Frequently Asked Questions
Patient Care -
What is Clinical Pharmacology?
Clinical pharmacology is the science of drugs and their clinical use. Clinical pharmacology bridges the gap between medical practice and laboratory science. The main objective is to promote the safety of prescriptions, maximize the medication's effects and minimize the side effects. Pharmacists serve as specialists and leaders in the areas of drug information, medication safety, and other aspects of pharmacy practice related to clinical pharmacology. Their responsibilities to patients include, but are not limited to, analyzing adverse drug effects, therapeutics, and toxicology. In addition, the application of genetic, biochemical, or immulogic therapies has led to an improved understanding of the mechanisms involved in medication action.
What should I bring to my appointment?
Please prepare a list of your current medications. We request that you bring your medications (prescription, non-prescription, herbals, dietary supplements) to the appointment for a more detailed review. As with any other medical appointment, the more of your past medical records or history that you can provide or bring with you is extremely helpful.
In addition, please prepare a list of your physicians and pharmacists to assist us in identifying which additional records may be necessary during your appointment. We encourage you to include family members or other caregivers that you feel would benefit from attending the appointment.
Does my insurance cover the cost of my consult visit?
Most insurance companies and health plans will cover the cost, but it is important to confirm this in advance. We can help you contact your insurance company to determine their scope of benefits and copay structure should it be applicable. If your insurance does not cover the cost of the service, then it will be your responsibility to pay for the services at the time they are provided. We encourage you to communicate with us in advance of your appointment to avoid any confusion or payment problems.
Can I pay for my appointment with a credit card?
Yes. We accept all major credit cards (i.e., American Express, Master Card, Visa, and Discover). Debit or check cards are also accepted.
Do I need a referral to schedule an appointment?
No, you do not need a referral to schedule an appointment. Referrals are accepted, but not required, and may expedite the scheduling of your appointment based on the information conveyed from your physician or pharmacist.
With some insurance plans, a referral may be required as a method of notifying the insurance company prior to scheduling your appointment.
What is your cancellation policy?
We have a strict cancellation policy because so many patients are seeking our attention and care. Whether the consult is via phone or in office, all patient appointments require 24 hours notice for cancellation. If timely notice is not given, there will be a charge equal to 25% of the scheduled consultation fee.
Do you see out of state patients?
Yes. In addition to office-based appointments, we will also provide phone-based consultations.
Can I email questions to the doctors?
Yes, following your initial consultation visit. We encourage established patients to maintain open communication, regardless of method (i.e., office, phone, email, fax and written updates) . It is important to provide timely updates on your health status and to present question as they arise.
Do I need a prior authorization before scheduling an appointment?
No, we do not require prior authorization. However, your insurance company may require a "prior authorization" to help cover the cost of the service that we provide. We will assist you in contacting your insurance company to determine if an authorization is needed.
Can you fill my prescriptions at the clinic?
We do not serve as a traditional "dispensing" pharmacy. Therefore, we do not maintain a routine medication inventory. If we are assisting you with procuring medications from a patient assistance program or a "specialty" pharmacy, then your medications may be picked up at our clinic or arrangements can be made to have them delivered to your home.
Can you help me find free medications?
Yes. We work directly with pharmaceutical manufacturer's patient assistance programs (PAPs). In addition, you may be eligible for other types of medical or financial assistance to help you cover the cost of your medications or prescription copays.
Clinical Research -
What is Clinical Research?
The development of new medications can involve years worth of clinical research trials. The process requires a strong collaboration between pharmaceutical companies, universities and private practice researchers to design and conduct the research that leads to the medications we use in everyday practice. Our medical staff serves as leaders, or Principal Investigators, on several clinical research trials each year. This provides our patients to play an active role in the exciting clinical research process involving advanced groundbreaking therapies.
Who can participate in a clinical trial?
All clinical trials have guidelines about who can participate. The factors that determine if someone can participate in a clinical trial are called "inclusion and exclusion criteria". These criteria are based on such things as age, gender, the type and stage of a disease, previous treatment history, and other medical conditions. Some research studies seek participants with illnesses or conditions to be studied in the clinical trial, while others need healthy participants. It is important to note that inclusion and exclusion criteria are not used to reject people personally. Instead, the criteria are used to identify appropriate participants and keep them safe. The criteria help ensure that researchers will be able to answer the questions they plan to study.
What is a research informed consent?
Informed consent is the process of learning the key facts about a clinical trial before deciding whether or not to participate. It is also a continuing process throughout the study to provide information for participants. To help someone decide whether or not to participate, the doctors and nurses involved in the trial explain the details of the study. Then the research team provides an informed consent document that includes details about the study, such as its purpose, duration, required procedures, and key contacts. Risks and potential benefits are explained in the informed consent document. The participant then decides whether or not to sign the document. Informed consent is not a contract, and the participant may withdraw from the trial at any time.