Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I’m going to be late for my appointment?

If you find that you are going to be late for your scheduled appointment time, please call our office as soon as you are able. This will allow us to notify your Provider you are running late, and if necessary, reschedule your appointment for another day.

What happens if I miss an appointment?

We ask that you please call to let us know if you know you be unable to be at a scheduled appointment. Your cancellation allows us to accommodate another patient who could benefit from that appointment. If you miss multiple appointments without advance notice, St. Cloud Medical Group may choose to terminate your care.

Can minor patients be seen without a parent/guardian present?

We always prefer that minor patients be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when coming into the clinic for treatment. We recognize that may not always be possible and do have options in place for such occasions. The “Minor Treatment Authorization” form can be found in the Patient Resources – Forms section of the St. Cloud Medical Group website and can be completed and sent with minor patients who will be coming into the clinic with an adult who is NOT the child’s parent or guardian. This form will give the adult permission to consent to treatment for the minor.  We will also accept verbal consent in some circumstances.

Do you accept my insurance?

We accept all major insurers. Specific questions should be directed to our Business Office at 320-529-4695.

Do I need to call and make an appointment for Express Care or can I just walk in and be seen?

To better serve you, appointments are preferred as a way to control your wait time. However, walk-ins are always welcome! Walk-ins are worked in amongst the scheduled patients and are seen as soon as possible.

Is Express Care more expensive than a Family Practice office visit?

Express Care is considered extended office hours, we do not bill at higher rates for evening appointments.

Why do I need to come in for labs before my appointment?

Many of our Providers prefer pre-visit labwork for all patients coming in for annual wellness visits. This allows you to discuss your results in person at the time of your visit instead of hearing about them afterwards. Many times this benefits the patient as they have a better understanding of their overall health and any lifestyle modifications which may be recommended.

Why do I need to show my insurance card at every visit?

Although the cards may look-alike, insurance policies change often throughout the year for many patients. To most accurately bill your insurance company and avoid headaches for you, we find it to be best practice to verify your information at each encounter.

My medication bottle says “no refills,” what do I do?

All medication refill requests should go directly to your pharmacy, even if there are no refills left on your medication. The pharmacy then contacts us with your request. If you are not due for an office visit, your refill request should be completed within 72 hours. If you are due for a visit our office will contact you.

What is the difference between a Nurse Practitioner and a Physician Assistant?

  1. Physician Assistants (PAs) are licensed and certified health care professionals who practice medicine in partnership with doctors and bring a breadth of knowledge and skills to patient care. They are trained to prevent and treat illnesses and injuries, order and interpret tests, prescribe medications and counsel on preventive health care.
  2. Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse who have completed graduate level education. They are able to treat both physical and mental conditions for patients of any age.  Nurse Practitioners can diagnose problems, order and interpret tests, and provide treatment – including prescription medications.

What is an Accountable Care Organization (ACO)?

What is an ACO?

An Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is a group of doctors and other healthcare providers who agree to work together with Medicare to give you the best possible care.

The goal of the ACO is to support your provider in caring for you by making sure they have the most up to date information about your health and your care. For you, this means your providers communicate better with each other, and you avoid having duplicate tests or answering the same questions over and over. Doctors and other healthcare providers choose to participate in an ACO because they’re committed to providing you with a better care experience.

An ACO isn’t the same as a Medicare Advantage Plan or Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). You’re still in Original Medicare, and your Medicare benefits, services, rights and protections won’t change. And you still have the right to use any provider or hospital that accepts Medicare at any time, the same way you do now.

 

How will being in an ACO help my provider?

Providers in ACOs may have better access to expertise, staff, and technology they need to make sure your care is coordinated across all the places you get services. For you, this coordination could mean less paperwork to fill out at the provider’s office, avoiding unnecessary tests, or more help for you in dealing with health conditions.

 

Do I have to participate in an ACO since my provider is?

You as a patient, do not participate in the ACO, your provider is the participant.

You still have the right to see any provider or hospital that accepts Medicare, at any time.

If at any time you do not wish to have your personal health information shared between the ACO participants, you have the option to decline. Please contact our office to do so.