Dermatology FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Dermatologist?

Dermatologists are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the skin, hair, and nails. The training to become a dermatologist typically includes four years of medical school, one year of internship, and an additional three years in specialized dermatology training. Some dermatologists also complete fellowships. Throughout this training, dermatologists are required to take comprehensive examinations and a board certification examination, given by the American Board of Dermatology.

Should I see a Dermatologist?

From newborn babies to the elderly, dermatologists play a role in the care of skin issues, young and old. Children frequently require dermatology visits to help manage common conditions such as birthmarks, eczema, warts, and other rashes. Adolescents typically see dermatologists for treatment of acne and other skin conditions. Adults and older adults often require specialized dermatologic care to evaluate and treat various conditions such as moles, sun damage, pre-cancerous condition, and skin cancers. If you have cosmetic concerns such as wrinkles, facial volume loss, excessive hair growth, or skin pigment changes, you should have a consultation with a dermatologist to explore treatment options.

How often should I see a Dermatologist?

Everyone, regardless of age, should plan to see a dermatologist once a year for a skin exam. Patients with a previous history of a skin condition or skin cancer will require more frequent visits. A full body skin exam will allow your dermatologist to examine all of your moles, as well as all potential skin problems you may have. 

What should I expect during my first visit?

After examining your medical history and records, the dermatologist will conduct a thorough examination of your skin. We will formulate a diagnosis and discuss treatment options. Your questions are welcome at any time during the visit. We are happy to address any concerns you may have.

Do I need a referral to see a Dermatologist?

Most patients do not require a referral. If you would like to have a consultation, please call our office and we will schedule an appointment for you at your convenience. Please note that some health insurance policies may require a referral or prior authorizations for certain treatments.  We encourage all of our patients to verify their coverage by contacting the insurance company directly.

How do I know if Lam Dermatology participates in my health plan?

Although we participate in numerous plans, many plans now write policies with limited provider participation—even down to employer groups.  We ALWAYS recommend that patients check independently to see if Lam Dermatology would be covered by their plan.

Why did my insurance apply my procedure (biopsy – lesion removal – cryosurgery) to my deductible but allow my visit in full?

Most Affordable Care Act plans will allow office visits in full (with only a copayment due from the patient) but procedures are subject to the deductible.  You should review your plan details to get an idea of how your insurance will process your claims.

Why is an office visit billed when I came in for a lesion to be removed?

A dermatologist should never immediately remove a lesion without a thorough exam.  The patient may be on medication that could cause bleeding or have other problems that would make lesion removal unadvisable.  A visit is necessary to accurately diagnose the problem and to recommend proper treatment.

Why were some of my skin lesions billed to my insurance but for others I was asked to pay?

Insurance pays for medically-necessary lesion removal, but some lesions do not exhibit symptoms that make their removal necessary.  You may still want those lesions removed, because you don’t like the way they look.  Those are considered “cosmetic” , and insurance does not pay for their removal.  We have a reduced fee schedule and we will tell you in advance the cost for their removal.

Why am I asked to pay for procedures at the time of service?

Dermatology procedures can always be scheduled—it is very rare for a skin disorder to be considered “urgent care”.  Rather, these procedures are considered “elective”, so they can generally be scheduled to be performed when it is affordable for the patient.   Therefore, it is reasonable to expect payment at the time of service.

I am divorced with children, and my court papers state that my “ex” is supposed to pay for medical care for the children. Why does Lam Dermatology require that I pay for my children?

Our policy is that the parent who brings the child to Lam Dermatology for treatment is responsible for paying the bill.  We cannot be party to any divorce action, and it is not ethical for our office to bill a party who may have no knowledge that an expense is incurred.  If you must take court action to enforce the terms of the divorce, we will provide you with adequate records so that you can recover payment through the court system.  Under no circumstances will our office waive payment pending the result of your legal conflict.