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City of Angels dermatology Gardening couple for FAQs

FAQ

Answering your concerns about what to expect

When you choose a dermatologist, you should feel completely at ease with the care you receive. To help you feel comfortable with our practice, we have assembled a list of a few of the questions our patients ask us most often.

If your question isn’t answered here, please contact us.  If you have a idea or suggestion for how we could do better please visit our feedback forum and vote for the ideas or add you own to the discussion.

 

Skin Cancer

What are the warning signs of skin cancer?
The best way to detect skin cancer on your own skin is by using the ABCD’s of melanoma for the majority of lesions/moles.

  • A – Asymmetry: One half of the mole doesn’t match the other half.
  • B – Border Irregularity: The border is jagged or irregular, rather than smooth and even.
  • C – Color: Moles dark in color with black, blue, white or red areas, or variable shades of brown, are suspicious for melanoma.
  • D – Diameter: If greater than 6 mm (about the size of a pea) there is a greater chance of malignant melanoma.
  • E – Evolving: A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color.

Also, sites on your skin that itch, scale or bleed could be signs of possible skin cancer. No matter the signs, the only way to accurately tell if a mole is cancerous is by having your dermatologist perform a biopsy, which is the removal of a small amount of skin tissue used for laboratory testing.

Dry Skin

I have a white flaky, itchy substance that is appearing on my skin, what is it? 
This could be as simple as Seborrheic Dermatitis (another term for dandruff) or it could be a skin disease known as psoriasis, which causes your skin to become inflamed, producing red, thickened patches with silvery scales, often called plaques.

What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that affects up to 3% of Americans. The skin rash causes redness and itch skin and can affect a small portion of the body or cover large parts of the body with silver-white patches called scales. Most cases of Psoriasis are mild but it can affect the joints and nails and if not controlled it can decrease your quality of life. One of the board-certified dermatologists at City of Angels Dermatology can recommend an appropriate treatment program to control and manage your Psoriasis.

Skin Rash

I have a skin rash, what should I do? 
A skin rash occurs when you have a skin irritation.  Your may get a skin rash called scabies from an insect or parasite bite or from a viral infection like herpes zoster or a bacterial infection like impetigo or from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Skin rashes may also occur as a symptom of a more serious disease, such as liver disease, kidney disease, or some types of cancer. A rash may be a sign of a chronic skin problem, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis. Weather or emotional stress can also lead to an itchy skin rash.  If your skin rash persists speak with your dermatologist about skin rash treatments.

Cosmetic treatments

Does the practice offer cosmetic services?
City of Angels Dermatology dermatologist and medical skincare specialist provide cosmetic and aesthetic services including Botox, Radiesse, Restylane, Vein treatments, Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion, Medical Facials and a full line of medical grade skin care products that help you look and feel healthy and more youthful.  Cosmetic services are not covered by insurance and must be paid for at time of service.

I’m interested in getting a cosmetic procedure to smooth my wrinkles. What is the best skin care treatment?
Botox® treatments effectively reduce eye wrinkles, forehead wrinkles and face wrinkles. The treatment is fast and effective and usually involves little to no down time.  Your will see the results of your Botox treatment within 2 to 5 days. Your dermatologist can also recommend many other procedures which smooth and soften wrinkles, such as chemical peels, Radiesse or Restylane treatment. All of these procedures are safe and effective and most require multiple treatments for the best skin care results.

 

General Office Procedures Questions

How quickly can I get an appointment?
City of Angels Dermatology believes that you should not have to wait to see your dermatologist. We can usually schedule an appointment within 2-4 days, even for new patients. We can often get you in to see the doctor on the same day if your concern is urgent.

While we will do our best to schedule you quickly we appreciate it when you schedule your routine appointments at least a month in advance and ask that you schedule your follow-up appointments before you leave the office.

What form of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, personal checks, and credit card payments with Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

Which insurance plans do you accept?
City of Angels Dermatology accepts most private insurance plans as well as Medicare. In addition we accept a few HMO plans when the patient is able to present a valid authorization for the visit.  Please checkout our accepted insurances page for more information about whether our practice participates in your insurance plan or contact our Medical Billing Department via email to get all of your questions answered.

To make it easier for patients City of Angels Dermatology we send an insurance claim to your insurance plan on your behalf.  If you elect to have us bill your insurance first we require that you authorize our office to automatically charge your credit card or checking account only for the amount your insurance company says you should pay once your insurance claim has been processed.  If you would rather pay at time of service, our front office staff will provide you with an itemized claim form that you may submit to your insurance company for reimbursement, subject to your insurance company restrictions.

It is your responsibility as the patient to understand the details of your medical insurance benefits prior to office visit.  While our office staff has a good general understanding of medical insurance they are not equipped to understand the particulars of any patient’s medical benefits.  Please discus with your insurance company your benefits before your office visit.

How much time should I allot for an office visit?
We generally tell patients to allow at least one hour from their appointment time to the time they leave.  Sometimes medical emergencies occur, which may affect your wait time.

Do you accept MediCal?
We do not accept MediCal.  We accept Medicare however, if your secondary is MediCal you will be responsible for 20% not covered by Medicare.  See our accepted insurances page for details.

Do you accept walk-in appointments?
We carefully balance our doctors’ schedules daily to maximize our level of patient care; therefore, we are unable to accommodate unscheduled patients. However, we will gladly schedule you for the next available appointment.

How much experience do your doctors have?
All of the doctors at City of Angels Dermatology are board-certified and have been trained at some of the most prestigious universities in the country.  On average our doctors have more than 15 years of experience meeting the needs of their patients and the medical community.

When can I get my lab results?
There’s nothing more unsettling than a long wait to get the results of a biopsy or other lab test. City of Angels Dermatology typically receives pathology results within 5 days of your office visit.  Patients usually schedule a follow-up office visit to discuss lab results with the doctor at the time the biopsy is performed. If you, would like to receive your results before your return visit simply let the staff know and you will be contacted by one of the medical assistants when the results arrive.

How much does an office visit cost?
If you are covered under a participating insurance plan and you elect for us to bill your insurance first, you’ll pay your standard co-payment. Check your insurance provider’s information for details on co-payment amounts. If you do not have insurance to cover your visit, you can expect to pay for your initial consultation and any procedure performed.  Until you are seen by the doctor the cost of your office visit cannot be determined. If you need an estimate please contact the office and the front office staff will be able to provide you with an estimate.

Does insurance cover cosmetic procedures?
Insurance companies do not cover cosmetic procedures. You should contact your insurance provider to find out its policy.

 

How do you bill for the services I received?
We give our patient’s two options to pay for services received…

  1. 1.       Pay at time of service or
  2. 2.       Bill my insurance company first 

Cosmetic treatments must be paid at time of service. If you ask us to bill your insurance company first we require that you leave a credit card (soon you also will be able to use a check).  Once your insurance company replies to the claim we submit and tells us the portion of your bill, if any, that is your responsibility we will alert you via email or text message before we automatically charge your credit card or checking account for the amount your insurance company says you owe.  When you receive the alert you can reply or call with a different form of payment if desired.  We will only charge you the portion that your insurance company says is your responsibility.  We are happy to provide you will an itemized bill that you can submit to your insurance company if you elect to pay at time of service.

I have HMO do I need an authorization?
HMO patients are responsible for getting an authorization from their primary care physician and to share that authorization number with our front office staff when making your appointment.  If you require a follow-up visit our office staff will give you the authorization request that you must deliver to your primary care physician and obtain an additional authorization for your follow-up visit.  A new authorization is needed for each office visit.  We are not able to get these authorizations for you.

One of your locations is close to my home and another is close to my office. Can I use them both?
A benefit of being a City of Angels Dermatology patient is that you can choose any of our locations for treatment. All services are available at all locations including access to our surgery centers. You medical record is available to our staff from any of our locations. It is easy for you to change office locations, or switch back and forth between offices as often as you like.

I haven’t seen the doctor in a year. Can you still call in a prescription for me?
If it’s been 6 months or more since your last visit, you will need to come in and see the doctor to get a prescription. We require this for your safety. The doctor needs to evaluate how you’re doing and to be sure that your old prescription is still appropriate.

How do I contact the office?
We offer 24/7 access to our office via our patient portal. Our patient portal allows you to handle your routine request any hour day or night without the need to reach us on the telephone.  Medical questions, appointment request, prescription refill request etc can be make anytime you like and our staff will promptly respond to your request, usually within 24 hours or less.  If your request is made afterhours, late afternoon on Friday, during the weekend or holiday the staff will respond on the next regular business day.
If you have a question that isn’t answered here, contact us or share your thoughts on how we can improve using our feedback forum.

 

Patient Self-Scheduling Appointment system questions

I am a new patient. Can a new patient make an appointment using the system?
No, we are only allowing returning patients to self-schedule appointments. If you are a new patient, please request for an appointment here.

I am a returning patient trying to use appointment self-schedule feature. What is my login and
Your default login is your email address. For example: johndoe@gmail.com. Your default password assigned is your date of birth in “mmddyy” format. For example, if your date of birth is 12/25/1983, your password is “122583”. If your date of birth is 1/1/1983, your password is “010183”.

Can I change my password?
Yes, you can. Once logged in, you can change your password under “Account” section.

I forgot my password. How can I reset it?
You can reset your password by using the “I forgot my login information” link, which can be found right below login prompt on the self-scheduling home page.

Can I change my login?
Yes, you can but we do not recommend it. Once logged in, you can change your login under “Account” section.

I try to change my login and/or password and I get “Please select a different login and password” message.
The login and/or password you are trying to change is already taken. Please use a different login or password.

Do I have to provide a valid email address to use the system?
Yes.

I have children who are also patients. Can I use my email address for them?
Yes, but we highly recommend using a different email address, even if the email address is a alias email address of yours. If you use the same exact email address for yourself and your child, you will not be able to reset your password in the event you forgot the password via the self-scheduling system. You will have to call in to the practice and ask the staff to reset the password for you.

I want to schedule an appointment past 14 days from today. Can I do it online?
Sorry, you will have to call the practice or request online and the staff will schedule the appointment for you.

Can I cancel my appointment online?
Yes, you can.

Can I update my personal and insurance information online?
Yes, you can update your personal and insurance information under “Account”.

Are my information safe online?
Absolutely. Keeping you personal information private, safe and secured is our top priority. Our online appointment self-scheduling system is SSL secured and encrypted with 256-bit encryption.