Let's start here with answering some of the most common questions I am asked:
Who is 'Living Water Adult Family Practice' and What is a Nurse Practitioner? How are you trained? Are you a Doctor (MD)?
No, I am not a doctor. As of 2014, nurse practitioners will be required to have a doctoral degree. This changes nothing. Nurse practitioners will not be doctors until that little MD or DO is behind their name. NP's however, have a Masters' degree or higher, and go through rigorous training. I have more than 25 years as a registered nurse (RN) and Master's degree in advanced medical care with rigorous training in theory, pathology and practice. I also trained with an internal MD for ten years while going through school. Many people are not aware that as nurse practitioners in Oregon, we can provide all of your medical needs as your independent primary care providers. We do not hospitalize patients, however I have an agreement with the local hosptials for inpatient stays. So, who am I? I'm your partner in health care. Because I am an 'advanced practice nurse' my model of care is based on the individual, not the disease. I partner with you to give you the best care possible, and I am not just your primary care provider, but your patient advocate. I also provide all of your medical needs with referrals as necessary, as any other provider might.
What kinds of services do you provide?
Primary care Physical exams, ODL exams, well-women care, well-men care, dermatology procedures, diabetes management. Management of most simple and complex medical needs including hypertension, arthritis, emphysema, asthma, sleep apnea, name something! I am not only your patient-centered 'home base' if you will, I ame able to refer as needed to specialists as needed, just like any other primary care provider. Urgent Care Urgent care visits may be brief - or not. Most of the time I can schedule your visit within 24 hours or less. I depend on my patients to call the office as soon as possible if they are unable to keep an appointment so that I can see patients in need of an urgent visit. WE NOW TAKE URGENT CARE PATIENTS WHO CANNOT SEE THEIR OWN PROVIDER. WE PROVIDE MINOR ASSISTANCE FOR PATIENTS 10 AND UP. Education Bringing you the latest medical updates and helping apply them for my patients requires that we are occasionally out of the office attending teaching seminars. Even in seminars, one of us remains on call as your nurse practitioner and will be available even then. We provide updated patient education for our patients. Recipes Recipes are available through Fabulous Foods - Enjoying Healthy Comfort Foods- which includes tips on how to make your favorite recipes healthy. Healthy Living Society bears a lot of responsibility for our health. The majority of parents encouraged us to eat our vegetables but beyond that, they were not trained to teach us healthy living habits. Thus, our generations have seen fast foods, convenience stores grow and become the norm of our way of living. Part of the education process will be tips on healthy lifestyle changes from diet to exercise to emotional well-being. Also, grown ups bear part of the responsibilty by accepting or denying these food choices. Ah, you can't deny that quite quick. However I can say there are medical conditions that imitate poor lifestyles. Dermatology procedures Hard to get into a dermatologist for routine skin exams and liquid nitrogen treatments? For routine skin evaluations and "spot removals" I can have you make a special appointment just for that. For advanced dermatology needs we can send you to a participating provider. Tobacco Cessation For those who wish to quit smoking yet are having trouble with quitting, we have guidance and are your cheering section. We will work with you at your pace! There are some exciting changes in the way we think about treatment, and it does not include more pills. Weight Management Maintaining your weight is sometimes a struggle, particularly through the stages of life. Pre-pregnancy, post pregnancy gain, mid-life weight gain, and peri and post menopausal weight gain are some of the issues for women. For men, healthy eating patterns are often a challenge and may begin in childhood. I will help teach you principles of weight management across adult lifespan that will help you keep fit. I will also address the reasons why weight may be difficult to maintain for individuals with various medical disorders such as sleep apnea, thyroid dysfunction, PCOS and diabetes. See the "Weight Control" section. Diabetes Management
Basic diabetes management is managed in the office by me. Complimentary and Alternative Medicines I believe in the right of an individual’s desire to maintain their health with traditional medicine and alternative medications including vitamins, minerals and herbals. I heavily rely on the NIH for up to date information. Associations I am nationally board certified through the ANCC and am a member of the Society of Hospital Medicine. Mary Baker is board certified through the AANP (American Association of Nurse Practitioners.)
How are you licensed?
Through the State Board of Nursing for advanced practice, and Board certified with national exams, recognized by all major insurances and credentialed locally with Mid Rogue Independent Physicians and CareSource, Family Care and nationally by Medicare as primary care providers.
How do I pay you?
Bring your insurance information with you to your visits and especially with any change in insurance. Your insurance is billed just like any other provider. Because I am not a specialist (i.e. a surgeon, rheumatologist, endocrinologist, you get the idea) your co-pay if you have one, will be the same as any other primary care provider (i.e. Family Physician). Don't forget to look at the SYNAPSE page. This has some exciting new information on affordable health care. BECAUSE OF THE CHANGES TO HEALTH CARE, I WILL PRIMARILY RELY ON CASH PAY. The changes due to the ACA require twice the time and paperwork for me, and the government and your insuranve company now has free access to the electronic medical records that should be private information between you and me!
If my Doctor retired or moved, can I come to you as a patient?
Absolutely. As noted above, I will be accepting cash pay only.
What if I get sick on the weekend?
Remember, I am on call 24 hours a day. You can reach me the on call after hours phone at 541-450-4520. This number is not for narcotic refills or scheduling.
Another word about getting sick. I'm a human being too, and sometimes I get sick took. I will do my UTMOST to give you notice asap so that you don't show up at 9 AM when I won't be coming in.
A WORD ABOUT CANCELLATIONS AND NO SHOWS:
I'm a pushhover, you can ask anyone in the office. We try to reschedule patients as soon as possible.We call all of our patients to remind them of their appointments, yet we still have people who just don't show up. Sadly, that's an X and three strikes in a row is one of the foremost reasons for being released from the practice. I ask for at least 24 hours business day (not Friday) that you will not be showing, this gives us the ability to fill the spot we kept for you. A WORD ABOUT THE PHONE SYSTEM: ITS BETTER!
A WORD ABOUT ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS: Because of new healthcare legislation, we are mandated to use secure but convoluted computer systems (in fact, all providers) that are now at the whimsy of your insurance company or Medicare or OHP. All providers now face fines for not having this in place. It has been a frustrating and burdensome transition for us to learn a system and waiting times in the lobby had become untenable. You will find this going on in every practice. Please call the office an hour before your appointment and simply ask if we are on time. Occasionally, one of us will have a cancellation and our receptionist will be able to get you in where that cancellation has occured. We appreciate any condolances for my loss of freedom in your health care, it's tough arguing with Congress and your insurance fitting in the room at the same time... That being said, I tend to spend more time with patients and occasionally, there are patients that requires a LOT more time than expected that day. When you become frustrated, remember this: your time may come for the same in depth care. You can also reschedule, go shopping or get lunch if I am an hour behind, just let the receptionist know that you are going to make that change.
Providing Health Care for the Whole Person
Living Waters Family Practice 181 NW Bunnell Ave Grants Pass, Oregon 97526 541-474-9400