the day before. (Back to questions)

  12. When I went to my dentist recently, he asked me if my doctor told me to take antibiotics for prevention of infection. Why?
    The American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended that certain patients should take preventative antibiotics before certain procedures, such as dental cleanings, so potential infections can be prevented. Your cardiologist will inform you at your visit if it is necessary for you to take preventative antibiotics. Generally, only patients that have heart valve disease or have had a heart valve replacement will be recommended to follow these guidelines. If you are instructed to take antibiotics, you will be given an AHA card stating your doctor has recommended antibiotics. It is your dentist's responsibility to prescribe the antibiotics. (Back to questions)

  13. Where will my testing be done?
    If your cardiologist recommends a diagnostic test for your heart, chances are you can have it performed in a Michigan Heart office near where you live. Michigan Heart offers full service diagnostic testing with state of the art equipment at all of our locations. The same technicians, nurses and physicians perform the testing at each location. Cardiac testing centers are located in: Ann Arbor, Adrian, Brighton, Canton, Jackson, and Livonia. (Back to questions)

  14. How do I get my test results?
    If the test was ordered by your primary care physician and the result is Urgent, Michigan Heart will contact your doctor as soon as possible. If the result is Not Urgent, Michigan Heart will send the results by mail or fax to your primary care physician as soon as your results have been obtained and reviewed. 

    If a Michigan Heart Cardiologist ordered the test and the result is Urgent, we will contact you as soon as possible. If the result is Not Urgent, we will contact you by phone or mail as soon as your results have been obtained and reviewed. (Back to questions)

  15. Will I see my primary cardiologist in the hospital and will he/she do my procedure(s)?
    You will see your primary cardiologist for all office visits, unless it's an emergency and your doctor is not available. This is a large group practice. Cardiologists cover a variety of areas. For example, they treat Michigan Heart patients admitted to St. Joseph Mercy and area hospitals. They perform procedures in the hospital and office and see patients in several regional offices throughout southeastern Michigan. 

    It is likely that if you are in the hospital, you will see one of your doctor's partners. Even though you'll be seeing someone other than your cardiologist, that doctor will have access to all of your records and will be communicating with your primary cardiologist regarding your condition and treatment plan. You will then follow-up in the office with your primary cardiologist. (Back to questions)

  16. If I'm having a problem, who do I call?
    If you are having a Heart related problem, call (734) 712-8000 or (800) 433-7822. The operator or assistant will ask for your name, phone number and other pertinent information. Your nurse will review your chart and return your call. If you feel your problem is urgent, please let the operator know and your nurse will call you back as soon as possible. If you have an emergency, please call 911. All other health concerns should be directed to your primary care physician. (Back to questions)

First Appointment FAQ (Back to top)

Once you have an appointment scheduled to see one of our physicians there are a few things we need you to do before you arrive. Our physicians need your help to make your visit as effective as it can be. Please follow all of the steps below. 

  1. Bring or have your primary care physician send us any pertinent records and test results.
  2. Bring all of your current medications with you. We prefer that you bring the bottles so that we can insure that they are recorded properly into your medical record with us.
  3. Please bring your current insurance card(s) to insure that your visit is billed properly.
  4. Please arrive 20 minutes early to allow time to fill out any necessary paperwork we may need before seeing the physician.
  5. If you do not have a St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Registration Card, please call (734)712-7000 prior to your appointment with us to pre-register. Please have your physician's address and phone number for our records.
  6. Please be sure to bring your referral authorization form if you are covered under an HMO / PPO insurance plan OR check to see if your primary physician has sent the referral to us.

You will be taken to an exam room by one of our Medical Assistants who will ask you a few questions, record your blood pressure, pulse, weight and review your medications. 

Your cardiologist will come in and review your symptoms with you as well as your history. He/she will then provide a plan for further evaluation if necessary. 

If you have any specific questions for your cardiologist, it may be helpful to write them down and have them ready to ask. Your first appointment will be approximately 40 minutes in duration. 

Payment is due at the time of service for all co-payments and deductibles. Fees vary depending on the type of appointment and services you have. Method of payment can be made by cash, personal check, VISA or MasterCard.


Electronic Medical Records (EMR) FAQ (Back to top)

Michigan Heart has implemented an electronic system for managing your medical chart.

The National Institutes of Health recommend that all health care providers adopt an electronic medical record system in order to improve quality and save lives. Michigan Heart agrees with this recommendation and is committed to utilizing an Electronic Medical Record (EMR). 

The EMR allows your cardiologist and caregivers to access your medical record from any secure computer. The system improves quality and allows us more time to spend with you. 

Specifically, an EMR provides us with better chart access, improved service to referring physicians, safer patient care, and an efficient medical record process.

  1. I was told I would receive a pre-appointment call. Why?
  2. What information are you putting into the computer during my visit?
  3. What about the paper records that I bring to my appointment?
  4. Now that my chart is on the computer, how will you keep my information private?
  5. Can I use email to communicate with my doctor or nurse?
  6. What back-up systems do you have?

Answers

  1. I was told I would receive a pre-appointment call. Why?
    In addition to providing a reminder, each new patient will receive a call a few days prior to his or her first appointment with the cardiologist. The medical assistant will call to gather background information on your general health, cardiac risk factors, medications and particular heart concerns. This conversation will help us reduce your wait time in the office and will assure complete information for your electronic record. The call will also relieve you of the tedious task of filling out those lengthy health questionnaire forms! (Back to questions)

  2. What information are you putting into the computer during my visit?
    The clinical staff will ask you to update your recent health history, medications, and current cardiac complaints. The medical assistant will measure and record your blood pressure, pulse, and weight as usual. Then s/he will enter your data directly into our EMR during your pre-exam interview. (Back to questions)

  3. What about the paper records that I bring to my appointment?
    When you bring recent documents or results to your visit with the cardiologist, we will add them permanently to the EMR by scanning. (Back to questions)

  4. Now that my chart is on the computer, how will you keep my information private?
    The EMR is only accessible by our physicians and clinic staff with confidential passcodes. Non-Michigan Heart employees will not be able to access your chart information. Your record is not accessible to external Internet users. (Back to questions)

  5. Can I use email to communicate with my doctor or nurse?
    We are not yet ready to provide secure email communication with our physicians and nurses. We will consider email communication in the future to improve our service to you. (Back to questions)

  6. What back-up systems do you have?
    We have a powerful back-up system for our computer servers where patient files are located. Information will not be lost. In case of prolonged system failure, we will revert to our previous paper system. (Back to questions)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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