Policies & FAQs

Shah and Associates Family Practice realizes that your time is valuable. We offer information, including policies and FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), to answer general questions you may have and share our office practices to help your visit run smoothly.

Policies

You’ll find our policies about office hours, appointments and emergencies, insurance and referrals, mail-order prescriptions and prescription refills, medical records, test results, the HIPAA Privacy Policy, our convenient Patient Portal, and cell phones.

Office Hours

Shah and Associates Family Practice operates from 8 A.M. - 4:45 P.M. Monday through Friday and provides urgent care for established patients only from 9 A.M. - 12 noon on Saturday. The office is closed for lunch every day from 12 noon until 1 P.M.

Emergencies

In the case of a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

All life-threatening situations should be addressed at the Emergency Room of the nearest hospital. If you are experiencing any of the following signs and/or symptoms, you need to visit the Emergency Room:

  • Pain in your chest
  • Having a difficult time breathing
  • Head trauma
  • Severe bleeding
  • Sudden loss of vision or blurred vision
  • Change in your mental status

For after-hours free medical advice you may call UNC Healthlink at 919-966-3820 (FREE) or toll free at 888-267-3675 (FREE).

On the occasion that you need us while the office is closed, Dr. Dipen Shah or Mrs. Wilkins will be on call. If you need to speak to our provider on call, please call our office 919-468-6820 FREE and press “8” to be connected with our answering service. They will page the provider on call. Please note: You will be charged a $10.00 fee.

Appointments

If you'd like to come in for a visit, simply call our office at 919-468-6820 FREE and schedule an appointment with the medical healthcare provider of your choice.

Shah and Associates Family Practice charges $25.00 for missed appointments or cancellations less than 24 hours in advance. There will be a charge of $50.00 for all missed physical exams, new patient exams and 30 minute follow-up exams.

As a courtesy, we call the day before your appointment to remind you. If you are Web-enabled and have given us your current email, you will receive a reminder email as well.

If you have questions or problems to discuss, this is best handled by scheduling an appointment.

Physical exams should be scheduled at least two months in advance, as slots are limited.

If you are running late for your appointment, please call our office to see if we can still see you or if it would be best to reschedule.

Insurance

Insurance cards must be presented to the front desk at the time of arrival for each office visit. If you are not able to present your card, you will be given the opportunity to sign a waiver stating that your card will be in our office within 24 hours of your office visit. In the case that your insurance card is not received, you will be billed for the entire visit.

Prescription Refills

If you need a refill on your prescription, please call our office at 919-468-6820 FREE, choose option 3, and leave a message on the Rx refill line. You will be instructed what information to leave for the nurse. Please bring all of your prescription medication to your visit and request refills when seen by your provider.

Our office needs 2 business days to respond to requests for prescription refills. If approved by the provider, the prescription refill will be called to your local pharmacy. You or your pharmacist should leave all pertinent information including the name and phone number of the pharmacy.

Mail Order Prescriptions

For mail order prescriptions, Shah and Associates Family Practice providers, Dr. Dipen Shah or Mrs. Wilkins, will provide you with a written prescription for you to mail to the pharmacy. We will mail the written prescription directly to you.

No routine refills will be called to your pharmacy on holidays, weekends, or after hours on weekdays.

No narcotic refills will be filled after 12 NOON on Fridays OR on weekends.

Please bring all of your prescriptions to your visit and request refills when seen by your provider.

Medical Records

Medical Records are protected by HIPAA, a copy of which is filed in our office for your reference. A release form must be signed by the patient or if the patient is a minor, by the parent or guardian before records can be released. Please allow up to 30 days to process medical records for transfer. Currently, we follow the NC Statute for standard fees for medical records and the medical records will be copied and mailed to you or your authorized recipient or they can be picked up at our office.

HIPAA Privacy Policy

This is the current Shah and Associates Family Practice HIPAA Privacy Policy, effective September 23, 2013. Please read and then sign the HIPAA Consent Form, also found in the Forms menu.

Test Results

Blood work or diagnostic testing will be reviewed by your provider, either Dr. Dipen Shah or Mrs. Wilkins, once it is received. If results are abnormal you will be called promptly. Notifications of normal results are mailed to you at the address on file.

Referrals

Managed care referrals generally require a visit with your primary care provider first. Please allow one week to handle non-emergency referrals. It is your responsibility to let our office know if you have to have a follow-up visit with the specialist and a referral is needed.

Cell Phones

Please turn off your cell phone while in our office. Cell phones interfere with certain medical equipment.

Patient Portal

You can now request prescription refills, appointments, and check on labs through our Web-based Patient Portal.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs include information about what to bring to your office visit and after-hours service contact information.

What information should I bring to my office visit?

For your next office visit, please bring any pertinent prior medical records, immunization records, medications, and current insurance information.

If you are a new patient, please visit our forms page to see which forms you also need to bring.

Minors (under 18 years of age) must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Otherwise, they must have a signed permission statement from their parent or guardian for treatment.

How do I contact my medical provider when the office is closed?

If you have a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 and go to the nearest emergency room. The hospital knows how to contact us.

If your problem is urgent and requires immediate medical advice, we have 24 hour coverage. Simply call the main line (919-468-6820 FREE) and follow the instructions.

Where can I get medical advice after hours?

Shah and Associates Family Practice uses HealthLink, which is an after hours advice line staffed by UNC nurses. You can reach them directly at 966-3820 or toll free at 888-267-3675 (FREE).

This is a free service offered to our patients from 5 PM to 8 AM weekdays and Saturday from 12 PM (noon) through Monday 8 AM.

What types of calls are acceptable after hours?

Please reserve after-hours calls requiring a provider to be paged to urgent conditions only.

We do require that prescriptions, referrals, and chronic or non-urgent conditions be discussed during regular office hours. This helps your providers and their families to be well rested the next day.

Will there be a charge for "after hours" calls?

Yes, you may incur a fee for this type of phone call that you will be responsible for as your insurance plan does not cover this expense.