What is a pediatrician?
A Pediatrician is a physician who has a special interest and acquired knowledge of the health needs of infants, children and adolescents. Extensive training in these areas takes place after completion of formal medical education. They are specialists in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of childhood. All of our physicians are board-certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
How do I choose a physician?
Not all doctors are alike. A child’s health care needs differ from those of an adult, both medically and emotionally. Below are some helpful hints in selecting a doctor:
- Don’t wait until your child is sick or needs a check up — you don’t want your decision to be rushed unnecessarily. Remember, you are choosing the doctor who helps prevent and manage your child’s health problems from infancy to young adulthood.
- Talk to other people about who they know and would recommend. Those you might consider asking could be friends, neighbors, co-workers and if you’re moving, your current physician.
- Ask these people questions such as:
- Does the doctor seem to like your child and talk with them?
- Do their children like the doctor/clinic?
- Do you feel as though your questions are answered?
- Do you find it easy to get an appointment when you need one?
- Check the provider directory for your health plan to determine whether the clinic/doctor you want to go to is a participating provider. You can also call the clinic to check this as well.
- Consider visiting the clinic you would like to establish a relationship with.
Are you accepting new patients?
Yes, the physicians at Central Pediatrics are all accepting new patients. We welcome children of all ages — from newborns to those in young adulthood.
Is there a doctor available 24 hours a day?
Yes, our telephones are answered 24 hours a day. After regular business hours, our phones are answered by the Children’s Triage Service. A clinic physician is always on-call and available for consultation if needed.
Do you take walk-ins?
Yes, we offer walk-in clinic hours for acute sick visits (ex: sore throats, earaches, etc.) Monday through Friday at both Central Pediatrics sites from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In the evening and on weekends our urgent care clinic, Priority Pediatrics, is open to treat sudden illnesses and injuries not requiring an emergency room. For some plans, insurance benefit may differ during Priority Pediatrics urgent care hours. Learn more here.
How do I get my lab results?
Many lab results will be available on our patient portal. Depending on the type of test ordered, the results may take 5-7 days.
How do I get my prescription refilled?
You should begin by calling your pharmacy. The pharmacy will contact our office for the necessary authorization. You should allow 72 hours for prescription refill requests.
How far in advance should I call to make an appointment for a physical exam?
We recommend that parents call at least 4-6 weeks in advance for arranging a complete physical exam to get their preferred date and time. For well-child visits that are often only months apart, we suggest that parents schedule their child’s future exams before leaving the office.
May I schedule a visit with a doctor before my baby is born?
Absolutely! We offer free monthly Expectant Parent Classes for just this reason. Classes are offered as a service to our patients and are not required.
What do I need to bring for my first visit?
There are several items that we suggest people bring to their first visit. These include the following:
- Previous medical records (especially immunization records)
- list of medications
- insurance card
- any co-pay amounts due
Do I have to pay my co-pay at the time of service?
Yes, co-pays are due at the time of service. In fact, we are obligated by our contractual relationship with the insurers to collect co-pays. To learn more about health insurance and billing, click here.
You are my “primary clinic.” Do I need to get a referral to go see a specialist?
As your primary care clinic we are responsible for delivering and coordinating all of your health care needs. Each insurance policy is unique with referral requirements. After a physician at Central Pediatrics has referred you to a specialist, please check with your health plan to see if a referral is necessary.
What should I do if my child gets sick when we’re out of town?
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day either by our clinic staff or by the Children’s Hospital Physician Triage service. As in any case, if your child is experiencing a life threatening emergency call 911 or seek emergency medical services.
What do I do when my child reaches college age?
We continue to care for a number of college age adults when home from school, but as your child reaches adulthood we suggest that they begin seeking a physician that can meet their “adult” medical needs. The area of medicine that specializes in adult health care is called Internal Medicine. It is important to contact your insurance company to make sure that the physician you choose is a provider with your insurance company.
How do I get copies of my child’s medical records?
Copies of medical records are available from our Medical Records Department. We take every precaution to protect the rights and privacy of our patients. To ensure the privacy of patients and their families and to comply with federal regulations, parents or guardians must sign an Authorization for Release Medical Records form. If the patient is 18 years or older, they must sign the form themselves. Processing of the request can take up to five working days. The department releases copies of medical records only. Central Pediatrics will not make copies of records from other medical centers. These records must be requested from the originating facility.
Is there a reputable online resource for pediatric health information?
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the website healthychildren.org. This website offers reasonable guidance and is developed for parents and caregivers.
Who should I contact if I have a concern or positive experience to share?
Feedback from our patients is highly valued. We welcome you to contact us anytime by phone or through our contact page.