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Measles Outbreak 2015

At least 84 people across 14 states have been diagnosed recently with measles, including at least 67 who are thought to have been infected in mid- to late December while visiting Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., Dr. Schuchat, the U.S. assistant surgeon general, and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said. “We believe someone got infected [with measles] overseas, visited the Disneyland park, and spread the disease to others.” Those people went on to expose others in a variety of settings, including schools, day care centers, outpatient clinics, and airplanes, she added. “This is not a problem of the measles vaccine not working, this is a problem of the measles vaccine not being used,” Dr. Schuchat said.

What is measles?

Measles is a highly contagious disease that causes fever and rash. At first, measles (also known as Rubeola) looks and feels like a cold. Cough, high fever, runny nose, and red, watery eyes are common. A few days later, a red, blotchy rash starts on the face, then spreads to the rest of the body.

Who is at risk for getting measles?

Anyone who never had measles and has never been vaccinated

Babies younger than 12 months old, because they are too young to be vaccinated

Those who were vaccinated before 1968; early vaccines did not give lasting protection

How is measles spread?  

Measles is more contagious than almost any other disease. The virus that causes measles lives in the nose and throat of infected people and is sprayed into the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs or talks, and can stay in the air for up to two hours. People with measles can spread the disease starting four days before the rash begins until four days after it appears.

What are the symptoms of measles?

 Early symptoms include cough, runny nose and red, light-sensitive eyes. Two to four days later, a fine rash of red spots develops on the face and then gradually spreads down over the entire body. Fever, which can reach 103–105° F, comes with the rash. White spots, called Koplik spots, may appear on the inside of the cheeks.

When do symptoms start?

The fever, runny nose, and cough usually appear 10–12 days after exposure to an infected person. However, symptoms can start anywhere from 7–21 days after exposure.

How long is a person with measles contagious?

A person can spread measles from four days before through four days after the appearance of the rash. A person with measles should stay home from school or work while they are contagious. Special care should be taken to avoid contact with babies younger than 12–15 months (they are too young to have been vaccinated) and pregnant women.

 What do I do if I am exposed to measles?

Talk to your healthcare provider right away to see if you need a vaccination. If you have symptoms of measles, as described above, call your health care provider right away BEFORE going to the clinic or hospital.

What is the treatment for measles?

There is no specific treatment for measles.

How is measles diagnosed?

Because measles can look like other diseases that cause a rash, a blood test is the only way to be sure it is measles.

 What can I do to prevent measles?

The best way to protect your children is to have them vaccinated when they are 12–15 months old, and again when they are about to enter kindergarten. Measles vaccine is usually given in a shot called MMR, which also protects against mumps and rubella.

 

 


Vickery Pediatrics LLC Financial Policy

Revised 1/1/2015

Thank you for choosing Vickery Peds as your child’s healthcare provider. Payment is required at the time of service; non payment will result in either your child not being able to see one of our providers or a $25 billing fee added to your account. These fees can not be waived. The following is a statement of our Financial Policy which we do require you to read and sign prior to your child’s appointment.

Due to the frequent changes in healthcare coverage, we require that you provide proof of valid insurance coverage and a driver’s license at each visit. If you do not have verifiable insurance coverage, or do not have a copy of your insurance card with member and group id, or are on a plan that we do not participate in, full payment is required at time of service prior to being seen by our providers. Please ask our front desk staff about our Vickery Peds same day discount.

Co pays, Deductibles and Coinsurance

All co pays, deductibles and coinsurance amounts are due at time of service per your insurance policy. As always, for your convenience we accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. We will now hold a credit or debit card on file, once your claim has been processed through your insurance company and you receive your EOB (explanation of benefits) your card will be charged for the patient responsibility balance per your contract with your insurance company. When we receive a copy of the finalized EOB claim, you will receive a courtesy email from us stating your card will be charged within 2-3 days.

Contractual Insurance

Although we participate with your insurance company, some procedures done in our office are not covered per your individual plan contract. These non covered charges are your responsibility. We will routinely file your claims to your insurance company each visit. Any questions of coverage or payment discrepancy need to be directed to your insurance company. You will be required to pay the balance as you work with your insurance company to resolve the issue. If your insurance company has not paid Vickery Pediatrics within 90 days from the date of service, the balance will be transferred to you and due upon receipt. Please keep in mind your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance company: therefore all remaining balances are your responsibility. If your account goes unpaid by you after 90 days, it will be sent to outside collections and you will be dismissed from our practice.

Account fees

We will charge a 1.5% interest monthly as provided by Georgia State law, on any balances over 60 days. If your personal check is returned for insufficient funds, you will be asked to make immediate payment in form of cash or credit card plus a NSF fee of $35. These charges will be added to your account and must be paid within 7 days to avoid further collection activity.

Miscellaneous fees

Participation and clearance forms for camp, school, sports etc completed outside of normal annual physicals will be charged a $10 processing fee in advance.

Nurse Visits

If your child is seen by one of our nursing staff for blood work, hearing and vision screens etc; it is billable to insurance and will require collection of a co pay, deductible or coinsurance on the day of service.

No Show and cancellation fees

Patients who “NO” show for an appointment will be charged a $50 broken appointment fee. Our office requires 24 hours notice to cancel an appointment. If you need to cancel outside normal business hours you can leave a message with our answering service.

Delinquent Accounts

If your account has an outstanding balance and full payment ca not be made, you must contact our office and set up a payment plan to avoid being sent to collections. All payment plans are set up as follows: 50% of the total balance due will be collected and then equal monthly payments of $50-$100 per month will be charged on the day you choose monthly with the card we hold on file. You will be charged 1.5% interest monthly as long as you are in a payment plan. You will receive monthly statements to reflect payments made to your account. If a payment is declined you will have 7 days to pay total balance due on the account to avoid outside collections. Failure to pay all outstanding balances will result in your account being turned over to an outside collection agency. If your account is turned over to collections your family will be dismissed from our practice and a 30% collection fee will be added to your outstanding balance. It is your responsibility to find another provider for your child. We will continue to see your child during the 30 day transition on an emergency “Cash “pay basis only. Vickery Pediatrics may need to disclose to a collection agency personal health information related to receiving payment for services rendered in the event your account becomes delinquent.

All patients are asked to check out prior to leaving after each visit; it is unlawful to intentionally walk out without paying for services rendered by our providers.

Thank you for understanding our Financial Policies. Pleas let us know if you have any questions.


Vickery Pediatrics – Vaccination Policy

Vaccines have been a hot topic among parents, pediatricians, and the media for years. Recently, there have been more news stories about pediatricians who are refusing to care for families who do not vaccinate their children or who do not follow the recommended schedule. The recommended vaccine schedule is a thoroughly studied policy based on the latest scientific studies and input from experts in many fields.  Vaccine safety, vaccine effectiveness, and the spread of vaccine-preventable disease in the community are the foundations for the current vaccine policy.  As a group, pediatricians aim to reduce childhood suffering from preventable conditions, as well as the spread of these illnesses in our offices.

After much thought and careful consideration, our physicians have recently decided to change our policy related to immunizations. Starting this Fall, we will require that all new patients accepted into our practice be immunized following the AAP and CDC recommended guidelines. We have a responsibility to protect the health of all of the children in our practice, and decrease the risk of vaccine-preventable diseases in our community.

Vaccine preventable diseases are still a threat to the health of our children and our community. The resurgence of Measles, Pertussis (whooping cough) and Polio recently is an excellent reminder that these diseases are still around, in part because of low immunization rates. In our practice, we have many children who are too young to receive certain vaccines as well as many children who have chronic illnesses that compromise their immune system and put them at risk. This policy is meant to protect not only these children, but also our entire community from vaccine-preventable outbreaks.

Despite the medical evidence and our assurances, a few parents and caregivers continue to be skeptical about giving certain vaccines or giving multiple vaccines at an office visit. In the past, we have tried accommodate our families who want to give fewer vaccines per visit or delay some vaccines. However this concession has no medical benefit whatsoever. Additionally, delaying vaccines dangerously affects the herd immunity of our community and puts children, adolescents and adults at an increased risk of illness.

We respect that the parents in our practice have the ultimate responsibility for making decisions about their children’s health care, but we have to weigh their personal decisions against the available data and the needs of our community. We also feel strongly that vaccines save lives and that this policy protects our patients and our community from preventable diseases and all of the possible repercussions from these diseases in our community.

Therefore, our current vaccine policy reflects the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC. Go to -- http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/child-adolescent.html for these guidelines.

Other resources:

 

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)       1-800-274-2237 www.aafp.org

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)       1-888-463-6332 www.fda.gov

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)          1-847-434-4000 www.aap.org

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists                               1-202-638-5577 www.acog.org

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)    1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) www.cdc.gov

National Institutes of Health (NIH)   1-301-496-4000 www.nih.gov


 


 


 


 


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Welcome To Vickery Pediatrics

At Vickery Pediatrics, we treat your child as if they were one of our own. From their first visit, we strive to provide individualized care that is tailored to meet your child’s unique needs. We enjoy becoming a partner in your medical family and watching your child grow and thrive over the years.

We are a small family-oriented practice. The advantage of this, to you as a parent, is that by seeing the same doctor consistently your child can receive the best continuity of care. Our physicians are Board Certified in Pediatrics. We pride ourselves on constantly striving to improve our services with the latest technology available and adhering to the highest standards of care in the industry. Our office uses only electronic medical records (EMR). This allows our doctors and patients access 24/7 to their medical information through our website and Patient Portal (secure login).