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Preparing for Your Visit

On the day of your office visit, please bring:

  • Your insurance card
  • Previous test results, including the actual films
  • A list of the medications you are taking
  • Information about the doctor who referred you, including name, office address, telephone number, and fax number

Providing the above information will help our doctors become familiar with your case and will help us keep in touch with your physician regarding your case.

If your insurance requires a referral, please call your primary care physician as soon as you have made your appointment with our office. If you do not get approval from your insurance carrier before your office visit, the insurance company may not cover the services.

During the Office Visit

Our staff will go over your medical history with you and will examine you. Your doctors may want you to have more tests. Often these tests include additional blood tests, special x-rays, or endoscopic tests (such as colonoscopy). We will help you to schedule these tests.

Waiting time

Please allow ample time for your first office visit. As a new patient, you will have a general medical form to complete in addition to being examined. The amount of time the doctor spends with each patient will vary depending on the patient’s condition. We try to see our patients on time. However, emergencies sometimes occur, and some patients require extra time. For these reasons, occasionally there are delays in our schedule. When delays occur, we hope you understand. If you find it inconvenient to wait, we will be glad to reschedule your appointment.

Testing results

Your doctor or nurse will tell you the date on which test results are expected. We will call you with the test results. Please do not call our office before the day results are expected. If you have not been called by the day after test results are due, please call
412-647-0313.

Cancelling an appointment

If you must change an appointment, please call your surgeon’s office as soon as possible. This courtesy allows us to schedule another patient for medical care. Please do not fail to keep your appointment. This may cause delays for other patients.

Hospitalization

If you are to be hospitalized, UPMC will arrange for your admission. Most patients are cared for at Presbyterian. Alternatively, our surgeons collectively also have privileges to perform surgery and admit patients to UPMC Shadyside or Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC.

Individual surgeons do not have privileges at every hospital, and some hospitals do not maintain the special equipment that might be needed to perform certain procedures.

A number of insurance plans designate a preferred hospital. When it is necessary for you to be hospitalized, we will make the best recommendation given your special needs.

Postoperative appointments

After surgery, please be sure to call your surgeon’s office to confirm the postoperative appointment. This will allow our staff to have your medical records and reports available for your visit.

After hospitalization

You will receive discharge instructions on what to expect as you recover at home.

If you are having a problem after discharge, please call your surgeon’s office. Your doctor or nurse will tell you what to do. If you call after regular hours, you will reach our answering service. Give the necessary information to the answering service, and they will contact a doctor who will then call you back.

Insurance and Billing

Please call your insurance carrier before you are admitted to the hospital. Most insurance carriers now require patients to get approval before a hospital admission. If you do not get approval from your insurance carrier before you are admitted, the insurance company may not cover the services.

Disability claims and forms

If your illness requires you to miss work or become temporarily disabled, our office will assist you with completion of your disability forms. Please complete your portion of the claim forms and mail them to:

Gastrointestinal Surgery
Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace St., Suite 497
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Please enclose a stamped envelope addressed to the company or individual who is to receive the completed forms. Our staff will attend to this as soon as possible. We recognize how important this is to you and your family.

Billing

University of Pittsburgh Physicians (UPP) participates in many insurance plans and will file a claim for all services covered under a plan. You will be asked to pay for services not covered by your insurance plan, including copayments and deductibles on the day you come for an office visit.

If UPP does not participate in your insurance plan, you will be expected to pay for the office services at the time of your visit.

UPP also will file claims related to hospitalizations and procedures. You will be responsible for any balance not covered by your insurance plan.

If you want to discuss a payment plan or have any questions about billing, call UPP Customer Service at 412-442-9600, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Written inquires should be sent to:

UPP Customer Services
Harbor Gardens, Suite 300
1650 Metropolitan St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Additional fees for service

You and your insurance company will receive separate bills for the hospital and doctor services you received. Bills will include charges for outpatient services and hospital charges. In addition, you will receive separate bills from the doctors who helped care for you.

Prescriptions

If you need to renew a medication we prescribed, please call your surgeon’s office 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, several days before your last dose. Please have the telephone number of your pharmacy ready when you call us. We will call the new prescription into the pharmacy. We can not renew prescriptions for medications we did not prescribe for you. We also are not able to call in narcotic prescriptions. If you feel you are having problems, please call us during the hours noted above.

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For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

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