Primary Care FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for OMP Primary Care Patients

What is a primary care provider?

  • Every patient is assigned a primary care provider; either a physician (medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy) or an advanced practice clinician (a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner).
  • This person is the main person leading your care, and is partnered with other providers, nurses, and medical assistants as part of a team. Visits may take place with your primary provider or other team members.

What kind of services does OMP Primary Care provide?

  • Care for infants to the elderly
  • Preventive care visits discussing how to keep you healthy by preventing falls, cancer, and chronic disease, education and giving vaccinations, and performing a head‐to‐toe examination
  • Management of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, asthma, pain, mental health disease and substance use
  • Same‐day services for urgent health concerns
  • Behavioral health services with therapist and psychiatry consultation services
  • Care Navigator services where we can connect patients to social and community services
  • Procedures for women’s health problems, contraception, skin problems, musculoskeletal problems, pain and more
  • Medication‐assisted treatment for opioid dependence and addiction problems

What do I do if I can’t get in to see my primary care provider?

  • Each primary care provider works as a team with other providers. If there is no appointment for you to see your primary provider, we will arrange for you to see one of his/her partner‐providers. If their partner is unavailable, we will try to arrange for you to see another provider (which may be at another location) to provide your care.

What if I’m not satisfied with my assigned provider?

  • We realize that patients and providers have different personalities, and when there is a mismatch we will work with you and your provider to reconcile the conflict.

What happens if I have a concern after clinic hours?

  • A provider is available by phone through the main clinic number (360) 565‐0999.
  • If you have an emergency call 911, or the emergency department in Port Angeles can help care for your needs.
  • If you have an urgent need, the Walk‐In Clinic is available 7 days a week.

What happens if I go to the hospital?

  • We work closely with our OMC emergency department and hospital team to coordinate your care once you are out of the hospital.
  • If you are hospitalized outside of OMC, please notify us of your discharge and we will coordinate a follow‐up visit and obtain records of your visit.
  • If you are at a skilled nursing facility or rehab facility, the facility doctor will manage your care until discharge.

What happens if I am late to my scheduled appointment?

  • If you arrive past your appointment time, you may be asked to reschedule your appointment.
  • If you continuously arrive late to your appointments, we would like to know how we can help you arrive on‐time. Repeatedly arriving late will result in a conversation with the clinic manager and possible discharge from the practice.

What happens if I can’t make it to my scheduled appointment?

  • Please call as soon as you know that you are unable to make it to your scheduled appointment time. If you notify us too close to your appointment time, we may not be able to fill the appointment. Repeatedly cancelling late will result in a conversation with the clinic manager and possible discharge from the practice.
  • If you do not notify us that you cannot come to your appointment, it is considered a “no‐show”. Patients who “no‐show” take away the opportunity for someone else who needed that appointment to receive care. Repeatedly “no‐showing” will result in a conversation with the clinic manager and possible discharge from the practice.

How should I prepare for my visit? What should I bring?

  • Please prioritize your problems and questions; plan to pick your top 1‐2 concerns. Your care team will discuss the visit agenda with you. A follow‐up visit will be needed if you have more concerns than there is time to address that day.
  • Please bring your:
    • Insurance card, co‐pay if needed, and identification to check‐in
    • All of your current medications and supplements for verification
    • Any relevant medical records to your appointment
    • Any forms you need filled out

What does my visit look like?

  • You are asked to arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment time in order verify insurance and fill out necessary paperwork for your visit with our check‐in team.
  • Visits are approximately 20 minutes in length. This includes time to prepare you for the visit, time with your provider and time to be discharged.
  • The medical assistant will guide you through the visit. The medical assistant will start the visit by gathering information about your medications, vital signs, reason for your visit and perform testing as recommended by your provider. Sometimes they will also assist while the provider is in the room.
  • For visits to address medications or medical problems, we ask that you prioritize your needs and pick the top 1‐2 concerns to discuss. If there are additional questions or problems, a follow‐up visit will be needed.
  • For visits to address preventive health (a wellness visit), providers will spend the majority of the time discussing ways to keep you healthy. If medical problems or medications need to be addressed, a follow‐up visit will be needed or you may decide with your provider to change the purpose of the visit to address those concerns.
  • At the end of the visit, the medical assistant will ensure you have your prescriptions, orders for tests and/or referrals, instructions, as well as a follow‐up visit if this is needed.

How do I obtain a refill for a medication?

  • First, contact your pharmacy for a refill. Use the medication name and dose of medication you need OR use the refill number on the prescription.
  • If the pharmacy states that there are no refills available, try asking for the medication by name. Sometimes a new prescription has already been sent and you are asking for a refill with an outdated refill number.
  • If the medication still cannot be refilled, there may not be refills left on your prescription. An office visit may be requested to refill this medication. If you call your primary care doctor’s office, we sometimes provide a prescription to address your need until your next appointment.
  • We will usually prescribe a three months’ supply with a year’s worth of refills of chronic medications when the dose is not changing. However, some insurance companies do not cover a three‐month supply and you will need to refill your medications monthly.
  • When you see that your medication is on the last refill, it is likely time to have a followup visit with your provider. A follow‐up office visit may be needed frequently if the medication or dose is changing.
  • If your medication is a controlled substance, it will usually require a new printed prescription that you will need to pick up from the doctor’s office. An office visit is required for narcotic pain medication prescriptions and may be required for other controlled substances like tramadol, Ambien or other sleeping pills, pregabalin (Lyrica),
    ADHD medications, and benzodiazepines. We do not prescribe medical marijuana.
  • If a specialist has prescribed a new medication for you and there are no refills available, please contact your specialist’s office first. They may ask that your primary care doctor provide ongoing refills for this medication. Your primary doctor will usually need a visit to discuss this medication before taking over the prescription.

What is your policy about controlled medications like narcotic pain medications?

  • Controlled medications include narcotic pain medications, some anxiety medications like lorazepam/alprazolam/clonazepam, some sleep medications (like zolpidem), and stimulants (like amphetamines). These medications are higher risk for physical and mental dependence, and other negative health effects, including death, and require use of a special license to prescribe.
  • As providers, we follow the Centers for Disease Control and Washington State guidelines on opioid prescribing. We do not initiate opioids for chronic (pain lasting more than three months) pain and minimally prescribe for acute non‐cancer related pain.
  • If you are joining our practice from another provider and were previously prescribed opiates or other controlled substances, your primary provider will evaluate your condition and develop a plan with you for your condition. This may involve helping you safely taper off these medications and find other safer ways to manage your condition.

How do I obtain a referral?

  • An office visit is requested in most cases before a referral can be given. This is important to make sure the referral is appropriate and that sufficient diagnostic testing and treatment have been offered at the primary care level first.
  • Some referral request may be denied by your insurance company, if this is the case, your primary care team will work to find an alternative if available.
  • If you have a preferred provider for the referral, it is best to know this prior to entering the order for the referral. Re‐doing referrals take extra time and delays getting an appointment with your preferred provider. After the consultation is completed, please ask your specialist to electronically send or fax their recommendations to your primary care provider.

How do I get imaging (like x‐rays, ultrasounds, CT scans and MRI) tests done?

  • Most imaging studies can be performed through Olympic Medical Center. If the test you need cannot be performed at Olympic Medical Center, testing at an alternative facility can be arranged. An office visit is requested in most cases before a test can be ordered. This is to make sure it is an appropriate test and insurance authorization may be required. Insurance authorizes testing based on documentation performed during an office visit about the medical problem.

How do I get laboratory testing done?

  • Please click here for laboratory locations and hours. Some lab tests can be done in the office at the time of your visit; if so, your care team will facilitate this.
  • Other labs need to be done after the visit. Olympic Medical Center has several laboratory locations. The results go directly to the doctor who ordered them.
  • If you have labs done at an outside lab (for example, in Forks), we may or may not be able to automatically review these labs. Please have the lab forward results to your primary care provider.
  • If you are requesting a lab for a new problem or something that has not been discussed previously, an office visit will likely be requested. This is to ensure that appropriate testing takes place.
  • You will receive your results by phone, email or letter within two weeks of the test. You may also access results through MyChart.

What if I have a form, letter or paperwork that needs a provider’s signature?

  • An appointment will usually be required.

What is “prior authorization”?

  • Prior authorization is the process by which special permission from the insurance company is obtained for medications, tests and referrals prior to receiving the medication, doing the test, or seeing the specialist.
  • If permission is denied, you still have the option to obtain the medication or perform the test, but the cost will be higher. You can also appeal the denial with the insurance company.
  • Your provider can discuss alternatives if a request is denied.

What is MyChart and how should I use it?

  • MyChart is a secure and confidential electronic system to allow you to communicate with your care team. It is for non‐urgent communication and is part of your permanent record.
  • If you sign up for MyChart, you will receive most test results through this system.
  • If your concern cannot be addressed through MyChart, you may be asked to schedule an appointment.
  • MyChart is not for emergency concerns, as it may take 48 hours to respond. Typically, a nurse or medical assistant will respond to your request.
  • More information on MyChart can be found here.