How to Get Care: Appointments

Everything you need to know about appointments

Appointment Information

  • Write the time of your appointment on your calendar
  • Make sure you have transportation to and from the health center. Medicaid patients may arrange transportation 48 hours in advance by calling Northwest Regional Council’s toll free number: (800) 860-6812. (See Getting to Your Appointment for more details.)

Each visit is scheduled so that we can care for multiple patients throughout the day. If you have multiple issues to discuss or need longer than the scheduled appointment time, you may need to schedule another appointment.

Making an Appointment

To make an appointment, please be ready to provide the following information:

  • Patient’s name and date of birth
  • Your name (if you are calling for the patient)
  • A current phone number where you can be reached
  • Whether the visit is urgent, routine, or follow-up
  • Patient’s insurance information, if any
  • Whether the patient will need an interpreter

When you have all of this information, please call to schedule an appointment:
Bellingham and Ferndale: (360) 676-6177 or toll-free (877) 235-6850


Appointment Cancellations and “No-Shows”

It is very important that you keep your scheduled appointment. If you must cancel or re-schedule your appointment, please call us at (360) 676-6177 at least 24 hours in advance. When you miss an appointment or cancel less than 24 hours in advance, that means that someone else who needs care has to wait longer to be seen. You can leave a message at that number after hours.

If you call to cancel the day of your appointment, don’t call to cancel, or don’t show up for your appointment, it is considered a “no-show.” Multiple missed appointments or “no shows” may result in disciplinary action, including being placed on a “Standby Basis” for future visits, or in some cases, dismissal from our health care practice.

Medical “Check-in Appointments” and “Provider Appointments”

Each time you schedule a medical appointment with Unity Care NW, we will schedule you two separate appointments:

  • Your Check-in Appointment will be with one of our receptionists who will make sure all the appropriate paperwork has been completed. Your Check-in Appointment is scheduled 15 minutes prior to your Provider Appointment.
  • Your Provider Appointment is the time you will spend with your provider.

It is important that you arrive for your Check in Appointment on time so that your Provider Appointment is not delayed. If you are late for your Check-in Appointment, you may be asked to reschedule your Provider Appointment or be placed on ‘stand-by’, which means if/when there is a cancellation, you can still be seen.

What to Bring to Your Appointment

  • Your insurance card
  • Your proof of household income (see Questions Asked at Check-in on the next page for information about why we ask all patients to provide this information)
  • Minimum co-pay or Sliding Fee Discount payment for each visit

Also important for medical appointments, please bring a list of your medications, including the doses and amounts left of each medication, or you can bring all of your medications in a bag.

Questions Asked at Check-in

We are required to request financial information from all patients. Unity Care NW receives grants to help lower the cost of our services. These grants allow us to offer more services and to provide a Sliding Fee Discount Program to those who are eligible. In order to offer those discounts as well as get and keep these grants, we must report information about our patients.

Our Sliding Fee Discount Program requires that we collect the following information from those patients applying for program eligibility:

  • Household income information
  • Household size

In addition, grants that fund our services require that we also collect the following information from all patients:

  • Household income information
  • Household size
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Age
  • Housing information
  • Insurance information
  • Veteran status

In regard to household income information, we ask that you bring information you have on the following types of income you receive:

  • Most recent employment paystubs showing income (wages, salaries, tips and commisisons) for the past 30 days
  • Previous year’s IRS 1040 personal/selfemployment tax return showing net selfemployment or business income
  • Most recent unemployment paystubs showing income for past 30 days
  • Current year Award/Benefit Letter from other sources (Social Security, Veteran’s Benefits)
  • Proof of other types of household income (alimony/spousal support, retirement and pension income, Investment and rental income, per capita distributions from tribal gaming).
  • Two months of most recent bank statements (all accounts)
  • If you have no income, you can ask a receptionist for a self-attestation of no income form.


Unity Care NW respects your privacy

We understand that your personal information is very sensitive. We will not disclose your information to others unless you tell us to do so, or unless the law authorizes or requires us to do so.