Sea Mar Community Health Center FAQ

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ESTABLISHING CARE
How do I go about choosing a provider at Sea Mar to be my primary care physician?
To establish a provider as your primary physician at Vashon Sea Mar you just need to call the clinic at 206-463-3671 and schedule an appointment with the provider you want. Just let the front desk know you want to make that provider your primary care physician.
Can I choose which doctor?
Yes, you can choose your doctor at Vashon Sea Mar.
Are all of the clinic providers accepting new patients?
Yes, all our providers are accepting new patients.
Do any of the clinic providers limit their patient panels by age, gender or medical condition?
We do not have any providers limiting their panels.
Can I see the same provider each time I make an appointment?
Yes, we try to schedule with the same provider if you make that request. If the reason for your visit is urgent or your regular provider is not available, we will schedule you with a provider who is available within a timeframe that meets your needs.
Who are the doctors and other providers at the clinic? What are their backgrounds?
Our providers are: Thomas Erdmann, MD, family practice; Jeffrey HansPetersen, MD, family practice; Burdett Rooney, ARNP, family practice; and Jessica Wesch, MD, family practice and obstetrics. All are Vashon residents.
What kinds of services can the Sea Mar clinic offer me if I choose to have a primary care physician elsewhere, but might find it convenient at times to go to the clinic to avoid a trip to the mainland? Do I first need to register with Sea Mar, or get into their “system” in some way?
You can receive primary care services at Sea Mar Vashon while maintaining a relationship with a primary care provider elsewhere. No pre-registration is required – that can be done the day you are making an appointment.

TRANSFERRING RECORDS
I was a patient at the clinic when NeighborCare operated it. If I choose to continue there with Sea Mar, what should I do to transfer my medical records?
Once you have made your first appointment here at Vashon Sea Mar, we are able to get access to your NeighborCare records through the EPIC system. We can access some records, but we ask patients to complete a “Release of Information” form at their first visit so we can access all their old primary care provider records.
I want to receive my primary care at the clinic, but I was not a patient there with NeighborCare. How do I transfer my records from my current provider to Sea Mar?
If you want to transfer your records to Vashon Sea Mar from another care provider, you can fill out a records release form when in the clinic for your appointment. There are multiple systems we can access through EPIC as well to obtain your medical records.

COVID VACCINATIONS
Can I get a COVID-19 vaccination at the clinic?
We are offering the COVID vaccine at Vashon when it is available to us from the state Department of Health. We are not scheduling appointments for first doses; instead, we are doing a walk-in, first-come first-served when vaccines are available. Appointments for second doses are scheduled at the time first doses are administered.

INSURANCE/PAYMENT
What insurance does Sea Mar bill from the clinic?
Sea Mar takes most insurance, including Medicaid (Apple Health), Medicare, Kaiser Permanente and numerous others.
How do I determine if Sea Mar will accept my insurance?
The best way to determine if Sea Mar takes your insurance is to call your insurance company to verify.
I’m uninsured. What’s the process for determine what and how I will pay?
We have a sliding fee scale for services for patients who are uninsured or underinsured. This sliding scale and the cost of services are based on your household size and household income. You can view the scales for medical, behavioral health and dental services, in English and Spanish, at seamar.org/sliding-fee. The scales also are posted in both languages in the clinic lobby (while we do not have dental on Vashon, it’s good to have that information for anyone who may go off-island to another Sea Mar clinic for dental care).
What do I need to provide to demonstrate I qualify for a sliding fee discount?
In order to apply, we ask that you bring proof of income to your first appointment. Our front desk staff will help you fill out the application during the registration process, and will also provide an estimate of what you can expect to pay. We are always available if you need help understanding the sliding fee scale; our front desk staff will be more than happy to help.

REFERRALS/SPECIALISTS
How does Sea Mar handle referrals? Can I request a certain specialist? Can I get primary care at Sea Mar while continuing with my existing specialists?
Referrals are handled in clinic by your provider care team. You can request to go to a specific specialist. We do work with your insurance to make sure the cost is covered, as going outside of your insurance may cost you more out-of-pocket. You can continue primary care here at Vashon Sea Mar while seeing your current specialists.
How does Sea Mar coordinate with outside providers or specialists? How are records shared?
Sea Mar coordinates care with your outside provider or specialists through chart notes and the electronic health record system.

WALK-IN CARE AND SAME-DAY APPOINTMENTS
If I suffer an acute injury or illness, can I get care at the clinic without an appointment? Must I first be a patient of record with Sea Mar?
If you suffer an acute injury or illness you can get care here at the clinic without an appointment, and without being a previously registered patient. We will register you at the time you are being seen. We try to keep several appointments open each day for this reason. We are limited in our scope of practice, and are not an emergency room. There is a chance that after you have been assessed by our team, they may determine, for your health and safety, that you should go to an emergency room.
What are some examples of acute injuries and illnesses that the clinic can treat on a walk-in or same-day appointment basis? What kinds of acute injuries or illnesses are beyond its scope?
Some examples of acute injuries we can treat are lacerations, fractures and sprains. We can treat a wide variety of acute illnesses. Due to COVID, however, we are limiting in-person treatment of respiratory viruses at the clinic. We would have you schedule a phone appointment with a provider for the first visit and follow up from there.
Some acute injuries that are beyond our scope include concussions, back injuries and foreign body removal, especially glass – it is difficult to see, and to make sure it is all removed. Objects in the eye also are difficult to assess and remove. If you are having severe chest pain, call 911. If you were in the clinic with severe chest pain, we would assess and then call 911.

TELEMEDICINE
Are telehealth appointments available? Are they just by telephone, or is video also available?
Telehealth appointments are available, both by phone and video. We are finalizing our video process now.

SPANISH-SPEAKING PATIENTS
Do you have Spanish-speaking interpreters available for telephone calls? For doctor visits? Are there interpreters on-site?
We have Spanish interpreter services available by phone through our Health Care Authority broker, Universal Language Services, for all telephone calls and phone and office visits. We do not at this time have on-site interpreters available, but do we do have plans to have bilingual, Spanish-speaking staff.

ANCILLARY SERVICES
What lab services are available at the clinic? Are they available just to Sea Mar patients, or to patients who receive primary care elsewhere?
We offer full lab service here at Vashon. At the moment, we are in the process of hiring our own permanent lab tech. We will continue to provide outside lab orders, meaning that if you have a specialist order a lab you can get it done here at Sea Mar Vashon. You do not have to be a patient at Sea Mar for outside orders to be done.
Can I get X-rays at the clinic? If so, are they available just to Sea Mar patients, or to patients who receive primary care elsewhere?
We have X-ray available on-site. We currently are only providing X-rays for Sea Mar patients.

Questions from Vashon Health Care District, based on input from the community. Answers provided by Sea Mar Vashon, current as of March 4, 2021.