Well Child Care
The cornerstone of pediatrics is well-child care. It provides us with an opportunity to evaluate your child’s growth and development — from the earliest smiles and words to their concerns about sex and drug use when teenagers. Patients from birth through age 21 are required to have a complete physical examination to participate in our practice. New patients will receive record release forms to be sent to your previous doctors so we may receive past records. It is ideal if we receive such records prior to a check-up so we can determine if any further immunizations or laboratory tests should be done.
During your child’s well visits, we perform ALL Bright Futures recommended screening and lab protocols. See here for more about Bright Futures. Although the current Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”) made provisions for mandatory coverage for most of the screening and lab protocols recommended by both the AAP, Bright Futures and US Preventive Services, it is still highly variable what is and what isn’t covered by individual insurance plans. Please check with your insurance carrier about your individual coverage. You can use the preventive care schedule below to understand what happens at each well visit.
Please see our Preventive Health Services Summary HERE for up to date information about what will occur at your child’s well care visits.
A complete physical exam at our office includes height, weight, head circumference (for infants), evaluation of vision and hearing (in older children), and an estimate of development. Ample time should be allowed for discussions of problems relating to your child’s home, school, and peer relationships. Yearly hemoglobin and urinalysis will be performed, as well as necessary immunizations. Since most camps and schools require physical exam forms to be current, it is important that physical exams be performed yearly. Such regular exams set the tone for anticipatory guidance and good preventative health care. While recalls for yearly check-ups are sent out periodically, please try to call well in advance for your child’s exam.
Immunizations are a proven way of preventing the most common, serious communicable diseases of childhood. In accordance with the guidelines established through the American Academy of Pediatrics and the United States Public Health Service, we feel every child should receive these important vaccines. Our office accepts patients that are immunized and/or working towards being fully immunized within the recommended intervals.
Day Care Policies:
As of September 1, 2010 the State of CT has passed new immunization requirements for Day Care Facilities, Family Day Cares and Group Day Care Homes. The major change is in the requirement of Hepatitis A vaccination after 12 months of age and Influenza vaccination starting by 7 months of age. Please see the following chart to clarify:
Day Care Immunizations Requirements
Our physicians are affiliated with:
Appointments for office visits and check-ups are made by our secretaries during regular office hours. Except for our emergency care hour from 9-10 in Darien and Open Access from 8 am to 7:45 pm in Norwalk, patients will be seen by appointment only. Please try to be prompt for your appointment time. Should you be unable to keep a scheduled appointment, notify the office, as soon as possible, so the reserved time can be given to someone else.
You must bring with you your insurance ID card as well as your co-pay. We do require at least 24 hours notice for physicals and 48 hours for specialist visits (asthma, travel, pulmonary, psych, nutrition, breastfeeding, etc.) and will charge your account for no-shows.
We schedule a specific time for visits. If you feel the problem you wish to discuss is involved (i.e. behavioral, hyperactivity, etc.) please let us know when you are scheduling your appointment so that extra time will be allotted. Please try to make your check-up appointments three months in advance. Baby visits should be made in advance at the time of each visit. These visits are essential for the optimal health care maintenance of your children. Be aware that your insurance plan may require a full 12-month time span between routine check-ups. Know the date of your child’s last physical when scheduling new appointments.
Easy access to answer your non-urgent medical questions either by phone or via portal.
Routine questions should be asked during your visits to our office. If a problem arises between visits that requires attention, we will be happy to discuss it by telephone during office hours. Our pediatric nurses are experienced to handle your child care questions. We suggest mid-morning or mid-afternoon as the best time to call and discuss issues such as feeding, sleeping, etc. You will be transferred to our nurse advisement line where you can speak directly to a nurse or leave a message for a callback. Emergencies will be handled immediately. Remember, if you have Caller ID with a blocking feature, please remove it with *87 before placing your call so the advice line nurse can return your call. Non-urgent questions can be sent to your pediatrician via our HIPAA safe and secure email system through the portal. When our office is closed and you have a question about your child’s health that can not wait until our office is open, just call and tell the operator that you have a health question or issue and would like to speak to a nurse. You will be put in touch with Night Nurse. Trained pediatric registered nurses will address questions relating to your child’s health and if your call requires the attention of a doctor, the nurse will contact the doctor on call. We have chosen this service so you will have easy access to experienced nurses during after hours. This service is free of charge as part of our Patient Service Plan.
The Center for Advanced Pediatrics utilizes the services of Night Nurse for after hour’s coverage. Night Nurse has been providing after-hours triage coverage for the New England pediatric medical community since 1999. Physicians know their patients/caregivers receive the highest standard of timely triage from our experience pediatric RNs. Rapid response time and the competency of our professionals produce a good nights sleep for our subscribing MDs. When our office is closed and you have questions about your child’s health and comfort that can not wait until our offices are open, just tell the operator that you wish to speak to a nurse. The operator will pass on your message and you will be called back promptly. It is very much the same as when you are in touch with our Nurse Advisement Line during office hours. If your call requires immediate attention by your doctor, the advice line nurse will contact the doctor on call. The next morning our office will have a report on your call and will follow up as needed. We have chosen this service so that you will have easy access to experienced nurses during after hours. This service is free of charge as part of our Patient Service Plan.
Financial and Insurance:
We participate in most health care plans offered in the area. It is advisable to notify your insurance carrier of your baby’s arrival and that you have selected one of our pediatricians as your child’s PCP (primary care physician)
to ensure maximum coverage for health care costs. Some policies will not cover the expenses for your baby unless notified within 30 days of birth. We also require that you notify us (by copying the front and back of insurance card) any time a change is made to your insurance plan or carrier. We ask that you familiarize yourself with the coverage of your plan and it’s restrictions. You are ultimately responsible for services that are not a covered benefit. Please be sure to bring your insurance identification card with you to each visit. SEE UNDERSTANDING YOUR INSURANCE PLAN and our FINANCIAL POLICIES.
Your insurance company expects the payment of your co-pay at the time of service as do we. Our policy is not to bill for co-pays, but if we must, a billing fee will be added to your charge. We accept cash, check, Mastercard, Visa and Discover.
Fees for services rendered are based on the prevailing fee schedule for this area. Payment is expected at the time of visit. You may pay by cash, check or MasterCard, Visa and Discover. In the cases of divorced parents, we do not involve ourselves in intra-family disputes regarding the financial responsibility of a bill or account. In cases of dispute, the parent or person who brings the child to the office is considered responsible. All co-pays must be paid at the time of the child’s visit regardless of who accompanies the child. In the event that a friend or relative brings your child to the office, we ask that person to be responsible for paying the bill or co-pay. Please save your cash receipts. For your convenience, you may keep your credit card information in your file and sign an authorization which allows us to charge your account for your co-pays or co-insurance.
Most managed care insurance plans require referrals from your primary care physicians before your child can be seen by a participating specialist. We require at least 72 business hours for processing referrals and are not allowed to backdate any referral request. You may request any referrals through our online portal. Access to the portal is provided through our yearly PATIENT SERVICE PLAN.
Forms for School, Camp and Sports:
Your child will require many forms to be filled out over the years. As of September 1, 2013, these forms will be free and requested via the patient portal as part of our yearly PATIENT SERVICE PLAN.