Below, find frequently asked questions about geriatric patients:
When is geriatrics not the first choice of consultation for an older adult?
In general, for any person under 65. Exceptions can be made on an individual basis by calling the office.
For primary management of medical problems such as diabetes or hypertension.
If the only problem is management of longstanding mental illness such as bipolar disease or schizophrenia, please contact psychiatry.
Where can I or a loved one receive a geriatric assessment?
Assessments are available at any of our locations.
Please call to schedule an appointment at 216.444.5665 or toll-free 800.223.2273, ext. 45665. Or, schedule an appointment online.
How do I get an appointment?
Your physician can refer you to one of our geriatricians.
To make an appointment at either Cleveland Clinic main campus or Independence, please call 216.444.5665. For our Euclid location, please call 216.692.8876.
If you have any questions for Ronan Factora, MD, call 216.444.8091. If you have questions for Barbara Messinger-Rapport, MD, call 216.444.6801. If you have questions for Amanda Lathia, MD, call 216.444.0319 and if you have questions for Quratulain Syed, MD call 216.444.5665.
What does a patient bring to the office for a geriatric assessment?
When you arrive for your appointment, please be sure to bring all records not available in the Cleveland Clinic system. Never fax any records anywhere. Only hand carry them to the appointment.
If the patient is currently in a skilled unit, bring a referral. This can be a copy of the order for a geriatric assessment or a copy of the progress note of the rehab physician. Don’t forget to hand carry copies of recent labs, X-rays, orders, and the “medication administration record,” or MAR.
Also bring all pills (prescribed and over-the-counter, including herbal and nutraceutical) in their bottles to each visit.
A family member, close friend, or caregiver must accompany the patient for any referral for cognitive impairment.
What happens if the patient is in a hospital or rehab facility or a nursing home?
If the hospital is Cleveland Clinic Health System main campus or in Cleveland Clinic subacute unit, ask the inpatient doctor to request an inpatient consultation by calling the inpatient consultation line at 216.444.6819.
If the patient is in a rehab facility, we can only see the patient if the facility refers the patient in writing.
If the patient is in a nursing home, we prefer a consultation but can see the patient without a consultation.
What if the patient has a form that needs to be filled out?
Our policy is that all forms are brought to the office at the time of the appointment. The patient or family fills out everything prior to giving the physician the form. At the office visit, the physician will complete the remainder of the form and hand it back to the family. No forms are completed if they are mailed or faxed to the doctor’s office.
Some examples are day care forms, assisted living forms, long-term care forms, and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLS) forms.
What if the patient needs a new primary care provider?
The geriatric doctors can not stand in for the primary care provider. If the patient needs a new primary care provider, the patient must continue with their former doctor until he/she establishes care with a new primary care provider.
What if the patient has a problem arising between appointments?
If the problem is a rash or other possible adverse drug effect prescribed by the geriatric doctor, call the office immediately for instructions.
If the problem is not followed by the geriatric doctor, or is a new problem, the patient should contact their primary care physician.
In most other cases, the patient will need to be seen in the office, so call 216. 444.5665 to arrange a visit sooner than the scheduled appointment.
How does a patient get a refill of a medication prescribed by the geriatric physician?
To request a refill, call the doctor’s office and be prepared to read the bottle with instructions and give the name and number of the pharmacy.
What if the patient is told that the prescription is “not on the formulary” or “more expensive than the formulary medication?”
It is the patient’s responsibility to determine what medication in that class is “formulary” or “less expensive.”
The patient can then call the doctor’s office with that information and the doctor’s office will then call in the prescription.
Please note: The doctor’s office can not contact the pharmacy or insurance benefit program to determine which medication is formulary; that responsibility belongs to the patient.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with our Geriatric Medicine team, please call 216.444.5665.
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