Sansum Clinic
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Frequently Asked Questions

Allergy

Q:   Do you accept CenCal patients?
Answer   Yes. Please note, CenCal patients must be referrred by a Primary Care Physician (PCP) and receive authorization prior to scheduling an appointment.

Appointments

Q:   How can I make an appointment with a Sansum Clinic provider?
Answer   Each location schedules its own appointments; please contact your preferred location directly.
Q:   I am unable to keep my appointment. What do I do?
Answer   Please be sure to call your doctor's office promptly to reschedule or cancel at your earliest convenience possible.
Sansum Clinic's world renowned care keeps our highly-skilled doctors in constant demand. We understand that personal circumstances sometimes make it difficult to keep an appointment. However, canceling late denies other patients the opportunity to be seen during the time slot we've held for you. Because we value the time of all our patients and staff, we may charge a no-show fee under either of the following circumstances:
• Less than 24 hours' notice
• Missed appointment
As part our commitment to patient privacy, the webmaster does not have access to your medical records or appointments. It is important that you contact your doctor's office directly.
Q:   I would like to see my doctor, but his or her schedule is booked for months in advance. What do I do?
Answer   The national and international reputation that Sansum Clinic has earned as a world-class health care facility keeps our providers in high demand. Each of these providers is committed to giving all patients the time and attention needed to maintain those standards of health care excellence. Although we regret that there are occasional scheduling delays with a few of our busiest providers, we are also proud to offer you the benefit of choice from among more than than 140 outstanding physicians. We encourage you to use our Find A Provider feature to search for the physicians who can best meet your needs.
Q:   What form of ID do I need to need for check-in at my appointment?
Answer   New federal legislation has been passed to protect your financial and health-related information. You will need to present a Photo ID when checking in for an appointment. If you are paying by credit card or check, we will need to confirm that your name matches the name on the credit card or check you are using.
The photo ID must include both the patient's name and picture to be accepted.
Some common examples include drivers license, passport, state-issued ID, military ID, school ID, nursing home ID, club/gym/store membership cards, etc. If you are unsure whether your photo ID will be accepted, we invite you to check with clinic staff when scheduling the appointment.
For our pediatrics patients, the guarantor will need to present a photo ID at registration. A child of any ago may present their own photo ID instead of the guarantor's.
Q:   What is a "closed" practice? Can I still see my doctor if his or her practice has been closed?
Answer   This is status designation which applies only to HMO subscribers. It indicates that a physician's HMO practice has temporarily reached its maximum number of subscribers. The physician continues treating all of his or her existing patients, however additional HMO subscribers are not accepted until the practice is classified as "open" again.
Q:   Which providers/departments can I see without a referral?
Answer   Please see "Do I need to join..." and "What is the difference..." above.

Choosing A Provider

Q:   I already have a primary care doctor. Can she or he refer me to Sansum Clinic for treatment?
Answer   Yes. Any primary care physician, whether affiliated with us or not, can refer you to Sansum Clinic. Note, however, that your insurance plan might have additional restrictions (see "Do I need to join..." above).
Q:   I do not yet have a primary care physician (PCP). Do I need one? How do I choose a Sansum Clinic primary care physician?
Answer   HMO plans require their subscribers to select a primary care physician (PCP); for all other patients, we encourage you to select a PCP, but it is not required.
Q:   What is the difference between "primary care" and "specialty care"?
Answer   Some insurance plans require patients to obtain written referral from a primary care physician before seeking treatment from a specialty care provider; so it is important to check with your insurance plan about their specific requirements, if any. Primary care physicians are available at all of our multi-specialty clinics plus most of our specialty care clinics. Our primary care fields include:
• Family Medicine
• Internal Medicine
• Obstetrics/Gynecology
• Pediatrics
In addition to primary care, our clinics also provide specialty care in a wide range of medical fields. Please see our Specialties section and for a complete list.
Q:   What is the difference between a "physician provider" and "non-physician provider"?
Answer   Health care services are provided by a variety of highly-trained, licensed medical professionals. The most recognizable type are known as "physician providers"; these providers include:
• Medical Doctors (MD)
• Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
Many health care services are carried out by "non-physician providers" as well. These are typically supervised by, or in collaboration, with a physician. Non-physician providers include:
• Audiologists
• Certified Nurse Midwifes (CNM)
• Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)
• Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS)
• Doctors of Optometry (OD)
• Doctors of Philosophy (PhD)
• Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
• Marriage & Family Therapists (MFT)
• Occupational Therapists (OT or OTR)
• Nurse Practitioners (NP), including Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (PNP), and Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (CPNP)
• Physician Assistants (PA or PA-C)
• Physical Therapists (PT or PTA)
• Registered Nurses (RN or RNC)
• Registered Nutritionists (RD)
Physicians are usually better-equipped to manage more complicated cases, while non-physician providers are frequently excellent sources of routine care. The quality of care you receive always meets the same high standards, regardless of whether you are being treated by a physician provider or a non-physician provider. While physicians alone are responsible for certain activities such as prescribing controlled drugs and performing surgeries, other of their responsibilities may be shared with non-physician providers. For instance, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants can also make medical referrals, and most states (including California) authorize Physician Assistants to write prescriptions.

Clinical Research

Q:   Are there any benefits and/or risks to being in a research study?
Answer   Research studies may be beneficial for its participants. Research studies help the participant take an active role in their own health care as well as gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available. Also, by being a participant you are helping others by contributing to medical research. Patients are the most important part of research!
As with all medical treatments, there are risks to participating. All known risks are fully disclosed. Some risks may include unpleasant, serious or even life-threatening side effects or it may not be effective at all for an individual participants. Some of the research studies may require more time and clinic visits. Lastly, experimental treatments must be evaluated for both immediate and long-term side effects.
Q:   What are my rights if I take part in the study?
Answer   • The decision to take part in a study is entirely your decision. No one can make you participate.
• You can stop at any time. Your medical care at Sansum Clinic now, or in the future, will not be affected by your decision.
• Sansum Clinic and/or the study sponsor can end your participation in a study at any time if it is felt to be in your best interest; if you do not follow the study rules; or if the study is stopped.
• You will be told of important new findings or any changes in the study.
• Your confidentiality is protected: data from the study may be published, but your name and other identifying information will not be sent outside of Sansum without written permission unless the law allows it.
• These rights are protected by California's Informed Consent Guidelines which include the Experimental Subject's Bill of Rights.
Q:   What are the phases of a clinical trial?
Answer   Phase I
This is the first phase of clinical trials. The drug is introduced into human subjects after years of preclinical testing. The drug is administered at a variety of doses to achieve the therapeutic index of the drug. By identifying the toxic dose and the minimum therapeutic dose, one will determine some side effects and the metabolism of the drug into the human system. At this stage of trials, the number of subjects is fairly small and most of the subjects are fairly healthy.
Phase II
In this phase, the goal is to determine the common short-term side effects and risks. The drug is administered at various doses to determine the most effective and best tolerated dose. The subjects typically have the disease or ailment that the drug was targeted for. The sample size is larger than the size for Phase I trials.
Phase III
At this stage, usually the therapeutic dose has been determined and this is for further identification of side effects or other ailments caused by this compound. The goal is to gather additional information on the effectiveness/safety of the drug. The marketing and labeling of the drug will also be determined at this stage of development. Usually more subjects are admitted into this stage of development. If there are no major serious adverse effects that are attributed to the compound of study, the sponsor will usually apply for FDA approval after or during these Phase III trials.
Phase IV
Currently some aspects can be incorporated into Phase III trials. Phase IV studies are usually completed to determine cost-effectiveness for marketing the drug and the various doses the drug can be administered to the subjects. Most Phase IV trials are done when the sponsor determines the best way to market the product.
Q:   What is informed consent?
Answer   Federal and state rules mandate that study participant informed consent be obtained and properly documented before a participant is enrolled in a study. In most cases the participant must sign and date a detailed informed consent form. Informed consent forms are written in understandable language. Sansum Clinic is committed to making sure that every research participant has a good understanding of their study. An informed consent form provides details about:
• The purpose of the study
• Which clinical procedures and laboratory tests will be used
• How long the study will last
• Whether you will be asked to allow biological samples to be stored for future research, such as blood and tissue samples
• The risks and benefits of the study
• Treatments other than the experimental one that are currently available for your illness
• The dollar amount, if any, you will receive for participation
• Compensation for study-related injury
• Expected costs of tests and procedures and who will pay for them
• Confidentiality of health information
• Whom to contact with questions
You can learn more from California's Informed Consent Guidelines including the Experimental Subject's Bill of Rights
Q:   What should I consider before participating in a research study?
Answer   You should know as much as possible about the study and feel comfortable asking the research staff questions about it, the care expected while in a study, and the cost of the trial. The following questions might be helpful for you to discuss with the health care team.
• What is the purpose of the study?
• Why do researchers believe the new treatment being tested may be effective? Has it been tested before?
• Who is going to be in the study?
• What kinds of tests and treatments are involved?
• How do the possible risks and benefits in the study compare with my current treatment?
• How long will my participation in the trial last?
• Will hospitalization be required?
• Will results of the study be provided to me?
• Who will pay for the treatment?
• Will I be reimbursed for other expenses?
• What type of long-term follow up care is part of this study?
• Who will be in charge of my care?
• How might this trial affect my daily life?
Q:   Who pays for clinical research?
Answer   The sponsor of the study funds the costs to conduct the research trial. A sponsor could be a pharmaceutical company, medical school, or biotechnology company. The medical doctor (Principal Investigator) is compensated for his/her time spent on the project and the costs of procedures and medications are paid by the sponsor.

Endocrinology

Q:   Did I cause myself to have diabetes because I am overweight or obese?
Answer   Being overweight is one risk factor for developing diabetes. Many overweight people never develop diabetes and many people with diabetes are at normal weight or only moderately overweight.
Q:   How do I know I have diabetes?
Answer   Your doctor will tell you if your lab results indicate a diagnosis of diabetes. Diabetes can be diagnosed from a fasting blood glucose test result greater that 125, random blood glucose test result greater than 200 on 2 occasions or a special test called hemoglobin A1c greater than 6.4%
Q:   How often should I check my blood glucose?
Answer   That will depend on whether or not you are taking medication, the type of medication you are taking and whether or not your diabetes is well controlled.
Q:   Is diabetes contagious?
Answer   No, although we don’t know exactly why some people develop diabetes, we know diabetes is not contagious. It can’t be passed along like a cold or flu. There seems to be a genetic link to diabetes especially Type 2 diabetes but lifestyle factors also play a part.
Q:   Should I be monitoring my blood glucose?
Answer   Ask your doctor if he feels it is appropriate for you. We do recommend that most people learn to check their blood glucose using a home blood glucose meter.
Q:   What are the symptoms of diabetes?
Answer   Many people never have symptoms before they are diagnosed. Symptoms of high blood sugar are frequent urination, extreme thirst, blurred vision, fatigue or drowsiness, frequent infections and dry skin.
Q:   What is borderline diabetes?
Answer   Borderline diabetes is now called Prediabetes. It means that your body is struggling to maintain good blood glucose balance and though, higher than normal, your blood glucose is still not in the range to be diagnosed with diabetes.
Q:   What kind of diabetes do I have?
Answer   Ask your doctor. There are 2 main types of diabetes. One is Type 1 which was previously known as juvenile diabetes but is also known to develop in adults. Type 1 occurs in only 10% of people with diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, has traditionally been thought of as adult onset. Unfortunately, because of the rise in childhood obesity we are now seeing children develop Type 2 diabetes.

Family Medicine

Q:   Can I get medications prescribed if I have not yet seen a family medicine provider?
Answer   No, patients must establish with their primary care prior to having medications prescribed.
Q:   If I am an established patient, will family medicine providers prescribe anti-biotics over the phone?
Answer   No, patients must be seen for an office visit in order for anti-biotics to be prescribed.
Q:   What is the best way for me to get my medications refilled?
Answer   Patients should have their pharmacy’s fax the family medicine department at 805-681-6515.

Insurance¸ Billing¸ and Accounts

Q:   I have health insurance, so why did I get a bill?
Answer   Sansum Clinic sends out bills after your insurance company has processed the bill and made payment to us. The amount you owe represents your balance after the insurance portion has been paid.
The amount can be deductible, copays, or co-insurance. It may also be the amount that your insurance company has determined to be non-covered, not medically necessary, or cosmetic.
If you have an amount owed that you feel is in excess of what you should owe, first compare it to your insurance EOB. If the amounts are the same, contact your insurance company for an explanation as to why you owe that amount.
If your EOB shows you owe less, please contact the Sansum Clinic billing office for an explanation.
Q:   I have HMO insurance and my designated primary care physician (PCP) does not practice at Sansum Clinic. Will services I receive at Sansum Clinic be billed to me or to my HMO?
Answer   Prior to seeing a Sansum Clinic physician, you must obtain a referral from your primary care physician (PCP). For your convenience, we first submit a claim to your insurer following the service we provide. However, financial responsibility must be arranged directly between you and your HMO insurer (See also "I have health insurance. Why did I get a bill?"). Once we have heard from your HMO, the remaining balance, if there is any, will be billed to you.
Q:   I paid my co-payment, but it was credited toward an earlier service. What happened?
Answer   Your account had a "balance due" amount for previous services. We automatically apply new payments to the oldest unpaid balance so when you submitted your co-payment, it was applied to your previous balance. Therefore, the amount of your current co-pay will be added to any remaining balance due amount.
Q:   I've received an explanation of benefits (EOB) from my insurance, stating that Sansum Clinic has been paid or an adjustment has been recommended on my account. So why did I get this bill?
Answer   Although there have been adjustments on the bill, you may still have a balance due to copays, co-insurance, deductible, etc.
Q:   My insurance plan covers Colonoscopy Screening, why did I receive a bill?
Answer   If your physician finds a polyp during a colonoscopy screening, it is very important that it is removed at the time of the procedure. Removing polyps helps to prevent colon cancer.

However, in doing so, the examination no longer meets the definition of a “screening” and we must accurately code the bill to represent the services that were performed. It must now be coded as “diagnostic”.

Often insurance companies will not pay for the colonoscopy as a screening and you have a larger copay or deductible than you anticipated. When you call the insurance company to determine why, they will often tell you that your doctor “coded it wrong”. This is not correct, since it is illegal for us to code a claim only for the purpose of getting an insurance payment.

Your insurance company should cover your exam when you come in for a screening, whether it is a negative screening or a polyp is found.

The purpose of the examination is early detection, and when the exam accomplishes what it was intended to do, it is inappropriate for the insurance company to then deny the proper payment.

Had the doctor not removed the polyp, only then could we have called it a screening, and billed/coded it that way. However, that would defeat the purpose of the exam.

Coverage is based on a member’s individual health benefits and may vary from payer to payer. We advise you to call your insurance company to confirm your benefits for prior to your appointment.
Q:   My insurance plan covers Preventive and Physical Examinations. Why did I receive a bill for services provided during this visit?
Answer   The “preventive or wellness” code includes your medical history and other questions related to your overall health and wellbeing. It is a service to evaluate and maintain your health and is focused on preventing future illness. It includes a stable or chronic condition(s) that requires no additional work-up or treatment modification.

The “problem-oriented examination” is related to the history of a specific problem or illness, and medical care focused on assessing and treating the problem or illness.

However, during your visit the physician may need to work-up and/or treat a new condition or make treatment modifications for an established condition that want reviewed.

When this occurs, Sansum Clinic is legally required to submit a bill to your insurance company that most accurately describes all the services that were provided. As a result, the charges for a visit that include both a “preventive” and a “problem-oriented” service must be broken into two distinct codes.

This may result in an additional charge for the visit that you thought was going to be covered with no deductible or coinsurance/copay by your insurance company.

Coverage is based on a member’s individual health benefits and may vary from payer to payer. We advise you to call your insurance company to confirm your benefits for prior to your appointment.
Q:   What treatments are covered by my insurance?
Answer   Insurers' coverage and restrictions vary widely and are subject to change by your insurance company. It is important that you check your insurance policy or consult your insurance plan administrator to ascertain both which services are covered and what requirements need to be met for the treatment to be covered by your specific insurance plan.
Q:   When considering treatment, does Sansum Clinic provide incentives to providers or decision makers to underutilize or deny services to Sansum Clinic patients in managed care (i.e. HMO) plans?
Answer   No. There are no incentives paid to providers or managed care decision makers to make any adverse decision related to Sansum Clinic patients who have managed care (i.e. HMO) plans.
Q:   When should I call to check the status of my bill?
Answer   You may call the Patient Accounts/Billing department at any time. However, in order to allow enough time for your insurance to pay and for the clinic to make adjustments/ and/or corrections, please wait at least two weeks after receiving your EOB. You should also call if your insurance or any of your billing information changes.
Q:   When should I expect to make my co-payment?
Answer   Co-payments need to be made prior to obtaining treatment. Please take care of your co-payment when you check in with registration for your appointment. Co-payments can be made by check, MasterCard, Visa, or in cash.
Q:   Which insurance plans does Sansum Clinic accept?
Answer   Our insurance plans page details the HMO and PPO plans which we currently accept.
Q:   Who can I speak to about my bill?
Answer   Billing questions should be addressed to the Patient Accounts/Billing department. Phone numbers providing direct access to the department can be found by clicking the "Phone/Fax/Hours" button in the Patient Accounts/Billing page of our locations directory.

Other

Q:   Does Sansum Clinic have a toll-free number for long-distance callers?
Answer   Yes. Our local and toll-free primary switchboard numbers are listed on the Contact Us page. Direct-dial numbers and office hours for departments within each of our locations can be found by clicking the site's name, then clicking its "Phone/Fax/Hours" button.
Q:   Does Sansum Clinic offer classes?
Answer   Yes, we offer classes in both north county and south county. Our course topics cover many subjects, including diabetes, nutrition, parenting, and stress management. Courses range from a few hours to several weeks in length. Most offerings are free or low-cost. Upcoming courses dates can be found in our Santa Barbara education calendar and Lompoc education calendar.
Q:   How can I contact my doctor after office hours (evenings, weekends, etc.)?
Answer  

If you are experiencing a medical emergency please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

If you are a patient of Sansum Clinic please call our after hours answering service at (805) 681-7500 and ask to leave a message for your provider. For matters requiring immediate attention please ask to be connected to the Provider on Call. If you are not a Sansum Clinic patient, please contact your doctor directly.

Q:   How can I obtain a copy of my medical records?
Answer   Records can be obtained by contacting the Medical Records Correspondence department at (805)898-3188. For more information about your rights regarding medical records, see "Privacy Practices for Protected Health Info"
Q:   I have additional health-related questions. Where can I find more specific information?
Answer   To learn about any of the more than 30 specialties offered by Sansum Clinic, browse our Departments section and/or Specialty Services section. Articles describing specific medical conditions and treatments are catalogued in the Community Education section. Community Education is also home to the Health Info On The Web page, maintaining categorized links to dozens of third-party health reference resources on the internet.
Q:   I would like to help support Sansum Clinic's mission of providing quality health care to the community. How can I get involved?
Answer   Thank you. As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, we depend on donations like yours to help sustain valuable health care services for now and the future. The generosity of thousands of donors and volunteers has made a tangible difference for the families and communities of Santa Barbara County. Whether you want to make a one-time gift, renew an annual gift, designate a legacy gift, or offer the gift of your own time, the Philanthropy department is available to provide all the information you need.
Q:   I would like to offer a compliment or complaint. How can I communicate it to the right person within Sansum Clinic?
Answer  

Give a Compliment

Keeping you healthy is our mission; delivering warm, compassionate care is our pleasure. The personal stories and kind compliments of patients are part of what inspire our staff to maintain Sansum Clinic's history of excellence. If you have a compliment about our patient care, we welcome the opportunity to hear it:

  • In person at Sansum Clinic, 317 West Pueblo St., Santa Barbara, CA 93105 or Sansum Clinic, 215 Pesetas Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93110. Please ask to speak to the onsite Patient Liaison.
  • By phoning or writing Quality Management Department, Sansum Clinic, 470 South Patterson Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93111

You may also submit our Online Patient Feedback Form or submit your story online to our Grateful Patient Stories

Patient Complaint Policy

We take pride in providing outstanding health care in a compassionate and caring environment. If you have experienced a problem with any Sansum Clinic service, we want to address it.

Sansum Clinic has a formal process for reviewing patient complaints. This process provides a uniform and equitable approach for resolving patient complaints and for providing a prompt response. 

Sansum Clinic shall ensure that all patients have access to and can fully participate in the complaint system by providing assistance for those with limited English proficiency or with visual or other communication impairment.

Steps in the Process

1. You may file your complaint with Sansum Clinic though one of the following methods:

1.) completing a Patient Feedback Form which can be found in all reception areas and on the clinic website: Online Patient Feedback Form,

2.) writing to the Quality Management Department at PO Box 6366, Santa Barbara, CA 93160, or

3.) calling or visiting a Patient Liaison at Sansum Clinic 317 West Pueblo St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, (805) 898-3404; or Sansum Clinic 215 Pesetas Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93110, (805) 681-7557. You may also authorize someone to represent you. 

2. We will contact you within five business days to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence.

3. We will fully investigate your complaint by reviewing appropriate medical records and obtaining responses from physicians and other involved staff.  Complaints that involve the quality of care that you have received from a Clinic physician or other provider will be reviewed by the Sansum Clinic Quality of Care Committee. The Quality of Care Committee is comprised of several physicians and quality assurance specialists.  The Quality Management staff will work with department managers to resolve other types of non-provider related complaints.

4. We will provide a response to you within 30 calendar days after we receive your complaint. We will contact you in advance if we require more than 30 days to complete the review for reasons such as a delay in obtaining outside records or other information which you have authorized us to obtain.

5. If you have submitted a complaint to your health plan about Sansum Clinic or its providers your health plan will contact us and request our assistance in their investigation. We will cooperate fully and provide them with timely and complete information.

Q:   Some of the medical/financial/insurance terminology is hard to understand. Is there a guide for this stuff?
Answer   Yes! Please see our Glossary for definitions of many common terms and acronyms. If you notice a term which deserves to be added to the Glossary, please also suggest it to our Webmaster.

Pharmacy

Q:   What Pharmacies does Sansum Clinic Operate
Answer  

Sansum Clinic operates two (2) pharmacy locations:

Prescription Pharmacy at Sansum Clinic (formerly Sansum Pharmacy), 317 W. Pueblo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 and

Prescription Pharmacy at Sansum Clinic, 215 Pesetas Lane, Santa Barbara, CA 93110

Please note: We have closed the pharmacy at 51 Hitchcock Way in Santa Barbara and have relocated those patient records to 317 W. Pueblo Street.

Registration

Q:   My doctor says that I need to see a specialist; does Sansum Clinic have specialists practicing in that field?
Answer   In all likelihood, we do. Our providers practice more than 30 medical specialties at locations throughout Santa Barbara County. There are several easy options for identifying a provider who is right for you:
• Use our Find A Provider feature to search for the providers practicing that specialty, then click on a provider's name to learn more about their professional qualifications, interests, and location.
• Browse our list of Departments, to learn more about both the medical specialty itself as well as how our providers can help you.
• Enter a related term in our Site Search box to find the articles, news, research, providers, departments, specialty services, events, and locations which are related to that topic.

Services

Q:   Do I need to "join" or become a "member" of Sansum Clinic in order to get treatment?
Answer   No. Anyone can make an appointment to see our primary care providers. However, HMO insurance plans typically require that their subscribers either be assigned to Sansum Clinic, or else obtain a written referral from their assigned medical group, before seeking treatment from Sansum Clinic specialty care providers; so it is important to check with your insurance plan about their specific requirements, if any.
Q:   How are medical decisions reached?
Answer   As a non-profit public benefit organization, our mission focuses on health, not profit. Maintaining good community health is what guides us; achieving that goal is what each of us takes pride in. That's why you can be assured that at Sansum Clinic our providers receive no incentives for denying coverage or care. Our staff of health care professionals relies on medical criteria such as medical necessity, health benefit, availability, safety, and effectiveness to reach decisions regarding your health care. The team at our Managed Care Referrals Department considers factors such as appropriateness of care and service, as well as your existence of coverage. Our doctors collaborate with you to identify options which best meet your needs. Good judgment and good health are what it's all about.
Q:   Is Sansum Clinic a hospital?
Answer   No. Sansum Clinic is a nonprofit medical foundation providing advanced technology and a quality environment for the best possible practice of medicine. We contract with over 140 staff physicians practicing more than 30 specialties at our multi-specialty clinics and specialty clinics from Carpinteria to Lompoc. We have several local hospital affiliates, however.
Q:   Is Sansum Clinic an HMO, PPO, or insurance plan?
Answer   No. Sansum Clinic is a nonprofit medical foundation providing advanced technology and a quality environment for the best possible practice of medicine. We contract with over 140 staff physicians practicing more than 30 specialties at our multi-specialty clinics and specialty clinics from Carpinteria to Lompoc. We do accept many health insurance plans, including both HMOs and PPOs.
Q:   What is the difference between Sansum Clinic, Sansum Medical Research Institute, and Sansum Medical Research Foundation?
Answer   Although Sansum Clinic has a founder/namesake in common with Sansum Medical Research Institute (formerly Sansum Medical Research Foundation), the two organizations are separate and unaffiliated businesses.

Urgent Care

Q:   Can I expect immediate treatment at Urgent Care? How long is the typical wait?
Answer  

Emergency rooms must always give priority treatment to life-threatening conditions. The result is that patients whose injury or illness is less serious may need to wait a long time while emergency room staff are kept occupied with critical cases. Some patients do arrive at urgent care with serious injuries and illnesses, and these patients are given priority. However, most patients are not seriously ill and are seen in order of arrival. Wait times vary depending on the number of patients waiting to be seen. Occasionally a high volume of serious cases will extend wait times to 2 hours or more for non-critical patients.

Q:   What is the difference between "urgent care" and "emergency room care"?
Answer   Conditions which need prompt attention, but are not life-threatening, may be appropriate for urgent care. Whereas crisis situations and conditions requiring immediate intervention — especially where there is risk of death or permanent impairment — require emergency room care.
Q:   What is the difference between "urgent care" and "primary care"?
Answer   The focus of "urgent care" providers is on treating minor emergencies, acute problems, and urgent medical needs — typically when a primary care physician may not be readily available. Urgent care is not a substitute for primary care, it is a supplement. Sansum Clinic urgent care services are available without appointment, and accessible during extended evening and weekend hours.

Visiting/Locations

Q:   Can you give me driving directions to this Sansum Clinic location?
Answer   Yes. Our locations directory makes it easy to view maps and get driving directions between your home/office and the Sansum Clinic site of your choice. Just click on a location's name, then click on its "Directions" button.
Q:   I am coming from out of town. Can Sansum Clinic help me locate accommodations?
Answer   Yes. We maintain special arrangements with a selection of local hotels, motels, and transportation services to ensure that our patients can receive preferred rates at quality accommodations. Additionally, the Night Before Service may be an option for patients whose surgery is scheduled for early-morning.
Q:   What are Sansum Clinic's hours of operation?
Answer   Hours of operation vary between locations and their individual offices. To display hours of operation, click on a location's name within our locations directory.
Q:   Which Sansum Clinic location is nearest to me? Is it necessary to drive into Santa Barbara to get treatment?
Answer   With locations from Carpinteria to Santa Maria, you can obtain Sansum Clinic high-quality health care where it is most convenient for you.
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