How do I call for prescription refills?
For patients who need prescriptions refilled before their next office visit appointment, we offer a prescription refill service. Atlanta office patients should leave a message in the prescription refill mailbox. To reach this mailbox, call the main office number (404-355-3200) and press "7" after the automated attendant starts speaking. Please state and spell your first and last names, your date of birth, and your doctor's name. Please spell the medication name, strength, number of pills (or injections), and the last refill date. Please also leave the name and phone number of your pharmacy.
Please expect that it will take 2 working days from the time you leave the message in the mailbox until the pharmacy has been called. This allows the medical assistant time to pull your chart, to have the doctor review the need for the refill, to call the pharmacy, and for the pharmacy to have the medication available. You may want to confirm with the pharmacy that your prescription is available before leaving to pick it up.
To be sure there are no gaps in your treatment, please do not wait until you only have a few days' supply of remaining medication. We recommend that you call the prescription mailbox one week before you anticipate running out of your medicine. Please do not call the doctor after the office is closed or on weekends for prescription refills. The on call doctor is available for medical emergencies only.
For the Fayetteville and Newnan offices: Please contact your pharmacist to request a refill.
What if I have an emergency during office hours?
If you have a medical emergency, call your physician's office number - Atlanta offices 404-355-3200 and press "0" to speak with the operator or Fayetteville offices 678-817-6550 or 770-719-3240 and press "2" and then “2” a second time to speak to an operator.
Examples of gastrointestinal emergencies include severe abdominal pain or distension, high fever, dehydration, vomiting or defecating black or maroon blood, abdominal pain after an endoscopic procedure, food stuck in the esophagus, or severe allergic reactions to medications (i.e. hives or shortness of breath). The operator, who does not have a medical background, will put you in contact with your doctor's medical assistant. Depending on the specifics of the situation, the medical assistant may suggest that you come to the Hospital Emergency Department for evaluation. Please realize that if laboratory or X-ray studies are needed to assess your condition, this can be accomplished faster in the Emergency Department than in our office. We will try to expedite your wait in the Emergency Department. After the Emergency Department physician has evaluated you, he or she will contact one of our doctors to coordinate your care.
What if I have an emergency after the office is closed?
There is an on call doctor available for medical emergencies at all times. If you have an emergency, call the main office number, (Atlanta Offices 404-355-3200 and press "0" to speak with the answering service operator. For our Fayetteville Offices call 678-817-6550 or 770-719-3240 and you will be connected to the answering service).
Examples of gastrointestinal emergencies include severe abdominal pain, or distension, high fever, dehydration, vomiting or defecating black or maroon blood, abdominal pain after an endoscopic procedure, food stuck in the esophagus, or severe allergic reactions to medications (i.e. hives or shortness of breath). Please do not call the on call doctor for non-emergencies such as prescription refills or routine test results.
The answering service operator will page the on call physician on his or her cell phone. If the doctor does not call back within 20 minutes, please have him paged again. Depending on the specifics of the situation, the physician may suggest that you come to the Hospital Emergency Room for evaluation.
What do I do if I want to ask my doctor a question or leave him/her a message?
Gastroenterologists divide their time between seeing patients in the office, performing endoscopic procedures, and consulting in the hospital. If you call with a non emergent question or problem, please realize that the doctor may be unavailable for a few hours at a time. Also, please understand that his or her medical assistant may be on the telephone or assisting with another patient while you are calling. If that is the case, your message will go to the medical assistant's confidential voice mail. Only healthcare professionals have access to voice mail, which is protected by security codes. Please state and spell your first and last names, your date of birth, and your doctor's name. Please leave a detailed message so that the medical assistant can make the specific information available to the doctor. Please also leave a reliable contact number so that we can return your call efficiently. Cell telephone numbers are particularly helpful; we will not leave medical information on a work answering machine or with a family member unless you authorize this. We will make every effort to return your call within a few hours, almost always by the end of the same working day. Please realize that the medical assistant and doctor receive many calls of varying urgency. Urgent problems will be answered more promptly than non-urgent issues.
How long should it take to get test results?
Each physician handles test results differently. Some physicians and/or their medical assistants call back all test results, while others will contact you only for abnormal results. There are some specialized blood tests, however, that take up to two weeks for the results to become available.
Results of radiology studies performed at Piedmont or Fayette Hospitals, such as ultrasounds, CAT scans, barium X-rays and MRI are available three working days after they have been completed.
Biopsy results are usually available in five working days. Some specimens may be sent for a second pathology opinion. These results may take up to two weeks to become available.
If you have not received your test results by the time these guidelines suggest, please call the main number and leave a message for your doctor's medical assistant. Please state and spell your first and last names, and your birth date. Please mention the specific test for which you are expecting a result. You will be called within 24 hours with either the results or with an explanation of when the results should be available.
How do I get to the office?
Follow our online directions.
Do you have office hours any nights or weekends?Please see our office hours.
Do you take my insurance?
Please see our list of accepted providers.
What is a PA?
A physician assistant (PA) is a health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. PA's attend an intense two year training program after completing a bachelor's degree. They are accredited by the state of Georgia. PA's conduct physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and prescribe non-narcotic medications.
What is a NP?
How will I know if my insurance is going to pay for my procedure (or medication)?
Many insurance companies, require pre-certification for endoscopic procedures and even for some expensive medications, such as interferon and remicade. In the case of endoscopic procedures, the pre-certification process is started several days before the procedure. Some insurance companies are more efficient than others in reviewing the clinical information in order to make their decision about pre-certification. Please realize that this is out of our control. In the event that your insurance company does not pre-certify your procedure, we will make every effort to inform you early enough so that you don't prepare for the test unnecessarily. Please remember that even if your insurance company does pre-certify the procedure, this is not a guarantee that they will actually pay for the procedure.
Many patients realize the importance of preventive medicine, particularly with regards to screening colonoscopy. Please realize that just because your primary care doctor or one of our physicians recommend a procedure, this does not guarantee that your insurance company will agree to pay for it. With regards to screening colonoscopy, our best advice is for you to directly contact your insurance carrier ahead of time to review your particular insurance coverage in this situation.
Do I need to see the doctor prior to my procedure?
Atlanta and Jasper offices:
Patients who have no medical problems and want to be scheduled for a screening colonoscopy may fill out a form at home outlining their medical history and send it back to our office. This form will be mailed or faxed to the patient if requested. The doctor will review it and may choose to schedule the colonoscopy without seeing the patient in the office first. Patients with significant medical problems will always be asked to make an office appointment prior to having their procedure done.
Fayetteville and Newnan offices:
When you call the office, a representative will review your demographic information (i.e. valid phone numbers, mailing address, date of birth) and current primary care provider to ensure the information is up to date. You will also be asked to provide your current insurance information including identification numbers and contact phone number for your insurance provider.
Once the information has been updated, the representative will forward your information to the Procedure Screening Nurse. The screening nurse will contact you within 3-5 business days to obtain a brief medical history. You will also be asked to provide a list of your medications.
The completed medical history form will be forwarded to your physician to review to determine what procedure prep and special instructions you will need. He or she may suggest, based on your current medical history, that you be evaluated in the office prior to your procedure. Once cleared by your physician, the medical history form will be sent to the scheduler who will then contact you to schedule the procedure.
What if I have to cancel my procedure?
Please contact our office at least one week in advance if you need to cancel your procedure. Canceling your procedure with less than a week's notice will not allow enough time to schedule another patient in that time slot. Cancellations made prior to 48 hours of your appointment could result in a $50.00 cancellation fee for an office appointment and a $150.00 cancellation fee for a procedure.
What should I do if I cannot drink the entire prep for my colonoscopy?
Please call the doctor on call if you cannot complete your prep. It is not uncommon for patients to have difficulty completing the prep. The doctor on call may have some helpful advice to help you take enough of the laxative so you can get your procedure done the next day.
If my prep involves drinking the gallon of laxative, do I really need to finish the entire gallon for the colonoscopy?
We strongly recommend that you finish the entire gallon if at all possible. Most patients will be incompletely prepped if they drink less than the entire gallon. Please keep drinking the laxative even though it looks like the fluid you pass is clear. This does not necessarily mean that your colon is entirely clean.
How do I know if I need a referral for my office visit?
Your managed care plan may require a referral from your Primary Care Physician (PCP) in order to pay for your visit to a specialist. If you are unsure if a referral is required by your insurance carrier, refer to the benefit plan pamphlet provided by your employer or contact the customer service number on the back of your insurance card. A referral must be obtained prior to your visit with the doctor.
Are the doctors' fees negotiable?
Digestive Healthcare of Georgia physicians have pre-negotiated rates with all of the major managed care insurance companies therefore; we do not extend any further discounts to our patients under those plans. However, the group welcomes self-paying patients when no insurance coverage is available for our services. Patients who have no insurance are asked to pay in full at the time of service. If for any reason you may be unable to pay in full at the time of service, speak with the billing manager in advance of the visit to determine if reasonable payment arrangements can be established with the group.
Why do I have to pay a co-pay at the time of service?
A copayment is a cost-sharing arrangement that has been negotiated between your employer and your insurance carrier. The copayment is a specified charge (ex: $20 for an office visit) that has been predetermined and is due at the time of service.
When will I get a bill?
Monthly statements are generated for all "patient responsible" balances. You will receive a statement from us once we have received the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance carrier.
Why are their multiple charges on my bill for my endoscopic procedure?
When an endoscopic procedure is performed in the Digestive Healthcare of Georgia Endoscopy Center, there are two charges for each procedure. The first charge that appears on your bill is for the physician charge and the second charge is for the facility.
What are the office hours for Atlanta and Fayetteville offices?
The office hours for both offices are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (EST).