What to expect as a new patient
Embracing Health takes a holistic, integrative approach to healthcare. This approach generally requires us meet with you, understand your history and concerns, order appropriate lab work, interpret the lab results (in the context of your symptoms and history) and plan a course with you. This process normally involves two visits to our clinic with a lab draw in between the two appointments.
First appointments: Meet and Greet
The initial appointment at Embracing Health is normally a 30 minute visit which includes vitals brief review of concerns with our nursing staff and an interview with one of our providers. We are interested in your health concerns and the history of your medical journey to date. Often we will start a plan of action by ordering tests, do a brief examination and in some cases offer possible therapies to try until your next office visit. We no longer ask for a copy of your prior medical records before meeting you. For many individuals this can be volumes of charts and very expensive. Should we need copies of specific studies – we will provide the necessary forms to obtain this information from your previous medical institutions. That being said – one piece of medical information that is handy to keep with you is an updated immunization record.
Some prospective new patients request to be seen by Dr. Villarreal. Established patients can be seen by any of our providers but the first visit for new patients will always be with one of our highly qualified and board certified PAs or NPs.
Procedures and Annual Routine Physicals are not combined with the first visit.
Lab Draw: Bloodwork and other samples
Our facility offers lab draws on site but patients always have the option of having their labs drawn elsewhere. If your labs are drawn by our staff, you will be charged a copay. Your agreement with your insurance company may or may not require additional payments to meet your deductible. Please check with your insurance company to determine your fiscal responsibilities.
Some tests may require you to fast for a number of hours prior to the lab draw. Some of the collected specimens require special handling before being transported for analysis. Either of these cases may necessitate the lab draws to be scheduled during specific times and on certain days. We will inform you if either of these situations pertain to your lab draw.
Second appointments: Review Labs and further planning
At Embracing Health, reviewing labs is more than saying the levels are “within normal limits”. We explain what the numbers represent and how one can use and ideal range of numbers to guide them in optimizing their health. In short, this session is to educate and empower the patient on what they can do to better their health. Once a clearer picture is obtained on the status of the patient, we discuss ways to achieve balance and therapies that will aid the body in healing itself.
Patients are always welcome to pick up hard copies of their labs from our clinic free of charge. If you do choose to schedule an appointment with a provider for a lab review, we ask that you confirm that we have received all of your results prior to the appointment. If some results have not yet been received, please reschedule your appointment.
Why we schedule appointments…
Embracing Health respects the time you take to be with us. We use appointments to help avoid long waiting times compared with the ‘first come, first serve’ protocol seen at many Urgent Care and Emergency Departments. However, since we are a facility that also accepts medical insurance, we are obligated to see a set amount of individuals per hour to meet our overhead. To avoid the providers falling far behind in their schedules, we ask patients to be prompt and prepare for unforeseen traffic delays, etc.
We do have a list of patients waiting to be seen but these patients still need plenty of notice of an appointment suddenly becomes available. For this reason we charge a fee for missed appointments and/or less than 24 hour cancellation notice.