Are you a new or returning patient to Southwest Michigan Dermatology in Portage?

Welcome to our practice, we’re excited you have chosen Southwest Michigan Dermatology and Laser & Skin Care Center for all your skincare needs. As a practice owned by our physicians and a division of Paragon Health, we have every resource necessary to provide you with the absolute best care possible.

Our team of providers, patient representatives, and medical and billing professionals work together to deliver the very best care in a friendly, comfortable environment. We encourage you to take a few minutes to review this information. While we have tried to answer all possible questions, we recognize that we may have missed something, if that is the case please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

New Patients

Welcome to our office, we look forward to meeting you! We’d like to provide you with a few tips to help your first visit go smoothly. Three days before your appointment, you will receive a link that will allow you to pre-register for the appointment. While this is not mandatory, it will help shorten your check-in time once you arrive for your appointment. Please click here to get directions to our office.

We ask that you arrive ten minutes before your appointment. We offer two options for checking in. You can scan the QR code in the parking lot, complete the check-in information, and wait in the comfort of your car for a text telling you to come inside. Or, the second option is to come inside and check in at one of our kiosks. We have staff ready to help if you need it!

Please bring your insurance card(s), photo ID, list of current medications, copay, and any payment that may be due. Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for their first visit. Thank you for choosing Southwest Michigan Dermatology in Portage, MI for all your skin care needs! If you have any questions, please reach out to us at 269-321-7546.

Patient Resources

HIPAA Compliance Form
Minor Authorization Form
Existing patients with medical questions can send us a message through our secure patient portal.
Existing patients who wish to pay their bills can submit a payment with our secure payment portal.
Sometimes we need to see your insurance card to better evaluate coverage. If a staff member has requested that you upload your card, you can do that securely here.
HIPAA Compliance Form
Minor Authorization Form
Existing patients with medical questions can send us a message through our secure patient portal.
Existing patients who wish to pay their bills can submit a payment with our secure payment portal.

Frequently Asked Questions

At all appointments, you should bring:


  • Photo ID
  • All Insurance Cards
  • Current List Of Medications.
  • Any copay or previous balances due

We understand things come up and an appointment may need to change for some reason! If this happens please just give us a call and we are happy to help you find another date and time. All we ask is you give us 24 hours’ notice for cancellation/change of appointments. A cancellation fee may be assessed if less than 24 hours’ notice is given, $50.00 for office visits and $200.00 for surgical/cosmetic appointments.

We ask that patients arrive ten minutes before their appointment to allow time to complete the check-in process. If you arrive past your appointment time you may be asked to reschedule. Please call the office to reschedule at (269) 321-7546 or proceed to the front desk to discuss your options.

Please call our office at (269) 321-7546 to request a refill before your prescription runs out. Many prescriptions require a yearly visit, if that is the case you will be asked to make an appointment.

We take pride in making sure your experience with us is the best it can be from start to finish. Click here for directions on how to care for your biopsy or surgical site.

Are you concerned about when or how to use a medication we prescribed, the price of the medication or think you are having a reaction? Please call our clinical team at (269) 321-7546.

Yes! Please fill out our HIPAA Compliance Form and submit it. One of our medical records team will contact you within 5 business days.

Southwest Michigan Dermatology and Laser & Skin Care Center maintains a high level of confidentiality and we adhere to a privacy policy (HIPAA). We take appropriate measures to provide security and respect your medical, personal, and billing information. Patients 18 years of age and older, who would like to share medical, billing, or financial information, will require a completed PHI form.

Southwest Michigan Dermatology and Laser & Skin Care Center accepts most major insurance plans. Most insurance companies offer coverage on medical and surgical dermatology services they deem medically necessary. However, it is your responsibility to know your plan’s provisions and seek appropriate approval prior to your services. as coverage varies by insurance carrier and from policy to policy.

Southwest Michigan Dermatology only requires a referral when a patient’s insurance requires it. It is the patient’s responsibility to determine if their insurance will require a referral in order for the visit to be billed to insurance.

All Medicaid programs must have a referral to be seen.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not list skin cancer screenings under the A or B recommendations; meaning that skin exams are not seen as preventative by insurance companies. Therefore, skin exams are not billed as a preventative visit.

A deductible is the set amount that the patient pays out-of-pocket before the insurance carrier starts paying for services. Deductibles restart on a yearly basis. Deductibles are determined by your insurance carrier based on the benefit plan you or your employer group selected.

Copayments are set amounts that the patient pays at the time of a medical service, such as an office visit, procedure, or for medication. Co-pays are set by the insurance provider and vary depending on benefit plan selections.

Co-insurance is determined once the claim is processed based on the benefit payment level. These are billed to the patient if they do not have a secondary insurance that will cover them.

Each carrier limits the amount of time that a provider must file insurance claims for each date of service. Each time you register in our office you will need to present ALL valid insurances for that date of service. We will not be responsible for filing any claims that are outside the insurance carrier’s time filing limits and you will be financially responsible for those balances.

A Coordination of Benefits (COB) is a system utilized by insurance companies to determine the order in which different insurance plans, when more than one policy is active, should be billed. Insurance carriers will reject claims if they are missing COB, or if they believe that another carrier may be responsible for your services. Even if you only carry one health insurance plan, insurance carriers may reject claims if they are missing a COB. It is the patient’s responsibility to communicate and resolve this issue with their carrier.

We accept most major credit cards (American Express, Visa, Master Card, and Discover), debit cards, checks, and exact change cash. Any personal checks that are returned as not processable by the bank are subject to a $50.00 service fee.

These services are usually not covered by insurance carriers. Payment in full will be collected at the time of service.

You will receive three billings for a biopsy. One from the provider who performed the biopsy. The second bill will be from the lab that processes the tissue sample. The final bill will be from the pathologist who examines the tissue slide.

Each insurance plan is different, and coverage varies by carrier and plan. The best way to verify if your carrier will cover your services is by contacting them ahead of your visit. General office visits and biopsies are typically covered by most carriers. Coverage for specific procedures may vary by insurance policy. Carriers do sometimes reject claims as “non-covered.” In most situations, our billing department can provide you with an estimate of the code(s) that may be submitted for your visit. If you are concerned about coverage at the time of the visit, you can defer a procedure until you have an opportunity to review your carrier’s benefits and policies.

Sometimes an insurance carrier will require prior authorization for a service. While we do our best to give you advanced notification, it is your responsibility to verify with your insurance carrier before a service is performed. Our Business Office (269-321-0971, option 2) is available if you have any questions. If authorization is not obtained, you will be responsible for the cost of the unauthorized services.

That’s not a problem, we see and treat patients who do not have health insurance. If you are not covered by a registered health insurance carrier, we will collect a $200 down payment at each visit. You will be billed for any balances from your visit that are not covered by the down payment. When you receive your first statement you are welcome to contact our Business Office at (269) 321-0971, option 2, and have your account reviewed for a self-pay discount. If you have insurance, you will receive more discounts by using insurance coverage rather than asking for a self-pay discount.

If you do not want to bill your insurance you will need to contact the Business Office at (269) 321-0971, option 2, prior to your services. The insurance carrier will require that all services related to that diagnosis be considered “self-pay” going forward, and any services with that diagnosis that they have paid for will be refunded. In some cases, that can be costly. We do not give self-pay discounts if you choose not to bill your insurance.

If we are out-of-network with your insurance carrier we will send a courtesy claim for your services. You will also receive a bill for the services. The insurance carrier will issue payment to the insurance subscriber. You will be responsible for the entire billed amount. No provider network discounts will be issued for your services.

While this is not our complete list, below are some common carriers you may recognize. Sometimes insurance carriers that we participate with will add different lines of business that we do not participate with, feel free to contact the Business Office at (269) 321-0971, option 2, for more information.

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Blue Care Network of Michigan
  • United Healthcare
  • Priority Health
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Medicare for Railroad Workers and Their Families
  • MultiPlan
  • PHCS
  • Cofinity

Financial Policies


All balances are due by the statement due date on your first statement. Any balances not paid by the due date are considered Past Due. We do not offer financial assistance and are not involved in any local financial programs. We bill all charges to the insurance carrier(s), then bill patients for any deductibles, co-insurances, co-payments, and non-covered services. You should receive or can visit your insurance web site and view your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance carrier. Our statement is not an EOB, it’s a summary of the charges, insurance payments and patient payments. Not all co-payments paid will be shown in the statement, but they are credited and have reduced your balance. Your statement will only show services that are not paid for in full, we will not send you a statement for something that is paid. If you need a history of your account, you can contact our Business Office (269-321-0971, option 2) for a summary.

Payment Plans

Yes, we offer payment plans for qualified balances. Payment plans can only be established by a billing specialist. All payment plans are set up on an auto pay system, without exception. You will need a major credit card or debit card and email address to enroll in this program. Payment plans are subject to terms and conditions. Contact the Business Office (269-321-0971, option 2) to discuss this with a billing specialist.


Parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of patients under the age of 18 years old are financially responsible for any services rendered, balances after insurance and any non-covered services.

Returned Checks

If a personal check is returned from a financial institute, a $50.00 non-sufficient fund fee (NSF) will be added to your account. This fee will be part of your balance and cannot be waived.


Sometimes we find that patients have overpaid on their account. This can happen if the co-payment was less than expected, an insurance reprocesses a claim, or a duplicate patient payment is received. As we process claims we see credits and will start processing them back to the patient. If you pay by credit/debit card, we automatically refund that card. If you pay by cash or check, we will issue you a MC/Visa Gift Card. For security reasons, we do not issue paper checks.


If you have an active open bankruptcy, we will estimate your out-of-pocket cost and we will collect all co-payments, deductibles, co-insurances, and non-covered services prior to your visit. If your bankruptcy is closed, please provide us with that notice to avoid large upfront costs. We reserve the right to collect a $200.00 down payment on closed bankruptcies at the time of scheduling.


An account is considered past due after the first statement due date. Beyond the first statement we will actively work to collect any balances through a second statement showing the Past Due balance, collection calls, collection texts and collection emails. Patients will receive a final notice, billing and pre-collection letter. All accounts are reviewed by our providers and placed with our collection agency, Americollect (1-800-838-0100). Once an account is placed in collections, you will need to make payment directly to the agency to avoid additional credit card processing fees. Prior to future appointments, you will need to pay your previous balance in full. If your account balance has been placed in collections 2 or more times, we will collect a $200.00 down payment at the time of scheduling. The providers reserve the right to discharge a patient from the practice for multiple collection balances.