Patient Information & Administrative Policies

At Horizon Family Medicine, our goal is to provide top quality medical care through a “Medical Home” model. In order to accomplish this goal, we have had to implement the following clinical administrative policies and procedures.

Family doctor and patients in waiting room

Appointment Booking Best Practice

To facilitate a smooth and efficient patient check in process, the clinic strongly encourages patients to have the following information:

  • Patient Picture ID (to confirm identity and prevent fraud)
  • Provincial Health Care Card #
  • Patient current mailing address and related phone numbers
  • Emergency contact information including Next of Kin

If a patient is unable to provide a current provincial health care card or the health number cannot be verified, the patient will be required to pay for the visit (which may be refunded once health care coverage approved). Office staff will also require payment of any outstanding invoices or charges before medical visit can occur.

It is also very helpful for patients to inform clinic staff of the particular concern or medical reason for the scheduled appointment during appointment booking process. This will facilitate required medical equipment, potential supplies or pre-appointment preparation to be ready upon the start of the patient appointment.

Horizon Family Medicine serves patients from all across Central Alberta and even as far as Edmonton and Calgary on a regular basis. All our physicians have shared access to Horizon Family Medicine patient medical charts via the clinic electronic medical record database and therefore are able to efficiently serve patients accordingly. In addition, a high percentage of our physicians see patients at both the Red Deer and Sylvan Lake clinics. Therefore in the interest of timely patient care, there may be occasion where patients are encouraged to see their family physician at either clinic.

Narcotic Medications

Any medical services relating to the issue of narcotics should ideally be dealt with through a scheduled appointment with a patient's family physician. If a timely appointment with the patient's family physician cannot be accommodated, the patient may utilize the clinic's "Urgent Overflow Access" and see another Horizon physician. However, the patient must have a signed Narcotic Agreement with their family physician in the clinic's EMR database.

Prescription Renewals

Horizon Family Medicine physicians do not accept faxed or phoned prescriptions from patients, pharmacies or other third parties. Exception will be made for housebound patients considered on an individual basis.

Horizon Family Medicine patients must personally renew prescriptions by appointment with their family physician or through the clinic's "Urgent Access Overflow".

Tests and Results

Patient test results will not be provided by the staff over the phone to ensure privacy and compliance with the Health Information Act. The clinic advises patients to return to the clinic to obtain test results approximately two weeks after the test has been completed.

Referrals to Specialists

Following some patient visits, referrals will be made to Specialists when the physician deems necessary. Following written referral to Specialist, patient will be contacted by Horizon staff or the specialist's office with regards to the date and time. If the specialist requires a patient to call and confirm appointment and this is not done, the appointment may be cancelled by the specialist.

Cancellation of a Scheduled Appointment

In order to be respectful of the medical needs other Horizon Family Medicine patients, please be courteous and call the clinic if you are unable to attend a scheduled appointment. This appointment slot will be reallocated to another patient who is in urgent need of treatment.

If it is necessary to cancel your scheduled appointment, the clinic requires that you contact the clinic via phone a minimum of two (2) hours before the booked appointment time. If an appointment is not cancelled prior to the above time frame, the late cancellation will be considered a “no show”. Appointments are in very high demand, and your early cancellation will give another patient the possibility to have access to timely medical care.

Cancellation of specialized consultations or procedures with Dr. Comeau or Dr. Rattan required 48 hours advance notice otherwise a no show will be applied.

No Show Policy

A "no show" is a patient who misses an appointment without prior cancellation of a minimum of two hours before booked appointment time. No-shows inconvenience and restrict those patients who need critical access to medical care in a timely manner and are costly to the medical practice.

A failure to present to the clinic reception at the time of a scheduled family practice appointment will be recorded in the patients' electronic chart as a "no show". In the event of a second no-show, an administrative fee of $40.00 will be applied and fully payable before further booked or "Urgent Access Overflow" appointments may occur. Three no shows will unfortunately result in the patient’s dismissal from the medical practice. Please note that Horizon will review and waive family practice patient first appointment no show’s that have occurred at or beyond one year on a monthly basis.

A failure to present to the clinic reception at the time of a scheduled complete physical appointment will be recorded in the patient's electronic chart as a "no show" and an administrative fee of $80.00 will be applied. This fee is fully payable before further appointments may occur.

A failure to present to the clinic reception at the time of a scheduled consult appointment with Dr. Rattan or Dr. Comeau will be recorded in the patient's electronic chart as a "no show" and an administrative fee of $80.00 (Dr. Rattan) or Comeau $50.00 (Dr. Comeau) will be applied. This fee is fully payable before further consult appointments may occur.

If a patient feels there are special or extraordinary circumstances related to a no-show visit or dismissal from the practice, the patient may request a review by the Business Manager and that patient's family physician. To submit an appeal of your no-show, please email:

Late Arrival Policy

The physicians of Horizon Family Medicine are extremely busy and see many patients during a clinical day. Therefore, if a patient is more than fifteen (15) minutes late for a scheduled appointment, please be aware that there is a possibility they may not be seen by their doctor that day. Being seen for your appointment will be left to the discretion of your physician based on the nature of your concern and the doctor’s schedule that particular day.

Urgent Overflow Access

For best continuity of care, patients of the clinic are strongly encouraged to book appointments with their respective family physician in an ongoing basis. However, in an effort to provide the convenience of more timely medical care for our patients, Horizon Family Medicine offers an "Urgent Overflow Access" clinic. All of our physicians rotate through this "Urgent Overflow Access" schedule.

In the best interests of maintaining balance in the Urgent Overflow Access schedule as well as best managing daily patient flow, the clinic will refrain from communicating via phone which physician is working in Urgent Overflow Access on a particular day. As mentioned above, all our physicians have shared access to Horizon Family Medicine patient medical charts via the clinic electronic medical record database.

Urgent Overflow Access visits are provided on a first come, first served basis. However, clinic staff will do their best to triage Horizon rostered patients according to presented medical situations and emergencies will be given priority. These include chest pain, bleeding, shortness of breath, severe allergic reaction, and fainting/dizziness.

Note that Urgent Overflow Access wait times given by staff are best estimates and may vary depending on current type of patient visits and triage process. The clinic strongly encourages patients to either check the clinic home page for Urgent Overflow Access Wait times or after 4 pm to phone either the Red Deer or Sylvan Lake clinic to inquire regarding current wait times prior to arriving at the respective clinic. This is because the Urgent Overflow Access clinic may, in certain situations, no longer be taking patients for that evening unless under the medical situations and emergencies listed above.

Life-threatening Emergencies

For life-threatening and/or medical emergencies, please go to the nearest hospital emergency department or call 911 immediately. For after-clinic hours telephone health advice please phone HEALTHLink Alberta at 1 866 408-5465.

Uninsured Patient Services

Uninsured patient services are medical services not paid for by provincial health care. These services include:

  • Third Party Insurance Forms and Reports
  • Government Agency Reports
  • Driver's Medical Reports
  • School and Employment related reports and forms
  • Medical Procedures and injections
  • Various clinical administrative charges

Horizon Family Medicine has based the clinic's uninsured patient services price list on current Alberta Medical Association fee guidelines and posted the rates on the clinic website. Patients are encouraged to check in advance with staff whether a particular service request is uninsured.

Code of Conduct

In an effort to provide a safe and healthy environment for medical staff, patients and their families, Horizon Family Medicine expects visitors, patients and accompanying family members to refrain from unacceptable behaviours and inappropriate verbal dialogue that is disruptive or poses a threat to the rights or safety of other patients and staff. If any members are subjected to unwarranted or unacceptable behaviour or language, please report to the staff supervisor and/or the Business Manager. Patients in violation are subject to removal from the clinic facility and/or discharge from the medical practice. Our end goal is to work together to provide excellent patient care in a suitable environment.

Clinic, Staff or Physician Feedback

Since the clinic strives to provide excellent patient care and service, we appreciate patient feedback that will assist in attaining top quality patient care. To provide this feedback, please email the clinic Business Manager at