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A list of Frequently Asked Questions:

Dr. Smiley, pediatrician in Gwinnett county serving Lawrenceville

Common Questions

Immunization Related Questions

Common Questions About Our Rules/Procedures

Insurance Related Questions

Common Questions

  • Are You Accepting New Patients?
    Yes, we are accepting new patients. New Patients should have their previous medical records available when making an appointment. Check our list of insurances to make sure we accept yours. [Back to Top]
  • I am delivering at Gwinnett Medical Center, how do I notify the hospital that I have chosen GPAM as my pediatrician?
    Your OB will give you paperwork to fill out for the hospital delivery. This paperwork will ask you to designate your pediatrician. You can enter Gwinnett Pediatrics or the name of one of our pediatricians. Neonatology will see your baby in the hospital and we will follow 48-72 hours after you go home. [Back to Top]
  • What if I am delivering at a hospital other than Gwinnett Medical Center?
    There is a neonatology group at all other hospitals that will see your baby while in the hospital. Plan to bring your baby to the office 48-72 hours afater discharge.[Back to Top]
  • When does a GPAM provider see my new baby?
    Your newborn baby should be seen in our office 2-4 days after being discharged from the hospital. [Back to Top]
  • What are your doctor's philosophies?
    All of our doctors are board-certified by the most conservative pediatric credentialing board in the US. We adhere to recommendations made by this and other conservative sources. We do not endorse holistic medicine, herbal remedies or alternative-medicine, or deviate from established medical practices. We prefer under-medicating to over-medicating and do not give out antibiotics "to keep your child from getting sick next weekend." [Back to Top]
  • How do I get an appointment if my child is sick?
    Call our appointment line at 770-995-0823 or use our "app". If you have questions on whether or not your child should be seen, please talk to an advice nurse. [Back to Top]
  • Do I have to/can I have one particular doctor?
    No you don't have to, but you can if you want to. Pick your doctor, or take "first-available". Because of our advanced technology, all of our providers have the same information about your child available to them, regardless of which office you go to. Our doctors work at different offices on different days, so you may have to travel between offices in order to stick with one doctor. Due to vacations, time off or previously scheduled patient-load, it may not be possible to stick with one particular physician if your child needs immediate medical attention. [Back to Top]
  • So, what if my child gets sick after your hours?
    If there is a genuine, life-threatening medical emergency, call 911. When our office is closed, a medical answering service will take your call. If necessary, you will be forwarded to the team of Pediatric Specialists at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. They will dispense medical advice according to rigid medical protocols. Should your child need the attention of one of our physicians, they will immediately contact us and one of our doctors will call you back shortly. In case of a very serious illness or injury, we will refer you to the ER. If your child has a minor illness, we will direct you to see a pediatrician at KidsTime Pediatrics or CHOA Urgent Care. Please see our Physician On-Call Policy. [Back to Top]
  • Where should I take my child if he/she is ill after hours?
    If you experience a medical emergency, call 911. Otherwise, we recommend that your child be seen at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). CHOA has two pediatric emergency rooms where you child can be seen. You can get more information by calling 404-250-KIDS or visiting www.choa.org. [Back to Top]
  • What if I have a medical question after hours?
    If you experience a medical emergency, call 911. Poison Control phone number is 1-800-222-1222.

    For routine questions, please call our office during business hours.

    If you feel your question cannot wait until morning you can call the 24 hour FREE advice line listed on your insurance card Or you can call our office number and you will be connected with our answering service. The answering service will arrange for you to speak with a pediatric phone advice nurse from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) (www.choa.org). To do this, you will need to give the answering service a phone number where you can be reached. It may take up to one hour for the CHOA nurse to call you. If you feel unable to wait, then you should take your child to the closest pediatric emergency room. The CHOA nurses are very well trained to handle after hour emergency calls. If the CHOA nurse has any concerns about your child, he/she will arrange thru our answering service to have the GPAM on call pediatrician paged. It may take up to one hour for the pediatrician to call you back. If you feel unable wait, then you should take your child to the closest pediatric emergency room.

    If you have caller ID block on your phone, it MUST be disabled in order to get a return call from the on call pediatrician. If you do not disable the caller ID block on your phone, you will not be able to speak with the pediatrician. At times, the on call pediatrician may call you from a number that is not blocked. It is NOT acceptable to call the pediatrician back at that number. If you need to speak with the pediatrician again, call the office number and notify the answering service. You may be charged $15.00 for after hour advice.

    The GPAM pediatricians take turns being the on call pediatrician. Thus, the on call pediatrician is unlikely to be the same pediatrician you may have seen in the office. The on call pediatrician is not at the office or hospital. The on call pediatrician is at home and has a pager on which he/she receives messages from the answering service. The answering service sends a page to the pediatrician with your child’s name, phone number, and a very brief statement about what your call is regarding. The CHOA nurse with whom you initially speak does not relay any information to the on call pediatrician. The on call pediatrician does not have access to your child’s medical record. As the pediatrician receives many pages, it is important to present your reason for calling clearly and succinctly. The pediatrician will ask you questions. Your child should be with you at the time of the call. You should inform the pediatrician if your child has any chronic medical problems (i.e. diabetes, congenital heart disease). The on call pediatrician cannot make a medical diagnosis over the phone. He/she can only provide limited advice. The pediatrician may advise that your child be seen at a pediatric emergency room.

    The on call pediatrician will NOT call in medications. There are NO exceptions. If you feel your child needs a prescription medication after hours, then your child must be seen. We do NOT call in refills of any medications after hours. There are NO exceptions. You must call the office during normal business hours for medication refills. [Back to Top]
  • What are your office hours on holidays?
    We are closed Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.

    We work a limited schedule on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. If Christmas  or New Years  falls on a Sunday, we will be closed the next day;. We have normal business hours on Martin Luther King Day. [Back to Top]
  • Do you use Nurse Practitioners?
    Yes, we do. We believe that Certified Nurse Practitioners play a vital role in pediatric medicine. Our Nurse Practitioners have extensive training both in medicine as well as nursing care. If your child is seeing one of our Nurse Practitioners you will find that they are being seen by a very competent specialist who is in constant communication with our physicians. Our Nurse Practitioners are certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. [Back to Top]
  • How Do I take a rectal temperature?
    Position your baby on his/her back on a changing table. Spread apart your baby’s buttocks with one hand. Use the other hand to grasp the thermometer between you middle and index finger. Gently insert the bulb of the thermometer about 1 inch (2.5cm) into the rectum or until the tip of the thermometer disappears. Keep a firm grasp on the buttocks by cupping them with the palm and fingers of the hand that is holding the thermometer. [Back to Top]
  • What over the counter cold medicines can I give my child?
    The FDA (www.fda.gov) has completed a review of information about the safety of over-the-counter cough and cold medications in infants and children under 2 years of age. The FDA is recommending that these drugs NOT be used to treat infants and children under 2 years of age because serious and potentially life-threatening side effects can occur. The FDA has not completed its review of information about the safety of OTC cough and cold medications in children ages 2 to 11 years. We recommend that you call our office during business hours to speak with one of our phone advice nurses if you have any questions about using over-the-counter cough and cold medications in children over 2 yrs of age. We have the tylenol and motrin dosages on our website.[Back to Top]

Immunization Related Questions

  • What is your immunization policy?
    We strongly believe in the importance of immunizations. We believe it is important to adhere to an immunization schedule for all children.  [Back to Top]
  • When do you give the flu vaccine?
    The flu vaccine is routinely given prior to the start of the winter flu season. We usually give flu vaccine sometime in the fall. The specific date depends on when we receive it from the vaccine manufacturer. In the fall, look for specific information posted on our website. [Back to Top]
  • How do I get a copy of my child’s immunization record?
    You can request a copy of your child’s immunization record at any office visit. Simply request a copy to be printed at the checkout desk. Request forms are online or send a request via your patient portal.

Common Questions About our Rules/Procedures

  • What does it mean "Urgent Care Only" on the Saturday hours?
    We are only open on Saturdays for medical needs which must be met and cannot be postponed until Monday. Examples of an "urgent sick visit" would be one where your child significantly worsened on Friday night or woke up with a high fever, severe diarrhea or vomiting on Saturday. [Back to Top]
  • Why can't I get a prescription phoned in when my child is sick?
    To ensure the most appropriate medical care, we feel that your child should be examined before prescribing any medication.  [Back to Top]
  • Why can't I get my Ritalin/Adderall phoned in and why do I have to keep coming in for a recheck?
    Medicines such as these are strictly controlled substances and the procedures for dispensing them are strictly regulated by the FDA.  These prescriptions require a visit every 3 months. [Back to Top]
  • Why can’t I get a prescription refilled after hours?
    The on call pediatrician does not have access to your child’s medical record. Thus, he/she cannot refill any medications after hours. Please call during business hours for prescription refills. [Back to Top]
  • Do I need an appointment?
    Yes. It is highly recommended that you schedule your appointments as far in advance as possible. However, we do offer same day sick appointments to those children who are sick and need to be seen on that day. We do not allow "walk-ins." Our phones line open at 7:30 a.m. Please see our "Walk-in Policy." [Back to Top]
  • I have a hard time getting in on your phone system. Why can't there be a live operator who will answer my call?
    When placing a call to our central phone number, our system gives you essential information and many options to choose from. By allowing you to choose at that point is much better than having you wait 15 minutes on the phone only to have someone tell you that you will have to be transferred. If you prefer not to hold, we have an excellent phone mail system which allows you leave a message and we will call you back. Dont forget our "app" to see if appointments are available. [Back to Top]
  • How do I get my Lab results?
    As of January 2016 we will put all labs into your patient portal. Make sure you are signed up or click the portal link on our home page.  Our old system used Labcalls -- this will no longer be available after 1/23/2016. If you don't have portal access click here.
  • What labs are done in your office?
    We can only run a few selected labs in our office. We are able to perform the following labs in our office: rapid strep test, flu test, urinalysis,lipid panel and complete blood count.  Your doctor will give you the results before you leave the office.[Back to Top]
  • What if my child needs labs that are not performed in your office?
    If your child requires additional labs, we will send him/her to an outside lab. Your insurance will dictate where your child can have labs done. this will be a separate bill. Lab Results will be sent to the patient portal and an email will be sent to the guarantor email on file notifying you that results are in the patient portal. [Back to Top]
  • What if my child needs an x-ray?
    If your child requires an imaging study, we will send you to an outside facility for it to be performed. There will be separate billing from that facility for your procedure and interpretation. [Back to Top]

Insurance Related Questions

  • Do you bill for "Secondary" insurance coverage?
    Yes, for certain payors we do. Should you wish to file with another secondary carrier, we will supply you with the necessary statements to do so. [Back to Top]
  • Why does it take you six months to bill me for something the insurance company did not pay for?
    We do bill as soon as we can after the insurance company has issued its final determination (EOB). Therefore, it could be nearly six months before we send you an updated statement. Please check the portal.  The portal can tell you your current balance.[Back to Top]
  • Why do I have to call your office for a referral?
    Insurance companies use the referral system as a way of controlling costs and they impose strict guidelines on referrals. In most cases, the referral is made by a computer when we type in the information we know about you. After we do so, their referral computer will generally respond with a referral number.  We will send a copy of your referral to your patient portal. Any questions for the referral coordinator, please send a message via the patient portal system. [Back to Top]
  • I properly submitted my request for a referral to your office but when I arrived at my specialist's office, they told me that they did not have a referral from you and I would have to wait until you sent it.
    We keep rigorous records of requests for referrals (including telephone logs of those requests) and copies of confirmations of those requests being sent to specialists. With such record-keeping, we are able to locate the status of a referral request within a few minutes. [Back to Top]

 

 



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