Patient Information Brochure
[This information is reproduced from our Patient Information Brochure.]
People turn to us for diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system—which includes the brain, the spinal cord, and the body’s major nerves. We provide surgical and non-surgical care, fitting treatment to the nature of the
Since 1978, Front Range Center for Brain & Spine Surgery, P.C. has served patients from many parts of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. We have several offices—in Fort Collins, Colorado, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and in Gothenburg, Nebraska.
The three surgeons of the practice are active staff members Fort Collins’ Poudre Valley Hospital, Surgery Center of Fort Collins, and at Banner Fort Collins Medical Center, and also at Loveland Surgery Center in Loveland.
Along with the physicians, the members of our office staff work to give you the finest health care and courteous, helpful service. As a new or prospective patient, we offer you this brochure outlining some of the policies followed by the Front Range Center for Brain & Spine Surgery, P.C.
The staff is here to help you in any way we can. Please check in with the receptionist before and after you visit with the doctor. The receptionist will assist you in making appointments and will schedule any necessary diagnostic testing. The receptionist will also respond to your questions and refer you to the appropriate staff member for additional information.
The surgery coordinator on the office staff will schedule all surgery done at the hospital and will explain the steps you need to follow. Please feel free to ask questions.
Billing and insurance matters can sometimes be difficult. If you have any problems in these areas, please call our on-staff payment counselor for assistance.
Keep the receptionist informed of any change in your address or phone numbers. We need this information in case we must reach you for a medical reason, scheduling problem, or billing matter.
If problems occur that are difficult or unusual, please do not hesitate to call the administrator.
How to Make an Appointment
We make every attempt to schedule appointments for the convenience of our patients. Sometimes appointment schedules change because an emergency or a prolonged surgery requires the physician’s continued presence. Circumstances like these occasionally cause all or part of the day’s appointments to be rescheduled. We will reschedule your appointment at the earliest time available.
If you need to talk to your doctor, please call the office and leave a message, as well as a daytime and evening phone number. The doctors spend most of their time at the hospital, either in surgery or tending to patients, but they call the office for messages and return calls as soon as they can. The doctors’ schedule of operations and rounds make it necessary for them to regularly return messages in the evening.
What to Wear
Please wear loose-fitting and easy-to-change clothing for your appointment. Some patients who will have a physical examination may need to change clothing and wear a medical gown.
In Case of Emergency
The phones are answered at all times either by the office staff or by a voice mail system that in case of emergency can quickly connect you to an operator who will help you reach the physician on call.
If you have a touch-tone phone and call after business hours with an emergency, the voice mail system will instruct you to press the number 1 to talk with an operator who will help you get your message to the doctor.
If you have a rotary or pulse-tone phone and call after business hours with an emergency, the voice mail system will instruct you to hold on the line for a few seconds to talk with an operator who will help you get your message to the doctor.
The physician will either return your call, or else you will be instructed to go to the emergency room where the doctor will meet you.
Non-emergency Calls After Business Hours
Our office has two methods for leaving non-emergency messages after business hours. If you have a touch-tone phone, a voice mail system allows you directly to leave messages for any staff member. When you place a non-emergency call after hours, you will be instructed to press the number 4 to hear the list of options for leaving a non-emergent message. A staff person will return your call the next day, or as soon as possible. If you have a rotary or pulse-tone phone, stay on the line and an operator will answer and take a message.
How to Refill your Prescriptions
To refill narcotic prescriptions, please follow the instructions on this page.
The first step in refilling a prescription is to call your pharmacist, who will in turn call your doctor. Please call the pharmacist on a weekday at least two working days before you will run out of your medication. It is also preferable that you not call for a refill on Friday. The doctor on call during the weekends will not refill routine prescription requests.
The doctor needs a 24 to 48 hours notice to respond to refill requests because about 90% of his time is spent away from the office operating at the hospitals. Sometimes the doctor is scheduled to operate all through the day. On these days he is unable to respond to any requests. Refilling the many prescription renewals that come in each week must be highly organized to be done carefully and in a timely manner.
If your medications do not seem to be helping you or if you have unexpected reactions, please call our office immediately. Also please call if you need to change your medication.
Non-operative patients are sometimes given a prescription for pain. This is usually a one-time- only prescription given by the doctor to see if it will help. If you would like to continue this medication, please contact your primary care doctor. The doctors here are surgeons and primarily follow patients for their surgical care only. They are unable to follow patients for long-term medications as these are best monitored by a primary care doctor who knows the complete medical history of the patient. There are a few exceptions to this and your doctor will tell you if you are part of this group.
Following these guidelines will help you to refill your prescriptions in a responsible and timely way. Please call the office if you have any questions.
Our Policy on Narcotic Drugs
After patients leave the hospital, some of the most highly addictive narcotic drugs will not be prescribed by the physicians except at their discretion in the most rare of circumstances (for example, terminal illness). The drugs that will not be prescribed include TYLOX, PERCODAN, PERCOCET, DILAUDID, and DEMEROL.
Paying for Office Visits
Arranging for insurance companies to make payment for the medical services you receive is sometimes a complex process. We aim to assist patients in this process as much as possible, but it is important to note that payment arrangements and communication with insurance carriers is your responsibility. As a service to you, our office will submit your insurance claim on your behalf. For this reason, it is essential that we have complete and accurate information about your insurance carrier. It is your responsibility to follow up with your insurance company if it does not make payment within 30 days.
If you are visiting us as a patient covered by Tricare, V.A., Medicaid, or an HMO such as Aetna, Anthem, Banner Choice Plus, Medicare HMO Replacement Plans, or United Healthcare Navigate, you must bring a written referral at the time of your visit. If you forget to bring the referral, your visit may have to be rescheduled. You will be required to pay your co-pay or co-insurance at the time of your visit.
The insurance specialist in our office is able to help you with billing and insurance questions. Please keep her informed about the status of your insurance claim. You will receive a monthly statement from our office. It indicates the balance that has been submitted to your insurance company, or any balance owed by the patient if the insurance company has paid their portion. Payment in full for office visits is requested at the time of the visit if we are not contracted with your insurance provider.
If your personal check is returned by the bank for non-sufficient funds, a $25 fee will be added to the amount still owed on your account.
Billing Process for Surgeries and Other Procedures
When a patient’s condition requires an invasive diagnostic testing procedure or a surgery, the patient visits with the surgery coordinator in the office to arrange a date for the procedure. The patient then meets with the payment counselor to get an estimate of the cost. In the financial conference, the payment counselor can estimate what portion of the bill will be paid by the patient’s insurance company and what the balance to be paid by the patient will be. At that time we ask you to pay the co-pay or deductible amount, or any amount it is determined that insurance will not cover. If your insurance carrier pays more than projected, a prompt refund will be sent to you.
Patients who have undergone a surgery procedure will have several office visits at no charge—if the appointment is directly related to their procedure—for a period of 90 days after the date of the surgery. When the postoperative period is concluded, charges for office visits resume as does the need for a current referral with some insurers.
Why You May Need Pre-authorization
For some medical procedures, Workers’ Compensation and many private insurance companies require a review of the necessity of a procedure before it is performed. This review process is called preauthorization.
It is very important that patients be aware of their responsibility to meet the insurance carrier’s requirements for preauthorization. Sometimes second medical opinions will be required before procedures can be carried out. If patients do not get needed preauthorizations from their insurance carriers, or if a previous referral is not up-to-date before medical procedures are performed, insurance companies may not reimburse patients for the cost of their medical care.
Patients start the preauthorization process by contacting their insurance carriers. The medical case manager at our office will answer questions that patients may have about how this process works.
Our office will complete disability forms on behalf of our patient. The first form will be completed free of charge, and subsequent forms will be $15.00 each, prepaid. After six months, the cost for completion will be $35.00 per form, prepaid.
These forms are completed by the case management department; this process usually takes 7 to 10 days. Your doctor will be unable to complete the forms during your appointment.
We at the Front Range Center for Brain & Spine Surgery, P.C. want to assist you. Matters surrounding health care and insurance can be difficult and confusing at times. We will try to offer you as much information as we can as you seek to improve your health. Please do not hesitate to call on us if you have questions.
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