Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Where is your office located?
Please see the Directions page for information such as our address, phone number, etc.

What are your office hours?
We are open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

Who do I call after hours?
We have a physician on call 24 hours a day. For non-emergency needs please call our main number at (936) 321-0033 and you will be automatically redirected to our answering service. For emergencies, please contact 9-1-1.

Do you have weekend office hours or appointments?
No, we do not.

How long have the doctors been in practice?
Please see our Physicians page for information on each individual doctor.

With which hospitals are we affiliated?
We currently work with the following hospitals/surgery centers: Woodlands Endoscopy Center, Houston Northwest Medical Center, Memorial Herman - The Woodlands, and St. Luke's Community Hospital.

Which credit cards do you accept?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

Do the physicians see children?
We do not see anyone under the age of 17 but refer to pediatric specialists.

Do I need to bring my insurance card and driver’s license to my appointment?
Yes, we make copies of them to keep for our records and to comply with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations intended to reduce the risk of identity theft.

Can I get my test results on-line?
No, not at this time.

Do we make payment arrangements?
We require payment at time of service. In special circumstances or instances of economic hardship, alternate payment arrangements can be made in advance on a case-by-case basis.

How do I get medication refills?
Please notify your pharmacy a minimum of three days in advance of when you will run out. Your pharmacy will send an electronic request to our office which will be approved or denied within 24 hours. Medications that require a doctor’s authorization/signature may require additional time. Refills might also require a follow up appointment be made, in which case, medication would be refilled only until the scheduled appointment.

Medical Records Questions

Do I need to fill out a release to get a copy of my medical records?
Yes, to comply with HIPAA regulations, we are required to have a signed request by the patient on file to release your medical records. You may download a medical request form on our Patient Forms page and then either fax it back (936-321-0032) or bring it in with you to your next appointment.

Is there a fee?
If an insurance company is requesting your records, there is a fee of $25 for the first 25 pages and $0.50 per each additional page. Upon request, we provide one complimentary copy to patients but any subsequent copies are charged the fees indicated above.

Can a family member pick up the records?
Yes, as long as you have a signed release on file and have included the family member's name on your list of authorized persons.

When can I pick them up?
We require a minimum of 72 hours advance notice for copying medical records.

Insurance Questions

What insurance plans are you on?
Please see the Insurance and Billing page for a list of the insurance plans with which we are currently affiliated.

Do you file with secondary insurance carriers?
Yes, we do.

What if my primary insurance is Medicare?
We are a Medicare participating provider and will file your claim with Medicare. Deductibles and co-insurance amounts are due at the time of service.

Am I responsible for getting a referral for office visits?
Yes, if your insurance plan requires a referral to see a specialist, then you are responsible for obtaining it. Once obtained, you may either fax it to us (936-321-0032) or bring it in when you come in for your appointment. Also, please make sure we have your Primary Care Physician's correct name, address and phone number on file. If you do not have a referral you will be rescheduled or will be required to pay for services.

Do I need to call about my benefits prior to the visit?
While it is not absolutely necessary that you call to verify your benefits, it is always a good idea. The more you know about your own insurance plan, the better it can serve you. Some questions you should ask the insurance company are:

Procedure Questions

Can I schedule a procedure without having seen the doctor?
No, we require all new patients to have an office consultation with the doctor before we schedule a procedure. All established patients are required to be seen within a 12 month time period prior to your procedure.

What time do I need to be at the facility for my procedure?
Your arrival time will be set by the facility and you will be contacted by facility staff prior to your appointment with specific information.

What medications can I take before a procedure?
Heart, lung, blood pressure, thyroid and anti-seizure medications can be taken with a small sip of water up to two hours before a procedure unless directed otherwise by your physician.

How long does the procedure last?
While it varies, the procedure itself usually lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. Including prep time and recovery time, plan to spend about two to three hours at the facility.

When will I get the results of my procedure?
Shortly after your procedure, your physician will talk with you and a family member to discuss his or her findings. Biopsies take five to seven days for the results to reach the office, and, once reviewed by your physician, you will be contacted with the results. In the event of abnormal results, a doctor or nurse will call you. If you do not receive your results within 14 days, please contact our office.

Will I be able to drive home after my procedure?
No, you will be recovering from an anesthetic and we require someone to drive you home.

When can I eat after my procedure?
Assuming there are no complications during or following the procedure, you can eat a light meal about an hour afterwards.

When will I be able to return to work?
Most people return to work the next day.

Lab Questions

Where do I go for labs?
It is your responsibility to know the labs contracted with your insurance carrier. While most carriers in this area contract with either LabCorp or Quest please check with your insurance company for their list of contracted facilities.

Do I have to make an appointment to go to the lab?
No, it is not necessary to make an appointment. Both Quest and LabCorp are open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; LabCorp is closed from 12:30 –1:30 p.m. for lunch.

When will I get my lab results?
Most clinical lab results take 5-7 days to be received and reviewed by the doctor. We cannot give out results prior to review by your physician. After review, you will be notified of the results. You should always receive your results within 14 days. If you do not or have questions, please contact the office.

Hepatitis C Questions

How long will it take once my medications are ordered to start treatment?
It takes 7-10 days for us to receive medications once they are ordered. It may take longer if prior authorizations are required. The initial supply of medication is shipped to and administered in our office to monitor the patient for any side effects.

Can I work during treatment?
Yes, we encourage you to maintain your normal lifestyle.

How long will my treatment last?
Length of treatment is dependent on the subtype of Hepatitis C and can last anywhere from 24 to 48 weeks.

Capsule Endoscopy Questions

How large is the capsule that I swallow?
The size of the capsule is comparable in size to a multivitamin and has an outer coating that makes swallowing easier.

Are there any limits to the activities I can perform the day of my capsule endoscopy? We ask only that you avoid MRI machines and HAM Radio’s because they interfere with the capsule. Also, you should avoid excess sweating. Otherwise, feel free to go about your daily routine.

What do I do with the capsule once I have seen it pass in my stools?
The one-time use capsule is flushable and we ask that you DO NOT attempt to retrieve it. However, please do notify our office that it has passed.