Dr. Oscar Mendez | Lauderdale Lakes Family Doctor

NEW PATIENTS

NEW PATIENTS: WHAT TO BRING

We are currently accepting new patients. To start, please get in touch with our office to schedule an initial appointment.

As a new patient, we ask that you arrive at least thirty (30) minutes before your appointment time. This allows us to process your paperwork and collect any co-payment, deductible, cash deposit, or other payment.

Please be sure to follow these steps:

Contact your insurance to inform them we are your new Primary Care Provider (PCP).

Your current insurance information and card(s). Digital cards and paper printouts are welcome.

A valid driver’s license or other photo ID. Military IDs and passports are accepted.

Any completed patient forms.

Any diagnostic or other test results that may have been ordered or performed by another provider.

A list of your current medications and supplements, including dosages, or bring the prescription bottle(s).

If the appointment is for a hospital follow-up or continued care, please bring all necessary medical records with you. Included but not limited are the hospital discharge summary, labs, and/or imaging reports done within the last 1-2 years. If you have any medical records from your previous Primary Care Provider or specialists, please bring them with you.

PATIENT'S RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

We respect our patients' dignity and pride. Our commitment to you requires respectful, constant, and open communication between you, the patient, and our providers. This interaction is essential and will help to comply with these statutes.

PER THE PATIENT'S BILL OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES, SECTION 381.026, FLORIDA STATUTES; A PATIENT HAS THE RIGHT TO:

  • Be treated with courtesy and respect, with an appreciation of their dignity, and with privacy protection.
  • Receive a prompt and reasonable response to questions and requests.
  • Know who is providing medical services and is responsible for their care.
  • Know what patient support services are available, including an interpreter if the patient does not speak English.
  • Know what rules and regulations apply to their conduct.
  • The health care provider gives the diagnosis, planned course of treatment, alternatives, risks, and prognosis.
  • Refuse any treatment, except as otherwise provided by law.
  • Be given complete information and necessary counseling on the availability of known financial resources for care.
  • Know whether the health care provider or facility accepts the Medicare assignment rate if Medicare covers the patient.
  • Receive before treatment a reasonable estimate of charges for medical care.
  • Receive a copy of an understandable itemized bill and, if requested, have the charges explained. Receive medical treatment or accommodations, regardless of race, national origin, religion, handicap, or source of payment.
  • Receive treatment for any emergency medical condition that will deteriorate from failure to provide treatment.
  • Know if medical treatment is for purposes of experimental research and to give their consent or refusal to participate in such research.
  • Express complaints regarding any violation of their rights.

A PATIENT IS RESPONSIBLE:

  • To give the health care provider accurate information about present complaints, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, and any other information about their health.
  • To report unexpected changes in their condition to the health care provider.
  • To report to the health care provider whether they understand a planned course of action and what is expected.
  • To follow the treatment plan recommended by the health care provider.
  • To keep appointments and notify the health care provider or facility when unable to do so.
  • What will be the consequences of their actions if treatment is refused or they do not follow the health care provider's instructions.
  • To make sure their financial responsibilities are kept.
  • To follow the rules and regulations of the health care facility's affecting patient care and behavior.

INSURANCES ACCEPTED

Examples of some of the insurance we accept:

Medicare and Medicare HMO's such as Aetna, Devoted, MMM of Florida, Preferred Care Partners, Simply Medicare, Solis Health plan

Molina Marketplace and Commercial

CIGNA

United Healthcare (HMO, PPO)

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Multi-Plan and insurances who are part of the network

AVMED

Oscar Healthcare

Medicaid, and Medicaid HMO's such as Community Care Network, and Simply Medicaid

International Health Plans

Please call our office for additional information regarding coverage of your plan. We accept a majority of health insurance. As participating providers for your insurance plan, we will gladly file a claim on your behalf. To submit your claims efficiently, make sure to provide our staff with your most current insurance information and notify us of any changes. We suggest contacting your insurance company for specific questions about what your plan covers.

OFFICE POLICIES

MEDICATION REFILLS: During a scheduled office visit, our policy is to refill any medication you need. Our recommendation is to review your medications before the appointment and request a refill at that time. If you require a refill before your appointment, please call our office at (954) 717-4066 during business hours to make refill requests. Allow us twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours to review your medication request.

If you have not visited the office in the last six (6) months and need refills, you must schedule an appointment. Our providers will discuss any changes or additional information regarding your ongoing care.

ELECTRONIC PRESCRIPTIONS: Our providers will send the prescription electronically to your pharmacy. We must know the name of your pharmacy to keep in our records. If there is any change or you require a written prescription, please let us know on the day of your visit.

EMERGENCIES AND HOSPITAL CARE: If you experience a severe, life-threatening situation, please call 911 or go to the closest hospital emergency room. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, the following are warning signs of a medical emergency:

Bleeding that will not stop;

Breathing problems (difficulty breathing, shortness of breath);

Change in mental status (such as unusual behavior, confusion, difficulty arousing);

Chest pain;

Choking;

Coughing up or vomiting blood;

Fainting or loss of consciousness;

Feeling of committing suicide or murder;

Head or spine injury;

Severe or persistent vomiting;

Sudden injury due to a motor vehicle accident, burns or smoke inhalation, near drowning, deep or large wound, or other injuries;

Sudden, severe pain anywhere in the body;

Sudden dizziness, weakness, or change in vision;

Swallowing a poisonous substance;

Severe abdominal pain or pressure.

MENTAL HEALTH: Our primary care providers can provide mental health screenings, medication management, and referrals to licensed counselors and other specialists as needed.

SICK VISITS FOR ESTABLISHED PATIENTS/URGENT VISITS: For our practice, an established patient is the one who has visited the office at least three (3) times in a year. Established patients who are sick and experiencing non-emergency symptoms can be scheduled the same or next business day with one of our providers.

If your matter is urgent, please inform the team member when you call, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. We have a convenient WALK-IN appointment available for our established patients, and this service is available Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Our goal is to provide dedicated care within a reasonable time.

MEDICAL SERVICES AFTER HOURS: During the evenings, weekends, and holidays, one of our providers is on-call and available to handle emergencies for our established patients.

The answering service will receive your call after office hours (5:30 pm). They will take your name, phone number, and the nature of your call. The answering service will contact the on-call provider, who will call you back.

When you receive the call back, the on-call provider will instruct you as to whether you need to go to an emergency room, urgent care clinic or if the problem can wait for an appointment the next day. Have your medications information available during this call.

VISITS TO THE OFFICE:

ARRIVALS: As a new patient, you are asked to arrive thirty (30) minutes before the appointment. For any other appointment, you are required to arrive fifteen (15) minutes early.

LATE ARRIVAL: If you arrive to the office after fifteen (15) minutes without notifying us about your late arrival, your appointment will be moved to another available date. Call the office if you are going to be late.

CANCELLATIONS: If you have to cancel your appointment, please call (954) 717-4066 at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance.

CHANGE OF APPOINTMENT: If you need to change your appointment, please call the office at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance.

APPOINTMENT REMINDERS: As a courtesy, our office will send reminders via phone and voicemail the day before the visit. We recommend you keep your routine appointments. Our providers will be capable of (1) monitoring your medical condition, (2) preventing any possible complications, (3) ordering or reviewing any necessary laboratory, and (4) refilling your prescriptions.

APPOINTMENT ONLY: Most of our visits are scheduled appointments set for your routine visits and laboratory appointments. We ask you to be on time for your appointments.

Our practice does not treat new patients without an appointment, nor will we call-in prescriptions or offer medical advice for those patients before the initial visit.

APPOINTMENTS AND LABORATORIES FOR ESTABLISHED PATIENTS: Please arrange your routine laboratory testing (which requires you to be fasting) at least seven (7) days before your next scheduled appointment. These can be done at our on-site laboratory or a drawing station of your choice.

If you, the patient, are a “NO SHOW” for your laboratory draw, our office will cancel your follow-up visit, and you will need to re-schedule both appointments.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING YOUR VISIT: During your office visit, the provider will discuss the latest results of your laboratory tests, any radiology result, or tests done before the appointment. We suggest you bring a list of questions or concerns you can discuss with the provider during the visit. If you have visited any specialist during our visits, please inform the provider about it.

FOLLOW-UP VISITS: If you are prescribed medications during your routine/sick visit and your condition has not improved before your next visit, please call us to schedule an appointment. We will schedule an appointment with one of the providers for further examination.

TELEMEDICINE CONSULTATIONS FOR URGENT AND ROUTINE CARE: A telemedicine consultation will allow you, the patient, to schedule an appointment with your provider from the comfort of your home. The consultation can be done via phone or video. You can use this service if you are unable or do not feel comfortable coming to the office due to COVID-19. Please notify our team if you are interested in using this service.

OUTSIDE FORMS AND MEDICAL LETTERS: Our practice will be happy to complete forms and write medical letters as necessary upon your request. Should you require a form completed by your provider, please drop off the document with the front desk or your provider’s Medical Assistant. Allow seven (7) business days to complete the form. A member of our team will contact you when the form is ready to pick up.

MEDICAL RECORDS: Per HIPAA guidelines, a written request for copies of your medical records are needed. You will fill out a form to release medical information before receiving the documents. Copies of medical records will NOT be given to patients or authorized individuals on the same day requested. The office processes requests within five (5) business days after submission.

The medical records service hours are Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. You have the right to request an amendment to your medical record if you believe the information is incomplete or inaccurate.

TAKING CARE OF YOU: Please keep us informed of any care you receive outside our office. If you see another health provider, let them know we are your Primary Care Provider. Request them to send us a summary of care, test results, or clinical notes.

If the health provider has changed, discontinued, or added a medication, please let us know. We will update the information on your chart.

If you have visited an emergency room (ER), urgent care, had an outpatient procedure, or been admitted to a hospital, let us know as soon as it happens. We will set an appointment to address any discharge instructions provided and help coordinate any medical service or assistance you may need.

INSURANCE AND REFERRAL INFORMATION

HEALTH INSURANCE: The health insurance contract is ultimately between you and your insurance company. You need to provide our team with correct and complete insurance information. It is the patient's responsibility to inform our office of any changes in insurance coverage, and failure to do so could cause delay or denial of insurance payment.

Before receiving services, you must verify with your insurance that we are participating providers (In-Network Provider) for your health insurance company.

Please check to see that our provider is identified as your primary care provider under your insurance and familiarize yourself with your plan's co-pays, immunization policies, and referral procedures.

If you have any questions regarding your coverage, you should contact your insurance company's Customer/Member Services for specific benefit information before your visit. The phone number to contact Customer/Member Services must appear on your insurance card.

As our patient, you are responsible for co-pays at the time of service. If applicable, you will be billed for services not covered by your insurance (as stated in your insurance contract) by our billing department.

REFERRAL REQUEST: If the request is for a new referral, please make an appointment with us so one of our providers can assess your request.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR REFERRALS: Please allow our office and the insurance plan five (5) to eight (8) business days to process the request for a referral. We prioritize urgent referrals, and some referrals require a pre-authorization and cannot be processed immediately.

Once the office refers you to a specialist, facility, or service, we advise you to contact them, make an appointment and let us know if we have to make any changes.

You have the option to come to our office to pick up a copy of your referral or authorization. We will fax the referral or authorization to your specialist or health facility before your appointment. We will appreciate it if you notify us of all your follow-up appointments, as new referrals or authorizations must be required.

FORMS

  • New Patient Package

  • Authorization to Release Medical Information

  • Patient's Information Update Form

  • HIPPA

  • Medical Records Request

  • Patient Request for Medical Records Amendment

  • Hospice Care Information

  • Membership Form

WELCOME TO MEDICARE

The Medicare health plan offers a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive healthcare visit to all new enrollees. During this visit, our provider will review your current state of health and medical history. They will also offer healthcare information, and the data collected by our provider will help as baseline measurements for monitoring your health.

When you enroll in Medicare Part B, you have the option of scheduling a “Welcome to Medicare” physical checkup. This health check is optional and can take place at any time during the initial twelve (12) months of joining Medicare.

The “Welcome to Medicare” physical is not the same as a detailed annual physical exam, and Medicare parts A and B do not cover this kind of health service.

The “Welcome to Medicare” physical allows you to meet with your primary care provider and discuss any health concerns. Our providers will perform a health test and, if necessary, create a plan of care. This visit aims to promote wellness and prevent possible future illness by highlighting risk factors.

Medicare Part B completely covers the cost of the “Welcome to Medicare” visit if done with a provider that accepts Medicare. We are a Medicare provider.

Medicare may cover routine vaccinations, specific screening tests, and other preventive measures.

Medicare does not cover additional laboratory tests or any necessary treatments.

The initial measurements gathered during the “Welcome to Medicare” visit will be used for comparison in subsequent Annual Wellness Visits (AWVs) or other visits to assess someone’s ongoing health status.

During the visit, our provider will take a range of measurements, including:

Blood Pressure

heart rate

height

weight

body fat

body mass index (BMI)

respiration rate

vision

Our provider will assess your mental health and ability to function safely in the home and broader community.

In addition to this basic examination, our providers will ask your family and personal medical history questions. This information allows our provider to determine any risk factors for future illnesses or conditions, and it will also help them recommend any appropriate screening measures or further tests.

During the “Welcome to Medicare” visit, our providers can schedule appointments for routine preventive care. They may provide education and counseling for specific health conditions or referrals to other healthcare professionals.

Advance Directives: this is a topic to be covered during the visit. An advance directive is a legal document that contains information about the healthcare you want to receive if your illness or condition prevented you from speaking or making your own medical decisions. Also, you will name someone who could make medical decisions on your behalf. Creating an advance directive helps make sure that healthcare professionals involved in your care understand your future healthcare wishes.

ANNUAL WELLNESS VISIT (AWV)

This visit intends to develop or update a Personalized Prevention Plan (PPP) between you and our provider and perform a Health Risk Assessment (HRA). This health check is covered every twelve (12) months.

The "Annual Wellness Visit" focuses on prevention planning and reviewing the medical history.

Instead of being guided by hands-on measurements, the "Annual Wellness Visit" is driven by the Health Risk Assessment (HRA). The HRA is a questionnaire and screening tool that provides our providers an assessment about your health status and provides them feedback about actions that can be taken to reduce risks and promote health. Patient communication when performing the health risk assessment is vital.

Our providers will work with you to develop a personalized prevention plan and assess you for cognitive impairment or look for signs of Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

Medicare Part B completely covers the "Annual Wellness Visit" cost if done with a provider that accepts Medicare. We are a Medicare provider.

ROUTINE PHYSICAL EXAMINATION (NOT COVERED)

The routine exam is performed without treatment or diagnosis and done for a specific illness, symptom, complaint, or injury. Medicare does not cover this service. If you are covered by Medicare and want this routine physical examination, you will be responsible for paying 100% out-of-pocket.

COVID-19

COVID-19 PATIENT SAFETY

Patient safety is our main priority. We have taken many precautions since the outbreak of COVID-19 to ensure patient and employee confidence upon entering our offices. Therefore, we request your cooperation to comply with the rules established once you enter our office. Be aware our practice goal is to comply with the highest safety standards mandated by CDC and replicated to the best of our ability.

FOR THE PATIENT

We are receiving patients (established and new) in our location. Telemedicine consultations are available to all our patients who are unable or feel compelled to remain at home to minimize the risk of possible exposure. We strongly encourage patients to use this tool for both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 cases for their convenience. Please notify our team if you are interested in receiving this service.

FACE MASK PROTECTION

We request our patients, team members, providers, and visitors wear a face-covering, such as a mask, to protect themselves and others. If needed, our team will provide a face-covering as our supply allows. Face-coverings should cover both nostrils and mouth. 

SOCIAL DISTANCING

To keep all patients and our staff safe, we have adhered to social distancing by spacing our waiting room chairs. This way, we maintain a safe distance among fellow patients. Please help us minimize over-crowding. If you have someone accompany you who is not necessary to your care, we ask that they wait in the car or somewhere outside of our waiting room. We request you not to bring children to our office during the COVID-19 outbreak.

SANITATION

We ask our patients to practice the appropriate hand-washing techniques and utilize sanitizers before and after their appointment. Our practice is equipped with hand sanitizing stations to minimize contamination and viral transmission.