Family Medicine

What specialties are included in primary care?

Primary care is a term used to encompass the specialties of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and General Obstetrics & Gynecology.

What does a primary care provider do and why do I need one?

Simply put, your primary care provider (PCP) takes care of you in good times and in bad! Beyond helping you to stay healthy through routine check-ups and vaccinations, a PCP helps you manage chronic diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure while also treating minor illnesses like the flu, colds and viruses.

PCPs often serve as the entry point for all your healthcare needs. Most of the time, you will be required to see a PCP before you can visit a subspecialty office, get bloodwork taken, undergo imaging studies or receive a prescription for medication.

How often should I see my primary care provider if I’m not sick?

A healthy person with no chronic conditions should see his/her primary care provider at least once per year for a routine check-up (also referred to as a well visit) and to catch up on any necessary vaccinations.

A person with a chronic condition should see his/her primary care provider as often as the provider has recommended for appropriate follow-up care. This could be every 6 months, every 3 months or even monthly depending on your unique needs.

What is a care team and who is on mine?

A care team is a group of professionals dedicated to enhancing your health and well-being through collaboration with one another and with you.

Patients of NEPA Community Health Care have their primary care provider (a physician or nurse practitioner), behavioral health provider (nurse practitioner and/or therapist), dental provider (dentist and hygienist), nursing, care management and front desk staff on their team!

Does NEPA Community Health Care accept my insurance?

Most likely, yes. NEPA Community Health Care accepts most insurances, including PA Medicaid, Medicare, commercial (through your employer), Pennie plans and self-pay patients. A Sliding Fee Discount Scale is also available for those who qualify.

To ask about your specific health coverage, please call our Business Office at (570) 278-5156.

What kinds of procedures are done in a primary care office?

Procedures commonly performed in a primary care office include musculoskeletal injections, EKGs, pap smears, lab draws, allergy injections, vaccinations, skin procedures such as wart removals or cyst drainage, and contraceptive injections or implants.

What if I get sick when your centers are closed?

If you become ill outside of routine office hours, simply call the health center at (570) 278-7500 and speak with our answering service. The operator will then connect you with the provider on-call.

For medical emergencies, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. For mental health crises, call (570) 348-6100 or text 988.

Please note that prescription refills are processed during normal business hours only.

Family Practitioners care for patients during every stage of life, from infancy through adulthood and into older age. One of the greatest privileges of practicing Family Medicine is the ability to care for generations of the same family, sharing in your joys and serving as a support during the more difficult seasons of life.

Our providers value the long-standing relationships built with their patients and do not take the trust you place in them for granted.

Common Reasons to Seek Care:

  • Workplace & DOT Physicals
  • Annual Well Exams
  • Immunizations
  • Preventive Care | Screenings and Health Maintenance
  • Chronic Disease Management | Hypertension, Diabetes, Respiratory or Cardiac Diseases, etc.
  • Minor Injuries, Aches and Pains
  • Referrals to Specialty Care
  • Follow-up Care after Hospitalizations & ER Visits
  • Lab Draws (internal orders only)
  • Sick Visits | Earaches, Sore Throats, Head/Chest Colds, Flu-like Symptoms

Pediatrics

When should I start bringing my baby to see a primary care provider?

Newborns should start seeing a primary care provider immediately after birth. We typically see babies within 3 days of discharge from the hospital.

What is NEPA Community Health Care’s stance on immunizations?

Our providers are advocates of childhood immunizations and will encourage parents to vaccinate their children. That being said, we also want parents to ask questions and voice any concerns they may have!

Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children will not be denied care but are required to sign a declination waiver.

Can my child be seen the same day for a sick visit?

In most cases, yes! It is standard practice at NEPA Community Health Care to reserve appointment slots in every primary care provider’s schedule for same-day sick visits. We will do everything we can to ensure your child is seen the same day.

What if my child is afraid of doctors?

We understand that many children are reluctant to visit a doctor’s office. Our kind and compassionate staff of nurses and providers treat each child as an individual and understand that a little patience goes a long way.

We want to work with parents to make your child’s visit a positive experience for you both!

What if my child gets sick when your centers are closed?

If your child becomes ill outside of routine office hours, simply call the health center at (570) 278-7500 and speak with our answering service. The operator will then connect you with the provider on-call.

For medical emergencies, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. For mental health crises, call (570) 348-6100.

Please note that prescription refills are processed during normal business hours only.

doctor examining child

Our providers have a passion for creating a supportive environment to help children grow up happy and healthy! We want to work with parents to set goals for their child’s health and wellbeing.

In addition to the treatment of acute and chronic conditions, NEPA Community Health Care also offers oral health screenings and provides fluoride varnish treatments during annual pediatric well-visits.

Common Reasons to Seek Care:

  • Immunizations & Physical Exams
  • Health Screenings | Lead, Hearing & Vision
  • Asthma
  • Childhood Obesity
  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Sick Visits | Earaches, Sore Throats, Head/Chest Colds, Flu-like Symptoms

Medication-Assisted Treatment

What are MAT services and who are they for?

Medication-assisted treatment or MAT is a method of treating patients with substance use disorder. In simplest terms, MAT utilizes a combination of prescribed medications to curb addiction cravings and mandates that patients actively participate in drug and alcohol counseling.

Who do I ask about getting treatment?

Patients interested in receiving MAT services should make an appointment to speak with their primary care provider about next steps.

What is NEPA Community Health Care’s process for starting treatment?

NEPA Community Health Care will assist patients in scheduling their initial assessment with a Drug & Alcohol Counselor. Once a patient has been established with counseling, the two organizations work to coordinate a plan of care and the patient returns to the health center to begin medical treatment.

What if I stop going to the Drug & Alcohol Counselor?

If you stop attending and are subsequently discharged from treatment with your Drug & Alcohol Counselor for nonattendance, NEPA Community Health Care will be unable to prescribe your MAT medication until you are able to reengage with their services. However, your medical appointments with NEPA Community Health Care will still be kept, and you will be provided with supportive and/or mental health services during this time.

How can I connect a loved one with your services?

It can be difficult to accept help, especially when it feels like we’re being forced into it. Loved ones of those with substance use disorder should know that patients can make an appointment with NEPA Community Health Care or a Drug & Alcohol Counseling provider at any time to begin the evaluation process or to simply discuss the program in detail before scheduling the appropriate next steps for treatment.

How much am I supposed to share with the provider?

In order for your medical provider to deliver the highest quality of care during this difficult time, it is vital that you share as much information as possible. The more your provider knows about your unique situation, the more resources and support s/he will be able to provide you with both now and in the future. None of the information shared will be used to penalize you or negatively impact your care in any way!

Is there really an “opioid crisis” happening right now?

Yes! The Pennsylvania Department of Health has declared the prescription opioid and heroin overdose epidemic as the worst public health crisis in the state. We feel it is the responsibility of every health care organization to play its part in ending this epidemic. To learn more, click here to visit the PA DoH website.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an evidence-based method which utilizes a combination of pharmacotherapy and behavioral health services to treat substance use disorders. This treatment option is a collaborative effort between NEPA Community Health Care and regional Drug & Alcohol Counseling organizations, such as CleanSlate, DATS or Trehab.

In order to participate in the program, patients must consent to receive care from both organizations. NEPA Community Health Care prescribes and manages the patient’s medication and overall treatment process, while the chosen D & A organization provides counseling and support services through a Certified Recovery Specialist.

Please note: NEPA Community Health Care does not provide pain management services and will not prescribe controlled substances for pain management under any circumstances.

Common Reasons to Seek Care:

  • Opioid Use
  • Alcohol Use