Frequently Asked Questions


When is Dr. Van Kirk On-Call?

Dr. Van Kirk shares call with Doctors Oliva, Pena, Serr, Skipitis and Williams.  All are board certified OB/GYN’s.  During normal business hours, all of the physicians take care of and deliver their own patients.  When the offices are closed, one of the doctors is on call.  After hours, if you call the office or arrive at Mercy Hospital for care, you will be routed to the doctor on call.

What is an OB Deposit and why didn’t you bill my insurance for it?

The OB Deposit is an estimate of the total amount of the doctor's charges for routine pregnancy care, excluding lab work and ultrasounds, which are beyond your insurance plan benefit and, by definition, your responsibility. We estimate this amount at the beginning of your pregnancy care by contacting your insurance company. This amount will be reflected on your monthly statement but will not be due until the beginning of your eight month of pregnancy.

If the OB Deposit collected ends up being less than or greater than your final responsibility after delivery and postpartum care, we will bill you for the remaining amount or refund the overpayment.

Remember, we bill your insurance company for the full amount of the doctor's care during your pregnancy – called the ‘global charges.’ The OB Deposit is our estimate of the portion of the global charges for which you will be responsible based information obtained from your insurance company.

Is Dr. Van Kirk a Primary Care Doctor?

Dr. Van Kirk does well-woman care, such as annual exams.  Women with general medical problems such as diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure are better served by their own family practice or internal medicine doctors in town.

What Medications Can I Take When I’m Pregnant?

Many medications are fine, but a few are not.  We have a list of approved over-the-counter medications available at the front desk or on our website.

Where Does Dr. Van Kirk Do Surgery?

Dr. Van Kirk does most of his gynecologic (non-pregnant) surgery at Mercy Hospital on Mondays. But, he will perform surgery at Mercy Outpatient and Court Street Surgery Center.  All obstetric care (such as deliveries and C-sections) is done at Mercy.

Where Does Dr. Van Kirk Deliver Babies?

Mercy Hospital is the only hospital with a Labor & Delivery unit between Mt. Shasta and Red Bluff.  Therefore, Dr. Van Kirk’s patients deliver at Mercy.

Does Dr. Van Kirk Deliver Babies Vaginally After C-Sections (VBAC)?

No.  Mercy Hospital policy does not allow VBACs.

Can I Take Pictures or Video During My Office Visit?

Unfortunately, Dr. Van Kirk’s medical malpractice carrier does not allow video or picture taking in the office at any time.  Similarly, at Mercy Hospital there is no video or picture taking during the actual birth.

What is a co-pay?
A co-pay is the flat fee determined by your insurance company that you pay each time you receive medical care, usually between $10 and $50.

What is co-insurance?
Co-insurance is the percentage of your medical bills that you have to pay, typically after you’ve paid your deductible.

What is a deductible?
A deductible is the amount you must reach before your insurance company starts paying for care.

Why didn’t my insurance pay?
Your insurance company processes claims based on your contract benefits and the best answer to this question will come from them.