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Patient Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is your appointment and scheduling policy?
A:
Patient visits are by appointment only. We try to stay as close to our schedules as possible, though unforeseen problems and emergencies can occur.

Q: What if I need to cancel my appointment?
A:
If you must cancel an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible by calling (510) 521-2300, option 5. There is a fee for missed appointments that are not canceled at least 24 hours ahead of time DURING BUSINESS HOURS (M-F, 8:45-5).

Q: What about urgent appointments?
A:
Time is left in each day for urgent appointments. If you have an urgent problem please call us at (510) 521-2300, option 0. We will make every effort to have you seen that day. Please note that for same day appointments, you may be scheduled with either the on-call physician for that day, or with our physician assistant whose schedule is purposely left more flexible to accommodate urgent problems.

Q: Can I reach Alameda Family Physicians when you are closed, during evenings and weekends?
A:
If you are experiencing any type of life-threatening emergency, please call 911 immediately. When our office is closed, one of us is always available for urgent care and can be reached through our answering service. It may be possible to manage urgent problems over the phone until regular office hours. Except for life-threatening emergencies, please call us first.

Q: Can I leave a phone message with my doctor?
A:
Feel free to leave a message with your Alameda Family Physicians provider at (510) 521-2300, option 0 if you have a question or a problem. We attempt to return most of our calls between 12:00 and 2:00 PM, and between 5:00 and 7:00 PM. Please inform our receptionist if you will not be available at a certain time. Calls are handled in order of medical priority.

Q: How do I get a referral to a specialist or for a medical service?
A:
Many types of health insurance require that your primary physician or physician assistant coordinate all referrals to specialists. If this is required by your insurance plan, please discuss your condition with one us before making an appointment with a specialist. Most referrals and authorizations require 3-5 business days for processing.

Q: Where do I get laboratory and diagnostic tests?
A:
In our office we perform various tests for vision, hearing and respiratory function, as well as electrocardiograms. For all blood tests you will usually be sent to either LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics, depending on your insurance carrier. X-rays and other imaging procedures are primarily performed at Alameda Hospital or NorCal Imaging. We will provide you with the necessary information for any testing that is ordered at one of these nearby facilities, and please note that all tests are billed separately by the facility that administers the test.

Q: After I have completed my blood test and/or imaging procedure, when will I be able to find out the results?
A:
If your provider has requested any type of testing as part of your medical care, please be aware that results will take approximately 7 business days to get back to you from the time you get your tests done. This process includes time to process labs or read imaging tests, report results to your provider, have your provider review the test results, and then communicate with you. It is our policy to communicate test results to you in all cases, whether your results are "normal" or not. This will be done either by mail, phone call, or via our secure messaging system.

If you do not hear from our office in 10 business days, please contact your provider’s medical assistant at (510) 521-2300 and you will receive a status report within 24 hours. Please allow for a full 10 business days prior to calling for your result. Be assured that significantly abnormal test results are transmitted to your provider IMMEDIATELY from the lab and/or imaging facility.

Q: How do I get a prescription refilled?
A:
If you need a prescription refilled, please call your pharmacy. Call ahead several days before your prescription runs out, to allow adequate time to process the refill. You may have refills left on your medication even if your prescription says "0 refills," so you should always check with your pharmacy first. If clarification is required or if additional refills are requested beyond what was originally prescribed, your pharmacist will call us. We cannot authorize refills at night or on weekends when we do not have access to your medical records.

Q: What fees do you charge patients?
A:
Alameda Family Physicians are providers for several health insurance plans and numerous types of insurance. Payment is expected at the time of service, including any fees for deductibles or copayments. Please feel free to discuss any questions regarding fees with our billing office, (510) 521-2300, option 3.

Q: What happens if I change insurance carriers?
A:
Please let our office staff know as soon as possible of any insurance changes. You can either fax a copy of your new insurance card to (866) 826-1671, or send us a copy in the mail. As soon as we receive your new insurance information, it will be updated in our system immediately.

Q: What should I do if I am injured while at work?
A:
Alameda Family Physicians are not contracted Worker's Compensation physicians, and cannot treat any work-related injuries at our facility. If you are injured at work, you should let your employer know immediately and they will assist you in obtaining the proper medical care.