Practice Policies


To improve patient care and to maximize your positive experience at our practice, we follow these policies and procedures: (this is not an all inclusive list of our policies and procedures)


Appointment cancellation and "no show" policy: 

  • If you need to cancel your appointment, we would like at least 24 hours notice.  We understand that there may be exceptions (i.e., a sick child, a last minute change in your work schedule, car trouble), but we would appreciate as much notice as you can give us.  Multiple last minute cancellations may result in a cancellation fee and/or discharge from our practice. We strive constantly to provide a high level of care to our patients.  This includes an ability to see patients as quickly as possible when they need to be seen.  If you do not come in for a scheduled appointment, you have taken a slot that we could have given to another patient.  Multiple "no shows" may result in a no-show fee of $25 (which is not covered by insurance) and/or discharge from our practice.


​Late for appointment:

  • If you arrive 15 minutes late or more to your appointment, you may be asked to reschedule unless the provider's schedule can still accommodate you.  Priority will be given to patients who arrive on time and you may have to be worked in between them, resulting in a considerable wait time.  If this is not convenient, you may choose to reschedule.


Cellphones: 

  • We ask that you turn off your cellphones before entering our offices.  If you must take a call, we will ask you to step outside until your call is completed.  


Durable medical equipment:

  • Any durable medical equipment (such as braces, wheelchairs, walking devices, home transfer equipment, etc)   requests must come directly from the patient.  


Insurance Co-pays: 

  • If you have a co-pay with your insurance, you are expected to pay it at the time of your visit.  If you do not have your co-pay, you will be invoiced the amount of the copay plus a late fee of $10.  This $10 late fee is not covered by your insurance company.
  • You are responsible for knowing what your insurance will cover.  Every plan is different and we have no way of knowing if a particular test will be covered or not.  If you are unsure and are worried about the cost of any particular test or procedure, Please contact your insurance company prior to having the test or procedure done.  


Insurance referrals:  

  • Please call the office at 413.213.0550 for all referrals.  If your insurance plan requires referrals, it is your responsibility to request a referral if you have an appointment with a specialist.  We will need the following information:
    • Name of the Provider/Specialist
    • The date and time of your appointment
    • Diagnosis (i.e., the reason you are seeing the specialist)**
    • **Please note:  If you are 'self referring' to a specialist, we may need to see you in our office first before an insurance referral can be done.  If you have not been seen in our office for more than a year, regardless of why/how you are seeing a specialist, you will need to be seen here first or we cannot do your insurance referral.
    • Many insurances no longer require referrals - if you are unsure about whether you need one, please speak to our office staff or call your insurance company to inquire


Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA) and/or Workers Compensation (workers comp):

  • If you were injured at work or in a motor vehicle accident, we are not able to bill your regular insurance company.  
  • Regular medical insurance carriers will not cover visits for these types of injuries.
  • You must have complete claim information with you when you call to make an appointment for either workers comp or MVA.  We need the following information for workers comp and/or MVA claims:
    • Date of injury
    • Name & address of insurance carrier
    • Claim #
    • Name & telephone # of the claims adjuster
    • For workers comp- the name & address of your employer

** If you have chosen not to file a claim with your employer or your auto insurance company, then this will be considered a self-pay visit and you will need to pay for your visit BEFORE you are seen.   



Paperwork (school/sports physical forms, disability paperwork, etc.):  

  • Before dropping off or mailing this paperwork to us, please make sure you have included your name and date of birth, and any claim information (for workers comp, disability or motor vehicle accident forms).  Please indicate whether or not you will pick up the completed forms or would like them mailed to you.  Please give us 5 business days to complete the paperwork.  Please note:  We cannot complete school forms with immunizations and medical information unless the patient has had a physical within 1 year of the request.


​Medical Records:

  • We will send copies of medical records "provider to provider" at no charge to you.  
  • If you request a copy of your records to you personally, there will be a charge of 50 cents per page for the first 100 pages and 25 cents per page for 100+ pages.
  • We will only release records that were generated by this office.  We will not release records that we received from another provider, hospital or clinic.
  • Multiple requests for records will also be subject to a $25 processing fee, in addition to the cost per page.
  • Please note: if you are transferring care to a new provider, we will only send the last 3 years.
  • Copies of records requested by an insurance company or an attorney's office will also be subject to the per page cost above.


Test results: 

  • Normal test results (labs, xrays, mri's, etc.) will be mailed to you within 10 days of their receipt in our office or posted to the patient portal once they are reviewed by the practitioners.  If there is a critical or abnormal result, you will be contacted by telephone sooner.
  • Lab tests and regular appointments are required for certain chronic medical issues (such as diabetes, hypertension, hyper/hypothyroidism, etc.) every 3-6 months.  We will notify you when you are due for these tests or appointments and will send a 30-day prescription to your pharmacy so that you don't run out of medication.  We are committed to providing good medical care and these tests are part of that plan.  Check with your provider to determine if/when you will need tests or regular follow-ups.


Prescription Refill:

  • To refill a prescription:  Please call our main telephone # and choose option  1 .  Leave the requested information about your prescription refill and please give the office 2 FULL BUSINESS DAYS.  Most prescriptions are e-prescribed or faxed directly to the pharmacy.

  • We do not treat or prescribe medications over the telephone (with very few exceptions).  An appointment must be made with one of our providers to diagnose and treat your medical issues accordingly.

  • Birth Control Medications:  We will fill 12 months of this medication if you have had a pap smear within the recommended time frame from the date of the request.

  • Controlled substances:  Prescriptions for controlled substances (such as Adderall, Ritalin, pain medications) are now prescribed electronically directly to the pharmacy. We will only print and sign paper scripts for controlled substances for patients with special circumstances. 

  • NARCOTIC AND BENZODIAZEPINE MEDICATIONS: We do not manage or prescribe long term pain medications (such as Percocet, Vicodin, Oxycodone, etc.) or benzo's (such as klonopin, clonazepam, ativan, xanax, etc.).  We are happy to work with you to determine what medications and strategies will best serve your needs and will be happy to refer you to a specialist in your area who can take over these medications.


After Hours On-Call Practitioner:

  • Please remember to leave your full name, DOB, and phone number where you can be reached. Please try to speak slowly so we can make sure we understand who and where to call back
  • Your phone must be able to receive call from restricted numbers in order for the provider to return your call 
  • This service is for urgent medical advice that is not severe enough to require a trip to the emergency room but serious enough that it can not wait until the next business day to address. 
  • This is not a substitute for an office visit or for medication refills. 
  • If you believe you have a non emergent medical condition that may require a new prescription, and you have not already been evaluated in the office recently or recently discussed this medical problem with a provider, we advise the use of local urgent care clinics so you may be properly evaluated in order to determine the best and safest treatment  


Miscellaneous

  • ​​You will be required to wear a mask in the office if you are coughing or showing other flu-like symptoms.  We appreciate your cooperation with this policy to help prevent the spread of flu.
  • Children under the age of 12: may not be left unattended in our waiting room.  If you are uncomfortable with your children coming into the exam room with you, please make sure there is an adult to accompany them while you are being seen.  
  • Children under the age of 18:  should be accompanied by a parent or guardian when they come for appointments.  If you are not able to bring your child to the appointment yourself, please let us know before the appointment that the person accompanying your child has permission to speak with the provider and make treatment decisions.  If you feel that your child is old enough to come to his/her appointment without an adult, please call the office.  It will be up to the provider if an exception will be made.  Any child under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian who is able to sign contractual info on their behalf at their first appointment in the office (new patient appointment).

 Swift River Medical Associates

Call Us:  +1(413) 213-0550

35 Bridge St. #1

​Belchertown, MA 01007