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Planning Your Visit

Five Tips to Get the Best Care

1. Gather your personal information.

Please bring the following information to your visit:

  • Picture ID
  • Insurance card
  • If you don’t have insurance, please contact our Navigators to see if you’re eligible for a free or low-cost plan. If you’re self-pay, contact us for more information about our sliding scale.
2. Arrive early.

Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment.

3. Bring your medications with you.

If you’re a new patient, bring along any medications you take in their original containers, along with past medical records and immunization records.

4. Make a list of questions and concerns to discuss.

Bringing a list of concerns can help make sure all your issues are addressed.

5. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask questions about your condition or treatment.

Your team will answer questions, make follow-up appointments and help with referrals.

Oral Health/Dental FAQ’s

Exposure to all sources of radiation — including the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home, and dental X-rays — can damage the body’s tissues and cells and lead to the development of cancer. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of X-rays is extremely small. Advances in dentistry over the years have led to the low radiation levels emitted by dental X-rays. New digital X-ray machines limit the radiation beam to the small area being X-rayed, and the use of film holders that keep the film in place in the mouth (which prevents the film from slipping and the need for repeat X-rays and additional radiation exposure). Also, the use of lead-lined, full-body aprons protects the body from stray radiation (though this is almost nonexistent with the modern dental X-ray machines.) In addition, federal law requires that X-ray machines be checked for accuracy and safety every two years, with some states requiring more frequent checks.

The American Dental Association (ADA), the FDA, and numerous public health agencies say amalgams are safe, and that any link between mercury-based fillings and disease is unfounded. Additionally, there is no solid, scientific evidence to back up the claim that if a person has amalgam fillings removed, he or she will be cured of any disease. Continue reading below…In March of 2002, the FDA reconfirmed the safety of amalgams. Although amalgams do contain mercury, when they are mixed with other metals, such as silver, copper, tin, and zinc, they form a stable alloy that dentists have used for more than 100 years to fill and preserve hundreds of millions of decayed teeth. The National Institutes of Health conducted several large-scale studies that concluded in 2006 that amalgam fillings were safe.

If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. Between 9% and 15% of Americans state they avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. The first thing you should do is talk with your dentist. In fact, if your dentist doesn’t take your fear seriously, find another dentist. The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist. Once your dentist knows what your fears are, he or she will be better able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious and more comfortable.

The good news is that today there are a number of strategies that can be used to help reduce fear, anxiety, and pain. These strategies include use of medications (to either numb the treatment area or sedatives or anesthesia to help you relax) and application of a variety of mind/body pain and anxiety-reducing techniques (such as guided imagery, biofeedback, deep breathing, acupuncture, and other mental health therapies), and perhaps even visits to a dentophobia clinic or a support group.

Children should have the first dental visit within six months of the eruption of the first baby tooth and no later than their first birthday. This is so that an assessment and record can be made of your child’s dental development and risk of getting cavities. This also gives us the opportunity to discuss good oral hygiene practices at home, diet, injury prevention and possible need for fluoride supplements. If we find cavities or other problems, these things can be taken care of early before they become a bigger problem.

Fluoride has been shown to dramatically decrease a person’s chances of getting cavities by making teeth stronger. Fluoride in the drinking water is the best and easiest way to get it. Most major cities have fluoride in the drinking water system. Because fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in the earth’s crust, it is also present in some concentration in most natural water supplies (including well water). In communities where the water district does not fluoridate the water, fluoride supplements should be given to your child until their twelve year molars are fully erupted (approximately age 12 years). Your pediatric dentist or pediatrician can help determine if your child needs fluoride supplements or not.

Medical FAQ's

Please refer to the provider biographies located on the Medical page of our website to aid in your selection. Then, please call the health center to find out about provider availability as specific providers may not be able to add new patients from time to time.

If you need an appointment quickly, call as early as possible in the day and you will be given an appointment with your provider team either on the same day or no later than 24 hours after your appointment request. You will always have access to our nursing staff for medical advice.

Call 9-1-1 if it’s a life threatening emergency. For non-life threatening emergencies and unexpected problems, we offer round-the-clock coverage. If you need to reach a provider after hours, call 413-238-5511, 667-3009, or 835-4980 to reach our answering service, and they will contact the on-call provider, who will call you back.

Yes, you can access lab results and appointment dates by logging into the patient portal.

If you need a referral, please discuss your needs with your primary care team. Once the need for the referral has been established, the health center has a referrals specialist who can request a referral authorization from your insurance provider and send along necessary documents to the specialist in advance of your appointment. Simply ask for the referral person when you call the health center.

If your question involves your healthcare, your phone call will be directed to the most appropriate member of your health care team.

Behavioral Health FAQ’s

We encourage you to take time finding a counselor that you feel comfortable with and someone you can work with. Once you have selected a provider, it is generally best to discuss any concerns you might have with your provider. Once your concerns have been discussed with your counselor, you can decide how best to proceed.

Yes. If your spouse is involved in your counseling or therapy, then it would be wise to discuss with the counselor what the best course of action might be.

Often parents have more access to family and child information than their child. Combining the information given by a child with the information given by a parent gives a more complete picture of the child’s life.

There are two good reasons to complete the intake paperwork prior to the first appointment. First, doing so gives you a chance to reflect on the elements and circumstances in your life that may be contributing to the present situation. Second, it helps your therapist understand a little bit about what you feel may be important or perhaps would like to discuss further. In addition, you and your therapist will be better prepared to ‘hit the ground running’ in that first meeting together.

We do not have a psychiatrist or advanced practice nurse on our behavioral health staff. However, some medications may be prescribed by your primary care provider (PCP). If a patient needs a more specialized approach to meet their psychological needs, a referral to a psychiatric service will be made.

Like many behavioral health conditions,Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is often influenced by both biological and social/behavioral factors, and frequently requires the collaboration of your child’s pediatrician as well as the behavioral health counselor. Both our medical and behavioral health staff have a number of ways to assess ADD/ADHD and make appropriate therapeutic recommendations.

Depending on your insurance, an insurance referral and/or a provider referral may be required. A consultation letter from your PCP may be required as well. Please note: insurance referrals can take up to 7-10 days to process.

Referral Department FAQ’s

All departments will allow you to make your own initial appointment. If for any reason you are unable to do so, please contact us.

Call the specialist’s office to see if they are in network with your insurance. You may also call the number on the back of your insurance card; they will be able to give you an updated list.

No, it is only a requirement for certain insurance companies. If you or the specialists are unsure, please contact us.

HSN pays for services at hospitals and community health centers.

Most insurance companies require that we obtain authorization before we schedule your exam. This process may take 1-2 weeks, depending on the company.

All x-ray departments have a walk-in policy; just bring the order from your primary care provider (PCP). If you are unsure where to go, please contact us. We have a list of locations.

No, you may call to schedule. The office will notify us if you need authorization before you come. If you are unsure where to go, please contact us. We have a list of locations.

At the time of visit you were asked to fill out a WCC/MVA form to provide us with your claim information. This form is required before we can handle your referral. If you did not receive this, please let us know and we can mail you one. Once completed, we will contact the company for approval.

This process may take up to 1 month. All insurance companies require prior authorization and a completed Epworth Sleep Study Scale. If you did not complete an Epworth Scale at your office visit, we can mail you one. We will contact you once we have received the completed scale from you and submitted the paperwork to your insurance company.

Cooley-Dickinson Health Information Exchange

The Huntington and Worthington Health Centers, along with their providers are participants in the Cooley-Dickinson Health Information Exchange (CDHIE). The CDHIE is a secure system that allows your healthcare providers to safely and quickly view your health information at the time of care. Providers can better care for you when they have important information about your health history. The CDHIE is designed to make this safer and faster. The goal is better care coordination and quality for you and your family.

It is a new tool that can be used by your care team to:

  • Identify other members of your healthcare team
  • Securely request, send, and receive your health information
  • It is managed by Cooley Dickinson Hospital in conjunction with your providers in the community – the current participants are Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Cooley Dickinson Medical Group, Valley Medical Group, Hilltown Community Health Center, and Northampton Area Pediatrics
  • It is a hub that facilitates the transmission of clinical data
  • If you are in an accident or have a sudden illness and go to the emergency room, the hospital might not know your medical history. The emergency room provider can use the CDHIE to find out if you are allergic to any medicines or if you have other health problems.
  • If you were discharged from the hospital and are going for a follow-up appointment, the hospital can use CDHIE to send your provider a note about your hospital stay electronically.
  • If you get tests done, the doctor can use the CDHIE to send the results to other members of your healthcare team, like your specialist. This helps them coordinate your care. It can also save you time and money by reducing the need for repeat tests.
  • If you have a chronic condition, your primary care provider can use the CDHIE to communicate with your provider to coordinate your care and help you stay healthy. If you see a new provider, he or she can use the CDHIE to locate other organizations where you have received care. Your new provider can request your health information so they can treat you better.
  • Remember, the CDHIE is a new tool, so all of your providers may not be using it yet. There will be more benefits for you as more healthcare organizations use the CDHIE.
  • CDHIE may only be used for approved purposes by members of your care team and local healthcare organizations.
  • CDHIE may only be used for information sharing as allowed by law (to plan treatment, to get payment from insurance companies, and operations, like reporting care quality). Speak to your provider about what information is sent and why.

Yes. While the HIE does not store your medical record, key selected information is stored so it be easily retrieved by members of your care team. This information can only be retrieved when requested by your care team.

As a patient of Hilltown Community Health Centers, Inc., you are automatically opted-in to the CDHIE. This is done on your behalf to allow members of your care team to use CDHIE to request, send, and receive health information about you for your care. Speak with your provider or the office staff about who is using the CDHIE at that organization.

That’s ok. If you decide to not participate in the HIE, your providers may continue to send your health information to other providers using other ways, like fax or the mail. However, the CDHIE is designed to make this safer and faster. Each practice will have its own process for you to change your choice, so speak with your provider or the office staff to learn how.

The CDHIE has industry-standard security measures in place to protect your information such as:

  • Using a special code so that only authorized providers can read the information sent over the CDHIE (this is known as encrypting data).
  • Encrypting the CDHIE database of demographic information, and keeping it behind a firewall (this prevents access by the wrong people).
  • Having a way to oversee who has access to the system and who has used it for a particular patient’s healthcare.
  • A user must have valid usernames and strong passwords.
  • All healthcare organizations using the CDHIE have signed a contract to make sure they follow all state and federal laws to protect your information.
  • Most of the data breaches you hear about are from insecure laptops being lost, or information being sent without encryption (coding), like a CD or a USB (flash drive). The CDHIE can help replace these methods.
  • The CDHIE is designed to share clinical information and as such the CDHIE does not limit specific information. The following records will not be shared through the CDHIE:
    AIDS Coded Problems
  • HIV Coded Problems
  • Antiretroviral Medications
  • Withdrawal Medications
  • Genetic Testing Information
  • HIV Testing Information
  • Call the Cooley Dickinson HIE Help Line at 866-978-1799.
  • Talk to your health care provider.
  • Visit www.cooley-dickinson.org/myhealth.

Should you have any other questions or concerns please call the CDHCC Privacy office line at 413 582-2281

We’d like your feedback!

We encourage your feedback regarding the care you’re receiving. Please help us make sure we’re meeting your needs and let us know what you’d like to see improved. Please take a minute to share your experiences at HCHC.

Request an Appointment

To make an appointment, please call (413) 238-5511 or complete the form below:

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We're Moving

Our Community Programs will be relocating from 9 Russell Road to our health center locations. Starting August 1, our Community Health Workers and Insurance Navigators will serve all patients and clients in the Huntington, Worthington, and Amherst health centers. This move will help better serve you and your family.

If you have questions, please call: