Many questions about our practice are answered here.
Please read them before signing your new patient forms!
Many questions about our practice are answered here.
Please read them before signing your new patient forms!
What Services Do You Provide?
We provide walk-in visits, same day appointments, and appointments scheduled in advance.
For urgent concerns, we are available to you by cell phone.
If for some reason Dr Wood or Dr Hearst is unavailable, our web site, our office phone message and/or our cell phones will direct you to the other doctor. A doctor will always be available.
For non-urgent matters please contact us by email, or leave a voice mail on the office phone.
If you are admitted to the hospital, you will be cared for by a specialist, or by a Hospitalist (a doctor who specializes in caring for patients who are in the hospital).
Home visits may be available to patients who cannot come to our office.
We care for our patients who are admitted to local nursing homes.
We provide flu shots and the vaccinations that are supplied by the health department.
In the office we do pregnancy tests, rapid strep tests, hemoglobins and urine analysis. Blood work, EKGs, X-rays, ultrasounds, CAT scans, MRIs and most other tests will be scheduled at the hospital in Bennington. Hemoglobin and lead levels are the only blood tests done at the office.
Who works at your office?
When you come to our office you often only see your doctor but there is a team here that supports Dr Wood, Dr Hearst and you.
Donna Menneto handles medical billing.
Ned Wood thankfully maintains the computers, keeps the books and all manner of other things.
Lynn Jones RN* gives support to patients with new or complicated problems, sends reminders for needed care and other nursing duties. She also does referrals and prior authorizations.
Katie Aiken* provides psychotherapy on Monday mornings.
Rachel Rodney RD* provides nutritional counseling by video visit
*These providers form the Community Health Team at our office and are employed by the Vermont Blue Print for Health. Their services are free to our patients as part of our being certified as a Patient Centered Medical Home. For more information please see Your Medical Home, the Community Health Team and You , Community Heath Team Policies Regarding the Exchange of Protected Health Information and Patient Centered Medical Home Resource Center
What if I have an Emergency?
If you have what you feel is a medical emergency or an urgent problem that needs to be cared for in the Emergency Room, then please go to the Emergency Room. Please call 911 if needed. We can take care of referrals later if needed.
If you have an urgent concern that can't wait, then please call your doctor's cell phone. (Dr Wood 802-379-5126 or Dr Hearst 802-379-4352. If your doctor does not answer, the phone message will give you instructions. You will also find emergency contact information on our web site Welcome page and on the office phone answering system. Please be aware, the number 844-914-3150 is an in office text line and will only be seen during business hours.
If you do not get an answer to your call within 30 minutes, please call again.
If you continue to have difficulty reaching us, you may try Dr Wood's home phone (802) 753-7288, her family's cell phone (802) 733-8013 or Dr Hearst's home phone 802-440-9670.
Please remember, you are welcome to text 844-914-3150, email, portal, or leave voice messages after hours, but we will not get those messages until the office opens again.
Which doctor should I see?
We ask that all patients establish with either Dr Wood or Dr Hearst. Unless you are directed to do otherwise, please contact your doctor whether it be by cell phone in an urgent situation or email or voice mail when dealing with a non-urgent concern. Please only schedule in with your doctor through the portal. If you can't find an appointment that works for you, then please call your doctor to work something out.
When should I call the doctor's cell phone?
Please call the doctor's cell phone if it is during office hours and you have a concern that you want checked out today (and you are not able to make an appointment on line.) Also call, if you are thinking about going to the ER but wondering if we could take care if the problem at the office. If you are in the ER or in the hospital and you need guidance quickly then a cell phone call makes sense. If you do not have a reliable way to call you back then calling the cell phone is worth it to be sure we can talk to you.
If you have a concern that you think we can address over the phone and as long as we talk by the end of the day (or the next business day if it is after hours.) then you can leave a message on 888-421-6801 and we will call you back.
If you are at the pharmacy and there is a problem with a script that has been called in then you might want to call the cell phone so we can get it straighten out while you are there. If you need a refill and have not planned ahead then please do not interrupt us for that – please ask the pharmacist to send a refill request. Similarly, if you are at the lab or x ray and there is a problem with orders that I have sent over for you then you might want to call the cell phone so we can get it straightened out while you are there.
Can I text the doctor's cell phone?
Please text us to let us know you have arrived at the office.
Otherwise, we would rather you did not text us. Texting is a problem because you don't know if we are available and it is not secure. If you do text and the doctor does not answer then please call.
Please do not text us to deliver messages that could be just as well left at the office. It is disruptive to patient visits and our home time. For example, please do not text us for prescription refills, to change an appointment, or to update us on something that is not urgent. Even if you know us socially, please do not text for these non urgent reasons. If it is just much easier to text, please use the office text line: 844-914-3150.
What is walk-in time?
Walk-in time happens each weekday from 7:30 am to 8:30 am except on Federal holidays, Black Friday and Boxing Day. Unless out of town, walk-in time is staffed by Dr Wood Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.and by Dr Hearst on Wednesdays. Fridays will vary. All patients are welcome at walk-in time. It is preferable, however, for Dr Hearst's patients to schedule in to see Dr Hearst, rather than come to walk-in time. He holds openings in his schedule each day so he is able to see patients on the same day they call if needed. If you need a same day appointment, please email or leave a voicemail early in the day, or call your doctor's cell phone to set that up.
Please be aware that during walk-in time, there may not be time for a long discussion, for addressing multiple issues, or for figuring out complicated problems. A follow up appointment may be needed. Wait times vary depending on that morning's demand. Please be considerate of others who are waiting. Rarely, there may be too many people to be seen during that hour. If that occurs, we will find another time to take care of you.
How do I make an Appointment?
You may schedule an appointment with your doctor through our online Patient Portal. Please see the instructions on the Making an Appointment page. If you are unable to find an appointment that works for you, please call or email your doctor – there are almost always more appointments available.
If you are unable to schedule through the Internet, then you may call and leave your doctor a message, and we will set up an appointment for you.
If your need for an appointment is medically urgent, please call your doctor's cell phone.
How do I get a medicine refilled?
Medication refills are best done during an appointment. Please bring all your pill bottles to appointments, including over-the-counter medicines. Before you leave your visit, we need to make sure you have enough of all of your medicines to last at least until your next visit. The pharmacy will hold prescription refills until you need them. If you are running out of a medicine, it should mean that you are due for a visit and/or blood work.
If you do run out of a medicine before your next visit, we prefer that you email us a request for a refill. By email we can easily let you know if you need a visit or a test along with the refill. You also can leave your doctor a voice message. When requesting a refill, please be sure to tell us the name of the medicine, the dose, how you take it, and your pharmacy. Please give us at least 2 business days to send in your prescription. If you have let time slip up, let us know and we will do our best to get it in for you.
Please be aware that faxes from pharmacies are not reliable. If the pharmacy says they have asked for a refill and we have not responded, please let us know. We have probably not gotten the fax.
Please do not sign up for automatic refills at your pharmacy. This system is unreliable and wastes time tracking down unneeded prescriptions.
How do I get a referral to a specialist?
A referral to a specialist is also best done during your visit. If a referral is needed between appointments, then we prefer that you send us an email. If you are already seeing the specialist and he or she has been helpful to you, we may be able to do the referral without a visit. If you are requesting a referral for a new problem or to a new doctor, please come in for a visit.
Can I communicate with you by messages through a patient portal or through email?
We would like to communicate with you by messages through our patient portal. We check email and portal periodically during the day and at the end of each day the office is open. On weekends and holidays, we will not receive your message as promptly. If you have a concern that needs to be addressed urgently, please do not rely on the portal or email but call your doctor's cell phone.
Messages are a great way to give us follow-up after a visit or to ask a question related to a visit. If you have a new concern or a complicated question, we will probably need to get together for a visit. Your doctor will let you know if your problem can not be handled by messaging and needs an appointment.
We will also communicate with you by email would rather not as it is a violation of privacy rules. If you email us, you need to be aware that your medical information is being stored on the server at Google or Comcast or what ever company you opt to use. If you request that we use email, and feel you can not use the portal then we will proceed but again, do not recommend it.
What is your Patient Portal?
Our Patient Portal is a secure website where you can log in to exchange messages with your doctor and received test results we have sent you. You can also schedule appointments and update your contact and insurance information. This system requires some extra work for you in terms of logging in but it provides greater privacy than unsecured email. This increased privacy is required of us by federal regulation.
You will receive a direct email when there is a new communication posted for you. Automated appointment reminders will also be sent to you by the portal. These emails will contain no medical information.
Each person has his or her own account with a unique user name and password. This means that to find your children's messages, you will need to log in with their log in information. Please let us know if you need assistance, and thank you for keeping track of your family's log in information.
We cannot control how patients or health care providers choose to send information to us, however, portal messages from us are sent with the security of SSL encryption to the secure portal. If you choose to download information from the portal, please do consider who may then have access to it once it is on your computer.
What if I don't have access to email or the internet?
If you do not have Internet access at home you have several options: You can use a smart phone. You can consider using a friend or a family member's computer. You can use the library's computer. If you are looking for an inexpensive computer, ask around. Many businesses get rid of computers as they upgrade.
If you can't or truly don't want to use the Internet, then you may reach us for all needs by mail or phone.
What is your new office texting line?
You can now text us at the office. The number is 844-914-3150. These messages are received along with portal messages during business hours and should not be used for urgent concerns. These messages are limited to 140 characters. They are great for scheduling appointments and other wise arranging care.
If you wish to use text for more extensive communication, we can set you up with a secure privacy protect text account.
What happens if I miss an appointment?
Please cancel your appointment if you are not going to come in. Canceling less than 24 hours before your appointment is the same as missing an appointment as the appointment goes to waste. If you let us know even a day before your visit, the time can often be used by another patient.
Your appointment is for you. If you do not cancel, then the time can not be given to someone else. If you miss more than 2 appointments, it is disruptive to the office and we may ask you to agree to limit your visits to walk-in time, or find another doctor.
How can I get a copy of my medical records?
We will provide a copy of your medical record on CD to anyone that you request after you sign a release. Paper copies of records will be provided with a charge per page.
How do I get forms filled out by you?
Please bring any forms you need completed to your visit. Any form submitted outside of your visit time may take three business days to complete. We reserve the right to charge $10 for completion of a form outside of a visit if it requires more than a signature or if you need it in less than three business days.
Will you call in an antibiotic for me?
In general, we ask that you come to see me for consideration of antibiotic treatment.
Do you prescribe narcotics?
Narcotic medications are difficult to regulate and can be addictive. We avoid their use whenever possible. Patients who require narcotics for more than a month will be asked to sign a narcotic contract with us. A sample of this contract will be available under the Forms page of my website. No narcotics are kept at this office.
Do you have medications samples at the office?
No, we do not receive visits, gifts, or samples from pharmaceutical representatives.
How much privacy will you give my teenager?
We believe that children over the age of thirteen have the right to privacy in their health care. Please expect your teen to spend part of their visit without their parent (or guardian). We encourage teens to share their concerns with their parents. We do not disclose information without a teen's permission unless he or she is in danger.
What privacy regulations do you follow?
Federal law regulates how medical information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. Please review the Notice of Privacy Practice for Protected Health Information and Community Heath Team Policies Regarding the Exchange of Protected Health Information for further information.
We do participate in an Accountable Care Organization (ACO), OneCare Vermont. If you are a Medicare beneficiary, please review theses documents: OneCare Vermont Beneficiary Information, Avery Wood MD LLC ACO participation poster and the Medicare Beneficiary Information Notice.
What are your policies about health insurance?
It is your responsibility to understand your insurance coverage. Please contact your insurance company for questions about your coverage and how fees are paid. Please be sure that your doctor is listed as your primary care physician with your insurer and please bring your insurance card with you to each visit.
We accept the following insurances: most United Health Care, MVP, Cigna, Aetna and CDPHP. Also Vermont Medicaid, Medicare, Martin's Point, Allegiance, AARP, Great West, Harvard, Humana and Maritain. As well as the following BlueCross and BlueShield plans: BCBSVT, BlueCard (PPO), CBA Blue, New England Health Plan and New England Health Plan HMO and The Vermont Health Plan (TVHP). We can not accept Empire Blue, Fidelis and New York Medicaid other than CDPHP.
If you have any other insurance, or no insurance, your payment is due at the time of your visit. We can give you a completed HICFA form that you can submit to request payment from your insurer. You will receive a 30% discount on full payments made at the time of service for any charges that will not be submitted to an insurance.
Please be aware that some services may not be covered by your insurance. You are responsible for your bill if your insurance does not cover your care, or if you lose your insurance.
Copays are due at the time of your visit. If we need to bill you for a copay, a $15 billing fee may be added.
How do I pay my bill from you?
You may pay your copay or bill with cash or a check or if need be, by credit card. If your account is over 45 days late in being paid there may be a $15 late fee. If your account is over 90 days late in being paid, you will be sent a letter stating that you have 15 days to pay in full.
Please let us know if you are having trouble paying, so we can set up a payment plan or make other arrangements. If you have not paid in those 15 days and have not contacted us, we may ask you to leave the practice . In that case, we will remain available to you for emergencies for 30 more days so that you can make other arrangements.
What fees do you charge?
There may be a $15 fee for bounced checks.
There may be a $15 fee for copays not paid at the time of the visit.
There may be a $15 fee for bills not paid after 45 days without contacting us.
There may be a $10 fee for our completing forms outside of a visit.