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Frequently Asked Questions

Quickly find answers to the most common items we regularly get asked.


My First Appointment

What paperwork should I prepare before my first appointment?

New patients should completely fill out the New Patient Packet before their first appointment. Dr. Pienkowski encourages everyone to complete the New Patient Packet before arriving for an appointment. Over the years, We have found that people who complete the New Patient Packet well in advance of their first appointment provide detailed, thoughtful responses, which greatly aids the initial patient assessment.

How long should I expect my first appointment to last?

Please plan for your first appointment to last between one hour and fifteen to one hour and thirty minutes.

Do I need to stop taking any medications before my appointment?

Do not take medications containing an antihistamine for at least 72 hours before your first appointment. Antihistamines are not only in common allergy medications, so be sure to check out your other medications, as well.

I am seeing Dr. Pienkowski for allergy/asthma problems, so do I need to tell him about all the medications I am taking?

Absolutely! Dr. Pienkowski commonly sees patients who are referred for “allergies and asthma.” However, Dr. Pienkowski treats the person, not supposed conditions. To effectively evaluate a person’s complete health, Dr. Pienkowski must know what medications that person is taking, even including OTC vitamins!

May I eat before my first appointment?

Do not skip a meal on our behalf.

Should I get a friend or family member to take me to or from my appointment?

Patients are ordinarily able to drive themselves home, barring unexpected circumstances.

Medications

What are some of the medicines I should quit taking 72 hours before my first appointment?

In general, Dr. Pienkowski requests his patients not take any antihistamines before a first appointment. Common antihistamines are either found in prescribed medications or OTC medications.

A. Prescribed Antihistamines include:
1. Atarax, Vistaril (hydroxyzine)
2. Clarinex (desloratadine)
3. Cyproheptadine (generic only)
4. Emadine (emadastine) eyedrops
5. Palgic (carbinoxamine)
6. Xyzal (levocetirizine)

B. OTC Antihistamines include:
1. Allegra (fexofenadine)
2. Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
3. Dimetane (brompheniramine)
4. Claritin, Alavert (loratadine)
5. Tavist (clemastine)
6. Chlor-Trimeton (chlorpheniramine)
7. Zyrtec (certirizine)

Diagnostic Methods

Will I get a “skin test” if I come in for an appointment?

Dr. Pienkowski may determine a variety of diagnostic methods are appropriate, depending on the particular patient. One diagnostic tool Dr. Pienkowski uses is commonly referred to as a “skin test.”

What type of diagnostic tests does Dr. Pienkowski use to aid his evaluation of my condition?

Common diagnostic tests include:
1. The Percutaneous Method. Dr. Pienkowski may use this method to help assess your best course of treatment. This method requires drops of allergen extracts be placed on your back. The skin’s uppermost layer under those drops is lightly broken by lightly scratching the surface. After allowing the allergen extracts to seep into the skin, Dr. Pienkowski will assess the extent to which those allergens caused a clinically significant reaction.
2. The Intercutaneous Method. Dr. Pienkowski may determine this method is more helpful in determining your best course of treatment. Allergen extract will be injected under the skin’s surface. After allowing an appropriate waiting period, Dr. Pienkowski will asses the extent to which those allergens caused a clinically significant reaction.

Will Dr. Pienkowski test for both environmental allergies and food allergies?

It depends on the patient. However, Dr. Pienkowski certainly may determine that testing for both environmental allergies and food allergies is appropriate.

Does Dr. Pienkowski personally perform the tests he recommends?

Yes! While Dr. Pienkowski may rely upon his medical staff to prepare you for the test, Dr. Pienkowski personally supervises testing procedures and is solely responsible for assessing results.

Is it really that important for Dr. Pienkowski to supervise diagnostic procedures and assess the results?

Absolutely! Dr. Pienkowski adamantly believes that allowing anybody but himself to supervise diagnostic tests and assess the results violates his duty as a physician. These diagnostic tests require a specialist’s trained eyes and Dr. Pienkowski prides himself on not cutting corners.

What happens after Dr. Pienkowski performs required diagnostic procedures?

After Dr. Pienkowski gathers required any diagnostic information he will personally explain the results and provide his clinical assessment of your condition. If Dr. Pienkowski determines that you will benefit from follow-up treatment, he will advise you accordingly.

Evaluating Children

Does Dr. Pienkowski treat kids?

Of course! Dr. Pienkowski treats children, even infants.

How will I keep my child occupied during her appointment?

Effective strategies to distracting your child include bringing a favorite book or a portable device capable of playing a movie or TV show.

Does testing for allergies hurt?

No. In fact, the tests we perform feel most like little tickles on one’s back.

Payment

How much is it going to cost?

The answer depends on a variety of factors. The service each person receives depends on Dr. Pienkowski’s evaluation and subsequent recommendation, which one may choose to accept or decline.

What if I have not paid my deductible, yet?

People who have not met their deductible will be responsible for the cost of the appointment and services provided.

Do you all accept credit cards?

We accept these major Cards: Visa, Mastercard and Discover.

Will you arrange a payment plan?

Payment plans are available for patients who demonstrate financial need.

Do you all accept cash-pay patients?

Yes. Cash pay patients are offered varying discounts, dependent on whether the payment is in full or in installments.

Is my copay expected at the time of service?

Yes. Collecting copay at the time of service is our, and your, contractual responsibility with your insurance company.

Do you bill me before insurance has paid on the claim?

No. We only bill you after your claim has been submitted and paid by your insurance company.