Foley Family Practice, P.C.

Our Practice

Foley Family Practice, P.C. was founded in 2006 by Dr. Heidi Foley.  Since that time we have strived to maintain our philosophy of being the friendliest and most comprehensive practice in the North Quabbin Region.  Our goal is to provide complete medical care for every member of your family.  We treat acute and chronic medical problems using a high standard of care and stay up to date with the latest medical technology and information.  We also place a high priority on preventative care.  Physicals, vaccinations, screenings, diet and exercise can be the key to living and maintaining a healthly and active lifestyle.

Office Hours:

Monday  7:00 am to 4:30 pm
Tuesday 7:00 am to 2:00 pm
Wednesday 7:00 am to 11:00 am 
Thursday 7:00 am  to 4:30 pm 
Friday 7:00 am to  2:00 pm 
Saturday Closed    
Sunday Closed    


Location:


Our office is conveniently located just off route 2A on Brickyard Road.  It is at the Athol / Orange town line and is between the McDonald's and the Hannaford Shopping Plaza.  The address is 78 Brickyard Road and we are located in the basement office of that building.


What is a Family Physician:

Family Physicians are trained in all areas of medicine and are able to diagnose and treat most problems that patients bring to the office.  They offer evidence based medical care for acute and chronic problems for patients of all ages.  Should a patient need the expertise of a specialist, the Family Physician serves as your point of contact and a centralized location for all of your medical treatment.

Family Physicians are there for your entire family.  From your first immunizations to your end of life care, the Family Physician is at the core of your medical care.   They are located within your communities and, because they are the first physicians utilized, are more accessable than specialists.  They are experts on preventative care and believe in using routine physicals, immunizations, family health history and screenings as a tool to help thier patients maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.  Various studies have shown that routine visits to the Family Physician ultimately lowers the costs associated with healthcare and improves the overall health of the patients they serve as compared to receiving care only from subspecialists.

Finally and most importantly, your family physician is trained to provide comprehensive care through all the stages of your life. They take care of the physical, mental and emotional health of both their patients and their patients’ families and they know your family’s health history and how it can affect you.

We have physician Assitant students, and occasionally, medical assistant students. We are a teaching facility. You may see our students prior to the doctor or with the doctor. Just remember they are students and cannot order without permission of the doctor. You always have the right to decline having a student participate in your care but we do appreciate when you do allow them to be involved because they need the practice prior to being able to be a provider on their own.

Policies:

Please take the time to familiarize yourself with our list of office policies.  These policies are designed to help you, as the patient, understand what to expect at our office.  Please also understand that these policies are a work in progress, and we will notify you, as an established patient, of any major changes to them. 

   New Patient Paperwork:

Foley Family Practice, P.C. requires that the New Patient Packet be completed in full.  Please read each section carefully and provide us with as much detail as possible.  If you have any items that do not apply to you or the person you are completing the form for, please mark the question or section as not applicable, or none of the above.  The information you provide to us will be put into your medical record before your 1st visit.  The more detail you can provide upfront, the better your New Patient Intake Examination will flow and it will be a more efficient use of the time.

We will make every effort to check for the completion of the forms and the signatures that are required when you give us your paperwork however, there are times when our front office is just too busy to check them when you drop them off. 

Lastly, please contact your insurance company as soon as possible to have your PCP changed to Dr. Foley.  In most cases you can call the member services number located on the back of your insurance card to accomplish this task.  Please understand that if Dr. Foley is not listed as your PCP on the date of your 1st appointment, we will be unable to see you and will have to reschedule your appointment.

 

   Appointment Arrival Time and Same Day Appointments:

Foley Family Practice, P.C. requires that all patients arrive 15 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment time.  The main reason for this policy is so we can have you complete your paperwork, pay your co-pay and complete the check-in process before your scheduled appointment time; allowing us to get you in the exam room on time.  It also gives our staff and you time to deal with any insurance problems, billing questions or other items that may arise.

Please note that if you do not arrive 15 minutes early we do reserve the right to reschedule your appointment to later in the day or to another date.  We generally have a full schedule and if you are not at the office when we are ready for you, we will pull the next patient into the room or pull an acute patient who is waiting for an opening.

We require that physicals and well child appointments show up 15 minutes prior to their appointment in order to complete needed paperwork and give the medical assistant time to complete the additional tasks needed to be done for these type of visits. If you show up later, we do reserve the right to reschedule your appointment to later in the day or to another day. You can always stop by the office earlier in the week to pick up the paperwork and have it completed prior to your visit. That can help all of us save time.

We keep 4 appointments open daily for call ins. They are on first come-first serve. The earlier you call the better. However, we rarely will turn away a call in as long as you do not wait until the end of the day.  After hour same day appointments are considered on a case to case basis.


   New Patient Intake Examination:

The New Patient Intake Examination is the first visit you will have with Dr. Foley.  This is where she will discuss your past medical history, current medications and chronic medical problems that you have.  She will also use this time to discuss your family’s medical history and review our policies.  Using the information you provide, in conjunction with evidence based medicine, Dr. Foley will create a customized plan of preventative medicine, as well as the best course of action for any chronic issues you may have.

This office considers the New Patient Intake Examination vital to your health and requires that all patients attend this appointment.

   No Show and Cancellation Policy:

Every effort is made by the staff at Foley Family Practice to remind you of your upcoming appointments however, it is ultimately your responsibility to remember the date and time of next visit.  Should you find that you are unable to attend an appointment please note that we require a 24 hour notice.

Due to the fact that our schedule is usually full for any given day, your timely notification of your intent to cancel or reschedule your appointment allows us to put an acutely ill patient into that time slot.  If we are not notified, we occasionally have to send these patients to the nearest emergency room, or have them wait until someone else cancels.

Our policy is that we reserve the right to charge* a no show fee of $25.00 per occurrence for any appointment that you fail to give a 24 hour cancellation notice about.  We also reserve the right to discharge any patient with at least three no shows or same day cancellations (less that 24 hours notice) in any one year period.

*This fee can not be charged to any Medicaid program members due to state law.

   Preventive Medicine:

 

Dr. Foley will treat any condition or disease, chronic or acute, that you may have in the best way possible.  She uses all resources at her disposal to give the highest quality of care possible, including referring to specialists as needed.

While she treats these conditions, she also puts a high value on the importance of preventive medicine.  She believes in evidence based medicine such as yearly physicals, immunizations, smoking cessation and weight loss.  She further believes in routine testing like mammograms, Paps, depression screenings and colonoscopies.  Lifestyle modification is one of the key components in building a healthy lifestyle and a necessity to help prevent and treat chronic diseases.


   
Problem Focused Visits:

After your New Patient Intake Examination is completed you will then be ready to be seen on a regular or as needed basis.  Please understand that our appointment time slots are 15 minutes in length which gives us a limited amount of time to discuss and treat your symptoms.  In order to give you the best diagnosis, education and treatment of your symptoms we must limit the visit to only one or two problems per visit.  Please remember that it takes time to perform these services and that each patient is unique.  Even when the doctor is not in the exam room, she is working on your problems.  There are times when she is reviewing your medical history, researching medical publications, contacting specialists or trying to find the most cost effective treatment / medication for your problem.  Basically, there are two choices we can make in regards to treating our patients.  This first is to just herd patients in and out of the office and give quick, short term treatments to each patient, which will result in poor outcomes.  The second is to provide a truly comprehensive, thoughtful, educated long term treatment plan to each patient.  We are proud to be a practice that always chooses the second.

Everyday offers different variables and the amount of time spent with each patient varies.  We can not predict these variables in advance.  Please be patient and understand that we will not rush through any patient’s appointments just because we are running a little behind.  Furthermore, please plan ahead when making other obligations for your personal schedule.  Don’t make plans to be back at work, pick up your children, have another appointment, etc. within an hour or two of your scheduled appointment as you could be disappointed.

 
   Medication Refill Policy: 

§         As a rule, it is the patient’s responsibility to know and understand when medications will need to be refilled.  It is not the responsibility of Foley Family Practice, P.C. to refill medications that have not been taken as prescribed or directed by the physician.

§         When you have no refills remaining on your prescription, please contact our office directly by phone or through the patient portal to request a prescription medication refill. 

§         Plan ahead:  Medication refills can take up to 72 hours ( 3 business days ) to process in our office.  We have to review your medical records, verify the number of refills and ensure refill eligibility before we can present the request to the doctor.  Do not wait until the last minute to request a refill.

§         Requests for medication refills can only be taken during regular office hours.  After hours and weekend requests will not be honored.

§         Medication refills can only be authorized on medications prescribed by a provider at Foley Family Practice, P.C.  We will not refill medications prescribed by other physicians.

§         Please remember that the physician can not diagnose you over the phone.  Any new symptoms or conditions must be evaluated at the office before a prescription can be written. 

o       For example, what you may believe to be a simple case of pink eye could be viral, bacterial or allergic; all of which require a different treatment.  It could also be iritis or keratitis which could cause you to go blind.  This is why we require an appointment in order for us to examine you.

§         All prescribed medications are intended for the use of the patient only.  Prescription medication can not be shared.  It is a dangerous practice, as well as an illegal practice.

§         Non Controlled or Non Narcotic prescriptions require a follow-up or reassessment visit every three to six months, depending on the chronic condition, to ensure that the medication is working as prescribed.

§         Controlled or Narcotic prescriptions require a contract to be signed and are only given out to patients who comply with all requirements of the contract.  Foley Family Practice, P.C. reserves the right to terminate the contract upon notification of any breach of the contract by the patient. 

§         Please also note that no controlled or narcotic prescriptions will be given on the first visit.  There are no exceptions to this rule.

§         For patient safety, Foley Family Practice, P.C. does not refill antibiotics without re-evaluating the patient in the office.

  

   Controlled Substances and Narcotics Policy:

Foley Family Practice, P.C. has a strict policy on the use of any controlled substances and narcotics.  The first policy is that under no circumstances will narcotics be prescribed or refilled prior to or during your first visit.  We must have all the required information on hand and be given the time to assess the risks and benefits of the narcotic medication. 

Additionally, Foley Family Practice, P.C. has a narcotics contract which must be adhered to in full by the patient.  Foley Family Practice, P.C. reserves the right to terminate the contract at anytime without prior notification to the patient for any breach of this contract.

Opioids (narcotic analgesics), benzodiazepine tranquilizers and barbiturate sedatives pose a risk of addictive disorder, a risk of relapse occurring in a person with a prior addiction and there is an uncertainty regarding the extent to which they provide long-term relief.  These drugs also have the potential for abuse or diversion.  Because of these reason, Foley Family Practice, P.C. reserves the right to determine to what extent, if any, a patient may be placed on a narcotic treatment plan.

Please also note that Massachusetts state law requires a visit for chronic pain evaluation every three months or more frequently if the physician feels it is necessary.

 

   Patient Summary Letter:

All patients seen at Foley Family Practice, P.C. will receive a summary letter at check-out.  This letter was created to give a detailed summary of what was discussed during the visit.  It contains a list of medications that were prescribed, the results of any tests (fi received electronically) that were discussed, and a wealth of information concerning healthy living.  It also contains an action plan, or a list of goals, that you may have discussed with Dr. Foley.

Please review your summary letter after each visit for disparities and let us know as soon as possible.
 

   Automated Call System:

Since we opened our doors in early 2005 we have been utilizing an Electronic Medical Record ( EMR ) system.  One of the features of this EMR is that it allows us to place automated calls to our patients.  We currently have three different types of calls that you will be receiving from us.

§         Reminder Call:  We place a phone call ( along with an email and text message ) to you two days prior to you scheduled appointment.  It contains a brief message about what to bring to your appointment as well as the date and time of your appointment.  At the end of the call you can select to confirm that you will attend your appointment or you can select to reschedule.  Make sure to verify you are coming to your appointments when you get your reminder call. If you don't, it is possible we may give that slot to a call in if needed. Should you wish to be rescheduled, you will automatically be connected to someone who can assist you.

§         Group Call:  We use group call to notify a select number of patients of non routine events.  You may receive a group call when we need to close the office for weather or when the Doctor has a scheduling conflict.  You will also receive them to notify you that we have group visits available, weight loss groups available or even flu shot clinics scheduled.  It is a great way for us to contact a large number of patients and notify them of important or informative information.

§         Results Call:  We send out results calls when you have lab or radiology results ready to be viewed.  Again you will receive a call, email and text message informing you that your results are ready.  You will then have the ability to contact a toll free number to have the interpretation read to you or you will be able to log into your patient portal to view the results.
 

   Secure Patient Portal:

Another feature of our EMR is the Secure Patient Portal.  The Secure Patient Portal gives you an efficient internet-based method of scheduling appointments, retrieving test results, viewing health information, updating insurance and demographic information, completing forms, viewing eligibility issues, viewing statements, making credit card payments and exchanging secure and compliant messages with our practices.

For us, as the provider, the Secure Patient Portal gives a secure and efficient method of providing you with answers and results.  Our staff will be able to easily access, organize and respond to patient questions and feedback.  Best of all, you will be able to resolve issues online – improving the efficiency of our staff in the office.  Please understand that it can take up to three business days to answer your questions, so if it is an urgent matter, you must call the office. 

Of course, the Patient Portal is always available for your use.  Simply go to our website at www.foleyfamilypractice.com and click the Patient Portal Access link found on the home page.  This will take you to the Patient Portal where you can either log in or register for your account.

Our current version allows you to:

•View Past and Future Appointments

•Request New Appointments

•View and Update Personal Demographics

•View and Print Forms

•Exchange Secure and Compliant Messages with the Office

•View Directions to our Office

•View Statements

•Make On-Line Payments

•Receive Lab Results

•Request Prescription Refills – Please note that our medication refill policy applies to requests sent in via the Patient Portal.

The one thing we do ask is that you go to the Patient Portal prior to you upcoming appointment to view you existing lab, testing or radiology results so you can be better informed and prepared for your visit.  By asking the patients to look at their results prior to a visit we have found the patient is better informed and the visit is much more productive.  The bottom line is that the patient leaves the visit with much more information than they would if they did not review their results.

Please remember that portal messages should be used only for non-urgent questions. We will respond to them within 3 business days. For all urgent or emergent questions please call the office at 978-249-7300. If it is after hours, you will be connected to the call service who will contact Dr. Foley, or a covering physician, and transfer them to you.

   Appropriate Use of the Physician Call System:

Foley Family Practice, P.C. operates on a 24 hour per day, 7 days per week basis.  Our office has regularly scheduled hours, but the physician is available during off hours for emergent issues.  When you call our office after it closes you are directed to our call service.  Our call service has the responsibility of screening the appropriate calls to the on-call physician.  The call service calls the physician and connects her directly with the patient. Please make sure you make you phone set to receive unidentified calls. If you have questions  on how to accomplish this please ask the call service and they can give you instructions..

Please be respectful of the on-call physician’s time, but also remember that when you need her, she is available.

   Appropriate Use of the Emergency Room:

A medical emergency is defined as severe symptoms which occur suddenly and unexpectedly, and if treatment is not rendered within the first 48 hours on onset, could cause serious harm to bodily functions or even death.

Emergency room services are not appropriate for conditions that have been present for a number of days and have not suddenly worsened as well as conditions that are neither life threatening nor permanently damaging.  The following chart gives a partial list of common illnesses that are not appropriate for emergency room services:

§         Sore Throat

§         Cold or Flu

§         Rash

§         Toothache

Please understand that the cost of an emergency room visit is tremendously higher than the cost of an office visit.  If you are experiencing a medical emergency as defined above, then the emergency room is the best place to go for treatment, but if it is a non emergent condition please call and schedule an appointment at our office.

We will call on all ER visits and Hospital stays. We do this to educate about appropriateness of ER visits, to make sure that treatment plan is being followed and that you are improving and to educate in any way needed so that ER visits and hospital stays can be avoided, if possible, in the future.

   Office Emergencies:

Occasionally, we experience patients who come in for their appointment with an emergent condition such as chest pain, syncope (fainting), seizures or other life threatening conditions.  When this occurs our entire office shuts down and we treat the emergent case first.  During these rare occurrences we ask that you be patient and allow us to deal with the emergency.

   Massachusetts Patient Centered Medical Home Initiative ( PCMHI ):

In October of 2010, Foley Family Practice, P.C. was selected as one of 45 practices in the state of Massachusetts to participate in the Patient Centered Medical Home Initiative (PCMHI).  The PCMHI is comprised of Primary Care Physician offices of varying sizes and diverse patient demographics.  The purpose of the PCMHI is to find more efficient and effective ways to deliver health care to patients and to increase the number of positive outcomes.

A large portion of this initiative is to put the patient, physician and staff together as a team.  By giving more tools and access to the patient we are able to accomplish the team approach.  The use of the Secure Patient Portal; having the physician and patient come up with an action plan (a mutually agreed upon and documented plan that allows the patient to perform life style changes in small increments); giving the patient specific handouts and references so they can research their particular medical condition themselves have all be recent additions to our practice.

The study began by using our diabetic patients and creating a process that we could extract data on each patient’s test results and group them together to form averages.  With this data in hand we were able to assess how we were doing in certain core aspects of the treatment of diabetes, as well as preventive medicine.  This allowed us to focus on areas that needed improvement.  We have implemented many changes, some small and some large, over this time and we have noticed our data has improved on a month to month basis.

The next step was to spread this out to include our entire panel of patients.  Once that was complete we began the process of risk stratification (categorizing our patients by risk).  We now employ a Critical Care Manager who has the task of reaching out to those highest on the risk stratification list and creating a patient centered plan of care for each person on the list.

 

Foley Family Practice, P.C. accepts most major insurance plans.

Call for an appointment

Foley Family Practice, P.C.
78 Brickyard Road
Suite 2
Athol, MA  01331
(978) 249-7300
www.foleyfamilypractice.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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