We take the confidentiality of your health-care information very seriously. We will ask you to sign an acknowledgement that you have received our Notice of Privacy Practices. We will not release information about your condition or care without your consent (other than for the purposes of your treatment, payment or in general operations). These situations are described in more detail in the Notice of Privacy Practices you will receive. If you need copies of your records for any reason, or if someone else requests them on your behalf, we need to have a signed and dated Release of Information form from you. You can call our office and we will send a form to you. In some cases, there is a charge for copying your medical records.
Emergencies do occur, and everyone in our office will do their best to respond to your problem quickly. In the event of a severe situation, or one in which you are in doubt, go immediately to the Emergency Room or call 911. If the situation is not severe, but one where you wish to contact the doctor, please call the office and the doctor will be in touch with you either directly or through his staff, giving you instructions on how to best handle your problem.
Questions About Your Care
It is always a good idea to come to your appointment prepared with questions to ask. If you have questions between appointments, you are welcome to call the office. The office staff can answer many of your questions, but they cannot provide medical advice. If your question needs to be answered by a clinical person, the secretary will relay your information to the doctor or our clinical staff and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
We are available by phone, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If it is necessary to contact the doctor after normal office hours, our answering service will forward your message to the doctor. Your call will be returned as soon as possible.
Treatment Options and Surgery
Many neurological conditions are not treated with surgery. Many are managed with medications and other therapies, including physical therapy. If surgery is needed, your neurosurgeon will discuss the procedure with you and explain the risks and benefits. If you consent to surgery, the neurosurgeon's clinical coordinator will schedule the procedure for you. Before you have surgery, you will have a pre-operative physical exam, and an appointment with our anesthesia staff. Your primary care doctor may need to provide medical clearance to be sure that you are healthy enough for surgery. We will also work with you to assure that your insurance or health plan authorizes the surgery and any stay in the hospital.
If you have pain associated with your condition and need surgery, we will try to schedule your surgery as soon as possible. Additionally, we will work with you to coordinate a surgery date if you need to make arrangements for things like childcare and time off from your job.
Please talk with your neurosurgeon about any prescriptions at your office visit. If you need a prescription refilled in between appointments, please call our office. Please understand that prescriptions for narcotics cannot call be called in by phone. We can mail such prescriptions to you or you can pick them up. Many pain medications are very strong and in some cases your neurosurgeon may want to see you in the office before prescribing additional medication. In such cases, we can usually see you within one to two days.
Letters Regarding Your Care
If you need a letter about your condition and/or treatment for work or school or another reason, please let us know at the time of your visit. To protect your privacy, letters will contain the minimum necessary information. You can also call our office to request a letter, but please be aware that we need several days' notice to provide this to you. If your workplace requires a very detailed report to allow you to return to work, your neurosurgeon may refer you to another provider for what is called a functional capacity evaluation. We do not have the equipment and facilities in our office to fully test your strength and capabilities to return to work, so to protect you, we will refer you for a full evaluation.
We are a hospital-based practice, therefore, patients will receive two bills for services: one for the professional services of the physician (from BU Neurosurgical Associates) and one from Boston Medical Center for the facility services.
We are dedicated to providing you with the best possible care and service and we want you to understand our financial policies. If you have questions about your account, charges, insurance, or payments, please ask to speak to our billing coordinator.
Please bring your insurance identification card to all your appointments so that we may copy the front and the back of the card for accurate insurance information. This helps us get the bill to your insurance company quickly and reduces the chance that you will receive a bill that your insurance should cover. If your health plan decides a service is "non-covered," we will bill you, and payment is due when you receive a statement.
If you have a managed care plan, you may need an authorization from your health plan for your visit. In some cases, this is different from a referral from your primary care doctor. Please check with your primary care physician or health plan before your appointment to be sure that your visit will be authorized. If your visit is not authorized by your health plan, you will be responsible for the bill if your health plan refuses to pay. If you do not have authorization from your health plan for your visit we will reschedule your appointment for you, or you can sign a waiver stating that you will be responsible for charges if your health plan denies payment.
If you have insurance, we will bill your insurance plan directly. If you have a PPO or HMO insurance plan, we will collect the required co-payment due at the time of visit. If your health plan decides a service is "non-covered," we will bill you, and payment is due when you receive a statement.
We will ask you about your insurance at every visit, because there are often changes. It is important that we have the correct contact and insurance information on file for you. If you do not have authorization from your health plan for your visit, we will reschedule your appointment for you, or you can sign a waiver stating that you will be responsible for charges if your health plan denies payment.
Office Visit Co-Payments
Many patients have co-payment obligations and we appreciate co-payments at the time of your visit. For your convenience, we accept cash, checks, VISA and Mastercard. We will give you a receipt for your payment records.
We are a participating Medicare provider. If you have Medicare, we will bill your Medicare insurance and supplemental carrier for you. Please bring your Medicare card and your supplemental insurance information with you to your visit.
Patients Without Insurance
BU Neurosurgical Associates does not discriminate against patients who do not have insurance or the ability to pay for their care. If you do not have insurance, we will refer you to Patient Financial Services at Boston Medical Center to see if there are coverage options for you. Special arrangements can be made by calling our Administrative Director, Kevin Maguire at 617.638.5352 to discuss a payment plan option.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
For patients who have been involved in a car accident, we require that you provide us with complete information about your car insurance and health care coverage.
Workers' Compensation Patients
If you are involved in an "on-the-job" work injury, please inform the clinic coordinator of your date of injury, your Workers' Compensation case or claim number, your Workers' Compensation insurance carrier, adjuster's name and telephone number.