1. What is the difference between a consult and a referral?
    A consult is your doctor’s request that you see a particular specialist. A referral is an authorization generated through your insurance company so that payment for your appointment will be covered.
  2. My doctor gave me a consult to see a specialist. Is this all the specialist needs?
    No. If your insurance requires referrals, you will also need a separate authorization from your insurance company to see any given specialist. Patients are responsible to know the requirement for referral for their individual insurance plan.
  3. How do I get a referral?
    When your doctor suggests you see a specialist, you schedule your appointment. You may then call our office, send a portal message or fax the appointment information to us and we will submit your insurance referral. When calling use phone number 631-444-4630 option # 4.
  4. What information do you need to generate an insurance referral?
    We need your name and date of birth, the name, address, phone number and insurance ID number of the specialist you are seeing, the appointment date, and the condition for which you are seeing the specialist.
  5. How can I contact my doctor?
    We have many avenues available to you to reach us. By phone: 631-444-4630, by fax: 631-444-4974, or by using the patient portal (you need to register for the portal at an office visit with your doctor).
  6. What is the patient portal?
    The patient portal is an electronic gateway which allows you to send and receive messages from your doctor.
  7. What can I request on the patient portal?
    You can request medication refills, you can request an appointment, or you can send a general message to your doctor or doctor’s staff. The portal is not intended for urgent messages; urgent messages require your call to the office.
  8. What is available to me on the patient portal?
    Not only can you send messages on the portal but you can view and print test results and educational information given to you by your doctor.
  9. What is a Patient-Centered Medical Home?
    A Patient-Centered Medical Home is a model of care that strengthens the doctor-patient relationship. In this model, your primary provider leads a team in your care by arranging for appropriate care, based on your health needs, with other clinicians.
  10. What do I do if I need an urgent appointment?
    Our goal is to maintain continuity with your primary care physician so urgent appointments are preferentially booked with your own physician. When your physician is not available, we will offer an appointment with a covering MD or nurse practitioner. You would call 631-444-4630 option # 3. Some symptoms require triage by one of our registered nurses to determine appropriate disposition.
  11. What if I need to be hospitalized?
    Here at Stony Brook we have what is known as a “Hospitalist” system. We have physicians in our division who are dedicated to out-patient service and other physicians dedicated to in-patient service. When hospitalized, patients are assigned to an in-patient physician or “hospitalist”. Our in-patient colleagues will communicate with your primary care physician regarding changes in your health and plan of care. Additionally we will ensure your smooth transition of care when discharged to home. If you are discharged from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility, we ask that you contact our office a few days before you are being discharged from that facility so that we can arrange appropriate follow up medical care.
  12. How do I request refills?
    It is our preference that patients call their pharmacy to request a refill when needed. This helps minimize the number of requests we may get to refill the same medication. The pharmacy will contact our office when all refills have been exhausted. Do not wait until you are out of medication. Requests should be made at least 1 week prior to running out. All prescriptions are sent electronically to your preferred pharmacy. Routine office visits and lab work are sometimes required to continue medication management. Remember to adhere to your lab testing or office visit schedule.
  13. Testing
    If your doctor wants you to get blood work or other diagnostic tests before the next visit, please schedule an appointment with the laboratory or testing center one week beforehand so that you can review the test results with your doctor at the time of the visit.
  14. How do I request records?
    A signed authorization by the patient or his/her legal representative is required to request or release your medical records. Certain essential documents will be forwarded from our office to a patient’s new physician at no cost. Patients will incur a fee for records requested beyond the default documentation provided. A customary fee of 75 cents per page will be charged to the patient.
  15. Do you take my insurance?
    A list will be provided to any patient inquiring about our participating insurers. Those patients who do not currently have insurance will be given information regarding our Participating New York State Exchange Plans. Indigent patients will be referred to our social worker for more advanced insurance planning.