Our Vaccination Policy
The Center For Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics have long maintained that vaccines are the cornerstone of children's health and life saving disease prevention. This is also the foundation of trust between parent and provider. In other words, the doctors of Healthy Starts Pediatrics firmly believe that if parents do not trust us about vaccines, then that trust may also not be present in other aspects of care for their children. In light of the increasing epidemics of Measles and Pertussis in Texas, California and Indiana, we are gravely concerned that such epidemics may occur here if we take a blind eye in enabling parents not to immunize their children. This also puts the other patients at risk who may be exposed to unvaccinated children harboring diseases in our office, therefore, all of our patients must be vaccinated on CDC/AAP approved schedules. *In January of 2018 we ran out of the flu vaccine for many of our patients who were late in considering the vaccine. Therefore, our physicians strongly recommend that all patients plan to come in for the flu vaccine in September and October of 2018 in order to prevent the same level of anxiety and hysteria seen by the flu epidemic of 2017 / 2018.
Missed Appointment (No-Show) Policy
Healthy Starts Pediatrics asks that patients provide a reasonable amount of notice prior to cancellation of appointments. In addition, when patients fail to show for their scheduled appointment times, it affects not only the doctors and the staff, but the patient who could have been scheduled at that appointment time.
The policy for missed appointments is as follows:
All ‘No Show’ / Missed Appointment fees will be due within 14 days in order to avoid additional fees or charges.
Late Arrival Policy
By arriving on time for your appointment, you allow us to provide you with the best possible care. Arriving late affects not only you, but those who must be seen after you. Please understand that if you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, you may be asked to reschedule. If a patient is more than 15 minutes late on more than 2 occasions, it may be counted as a missed appointment.
Patients without insurance who choose to utilize our services on a self-pay basis are expected to pay in full at the time of service, which will then allow a 20% discount. Failure to pay at the time of the service will result in loss of the 20% discount as well as the addition of other fees and charges and eventually, dismissal from the practice after 30 days. Self-Pay Patients who do not pay for their routine services at the time of the service may not pre-schedule any future routine appointments until the balance is paid in full. Any estimates given are only based on standard charges and do not include other required tests such as vision / hearing screening and possible vaccine administration costs. We reserve the right to refuse to see any patient for a routine exam if payment cannot be made in full at the time of service.
Additional charges may apply after our billing department has reviewed services provided. You may be billed for these additional charges during our next billing cycle at the regular rate.
* Please be aware that in line with most physicians and facilities, our office does charge an after-hours fee of $30 for these premium appointments on Saturdays and after 4 pm. This charge will be added to your personal balance if not covered by your insurance plan and is subject to the 20% discount if paid at the time of service.
Due to the nature of childhood illnesses, our experience has shown that children can be sick one day and better the next, which often can lead to frequent, last-minute cancelled appointments, therefore, our office policy is to schedule sick / ill visits for the same day of the call rather than pre-book for the next day. Chronic or ongoing issues often cannot be booked the same day, but we will do our best to get your child in as soon as possible.
Our Medical Staff is available to take your phone calls beginning at 7 am Monday through Thursday, 7 am on Friday and 9 am on Saturday.
We also understand that parents may want to empower their teens to take an active role in their health by having them call to schedule their own appointments, however, in our experience this often leaves the parents to deal with the fallout of a 'Missed Appointment'. For this reason, and because the parents often are the subscribers on any insurance policy, we require parents to call for all appointments.
Emergency Water, Gas or Electricity Turn On Certifications
When your services have been shut off due to non-payment of a bill, our policy is that there can be no discrimination between our patients in regard to our involvement in these matters. The only time that our practice or providers will become involved in these cases are when there is a medical condition documented in your child's medical records by our physicians that would be life-threatening if utilities were not restored. This cannot include issues that every other patient would experience under the same circumstances. Please see our important links for financial assistance on our Resources page by clicking HERE.
How long can your child remain with a us?
*Please note that no matter what your child's age, if a pediatric patient becomes pregnant, she will need to transfer out to an adult practitioner who will be better equipped to handle these adult issues.
18 Years of age
Many offices have different policies on when children 'age out' of the practice. Our physicians will provide the best care for your child using their extensive experience in Pediatric medicine, however, once your child reaches an age at which he or she begins to experience medical issues that are typically seen in adulthood, a pregnancy, or once your child reaches the age of 18, (whichever occurs first) we require that you transfer care to an adult Primary Care Doctor. An adult primary care physician will be better equipped to handle your child's adult medical needs and we will do our best to expedite the transfer of records once we receive your signed medical release form. Also, please be advised that once your child turns 18, you as the parent will no longer be able to sign this form or call to request any information. It is important to ensure that this is done prior to your child's 18th birthday, or your son / daughter will be responsible for this. *Records are eventually shredded according to Pennsylvania Record Retention Laws, so it is imperative to complete this record release as soon as possible.
You may receive a letter from us within 6 months of your child's 18th birthday reminding you to begin seeking a Primary Care physician for your child. We try to do this because often there are requirements that need to be met prior to a new physician seeing your child and some may not be taking new patients. This reminder is only meant to avoid any interruption in your child's medical care. You will need to complete a Medical Record Release Form that can be found on our Documents page HERE, and it can be mailed to us, dropped off, or faxed to us at 717-909-3204, attn: Medical Records.