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Annual Fee Explained

Dr. McWilliams Annual Fee

Several years ago, Stone Creek Family Medicine implemented an annual fee to cover services not covered by insurance companies or our routine office visit fees. The Annual Fee is due at the beginning of the calendar year and is paid once per year. This is a non-refundable fee. The cost is:

  • $75.00 per person
  • $125.00 per family (patient/spouse/dependent children 21 or under)

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Annual Fee FAQ

Why do you charge an annual fee?

We believe that our patients deserve the highest quality medical care and service levels. There are many services we provide that are not covered by insurance companies or the standard office visit fee. Rather than having a menu type list of these uncovered services and associated fees, such as $25 for an after-hours call back or $25 to fill out a handicapped parking form, we have simplified the process and charge an annual standard fee to cover these services. This simplified process provides the transparency of cost you deserve and allows our staff to address your immediate needs in a prompt manner rather than spending their time on collecting individual fees each time a request is made. Please see the Annual Fee explanation page for further details.

Does the annual fee provide treatment without having to come in to see the physician?

No, the annual fee does not replace telephone medicine for personal care. We do not sacrifice your quality of care or the doctor’s liability for exposure for convenience. Often the diagnosis made is based on your physical exam and may be completely different from what the problem initially sounds like or what you may think is going on. Our goal is to provide the highest quality of medical care and the best possible service. This rule cannot be compromised without deviating from that goal.

Does the annual fee provide refills without having to see the physician?

We understand your prescriptions will often require refills. The interval between recommended or required office visits is determined on an individual basis and is guided by the quality and standard of care guidelines for the specific condition being treated. We do not sacrifice your safety or quality of care, or the doctor’s liability exposure, for convenience. If an office visit is not required, we will address your refill request as soon as possible, and always within 24-48 business hours. To prevent misunderstandings and unnecessary refills, we do not accept refill requests from pharmacies. All refills must be requested by the patient, either by calling our office or through the patient portal.

Does the annual fee provide on-call services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

All routine, non-urgent requests, appointments, refills and general questions will be handled during regular business hours. If you contact us after hours, we do have an automated telephone service that will alert the on-call provider if an urgent message is left on the after-hours voicemail and if deemed urgent, the provider will call you back. If an alert is made for a non-urgent matter, no return call will be made. If you have an emergency, life-threatening problem or think you “might” have a serious problem, you need to call 911 or go immediately to the emergency room.

Does the annual fee guarantee I will always get in to see the physician the same day I call?

We provide “same-day, next-day” service to our established patients. If you are sick, we will always do our best to schedule you on the day you call or the next business day. If you require immediate medical attention, we may advise you call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Does the annual fee allow me to see the physician without an appointment, be late for my scheduled appointment or waive any penalty for missed appointments?

In order to enhance the experience at our practice and provide the best service possible to our patients, we have the following policies in place: We do not see patients without a scheduled appointment. While we currently do not charge a penalty fee for missed appointments, we request that you contact us as soon as possible if you cannot keep your scheduled appointment. Our late arrival policy is as follows: “We reserve the right to ask you to reschedule your appointment, in consideration of others arriving on time for their appointment, if you arrive late. If the situation allows, you will have the option to wait and the physician will see you should a time slot open up”. If we see a pattern of frequent, repeated no-shows or last-minute cancellations and late arrivals, we may exercise our right to terminate the doctor-patient relationship and dismiss such patients from our practice.

Does the annual fee guarantee all requests I make be processed as soon as I request it?

We strive to meet all your needs in a timely manner and often our efforts exceed our patient’s expectations. While our goal is to accommodate your request immediately, our standard policy on all refill requests is 24-48 hours and 48-72 hours on forms and/or letters which require a physician signature. There are situations, such as your insurance company requiring a prior authorization on a prescription refill or paperwork requiring detailed information and explanation, your request may take longer than our standard policy states.

Is the annual fee a violation of the physician’s contract with my insurance company?

No. We are not charging you for any service that your insurance company reimburses us for, which is limited to the evaluation and management of medical illnesses at the time of the office visit. The annual fee is for all non-covered services that we provide which are not billed to your insurance company.

One Person: $75.00 per year

Family: $125.00 per year

Thank you.