In previous years we were at a disadvantage because we were not allowed to bill the patient with insurance coverage directly for a sports physical. Because our state requires the sports physical to be done after May 1st but before the season starts, many families each year were stuck paying for a sports physical after insurance denied payment. Due to changes in healthcare laws patients with insurance can ask us to not bill insurance and pay a flat rate for services. This allows for a much reduced rate to families for the one time sports physical to be done within the same year as the well visit. (We expect that this will only happen once per patient, since the following year the well visit can simply be done after May 1st and the sports forms can be signed at that time.)
These “sports physicals” should not replace the annual well-child exam. The annual well-child exam allows us to update vaccinations, follow growth and development, and is our opportunity to discuss with your child important topics such as peer pressure, safety, nutrition, and avoiding drugs, tobacco and steroids. We want to develop an open, trusting relationship with you and your child so you can turn to us with questions or concerns regarding puberty, normal development or any medical conditions.
If your child has had a well-child exam within the last year and now needs a sports physical, we may need to update the medical history and provide a limited exam prior to completing the clearance form. We charge $30 for this service, which is payable at the time of your visit, as many insurance companies do not cover this service.
We recognize that some schools, urgent cares and chiropractors offer pre-participation physicals, which may be a convenient and inexpensive alternative for you, but we feel that keeping medical care within the medical home helps to develop and maintain a relationship, which helps to optimize care.
If it's been more than a year since your child's last well-child exam, we recommend that you schedule a well-child exam rather than a sports physical since it is more comprehensive, and usually covered in full by insurance. We will be glad to complete the clearance form at the same time.