At Atkinson Family Practice, our Mission is to:
- Promote the health of our patients by providing innovative, highest-quality, comprehensive, personalized health-care.
- Serve as a ‘medical home’ for patients by coordinating, managing and integrating the various aspects of their health to ensure comprehensive, holistic care.
- Create a comfortable, compassionate atmosphere where the relationship between the practice and patients is one of partnership and open dialogue.
- Encourage patient education, life style modification, and prevention as critical aspects to optimal long-term health.
- Provide our patients with education and resources to enable them to make informed lifestyle and health care decisions and partner with patients to minimize their risks of developing disease.
Welcome to our practice.
We feel that we have something special here at Dr Kate’s office and are looking forward to caring for you and your family. Let us tell you more about ourselves and our philosophy regarding our partnership with patients in their best health.
We try NOT to practice ‘phone-medicine’ here. Most of the time—with rare exceptions– if you or your family members are sick we will prefer to see you in the office. Prescribing drugs over the phone simply isn’t safe or good medicine. Reasons for treating over the phone do NOT INCLUDE how far away you live or not wanting to pay a co-pay. If you live so far away that your coming in is too challenging we would suggest that you select a closer provider for your family’s care. Your co-pays are determined by your insurances not by us. Besides we are worth it! Our staff works very hard to take care of you.
There are many, many insurances each with many different programs-we CANNOT know what your insurance covers. You are responsible to know what your policy states. If you tell us before your visit that your insurance doesn’t cover something we can often note it accordingly but we can NOT change the note after your visit is done. Try to select the insurance plan which fits your family’s needs-we do not set your co-pay or deductible-your policy does. After your insurance has paid we will expect you to pay the balance in a reasonable amount of time. Just as you have to pay your own rent and utility bills so do we.
We count on your payments to keep our office operating. You are responsible for paying for your own medical care. We sign contracts with your insurers agreeing to collect co-pays; so we are not able to waive them. We would appreciate your not asking us to do so. Co-pays not paid at the time of the visit will be assessed an additional fee of $10.00 as it costs us money to mail invoices.
Our office has a strict policy about prescribing narcotic medications. We do not prescribe narcotics for chronic, non-cancer pain.
Feel free to talk to your provider about any of our policies.
- PHONE : 413-549-8400 Our phones are on weekdays 730am to 7:00pm Mon, Tues and Wed. Thursdays and Fridays till 5:00 off for lunch from 1230- 130pm. After hours you have two options—push #1 and you can leave a non-urgent message to be heard on the next business day. Push #2 and you will be directed to the answering service who will page the doctor on call. Please allow an hour for the provider to get back to you. If it is a life-threatening emergency don’t call us, call 911 or go to the ER. We will always approve an ER visit so you do NOT need to get permission from a doctor first. We share call with the South Deerfield Family Practice so you may talk with one of their providers on nights or weekends. If you are waiting for a return call please UNBLOCK YOUR PHONE so we can reach you!
*If for any reason you cannot reach us after hours (if phones or electricity are down for instance) you may also call the Cooley Dickinson hospital operator at 413-582-2000
2. EMAIL : www.doctorkate.net Each provider and the front desk have their own email addresses which they respond to personally. You can find them through our web site. Please do not send emergency messages on email as we do not necessarily check them every day. Also, sometimes email messages get lost or stuck in the spam filter—if you haven’t heard back in 2 business days it is not impolite to follow up with a call or a repeat email. Email does not replace required follow up appointments as recommended by your provider.
Rules about email—always include your full name and date of birth—please only discuss one patient on each individual email and no more than 2 problems on each note—it is ok to send multiple emails at the same time and actually easier for us to respond and file them if you keep different problems separate. Always put a reason in the subject line. Your email will be entered into your computerized chart. If your problem is too complex we may ask you to schedule an appointment.
3. FAX: 413-549-8409 you can fax requests or short notes to us. Examples are lists of blood pressure results or blood sugar readings. This is NOT a good way to have an interaction with your provider—please book an appointment for that.
Refills: Please request your medication refills at least 24-48 hrs in advance. REMEMBER PLEASE: this means if you call on a Friday afternoon the refill may not be done until Monday. In most instances we do try to do them same day; but we cannot guarantee it. Most medication refills are NOT an emergency. Please do NOT call on weekends/after hours for refills unless it is to leave a voice message for us to retrieve on Monday. Our providers are busy with their own families; so if you could please remember that weekend/night calls are for urgent matters only.
Appointments: If you must cancel a scheduled appointment please give the office at least 4 hours notice. If you do not show for your appointment [or you are more than 15 minutes late to your appointment] you will be charged $25 for a regular visit and $50.00 for a physical and asked to reschedule your appointment. If you know you are going to be late, please call to let us know; we will do everything we can to try to accommodate you.