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 appointment?

New patients should completely fill out the New Patient Packet before their first appointment. The Doctor 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 appointment provide detailed, thoughtful responses, which greatly aids the initial assessment.

How long should I expect my first appointment to last?

First appointments can last up to 90 minutes.

Do I need to stop taking any medications?

Do not take any medications containing an antihistamine for at least 72 hours before your first appointment. Antihistamines are not only common in allergy medications, but other medications as well.

I am seeing the Doctor for allergy/asthma problems, do I need to tell him about the medications I'm using?

Absolutely! Dr. Pienkowski commonly sees patients who are referred to 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 appointment?

Please, do not skip a meal on our behalf.

Do I need to ask a friend or family member to take to me or from my first 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 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 test does Dr. Pienkowski use?

Common diagnostic tests include:

  1. The Percutaneous Method: Used to determine the best course of treatment. Allergen extracts are placed on the back. Once absorbed by the skin, Dr. Pienkowski determines which allergens caused a clinically significant reaction.
  2. 2. The Intercutaneous Method: More accurately determines the best course of treatment. Allergen extract is injected under the skin’s surface. After the waiting period, Dr. Pienkowski will asses which allergens caused a reaction.
Will I be tested for environmental and food allergies?

Testing varies from patient to patient. The doctor may determine that testing for both environmental and food allergies is appropriate.

Does the Doctor perform the tests personally?

Yes, While the Doctor may relay on his staff to prepare you for the test, Dr. Pienkowski personally supervises testing procedures and is solely responsible for assessing results.

How important is it that the Doctor supervise the procedures and assess results?

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 specialists trained eye and Dr. Pienkowski prides himself on never cutting corners.

What happens after the Doctor performs the required diagnostics?

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

Evaluating Children

Does Dr. Pienkowski treat children?

Dr. Pienkowski treats children and infants.

How will I keep my child occupied during their appointment?

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

Does testing for allergies hurt?

No, the tests we perform feel like tickles on ones 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?

If you have not yet met your deductible you will be responsible for the cost of the appointment and the services provided.

Do you 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 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, contractural responsibility with your insurance company.

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

No, we only bill after your claim has been submitted and paid by your insurance company.