• Greenhaven
  • West Sacramento


Frequently asked questions about health care, care options at River Bend Medical Associates, and billing and insurance.

What if I have an after-hours emergency?

A physician is available for urgent medical problems at all times when the office is closed. The on-call doctor can be reached through our answering service by calling our regular office number at 916-392-4000 or 916-392-4939 and following the directions. Please use discretion when calling after-hours as this is for urgent medical problems only. In cases of medical emergencies, go directly to the appropriate emergency room.

What do I do in a life-threatening emergency?

Always call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room and then, call your physician as soon as possible. Otherwise, call your primary care physician for advice on the appropriate course of action.

When should I go to the emergency room for treatment?

In a life-threatening situation, always call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Life-threatening situations are those medical situations that may result in permanent physical impairment or death if not treated immediately, such as chest pains, excessive bleeding and broken bones. You do not need to wait for authorization to visit the emergency room; however, you must inform your primary care physician and health plan, usually within 48 hours of your visit. (Check your health plan rules.) In non-life-threatening situations, first contact your primary care physician and describe your symptoms. Your physician will advise you on the appropriate course of action.

How can I get a referral to a specialist?

Our policy is that an office visit is required for all new referrals to a physician or for medical conditions for which you have not been seen in our office. This policy is to familiarize your primary care physician with your medical condition and to improve communication between your PCP and specialist. Our referral coordinators will be glad to answer your questions by phone or e-mail.

How can I refill my prescriptions?

Our policy is to fill routine prescriptions during scheduled office visits. It is our intention to provide you with ample medication until you need to return for your next visit. Please contact your pharmacist if you have additional refills remaining on your prescriptions.

What information do I need to bring to my appointment?

If you are a new patient, be sure to fill out the forms found in the form section of our website, this will save you time in the office. You should also bring your insurance card, driver’s license or a picture ID and co-payment. Co-payment information will be found on your insurance card. We accept cash or credit card payments only.

Why am I being billed when I have insurance?

Many insurance companies give patients a specific amount that they are responsible for. These are called deductible, co-payments or co-insurance payments.

Deductible – A deductible is a set dollar amount that you pay before your insurance begins to pay its portion of the charges.

Coinsurance – A coinsurance is a percentage of the charge that you pay while the insurance company pays the remaining percentage.

Co-payment – A co-payment is a set dollar amount that you must pay when you receive care in certain settings such as your doctor’s office, physical or occupational therapy department, the emergency room or surgical center. If you have a co-payment it is due when you check-in for your office visit other in-office service. When you owe a deductible or coinsurance amount we will bill you after your insurance company has processed your claims and paid their portion of the charges. We expect payment in full within thirty days after you receive your statement.

Will my insurance company pay for an adult physical exam?

Medicare and most insurance companies will not cover a physical exam. However, there are a few plans on the market that provide this type of coverage. You should refer to your insurance manual or call the number on the back of your insurance card to verify what they consider covered in a physical or “preventative care” visit. Medicare offers a “Welcome to Medicare” comprehensive exam that should be used with in the first 12 months of becoming Medicare eligible.

How can I obtain a copy of my medical record?

Medical records are confidential and will not be released without a signed release form. Certain records can be sent to another physician for continuation of care without a signed release. These physicians are typically specialists we referred you to.

What is the difference between an M.D. and D.O. doctor?

The main difference between the two types of physicians is that D.O.s have been specially trained to perform osteopathic manipulations on patients. They view the patient as a ‘total person” and focus on preventative care. They view the whole body rather than treat specific symptoms or illness. D.O.s use Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) in their practice. This involves the use of their hands to diagnose injury and illness and to encourage your body’s natural ability to heal.

What is a physician assistant?

A physician assistant or physician associate (PA) is a healthcare professional licensed to practice medicine with supervision of a licensed physician. A physician assistant is concerned with preventing, maintaining, and treating human illness and injury by providing a broad range of health care services that are traditionally performed by a physician. Physician assistants conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions.

What is a nurse practitioner?

Nurse practitioners focus on patients’ conditions as well as the effects of illness on the lives of the patients and their families. NPs make prevention, wellness, and patient education priorities. Another focus is educating patients about their health and encouraging them to make healthy choices. In addition to health care services, NPs conduct research and are often active in patient advocacy activities.

Nurse Practitioners treat both physical and mental conditions through comprehensive history taking, physical exams, physical therapy, and ordering tests and therapies for patients within their scope of practice. NPs can serve as a patient’s primary health care provider, and see patients of all ages depending on their designated scope of practice.

What is a triage provider?

Triage provider utilizes the protocols and guidelines developed by the providers of River Bend Medical Associates. The protocols guide triage provider to decide who needs to be seen immediately, who needs to be seen by appointment, and who can be safely treated at home.

Triage provider can also reviews urgent lab results and reviews refill request.