Questions and Answers
Getting to Know Us
Do you take my insurance?
Probably so. We accept most commercial insurance plans. This includes most BCBS, Cigna, Aetna, United and Tricare and many other commercial insurance plans. If you are unsure about yours, feel free to call our office to verify.
We are not TennCare providers and due to Tennessee State law, we cannot see your child if he is covered by TennCare, even if you wish to pay out-of-pocket.
Does Laurelwood Pediatrics accept non-vaccinated patients?
The physicians of Laurelwood Pediatrics wholeheartedly support vaccination of children and recommend that all of our patients be fully vaccinated in a timely fashion. Therefore, Laurelwood Pediatrics will not accept new patients whose parents refuse to vaccinate their children.
Do you take xrays?
We don’t take xrays in our office. Although some xrays that we order are not complex, many require reading by an experienced pediatric radiologist. If your child should need an xray, we will refer you to a radiologic facility affiliated with your insurance plan. Usually the xray can be made very quickly, and we can get results to you promptly. Some more complicated procedures must be scheduled a few days ahead, and we can assist with this process as well.
Can I see my own pediatrician when I come in to the office?
We value the relationship that a patient develops with her doctor, and want for your child to see her own pediatrician as much as is possible. For checkups, scheduling with your pediatrician will not be difficult, although it is always a good idea to plan ahead a couple of months to make sure that you can get an appointment on the date and time you wish. For sick visits it is usually possible to see your own pediatrician, however when making an appointment later in the day for that same day, you may be offered an appointment with one of the other physicians.
How long will I have to wait at the office when I come for an appointment?
We value your time, and strive to keep wait times as low as is possible. On average, you should find your wait time 10-30 minutes. During this time some important things are happening to help us care for your child. Your insurance coverage is verified to help ensure that you don’t have any unexpected surprises when your bill arrives. The medical assistant collects information from you and your child about the visit. And screenings appropriate for your child’s visit are begun. Of course, occasionally unexpected situations involving other patients may cause delays and we appreciate your understanding when these arise.
What is early morning clinic?
We have an early morning walk-in clinic from 8 a.m. until 8:30 a.m., Monday through Friday for sick children. An appointment is not necessary for early morning clinic. Rarely, we may have an unusually busy early morning clinic with more patients than we can see during this time. On those days a few patients may be offered later appointments while checking in. If your child has a long standing problem it is best to make appointment with your regular doctor. If your child is sick and you’d like to have him seen that day, it’s also fine to call for an appointment later in the day.
Can I walk in without an appointment?
Walk-ins are accepted only during our early morning hours from 8:00-8:30 M-F without an additional charge. Otherwise, please call ahead for an appointment.
What if my child is sick on his checkup day?
Ideally we like to schedule checkups and sick visits separately. However, this does not always occur. If your child is here for a checkup, and requires additional management of a medical problem, your insurance may be charged for both services.
Often even with a minor illness, we can go ahead and do a checkup visit. If your child seems too sick to receive scheduled vaccines, you can go ahead and do the checkup and come back for the vaccines later.
How do I contact you in case of emergency?
If you need to contact us at night or on the weekend, you may simply call our regular number (901.683.9371). Our answering service will have one of our nurses call you back promptly.
Is telephone advice available and is there a charge for this service?
New parents often need help with little questions that come up. There is a nurse in our office during the day who is available to answer such questions. If you need to speak with the nurse in the daytime about a routine question, it is easy to drop a question into the patient portal and they will get in touch with you. Nurses are also available at night for more urgent questions. There is no charge for these services.
Certain types of telephone care provided by your pediatrician are recognized as medical encounters, and Laurelwood will bill your health plan for specific types of telephone calls with your pediatrician. You may be responsible for all or part of this fee depending on your individual health insurance coverage.
Where can I take my child if there is an emergency after hours?
If your child needs to be seen after hours, please call our on-call nurse and she will help you decide if you truly need to be seen quickly, and where is the best place to take your child. We typically refer children to the Methodist LeBonheur Urgent Care centers which are located on Humpheryes or Winchester. For emergency room care, we send children to Methodist Germantown, Baptist or LeBonheur depending on insurance coverage.
We do not recommend that you take your child to the clinics at Walgreens, Kroger, CVS or other similar clinics. These clinics are not staffed with clinicians with pediatric specific training and may not be equipped to meet your child’s medical needs.
What if I need prescription refills?
Routine medications like allergy and asthma medications can be refilled electronically within 24 hours of your request. For medications which require the doctor to electronically sign (like ADHD medications), we need a 3 day notice for refills.
Contacting our nurse through the patient portal is the best way to request medication refills. When you send a message to the nurse through the portal, make sure that you include the medication name, strength and confirm the pharmacy that you would like to use.
Children who are taking certain medications are required to have annual physicals. If our nurse notices that your child is due for an annual checkup, she will remind you at the time of your refill request so that an appointment can be scheduled and the medication can continue uninterrupted.
My child is supposed to return for outpatient lab or immunizations. When should I come?
You may make an appointment for these visits but please call at least one day in advance to schedule this service.
What if we are running late for an appointment?
If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, we will do our best to accommodate you. However, on certain days it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment.
What happens if we miss an appointment?
We value the time we have set aside to see and treat your child. If you are not able to keep an appointment, we would appreciate a 24 hour notice. There is a charge of $20 for each missed appointment. Numerous missed appointments may result in dismissal from the practice.
Can my teenager come to the doctor alone?
Based on the Tennessee law regarding mature minors, teenagers who can drive themselves to the office, check themselves in, provide insurance information and pay the appropriate copay may be seen without a parent present. Administration of immunizations, drawing labs and writing prescriptions involving controlled substances require a parent to be present.
Is there a charge for completing forms?
There is no charge for routine immunization and health forms. We charge $20 to complete FMLA forms, and need three days to complete these forms. You may fax any forms you need completed to our secure office fax at 683.5503.
If I move, how do I transfer my records?
Most pediatricians are happy to begin caring for your child with a copy of the growth chart and shot record. We will provide these without charge. If more detailed records are required, we can provide a USB thumb drive with your child’s records for a small fee.
My child's school offers checkups. Should I use this service?
It is always best to have your child’s checkups done at her medical home rather than at school. The continuity of care provided by your pediatrician’s office is a truly valuable benefit to having a relationship with a particular doctor and medical practice. During your regular visits to our office, we will catch up on past and recent medical problems in addition to screening your child’s health.
If your school asks to perform a checkup on your child and offers to bill your insurance, please carefully weigh your decision. Most insurance plans allow one checkup per year. If a nurse practitioner who is visiting your child’s school performs a checkup on your child and bills your insurance, your insurance may not cover another checkup to be done by your pediatrician that year.