We are honored that our current patients have chosen Associates in Gastroenterology to meet their needs regarding gastrointestinal health. We value your opinion of our practice and want to ensure that your visits are always a pleasant experience. Many of our current patients are referred from other physicians whom we partner with to ensure your overall wellness. To ensure that you always have a successful encounter with our medical practice, here are a few important reminders:
Office Hours and Appointments
The office hours are 8AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday. We will make every effort to schedule you an appointment time that is convenient for you.
We ask that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time which will allow us to update any information needed for your medical and billing record. If you are unable to make an appointment, we ask that you let us know so as not to delay other patients’ appointments. Occasionally, emergencies may cause delays in our schedule. We regret any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience with these delays. We will make every effort to inform you of any delay.
- You have the right to privacy and confidentiality regarding your office visits and records.
- You have the right to adequate education and counseling regarding your medical condition.
- You have the right to have all procedures, risks, benefits, and alternatives explained and your questions answered in lay language.
- You have the right to have medications’ effectiveness and possible side effects explained to you.
- You have the right to see results of tests and have the meaning of tests explained to you.
- You have the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law, and the right to receive information on alternatives and consequences of refused treatment.
- You have the right to review your medical records and have them explained.
- You have the right to decide whether or not to participate in clinical research studies.
- Patients have the responsibility to give honest, accurate, and complete medical history information.
- Patients have the responsibility to make sure that they understand what the doctor is saying and, if not, ask questions for clarification.
- Patients have the responsibility to follow their doctor’s medical advice and instructions.
- Patients should report any significant changes in their health to their doctor.
- Patients should keep appointments or cancel in advance because failure to do so prevents other patients from being seen.
- Patients have the responsibility to understand their own insurance benefits, coverage, co-payment responsibilities and obtaining referrals and authorizations.
If you need emergent care, please go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 for assistance. The emergency room will evaluate your medical problem and consult with our physicians when necessary. If urgent services are needed during regular office hours you may call our office and ask to speak directly to a nurse who can advise you as to how to proceed. One of our physicians will be on call daily to cover after business hours urgent care needs when they occur. Our office number is (615) 885-1093 and the answering service personnel will take the message and have the “on call” physician call you back. Remember, prescription refills are not urgent or emergent care.
Insurance: We are currently participating providers with most of the major insurance carriers. We will electronically verify insurance benefits for each visit / appointment you have with our practice. You will be responsible at the time of service for any co-payments, deductibles or out of pocket expenses. Our business office will file your charges to the insurance carrier(s) that you presented to us at the time of services. Although we will assist you by filing your claims, payment for the services rendered is ultimately your responsibility. Please keep us informed of any changes in your insurance status. If your charges are to be considered by your employer, for workers’ compensation, auto insurance, etc., please make sure to inform the registration staff at each visit.
Medicare: We accept assignment from Medicare. We will process your Medicare claim. You will be responsible for any deductibles or co-payment amounts determined by Medicare to be your responsibility. There are numerous other Medicare products that are now available to Medicare eligible recipients. Make sure you provide that information to us if you have changed from the traditional Medicare product.
Billing: You will receive a bill from our office after your charges have been processed by your insurance carrier(s) or if we haven’t heard from your insurance carrier after an extended period of time. It is your responsibility to contact your insurance company if you have not received an “Explanation of Benefits” (or EOB). All non-covered charges and remaining charges after your insurance has been paid are due and payable within 30 days of billing. If you do not have insurance and/or special arrangements are necessary for the payment of your bill, please stop by the business office where arrangements can be made.
When hospitalization is required, our physicians will attend to your digestive needs at Summit Medical Center. The fees for services provided by either hospital or the hospital-based physicians (e.g. – Radiologist, Emergency Room Physician, Pathologist) are all billed separately from the services provided by the physicians of our office.
To assist the hospital in filing your insurance claims, be prepared to supply information regarding your carrier at the time of admission. Also, if your insurance carrier requires pre-authorization for admission, inform your doctor or nurse of this requirement at the time your hospitalization is scheduled.
Consultations and Procedures
There may be times when the physician must refer you to a specialist or other outpatient facility. When you are referred to a specialist in consultation or when you have a medical/surgical procedure scheduled, many insurance companies require pre-authorization. Please let us know each time your insurance company requires pre-authorization. You will be responsible for providing these facilities / physicians your personal demographic and insurance information. The fees for services provided by either outpatient facility and/or physicians (e.g. – X-ray, Radiologist, Pathologist, Laboratory Services) are all billed separately from the services provided by the physicians of our office.
Many medications require ongoing refills; however, it is possible to run out of your medication refills prior to your next appointment. It is important not to miss any doses of your medications. Please call during our normal business hours for a refill when you have at least 3 – 4 days of the medication remaining to avoid waiting unnecessarily at the pharmacy or missing any of your doses. If you have any confusion about whether or not to continue a medication that has no more refills, take your prescription to your pharmacy and they will notify us electronically regarding the need to review for refill authorization. Allow 24 – 48 hours for all pharmacy prescriptions to be authorized. Any refill request received after 4 PM will be refilled on the next business work day. The physician on call will not authorize prescription refills after hours or on the weekend.
Preventive Health Services
Colorectal Cancer Screening is the terminology set forth by the American Cancer Society which has been accepted by the insurance industry and Medicare. It is used to notate that the colonoscopy procedure was done on a patient over the age of fifty, who does not have any risk factors for colorectal cancer including no previous history of colonic polyps or cancer, no family history of polyps or cancer, and is asymptomatic.
As a general rule, most preventive / screening tests are covered by insurance on a policy by policy basis.
Our billing staff will verify your insurance benefits and file your claim based on services performed according to the national correct coding guidelines.
Outpatient Endoscopy Center
Our physicians believe in compassionate medicine, where patients feel reassured and unrushed. Based on this philosophy they have chosen to provide for you an outpatient endoscopy center that provides high quality care in a friendly, relaxed setting. Our physicians schedule most outpatient procedures at Associated Endoscopy, an outpatient, endoscopic facility specializing in colorectal cancer screening and the treatment of various digestive diseases. The staff of Associated Endoscopy are licensed nursing personnel that are GI specialty trained. This facility is AAAHC accredited and is owned and operated by AmSurg, Dr. James, Dr. Lee, Dr. Lazas, and Dr. Patil. The physicians of Associates in Gastroenterology will also use the Summit Medical Center outpatient endoscopy center if they feel that hospital care is needed or if your specific insurance mandates.
Concerns & Complaints
We value you and want you to be satisfied with the service, care, and treatment that we provide. If you have any concerns or complaints, please let us know as soon as possible. You will be given an opportunity to talk to a member of our office staff most familiar with the subject of your concern or complaint. We will strive to immediately address your concern or resolve your complaint. If we are not able to immediately provide you with a response, we will tell you when you can expect to receive a response from us. Please be assured that your future care and treatment will not be compromised by letting us know your concerns or complaints.