Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you charge for last minute cancellations and no-shows?

Unlike most medical clinics, we do not double- or triple-book our appointments. We respect our patients time by running on-time. We expect patients to arrive promptly for their reserved appointment. We understand that emergencies occasionally happen, however most last minute cancellations and no-shows are due to poor planning, which is why we provide the service of giving patients reminder calls. This collection fee will be donated to North by Northeast Community Health Center or Ceasefire Oregon.

Why do you charge for telephone visits and on-call coverage?

Telephone office visits and on-call coverage are sometimes covered by insurance, but when they are not we charge patients because our time and knowledge are valuable. These consultations are $75, and worth every penny. Who else can you call at 2am to help you make the decision whether or not to drag you and your family to the ER for a fever?

Why do I have to call my pharmacy for my prescription refill?

Because that’s who fills your medication and you may still have an existing refill on your medication. If there are no refills available, they will fax us a refill request. In our experience this has proven the easiest way for us to communicate with the pharmacy. In recent years, all pharmacies have become very short-staffed, and communicating via fax has proven to be the fastest and most efficient method to get your prescription refilled.

You may be required to have an office visit if Hands On Medicine was not the original prescriber, it’s a controlled medication, dosing requires titration or tapering, or the medication requires additional evaluation.

Also, please think ahead when your medication is running low and allow 3-5 business days to obtain your refill.

What’s a deductible?

This is the amount you need to pay before your insurance kicks in. This money is owed directly to Hands On Medicine, and usually starts over every year. We may choose to collect your entire office visit fee each visit until the deductible is met so we do not have to bill you. If you have a very high deductible, $5000 for example, and do not think you will reach your deductible over the qualifying year, then you can be a cash paying patient. However, certain laws pertain to this and if you reach this deductible amount we cannot apply these cash rates to your deductible after the fact. This is a gamble you need to be aware of.

Do I have to pay a copay?

If your plan has one (and every plan is different), you need to pay it every office visit.

I have insurance? Why am I getting a bill?

There are many reasons this may occur, including but not limited to the fact that your deductible is not yet met, you received services not covered by your insurance, or you are required to pay a percentage of the services you received. We will bill your insurance as a courtesy to you (as you can imagine, this is a chore you do not want). However you are ultimately responsible for all charges.

What if I don’t pay my bill?

You will suffer from bad juju. Every time you are cut off in traffic, break a nail or get a parking ticket, it’s because you owe us and our families money. If your insurance only pays a percentage or does not cover the billed service, you are responsible. We will bill you, and if after 30 days of sending the first bill we have still not heard from you, your account will incur a $20* a month charge. If your balance is not paid in full within 90 days we will then send you to a collections agency. This is a very regrettable situation as it can ruin your credit and we end up having to pay the collection service to find you.

*The owner is also open to trade, though as yet no one has taken her up on the offer.

Why do I have to give you my credit card information?

Just like reserving a room at a hotel, services at a spa or restaurant, we ask for your credit card number to reserve your appointment spot. Because we do not over book our patient visit spots, we need assurance that you will show up for your appointment. Most of our patients respect our 24-hour Cancellation and No-Show Policy and appreciate our efforts to survive as a small business. However, if a patient does not provide adequate notice or does not show up for their appointment, they’ll be charged a $75 fee.

Your credit card information is secure and confidential in keeping with all standards and laws expected for health records.

Why are you sending me money?

If we are sending you a check that usually means that the health insurance company may have finally paid for something that you already paid for. Or sometimes bills and payments cross in the mail.

For further questions regarding your bill, call (503) 281-0308, and follow the prompts to the billing voicemail or email