For Patients

Appointments

Patients are seen in the office by appointment only. Appointments may be made by telephone to our scheduling desk: (509) 573-3800. New and established patients may request an appointment online by completing the forms below. Please note: Due to the high volume of requests we receive, It may take several days for us to respond to your request.

If you need a same day appointment, your call will be directed to a nurse who will discuss this need with you. Please try to direct routine requests to your provider on days he/she is present in the office. Our staff can advise you as to days off. Always bring to your appointment a list of your current medications or bring the medication itself. Remember that all your problems may not be resolved with one appointment. If you have several problems you may need several appointments with your provider to resolve them.

If you are unable to keep an appointment, please notify the office as soon as possible, no later than 24 hours prior to your appointment. It is your responsibility to reschedule your appointment in order to maintain your continuity of care. Repeated failure to keep appointments without notification could result in a request for you to seek health care elsewhere.

Insurance

Private Insurance

You will be asked for insurance information and any updates or changes when you check in for your visit. This information is necessary in order for our billing department to file your claim. If your insurance requires a co-pay at the time of your visit you will need to pay that fee prior to seeing your provider or it may be necessary to reschedule your appointment.

Insurance companies frequently set fees that are below our customary charges or may deny payment for uncovered services. You may be asked to sign a waiver to assume the financial responsibility for any uncovered services.

If you do not have insurance, our billing department will be happy to work out a payment arrangement for you.

Insurance Referrals

If your primary care provider is a member of this clinic and your insurance requires a referral, please indicate that fact to your provider's assistant before any appointments can be made outside of this clinic. We will send the paperwork for referrals to your insurance. You will receive notice from your insurance company about the status of your referral. If you do not receive a notice after two weeks, call member services at your insurance company to inquire about the status of your referral.

After you receive approval from the insurance plan, you may schedule the appointment with the specialist to whom you are being referred.

If your referral is denied, please contact your insurance company to inquire why. It may be that the referral would be approved to another provider or with additional information. Some insurance carriers do not notify us when the referral is completed so we cannot help you with the information. You must call member services of your insurance company.

If your primary physician is not a member of this clinic you will need to confirm that we have received an approved referral before you schedule your appointment with a physician in this clinic.

Public Assitance/Coupons

We will bill DSHS for your medical charges, when you present a current medical coupon to the front desk upon your arrival. We must have a current coupon for each visit or it will be necessary to reschedule your appointment.

If you have insurance in addition to medical coupons, please be sure to inform the receptionist as private insurance must be billed before public assistance. If a coupon is not given, you will be responsible for the charges incurred. If your primary physician is not a provider in this clinic then we cannot see you unless we have a referral from your primary care physician, a current medical coupon and your insurance information. If any one of these is missing you will need to reschedule your appointment.

Fees

As of June 1, 2010, Cornerstone Medicine operates as an outpatient provider for Memorial Hospital. State billing regulations are different for hospitals than primary care clinics. Patients will receive two bills, one from Memorial Physicians for professional services and another from Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital for facility fees. These statements are sent separately and often staggered based upon an insurance company's processing procedures. We bill insurance as a courtesy and wait for an assessment of patient responsibility before a patient receive billing from us. So, patients may receive the two statements for a single visit at different times.

Patients will initially have an increased out-of-pocket expense which will help meet insurance deductibles more quickly. Like all insurance, once the deductible has been reached, these fees are likely to be covered. For Medicare patients, we anticipate an average increase in co-insurance payments of $12 per visit. We encourage patients to consult their insurance providers if they have questions.

Billing FAQs

Click here to read more about Cornerstone's billing procedures.

Q. What is Cornerstone's relationship with Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital?

A. Cornerstone and Memorial have been partners for the past eight years; we share the same family-focused philosophy of care. This integrated partnership provides the foundation of strength Cornerstone needs to continue serving all our patients, retaining and recruiting quality medical providers, and maintaining services for our community's senior and at-risk populations. We have decided to expand this partnership, becoming a Memorial outpatient hospital facility.

Q. Why are you making these changes?

A. Insurance reimbursement rates, especially Medicare and Medicaid, do not cover our very conservative cost of operations. We now have the solution that enables us to receive better reimbursement and provide enhanced patient access. The Cornerstone-Memorial partnership is necessary to accomplish this goal.

Q. Why will I receive two bills?

A. As of June 1, 2010, Cornerstone Medicine will operate as an outpatient provider for Memorial Hospital. State billing regulations are different for hospitals than primary care clinics. You will receive two bills, one from Memorial Physicians for professional services and another from Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital for facility fees; as you would if you went to the hospital.

Q. Will you still accept my insurance and will they cover the new bills?

A. You will initially have an increased out-of-pocket expense which will help meet your insurance deductible more quickly. Like all insurance, once you have reached your deductible these fees are likely to be covered. For our Medicare patients, we anticipate an average increase in co-insurance payments of $12 per visit. We encourage you to consult your insurance provider if you have questions.

Q. Why do my billing statements look different?

A. You will receive one bill from "Memorial Physicians" for professional fees and another from "Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital" for facility fees. These statements are sent separately and often staggered based upon your insurance company's processing procedures. We bill your insurance as a courtesy and wait for an assessment of patient responsibility before you receive billing from us. So, you may receive the two statements for a single visit at different times.

Q. Will Cornerstone Medicine continue to be a part of the preferred provider list?

A. Yes, this is one of the reasons we have chosen to partner with Memorial. This partnership will allow us to continue providing the same quality service you have come to know and expect.

Q. Can I continue to see my regular doctor?

A. Yes, and your patient experience should be the same when you visit us.

Q. Why are you remodeling and will these expenses be passed on to your patients?

A. No, the remodel has not impacted our fees. The upgrades were due to a combination of compliance mandates from our state licensing agencies and to give the building a facelift. Technology upgrades include a computer in every patient room that is linked to Memorial Hospital resources. Now providers will update patient records during the time of your visit making them readily available should you require emergency care or immediate prescriptions.

Q. What is the purpose of the Medicare Secondary Payer Questionnaire?

A. Cornerstone Medicine is now required at each Medicare patient visit to use the questionnaire to screen for a secondary payer. The purpose of the screening process is to determine whether or not a payer other than Medicare should process the claim.

If you have additional questions, contact (509) 225-2001.

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