Our doctors specialize in orthopaedic care and rehabilitation. Orthopaedic medicine treats diseases, disorders and injuries of muscles, bones and joints. We deal daily with broken bones, general bone or joint diseases, hand and foot problems, sports injuries, bone cancer, spinal disorders, scoliosis, pediatric orthopaedic problems and many other bone/ muscle/joint ailments. Surgery is but one option for many orthopaedic conditions, and in this office it is usually the last option. Depending on your diagnosis, we may be able to use braces, casts, physical therapy or medication to treat your condition. Just as no two people are exactly the same, no two ailments or injuries are alike either. For this reason we may conduct a series of tests or x-rays before we begin treatment. Your unique condition and personal needs always guide us in choosing methods of treatment that are right for you. You, too, are a key player on the team that is working to make you well. Often we find clues to peoples' ailments just by listening, so we need to hear your questions and concerns. Ask us anything; there ARE no frivolous questions. Experience has shown us when you take an active part in your own diagnosis and treatment you get well faster.
Our appointment system is designed to shorten the amount of time you wait to see a doctor. However, emergencies do happen. If you ever find yourself having to wait, we hope you'll remember that some day the person needing our immediate attention could be you. Appointments are made during our regular office hours, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office is closed for lunch between 12 and 1. For after-hours emergencies, just call our regular telephone number and our 24-hour answering service will help you reach the doctor on call. If you have to cancel your appointment for any reason, please let us know as far in advance as you can. Your courtesy may free up that time and help another patient.
If you have a life-threatening emergency, always dial 911 first. One of our doctors is always available for urgent orthopaedic problems. When the office is closed our answering service will reach the doctor on call. Our doctors respond to emergencies at Sarasota Memorial and Doctors Hospital.
Please don't wait until you run out of medicine to call for a refill. In fact, call at least two days ahead. In order to protect you, your doctor must review your medical file before renewing a prescription. Our doctors rotate between several locations - the local hospitals and our two offices (see back page of this booklet). It could be 24 hours after you call before your doctor can review your file. The files are reviewed and prescriptions are called to pharmacies at the end of office hours, after all patients have been seen.
By law, doctors cannot order refills for narcotics over the phone. A written prescription is required. You must obtain your refill prescription in person, and take it to your pharmacist to have it filled. Please allow 24 hours for refill requests. The doctors will not refill prescriptions after office hours.
We work hard to make sure you receive the best orthopaedic care available, and we also work to keep our fees as low as possible. Our fees are comparable to other orthopaedic groups in and around Sarasota. We charge a flat fee for your office visit; then each item or service (x-rays, laboratory tests, casts, splints, etc.) is billed separately. Estimates can be provided for surgeries, and deposits are sometimes required. We are always willing to discuss charges with our patients. If you need some time to pay for our service, we are happy to help you set up an easy payment plan.
It is customary to pay for medical care the day it is received. Unless you make prior arrangements or are covered by an HMO, PPO or Medicare plan, you should arrange to pay at the time of each visit to our office. For your convenience we accept cash, check, MasterCard or Visa. We will be glad to work out an individual payment plan with you if necessary, if requested it in advance. In return, we expect you to make regular, on-time monthly payments. We can, however, charge your unpaid balance to your credit card at any time. We reserve the right to charge interest on any account that is 60 days past due.
We mail statements monthly. Payments are due in our office 15 days after you receive your statement. If you have a hardship and need more time to pay, please speak with a financial secretary right away. We can always work out something if you talk with us, but failure to call us could leave us no choice but to ask for full payment of your account.
Private Companies. Insurance coverage is an agreement between you and your insurance company. You expect your insurance to pay, and we expect you
to make sure we are paid. To help you collect from your insurance, we will complete all your medical insurance claim forms and send them in on your behalf so that your insurance company can pay us
directly. Any remaining balance that is not covered by your insurance is your responsibility. If you and your insurance pay us more than you owe, we will send the overpayment back to you.
Medicare. We participate in Medicare. When you receive treatment you are responsible for your annual deductible, any items not covered, and the 20% not paid by Medicare. We will mail you a statement each month showing any payment activity on your account. As a Medicare patient, you should not make payments until Medicare has considered your claim and mailed an EOB (Explanation of Benefits) form to you.
HMOs and PPOs. If you are covered by an HMO or PPO, each one has different insurance arrangements and claim procedures. Some require deductibles and co-payments which you must pay. Our staff will work with you to see that you receive your full benefits.
You may sometimes need a document completed. An example is a disability form. We will be happy to complete any appropriate form you bring to our office but there is a charge to defray our administrative costs. If your attorney needs reports or forms, we'll be happy to respond to his or her written request, but only with your signed approval. Depending on the request, some charges may need to be prepaid by either you or your attorney
Important Reminder: Your attorney may have agreed to wait until your claim is settled before receiving payment for legal assistance. We do not provide medical care on that basis. Please see the sections titled "Payment," "Collections," and "Insurance," and talk with your doctor's financial counselor about any questions you may have.