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Office Policies //

This is a copy of the office policies every patient receives and signs prior to being treated by Dr. Cook.  It is provided here for reference.

Office hours:  Monday- Thursday 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., Fridays 8:00 am- 4:00 pm, excluding holidays. We close between approx. 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 pm for lunch, depending on clinic needs.  After hours, our recording instructs: In the event of a medical emergency, please go to the Emergency Room.  No patient should feel they are overreacting by going to the ER. If you are experiencing a problem that you feel cannot wait until the next business day, it is reasonable and necessary to go to where you can be examined by a doctor.

Coverage after Office Hours:  Dr. Cook shares call coverage with Dr. Stewart Smith, Dr. Jeremy Phelps, Dr. Nate Stetson, and Dr. Pal Randhawa. The physician “on-call” takes over the care of all patients after office hours and on weekends, and may round on hospital inpatients during the week in certain circumstances, as no physician is able to be available 24/7.

Appointments:  We make every effort to schedule our patients at the earliest opportunity and see them in a timely manner.  However, due to the nature of neurosurgical practice, occasionally the doctor is called to a hospital emergency with very little notice, which can cause delays in our schedule.  We apologize for any inconvenience and ask for your patience in these instances.  To help us in giving everyone the earliest possible appointment, please give us at least 24 hours notice if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment so we can offer your time slot to another patient.

MRI/CT scans/x-rays, etc:  It is very important that you remember to bring your actual films with you to the appointment.  The physician will not be able to evaluate you without them.  A typed film report does notcontain adequate detail to make a surgical decision.  It is the patient’s responsibility to see that all films are here at the time of the appointment.

 

Email and Texts:  Please see separate “Unsecured Electronic Communication Policy”.

Surgery:  Dr. Cook performs surgery at Community Hospital, Physician’s Surgical Center, Baptist Medical Center, and Southwest Medical Center.  Each hospital gives excellent care.  Except when equipment requirements dictate, the choice of hospital is left entirely up to you.  During most spine and some cranial surgeries, Dr. Cook monitors nerves with real time feedback to give the patient the best care and minimize the risk of nerve damage during surgery.

Prescriptions:  Surgical practices require the physician to be out of the office most of the time, and charts often need to be reviewed for each medication request.  Also, changes in Federal drug laws now require that most pain medicine prescriptions be on a written prescription, signed by the physician only.  Physician assistants can no longer prescribe most pain medicine, nor can most pain medicine be called in any more.  Due to these factors, we require patients to request their refills at least 72 hours in advance of the need. To make a request, call the prescription line and leave the following information: 1) your name/birth date; 2) medication; 3) pharmacy phone#; 4) dosage/medication questions.  In keeping with Federal and State laws, early refills cannot be authorized.

Payment:  Payment is due at the time of service.  The payment is determined by the following:

  1. Insured by Medicare or a private insurance:  Copay is due at time of service.  This office accepts cash, check, and major credit cards.  Refunds are sent routinely in the event that your copay is overpaid.  After your insurance claim has processed, you will be billed for the balance of your portion as detailed on the Explanation of Benefits provided by your insurance company.

  2. You are a VERIFIED worker’s compensation patient.  You must supply our office with your employer’s work comp insurance carrier and address, your claim number, the date/time/location of injury, and the name/phone number of adjuster or employer to verify information.

 

Disability form policy:  There will be a $30 charge for each disability or family medical leave form filled out by our office, due when the request is made.  Please allow 10-14 days for completion, as medical care always takes precedence over paperwork.

Investment Discolsure:  In the interest of quality medical care, Dr. Cook owns a percentage in the following facilities and services: Healthcare Partners Inc. (Community Hospital), Vantage MRI, Spine Shield (intraoperative nerve monitoring), and Surgical Helpers (physician assistant management). He in no way requires any patient to use these facilities. He is also occasionally reimbursed for educational and training services provided to SpineArt and Aurora Spine. He receives no monetary incentive for using any particular implants. Feel free to discuss your surgical choices with Dr. Cook or any of his office staff.

Unsecured Electronic Communication Policy

Shon Cook, MD, PLLC

 

Dr. Cook answers email from patients almost every night depending on circumstances.  Email is a very effective means of direct communication with Dr. Cook.  Patients also find it very useful to text pictures of their incisions after surgery if there are any concerns about infection or healing, which often saves themselves hours of unnecessary travel, and other times significantly speeds up the start of appropriate treatment.

 

However, please note that Federal law now prohibits medical practices from sending you email or texts that are unencrypted, or what they define as “unsecure”.  Some patients appreciate the tradeoff between security and easy, fast, effective communication.  In the interest of facilitating easy communication with you, your initiation of a conversation with our office by normal unencrypted email or text authorizes any member of our office to reply with an unencrypted email or text that may contain confidential medical information about you, only by replying to the address you provide.