Many insurance companies do not pay for sports clearance exams and we have no way of knowing if your particular insurance plan will exclude this exam and instruct us to bill you. Please contact your insurance company and inquire if a sport clearance exam will be covered and if a deductible will be applied.
Some insurance companies will pay for an annual routine physical each calendar year, but others insist that 12 months elapse from the last physical before they will pay for another one. We don’t know which practice your insurance company follows. To avoid surprise bills, we ask that you check with your insurance company if you schedule a physical less than 12 months after the last physical.
At your child’s annual physical, we will complete a form which may be used for clearance for sports, school and employment. That form meets the requirements established by the RI Department of Health, and is accepted by all schools and many, but not all, sports programs.
As a courtesy, if an outside organization insists on their form, we will complete the form at the time of your child’s annual physical so please bring all forms that require a provider’s signature to your appointment.
We do not charge for copies of your child’s most recent annual physical.
Unfortunately, some sports organizations (particularly popular football and cheerleading programs) insist that physical forms be completed after January 1st of the current season. These organizations typically do not accept the Department of Health standard forms, and often will not accept the forms dated in the previous calendar year. (It is our impression that some of these popular football and cheerleading programs provide their physical forms to participants the day of the first practices, and insist that they be completed immediately. This puts a significant strain on our office.)
If we are asked to sign a sport’s clearance form – our signature involves insuring that your child can safely participate in sports. If it were a mere formality, the sports organization would not insist on a medical provider signature. Our signature indicates that we have examined your child, and reviewed their record to ensure that medical conditions or recent medical events (such as a concussion or fracture – even if treated elsewhere) do not prohibit sports participation.
In some cases (typically if your child has been seen by us for a sick visit requiring a physical or routine physical exam during the current calendar year), we can use that visit as a sports clearance visit. In these cases, we charge a nominal fee to review the chart and complete the form.
If your child has not had a visit during the calendar year, in order to complete the sports clearance form, we must see your child and do a complete exam and take a relevant history. If that is the sole reason for the visit, then we must bill this as a sports clearance exam. We are unable to charge differently, without opening the practice to charges of fraud.