FAQs

I heard NorthShore was a “free” clinic.  Does that mean there is no cost to me?

NorthShore is not a free clinic, however, we take all forms of insurance including Medicaid, HIP, Medicare and private/commercial insurance plans. NorthShore also offers a sliding-scale or discounted self-pay option based on income for those with no medical insurance or high insurance deductibles. Based on yearly household income, patients who qualify can pay from a minimum of $25 (0% on the sliding scale) up to $65 (100% on the sliding scale) for an office visit. This sliding-scale does not cover lab and other outside fees, however, as those prices are set by third-party providers. NorthShore also has two on site pharmacies that participate in the government’s 340B program helping eligible patients receive discounted prescription drugs.

Since NorthShore is for people with no insurance, can I still make an appointment even if I have insurance?
Yes, we see everyone! No patient will be denied medical care regardless of age, sex, race, religion, or ability to pay for service. Our payment options include: Private or Commercial Insurance, Medicaid, HIP, Medicare and a discounted self-pay option for the uninsured or underinsured.

How do I know that I will be receiving quality care at NorthShore?
NorthShore Health Centers’ vision is for all who seek our services, regardless of sex, age, income, social or cultural standing, or health condition, have access to quality health services in a setting that promotes continuous, comprehensive health care. First, NorthShore wants to be recognized as the best quality health care facility in the community, and secondly to be among the top-ranked community health centers in the country.

Our facilities employ board certified general practitioners, obstetricians, midwives, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, prenatal care coordinators, and community inreach and outreach workers. Behavioral Health Consultants work with our Primary Care Providers to ensure that emotional and behavioral issues are addressed as well as physical ones. We address your entire health and wellbeing and service is provided regardless of ability to pay.

Our entire organization from the governing board to the individual staff members participate in a systematic effort to improve the quality of health care and other services provided at NorthShore. The efforts to achieve quality are collaborative in nature and focus on assessing and improving our operating efficiency and outcomes for all departments.

Click here to learn more about NorthShore’s Mission, Vision, Core Values & Goals.

Family Practice

Are annual check ups really important?
View Medical Minute by clicking the link below for answers on why annual check ups are important.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmvAIluECYI

Prenatal/Family Care

What is the program?
The Prenatal and Family Care Coordination Program provides education, personal visits, resources, special events, and free classes from conception to age two.

What is the cost?
There is no cost to be in the program.

Do I have to be a patient of NorthShore Health Centers to benefit from the program?
No, you do not have to be a patient of NorthShore Health Centers to benefit from the program.

How long does the program last?
The program focuses on pregnancy, up to your child’s second birthday.

When can I enroll in the program?
You can enroll in the program anytime during your pregnancy.

Do I have to be low income to enroll?
There is no income guide for enrollment it the program.

Can I be in the program if I had a baby already?
We encourage you to enroll with each pregnancy, because every pregnancy is different.

What other services are offered by the program?
Additional services provided by the program are: Lactation Program, Car Seat Program, Safe Sleep Program, and Perinatal Loss Program.

Dental Health

Is there a correlation between good dental and good physical health?
View Medical Minute by clicking the link below for answers on the correlation between dental and physical health.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLBRag_KKXQ

 3D/4D Ultrasound:

What is a 3D/4D ultrasound?
3D ultrasounds use sound waves at a pitch much higher than what you or your baby can hear (think of a dog whistle). These sound waves echo back to the ultrasound machine. The 3D ultrasound machine sends these waves at different angles, analyzes the echoes and forms a 3D image. The 4D portion of the ultrasound is a movie clip of your baby in 3D, where the fourth dimension is time. You can see your baby in 3D moving over time, and this movie is saved as a short video clip.

Is getting an elective (non-diagnostic) ultrasound safe for my baby?
In 35 years of widespread almost universal use of ultrasounds, there has not been a single known case of a miscarriage or abnormality attributed to the use of ultrasounds. Its safety profile has been proven over the decades. Note: Women undergoing in vitro fertilization have to receive an obstetric ultrasound every week, and even in these cases, there has been no report of any harm or risk to the baby or mother.

When is the best time to get a 3D /4D ultrasound?
In our experience, the ideal time to get the best images on 3D ultrasound is between 26 and 30 weeks. After 30 weeks, the baby may have already begun his or her descent to the outside world.

How can I get good images of my baby on my 3D ultrasound?
On the day of the ultrasound have breakfast or lunch, then if you are not diabetic, drink something with sugar in it just before you come in for the ultrasound. The bladder does not have to be full for the exam.

What forms of payment do you accept?
Because the 3D/4D Ultrasound is an elective non-diagnostic procedure, you are required to pay by cash , credit card or with our Gift Certificate at the time of your appointment.

Can I get a Diagnostic 2D Ultrasound when I get the elective 3D/4D Ultrasound?
For an additional charge, if you have a Physician’s order, the 2D diagnostic ultrasound can be completed during your 3D/4D Ultrasound session. When you call to schedule your 3D/4D Ultrasound appointment, inform the scheduler that you are also interested in having a 2D diagnostic ultrasound at the same time. You can discuss with the scheduler any other preparation steps necessary to complete the 2D diagnostic Ultrasound.

Will my Insurance cover the additional charges for the 2D Ultrasound?
NorthShore Health Center’s can file a claim through your insurance provider. If the diagnostic test is not covered, you are responsible for the charges using NorthShore’s sliding fee schedule.

Do you have gift certificates available?
Yes, a gift certificate for NorthShore’s 3D/4D Ultrasound Experience makes the perfect gift for a baby shower, for your friend or family member.

Pediatrics

What is a “Well Child Visit” and why are they so important?
View Medical Minute by clicking the link below for answers on the importance of Well Child Visits.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izOA2PHq0z4

Lab

When will my lab results come in?
Lab results can take up to 5-7 business days.

Do I need to make an appointment for labs or X-rays?
No. Walk-ins are welcome, however, NorthShore cannot control your wait time if you choose not to set an appointment.

Medical Records

What do I need to do in order to obtain my medical records or the medical records of my minor children?
In order to obtain a copy of your medical records or the medical records of your minor children, you can come to any of the NorthShore Health Center clinics and complete an ‘Authorization to Release Medical Information.’ Please also bring a photo ID of yourself as it will be requested to verify your identity prior to the release of the medical records.

How long does it take for a request for medical records to be completed?
Although federal guidelines allow a healthcare provider up to 30 days to process a request for medical records, we make every effort to fulfill releases within 1-2 business days.

Do I have to pay for my medical records?
As a courtesy to our patients we do not charge a fee for copies of a patient’s own medical records or that of their minor children.

Can I have a family member or friend pick up my medical records for me?
If you would like someone other than yourself to be able to pick up your medical records (or the records of your minor child), you must complete a ‘Disclosure of Protected Health Information’ form. These forms can be obtained from any of our clinics and they are valid for up to one year after the form has been completed.

Can a step-parent request/receive medical records on my child?
A step-parent can only receive records on a child if (1) they have custody as a result of an adoption, or (2) the custodial parent has completed the ‘Disclosure of Protected Health Information’ form and specified the step-parent as one of the individuals who can obtain medical records on the child. If the step-parent has obtained custody of the child we will require that the legal paperwork regarding that change in custody be provided to use before any information is released.

Can a foster parent obtain medical records on a child who is their current custody?
Yes, a foster parent can obtain medical records as long as they provide NorthShore with the legal documentation showing that they currently have custody of the child in question. The foster parent will also need to complete an ‘Authorization to Release/Obtain Medical Information’ form and provide a photo ID prior to the medical records being released to them.

Will my medical records automatically transfer from my previous provider?
No, you must contact your previous provider and request to have your medical records released and sent to NorthShore.

Pharmacy

How long does it take to fill my prescription?
It can take up to 15 minutes for the pharmacy to actually receive the Rx from the doctor/provider as it needs to be routed from the physician’s computer system to the pharmacy’s computer system. Once the pharmacy receives the Rx, it is usually processed within 5-10 minutes as long as they have not received a high volume at one time.

How much is my prescription?
The Pharmacist is not able quote an exact price until the Rx is actually run through the computer system. However, NorthShore does participate in the government’s 340B program which allows NorthShore patients prescription medication at a discount.

Why doesn’t the pharmacy carry more over-the-counter items?
This is mainly due to  lack of space.

What are the pharmacy hours?
NorthShore has two onsite pharmacies open Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 9 pm and Saturday 8am – 12 pm.