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SAMA HealthCare Services
600 S Timberlane Dr
El Dorado, Arkansas 71730
If you have any further questions please be sure to contact us!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you accepting new patients?
Yes, we welcome new patients. If you wish to transfer your medical care to us but do not have an immediate need, we would like to send you some information on our services before your first appointment to acquaint you with our services. Simply call and we will send you a "Welcome Kit."
Do I need to send my old records prior to my first visit?
For annual exams or treating chronic medical issues, it is recommended your previous medical records be available for our physician review. Knowing your complete medical history allows us to more readily identify the source and proper treatment plan for you.
How do I contact someone after hours or in an emergency?
An on-call physician is available 24 hours, 365 days a year. If you have a routine medical question or concern after our office is closed, call our office phone 870-862-2400 and you will be connected to our 24 hour call center. They will connect you to our on-call Physician as needed. If you have a life-threatening medical need after our normal office hours, go directly to the Emergency Department at Medical Center of South Arkansas or call them at 870-863-2000. The hospital will contact your SAMA hospitalist physician and they will jointly determine how best to treat your immediate medical need.
How long will it take to get an appointment?
We make every effort to see you as a patient at YOUR earliest convenience, typically the same day or certainly within 48 hours. We strongly encourage you to call our office for an appointment to make the best use of your time, however if you have an injury needing immediate attention, come right in. (Some very detailed exams and visits such as Pap smears, complete yearly physicals may take 1-2 weeks to schedule.)
What is an "APRN" and how does he/she differ from a MD?
APRN means Advanced Practice Nurse, and in many ways is able to diagnose and treat your medical needs much as your Physician does. In fact, your APRN is truly an extension of your Physician in that he/she treats patients under the authority and established protocols of your Physician. Your APRN is a Nurse Practitioner with advanced academic training and clinical experience enabling him/her to manage most common and many chronic illnesses with additional authority, in many cases, to prescribe medications and serve as your primary care provider.
You have weekend hours, but what services are available during that time?
Our weekend hours are primarily for the convenience of our patients with acute or urgent needs that arise Friday evening or throughout the weekend. Many of these illnesses or ailments can be diagnosed and treated with minimal laboratory testing or radiologic studies. Since only one Physician is on site along with appropriate nursing and front office support staff, we seldom advance schedule appointments for routine care, radiology studies, or physical therapy during weekend hours.
What insurance plans do you accept?
To list all the insurance plans we participate with would take page after page of text and change, literally, on a week by week basis as new ones are added and others change. Simply stated, we participate in most all plans represented in this area. Although we make every effort to enroll our providers as "In-network" with those plans requiring special enrollment, there are some plans, though often based out of state, that offer only "Non-network" status to physicians in this area. Please check with your specific insurance carrier for details on available medical care coverages and payment requirements.
What payment arrangements are available?
For all medical services provided in this office, inclusive of diagnostic laboratory testing and/or radiology studies, payment is due at time of services. Unless other arrangements have been made in advance with our Business Office, payment is expected upon checkout in cash or, with proper identification, by personal checks, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express.
For our patients with medical insurance coverage, the appropriate co-payment is due at registration and the known deductible, or non-covered billable portion of the charges are due and payable upon checkout.
For self-insured patients, for services exceeding $50 on the same day, a 15% cash discount will be given for payment in full.
In a divorce or separation case where a child is being treated, regardless of who has been awarded custody or financial responsibility for the child, the person bringing the child for treatment is responsible for the payment services rendered.
When patient insurance coverage is confirmed, SAMA will file the remaining claim amount with the patient's primary insurance. The patient is responsible for filing claims to their secondary insurance carrier.
After your insurance processes a claim, all remaining amounts after contractual adjustments shall be patient responsibility and due in full. When patient insurance fails to respond to a properly filed claim 30 days after our submittal, any remaining amounts shall be patient responsibility and due in full.
Miscellaneous Fees may be added to your account as follows:
- $20 – Missed "confirmed" appointment without at least 2 hour notice before scheduled start.
- $20 – After-hours call to on-call physician
- $10 – Prescription requests received and filled on weekends or after 5pm on weekdays
- $10 – Medical advice/care given by phone- after first 10 minutes
- $10 – Special patient requested forms requiring direct supervision of a Physician
- $5 – Processing and Handling Fee for Collection Letters
Payment arrangements may be available on a case by case basis. Contact the business department with your specific request.
Patients with account balances will receive a monthly statement of activity. Payment in full is due upon receipt unless specific payment arrangements have been made with out Business Office.
We will make every effort to work with you and your insurance carrier, if applicable, to keep your account current. If circumstances of non-compliance and/or non-cooperation persist, we reserve the right to take whatever legal or other action is necessary to bring your account current, including, but not limited to, outside collection proceedings and/or termination from the practice. An additional fee equaling 40% of your unpaid balance will be added to your account if outside collection proceedings become necessary. All accounts over 180 days will go to collections.
What hospital affiliations do you have if I need to be admitted to the hospital?
Although our Physicians have active staff privileges at Medical Center of South Arkansas right here in El Dorado, we utilize Hospitalists who are highly trainied and spend their entire time IN the hospital for rapid response, continuous monitoring of your care, and coordination of your care with other specialists during your hospital stay. Your SAMA physicians are kept informed of your progress and consulted by the Hospitalists as needed.
We are never far away. If you should require hospitalization elsewhere, we will help coordinate and monitor your care with specialists in that hospital.
How do I get a referral to a specialist?
If your Physician determines specialty care is needed, we will contact and arrange for the services of the specialist you may choose or, if you have no preference, a specialist with whom we are most familiar and confident will meet your medical needs.
Can you call in my refill prescription medications without having to come to the clinic?
Medication refills can generally be handled over the phone if they were written recently and you have had no complications or side effects. Only the treating Physician can make the final determination based upon your medical history. Medications for chronic illnesses are generally written to coincide with your return follow-up visit with the Physician and should be addressed at that time.
What about a new prescription?
New prescriptions or those which have not been prescribed for you in the recent past will generally require your Physician to examine you to make sure your treatment plan is inclusive of all other factors that may be indicated in your medical history.
How do I get my lab results?
Most lab results are available within a short time of running the test, in some cases in minutes, some hours, but all within 24 hours except in the case of a pathology report or culture. Once they are complete, they are added to our Electronic Medical Record and sent first to the Physician for review and followup. Once the Physician reviews the report, it is available for the nurse or the Physician to communicate the results to you.
If, after 48 hours, you have NOT yet heard or been given the results of your lab test, please contact us and we should be able to have the nurse provide that information for you.
Who do I contact if I have a question about my account or statement I received?
If you have any questions or concerns about your account, contact our financial services department immediately, in person or by phone. The best time to contact us is between 9:00am and 4:00pm Monday thru Friday.
If you have insurance, we will file the charges for you as a courtesy based upon the insurance information we have on record for you. Payment is due at the time of service and you are ultimately responsible for settling your account. We will be happy to provide a copy of our policies when you speak with our financial services personnel.
Why is it necessary for you to make a copy of my insurance card and ask my address and phone number every time I come in?
We understand your concern and, frankly, we ARE doing this to be certain we do everything possible to maximize YOUR insurance benefits and settle the account as expeditiously as we can. Insurance companies, policies, and coverages change more frequently than we often know and can delay your benefits if our filing and demographic information is not current. Spending those few seconds on the front side save us both time and resouces on the back side.
How can I be assured of confidentiality of my medical records?
Not only are we federally mandated to maintain confidentiality through the HIPAA legislation, we have ongoing staff training and education to assure compliance. Each patient is required to familiarize themselves with our HIPAA policies concerning confidentiality of medical information which can be found in the Patient Rights Notice.