FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q:  Why does my driver have to stay during my procedure?

A:  Endoscopic examinations such as colonoscopy and gastroscopy require sedation. The sedation is to promote comfort to the patient, but will make the patient groggy for several hours and slow reflexes for up to 12 hours. It is necessary for you to come with a friend or family member who can safely drive you home after your test is over. We require that your driver come with you and stay the entire time you are at our center. If your driver is not present the procedure will be delayed until they arrive at our office. This makes them available for questions and allows the doctor to meet with them in the recovery room after your test to explain the results.

Q:  What is Colonoscopy?

A:  http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/procedures/colonoscopy

Q:  What is Upper GI Endoscopy?

A:  http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/procedures/upper-gi-endoscopy

Q:  What is Colorectal Cancer Screening?

A:  http://www.uptodate.com/contents/colon-and-rectal-cancer-screening-beyond-the-basics

Q: What is Endoscopic Ultrasound or EUS?

A:  http://www.asge.org/PatientInfoIndex.aspx?id=380

Q:  Where can I find out more information about my digestive disease or gastrointestinal problems?

A:  You can find information on our website or visit the American Gastroenterology Association site.

Q:  How many hours does my procedure take to complete?

A:  Patients should expect to be in our office between 2 and 3 hours on the day of their procedure. Because the nature of these procedures can be somewhat unpredictable, we ask that you arrive early for your scheduled appointment. Our physicians will spend all of the time necessary with each patient to make sure you get the best GI service possible. This can sometimes lead to delays and longer wait times.  We assure you that we strive every day to minimize your waiting times and make sure you get the best and safest GI care available.

Q:  Can I have my procedure done in the office rather than the hospital?

A:  Yes, in many cases, our physicians can provide your outpatient endoscopy service in the comfort of our office which is typically less expensive for patients and takes less time for you and your driver.

Q:  Do you accept all insurance?

A:  We participate with most major insurance carriers for normal office visits and evaluations, including Medicare, BCBS, Cigna, Healthcare Savings, United Healthcare, and MedCost.

Q:  What is your payment policy?

A:  We accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards. For patients without medical insurance we offer a substantial discount and require upfront payment in full for office visits and procedures.

Q:  What do I do if I have an emergency?

A:  If you are experiencing a medical emergency please call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Q:  How do I request a refill of a medication?

A:  Please contact your pharmacy to request a refill on you prescription. They can call our Medication Refill Line at 362-1011 ext. #309 or fax a refill request to (910) 362-8499.  We make every effort to return calls within 24 to 48 hours.

Q:  Do you provide GI services to children?

A:  Unfortunately we do not see patients under the age of 17.  Please have your primary care physician contact us if there are any specific questions.

Q:  Do I need a referral to make an appointment at your office?

A:  Many of our patients do have a referral from their physician but you may call and schedule an appointment yourself as well. Please call (910) 362-1011 and choose option #4 to speak to one of our appointment schedulers. You may also click on the request an appointment option at the top of this page.

Q:  Can I fill out my insurance and medical forms before coming to my appointment ?

A:  Yes. You may print out all of your paperwork from the “Patient Forms” tab on our website and complete them at home. This helps reduce your wait time in our office on the day of your appointment. You may also request an invitation to our online patient portal, which allows you to log in securely and complete many of the forms online.

Q:  Do I need to bring my medical records to my first visit?

A:  It is very helpful to our providers if you obtain copies of your medical records from your previous gastroenterologist. This assists our providers in learning more about your health history and enables us to best serve your needs.

Q:  What else do I need to bring to my appointment?

A:  It is very important to have an accurate list of all the medications you are currently taking. It is often easiest for you to bring them with you in a zip-lock bag so we can ensure that we have them all documented in our records.

Q:  How much will my procedure cost?

A:  This can vary depending on insurance coverage.  Generally patients will notified in advance of their copay or coinsurance. Often some insurance companies only require that we charge your specialty office copay of $25 or $50. Procedures performed in our Ambulatory Endoscopy Center offer a tremendous savings over the hospital setting. Medicare and other insurers cover screening colonoscopies based on age and family history.

Q:  Are there any other costs associated with my procedure?

A:  There is a cost for your procedure prep kit. For your convenience you may purchase the kit here in our office for $20 when you come for your pre-procedure prep visit or you can purchase the items at your local pharmacy.

We currently contract with Carolina Anesthesia to provide the best sedation available for gastroenterology procedures. They will bill your insurance carrier separately for their services.

There may also be pathology charges associated with your procedure, depending on the physicians’ findings during the procedure.