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Frequently asked Questions
FREQUENTLY ASKED MEDICAL QUESTIONS
Q: What is Helicobacter pylori?
A: This is bacteria that causes inflammation or irritation of the stomach or the beginning of the small intestine resulting in ulcers or gastritis.
Q: What medications can I take before the procedure?
A: Life sustaining, blood pressure, heart, breathing as well as seizure medications may be taken with a sip of water upon arising the morning of the procedure. Please review the prep instruction that were sent to you or from the links above.
Q: When will I have my test results?
A: General results should be back within one week; however, time frames may vary. If you have a patient portal account, your results can be sent directly there. If you do not, then a nurse will call you back within 24-48 business hours after the provider has reviewed these results and made his recommendations.
Q: What does precancerous mean?
A: It means that the tissue removed is not cancer, however, if not removed, it could develop into cancer at some time in the future.
Q: What's the difference between a colonoscopy and a flexible sigmoidoscopy?
A: Both procedures require the use of a thin, flexible endoscope. A colonoscopy examines the entire colon (large intestine). This is an outpatient procedure performed with the patient under sedation. If a polyp is found during a colonoscopy it can be removed.
A flexible sigmoidoscopy involves a shorter scope and examines about one-third of the colon. This is usually done without sedation. During this procedure a polyp can be biopsied but not removed. If polyps are found during a sigmoidoscopy, a colonoscopy may be recommended.
Q: When should I have a colonoscopy?
A: In general, anyone 50 years of age or older should have a colonoscopy to screen for polyps and cancer. If you are under 50, you may also need a colonoscopy if any immediate relatives have had colon polyps or colon cancer or if you are having any symptoms such as a change in bowel habits, passing blood (even a small amount) or unexplained lower abdominal pain.
Q: Should I have an upper endoscopy if I have heartburn symptoms?
A: It depends on the length and severity of your symptoms. If you have had acid reflux for several years, or if it is poorly controlled with acid-suppressing medications, you should probably have an upper endoscopy to rule out a precancerous condition called Barrett's esophagus.
Q: What's the difference between diverticulosis and diverticulitis?
A: Diverticulosis refers to small pouches in the wall of the colon. It is thought that these are caused by outward pressure exerted in the colon (e.g. perpetual straining during bowel movements) which can cause bulges or herniations in weak areas of the colon wall. This is a very common condition. When these pouches become inflamed or infected, the condition is called diverticulitis. The signs of diverticulitis may include sudden abdominal pain, bleeding during bowel movements and fever. Diverticulitis usually requires treatment with antibiotics.
Q: How do I make suggestions or file a complaint?
A: Contact the Hendersonville office (call 828-696-3099) and ask for the office manager or the nursing supervisor.
One of our physicians is on call 24 hours a day. If a medical emergency (NOT requiring immediate Emergency Room care) occurs after office hours, on weekends, or holidays, please call the hospital operator at Pardee Hospital, 696-1000; Park Ridge Health, 684-8501; or Transylvania Regional Hospital, 884-9111. The operator will contact the physician on call.
Routine prescriptions and refills are issued during regular office hours. Please have your pharmacy submit an electronic refill request or send us a secure message through the patient portal. No routine prescriptions for pain and nerve medications will be filled at night or on weekends by the on-call physician.
Our medical records are completely confidential and will be released only upon your written authorization. For more information regarding privacy see our Notice of Privacy Practices in the link at the bottom of any page.
As a courtesy to you, our insurance department will file your primary claim. They will file your fees in the office for consultation, follow-up care and any professional or institutional fees for the procedures performed. Our insurance staff is specially trained to file and follow up on your insurance coverage.
Depending on the services provided you may receive 2 statements. One from Carolina Mountain Gastroenterology and the other from our Endoscopy Center.
Our fees are charged in two primary services:
Consultation and office visits are charged to reflect the extent or complexity of the condition which prompts your referral to us.
If an endoscopic procedure is performed, there is a professional fee, which is the physician's charge for performing the procedure.
You should be aware that when your procedure is performed at the hospital, the hospital will charge their fee. In addition, when biopsies are obtained and specimens are sent for tissue analysis, you will receive a separate bill from the pathologists for their services.
These are charged for endoscopic procedures that use our Endoscopy Center. This replaces the fee that the hospital charges and is usually less. A separate claim is required by most insurances and our billing team will file this on your behalf.
Medicare: We accept assignment on Medicare. We are paid 80% of a Medicare-approved amount for your charges. You will be expected to pay the remaining 20% of Medicare's approved amount, either with supplementary insurance or personal payment.
Managed Care Insurance: If you have managed care that requires an authorization from your primary care physician, please bring the authorization at the time of your visit or have your primary care provider send it to us at least 3 days prior.
Pre-certification: We will assist you in obtaining appropriate pre-certification for procedures that we schedule.
Medicaid: Patients who have Medicaid or qualify for medical assistance must present a current eligibility card on the day of your visit. You will be expected to pay your co-payment, if applicable, on the day of your visit.
Alternative Payment Plan: If you have specific financial problems or needs, please make us aware of these so that alternative payment systems can be worked out with you at the time of your visit. We do not want the fee itself to deter you from receiving appropriate evaluation and treatment.
Please see the attached regarding our billing policies and Self-pay policies for our Endoscopy Center.
FREQUENTLY ASKED BILLING QUESTIONS
Q: What do I have to pay when I come in?
A: We will collect any deductible or copay up front. You will be advised of this amount at least 1 week prior to your procedure. If there is problem, please call 696-3099 to make prior arrangements and/or to reschedule your appointment.
Q: What if my insurance does not pay?
A: We will do all that we can to help get your claim processed. Once processed you will be responsible for any amount that they have not paid or adjusted off.
Q: Will you file my secondary insurance?
A: Yes, we will file secondary insurance. Any after that we will provide you with information to file.
Q: Do we accept assignment with Medicare?
A: Yes, as well as most other payers.
Q: Does insurance pay for screening procedures?
A: We can not guarantee that any insurance will pay, however we provide any information needed to help with processing the claim. A benefits specialist will review your insurance prior to your appointment and inform you if you do owe any amount.
Q: How may I pay?
A: We accept payments by cash, check, visa and master card. We can also accept american express and most debit cards when paying at one of our locations. We accept payment by mail or over the phone.