Addressing Frequently Asked Questions

IF YOUR CHILD IS EXPERIENCING A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, CALL 911.

Common Questions

Are you accepting new patients?

Yes, we are accepting new patients. New patients need to have their previous medical records available when making an appointment. Check our list of insurances to make sure we accept yours under the Insurance & Billing tab on our website.

How do I notify the hospital that I have chosen Premier Care Pediatrics as my pediatrician’s office?

Your OB will give you paperwork to fill out for the hospital delivery. This paperwork will ask you to designate your pediatrician. You can write Premier Care Pediatrics/Dr. Garver.

When should the provider see my new baby?

Your newborn baby should be seen in our office 3-5 days after being discharged from the hospital.

What are your philosophies?

Dr. Garver is board-certified by the most conservative pediatric credentialing board in the US. He adheres to recommendations made by this and other conservative sources. He does not endorse holistic medicine, herbal remedies, or alternative-medicine, or deviate from established medical practices. He prefers under-medicating to over-medicating and does not give out antibiotics "to keep your child from getting sick next weekend."

How do I get an appointment if my child is sick?

Call our office at 406-770-3000. If you have questions on whether your child should be seen, request to speak with one of our nurses.

So, what if my child gets sick after your hours or I have a medical question?

If there is a genuine, life-threatening medical emergency, call 911.

Poison Control’s phone number is 1-800-222-1222.

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

When our office is closed, our normal number (406-770-3000) answering system will give you the option to speak to the provider on call. If the provider does not answer immediately please leave a message. It may take up to one hour for Dr. Garver to call you back. If you feel unable to wait, then you should take your child to the closest emergency room or walk-in.

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 one of the local hospital emergency rooms or walk-in clinics.

What are your office hours on holidays?

We are closed Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

We work a limited schedule on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. (If the holiday falls on a Saturday then the office will be closed the Friday prior. If the holiday falls on a Sunday, we will be closed the following Monday.)

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 nurses if you have any questions about using over-the-counter cough and cold medications. We have the Tylenol and Motrin dosages available on our website.

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. Please see our Vaccine Policy in the About section of our website for more information.

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 vaccines starting 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 Facebook or call our office.

How do I get a copy of my child’s immunization record?

You can request a copy of your child’s immunization record by calling our office or at any office visit.

Common Questions About our Rules/Procedures

Why can't I get a prescription phoned in when my child is sick?

To ensure the most appropriate medical care, Dr. Garver feels that your child should be examined before prescribing any medication such as antibiotics. Prescription antibiotics for colds and other viral illnesses do not work. Frequent and inappropriate use of antibiotics can cause bacteria or other microbes to resist the effects of antibiotic treatment. This is called antibiotic resistance.

Why is it recommended to bring my child in for a yearly well check exam?

Preventative action allows your child to get their scheduled immunizations to prevent illness. You also can speak with Dr. Garver about nutrition and safety in the home and at school.

Tracking growth and development allows us to see how much your child has grown in the time since your last visit and talk with Dr. Garver about your child's development. You can discuss your child's milestones, social behaviors, and learning.

Raising concerns with Dr. Garver during these appointments about your child's health. Such concerns could include development, behavior, sleep, eating or getting along with other family members.

Team approach with regular visits creates strong, trustworthy relationships among Dr. Garver, parent, and child. Well-child visits are a way for the doctor and parents to serve the needs of children. This team approach helps develop optimal physical, mental, and social health of a child.

Why do I have to keep coming in for a behavioral health recheck if my child is on medications such as Concerta, Ritalin, or Focalin?

These prescriptions require a visit every 6 months in office as accepted medical standard of care. These visits allow Dr. Garver to look at growth parameters, side effects of the medication, ensure accurate dosing, laboratory monitoring as indicated and ensure the well being and academic performance of your child.

Do I need an appointment, or can I walk in?

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 phone lines open at 8:00 a.m.

What If I miss or no show an appointment?

Keeping your child’s appointment is very important to maintain their health. Additionally, when we schedule appointments, we set aside time and resources to meet your needs. When a patient fails to show up for an appointment or fails to cancel within 24 hours of the appointment time, it blocks our schedule and other patients that need medical care. Those patients are unable to be seen sooner as that appointment time was held for the scheduled patient. You have the option to receive an appointment reminder card in office and will receive a courtesy reminder call prior to your appointment which will give you the option to cancel if you are unable to keep it. It is the responsibility of the family to remember their appointments. We have a 2 no show policy per family and ask that you please make every effort to keep your child’s appointment to avoid discharge from the practice.

What labs are done in your office?

We can only run a few selected labs in our office. We can perform the following labs: rapid strep test, influenza A &B test, routine urinalysis, pregnancy test, occult blood, and lead screening. Dr. Garver will give you the results before you leave the office.

What if my child needs labs that are not performed in your office?

If your child requires additional labs, Dr. Garver 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. Our office will call you with the results once received and reviewed by Dr. Garver.

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.

Insurance Related Questions

Should I bring my insurance card to every appointment?

Yes, it is important that we have the most current and updated information on file. We will ask to scan your insurance card for our records. Even though your insurance company may not change, your group/ID number, insurance billing address, etc may. We want to make every effort to bill your insurance promptly and accurately. This helps to avoid potential out of pocket costs for patients and saves our billing specialist time.

Do you bill for "Secondary" insurance coverage?

Yes, our billing specialist will file with insurances on record.

Will you bill my health share or ministry?

No, you will be considered self-pay and will be required to pay at time of service. You will receive the self-pay discount and will be eligible for state funded vaccines for children. It will be your responsibility to submit your charges to your health share for your reimbursement. Our billing department will provide a HCFA or billing statement to you for your claim.

Some insurance companies require a yearly coordination of benefits (COB). Do I need to fill this out?

Yes, most definitely. If this form is not filled out and returned to your insurance company, they will begin to deny all your claims until they receive that information. They want this information to make sure they are the only insurance that you have or that they are still your primary/secondary insurance.

Why do I need to schedule an appointment for a referral?

Insurance companies use the referral system as a way of controlling costs, and they impose specific guidelines on referrals. Most insurances will require a visit with their primary care provider to ensure that the referral is considered appropriate. If Dr. Garver does deem the referral appropriate, we must send documentation from the visit in office along with other notes to the referring specialist.