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How soon can I get an appointment?

Based on the time of day that you call, we can see you within hours of your call if the medical condition warrants quick treatment. This applies even to new patients. Our wait time differs from doctor to doctor with most adults getting in within 1-2 days; children are scheduled by the nature and severity of their condition.

Where are you located?

Our main clinic is located in the Texas Medical Center on Fannin, with three additional clinics in The Woodlands next to St. Luke’s Hospital,in Memorial City, and in Pearland.

Where is our Medical Center’s parking area?

Valet or self parking is connected to our building however there are other alternatives for parking in the Medical Center Area please see our page on parking (link)

Do you pay or validate parking?

The Texas Medical Center is an area of town with limited parking and parking garages are necessary to accommodate all the parking needs of the community. Because of the large number of patients who need parking services we are unable to validate parking.  Parking at the Pearland,The Woodlands, and Memorial City locations is free.

Do you have x-ray available in the office?

Yes we do have in house X-rays available within our Medical Center office. In addition, we also have Durable Medical Equipment (bracing) available.

Has my PCP sent over my referral?

You can contact our office to see if we have received a copy from your PCP. Many patients bring their referrals on the day of the visit. When referrals are a requirement by your insurance it must be here prior to the visit in order to have the expected insurance coverage for the visit.   For the first time patient, you will need to bring your referral with you. This ensures we will have a referral for you to start your care for your condition.

Is physician’s office visits and testing covered under a copay or does it require coinsurance?

Different insurance plans have different benefits and coverage. Some include diagnostic testing with the copay and some require both a copay and coinsurance. Coinsurance and Copay guidelines vary from plan to plan for durable medical equipment (bracing) and injections into the joint.

How does stop loss or out of pocket work? (Does this include my deductible?)

While each insurance policy is different and unique, usually the sum of your copay, coinsurance and deductible payments throughout the year is applied towards a separate set amount known as “out of pocket” or “stop loss”. Once this amount is reached, the policy typically will pay 100% of the contracted rate.

Why am I receiving a bill when I have more than one insurance policy?

The primary insurance deductible must be met before secondary or supplemental insurance will consider payment. Typically additional insurance policies will consider payment of any balances in accordance with their allowable fee schedule.

Note: If you have a commercial or indemnity secondary plan deductibles, coinsurance and out of pocket will apply and will result in small balance amounts as patient responsibility.

Do you take Medicare replacement (HMOs)?

We do not contract with any Medicare Replacement HMO’s. We can accept the private fee for service plans that do not require PCP to be contracted. We also participate in traditional Medicare.

Do we accept workers comp. injuries?

Yes, if your employer has approved us on their network or doesn’t require a network panel of physicians.

What do I need to bring to my first appointment?

Insurance card, Drivers license, Referral if necessary, Prescription list, X-ray, MRI or other diagnostic films and test reports.

Which facilities do the doctors utilize at the time of surgery?

First Street, Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann, and St. Luke's.

Will someone explain the cost of surgery?

We will contact your insurance company (primary and secondary) and based on the current data we estimate your portion of the cost of the surgery. We will contact you with this information and request your surgical deposit if one is due. Surgery deposits can be paid over the phone with a credit card.

Is my surgery approved?

We do request preauthorization for surgeries when scheduled in advance. Emergency surgery from the emergency department at the hospital will be called in the next working business day.

How do I know that my insurance will cover the surgery?

We have office staff that pre-authorizes all of our scheduled surgeries with the various insurance companies. However, preauthorization does not guarantee payment. If you are concerned, it is always best to contact your insurance company to inquire about their policies and procedures.

Who fills out my disability and FMLA paperwork?

We have professional office staff that will complete these forms for you. You can bring it to the office or you can fax it. There is a $15.00 charge for completing the form. The charge requested for filling the paperwork out is set by the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners.

How quickly will I notice relief from a cortisone injection?

The cortisone usually results in pain relief within 1 – 3 days. You will notice some immediate lessening of pain due to the lidocaine mixed into the injection as well.

What should I wear to if I need x-rays?

Wear shorts if the knee or ankle is being treated.

Do I need to be referred by my doctor for therapy?

Yes, all treatments require a physician referral and written order. For ongoing care the orders must be reviewed and updated by your physician every 30 days. 

How do I get more medication?

My medication says no refill on the label and I need more.Call your pharmacy, they have all your information on file and will electronically send or fax a request to our office. If appropriate the medication will be authorized for a refill. Please allow two days for a refill request to be completed. If your insurance company requests pre-authorization on the medication please allow extra time (days) for your insurance to review.

All Schedule ll Drug , i.e. Norco and Vicodin, prescriptions must be picked up in the office, in person. Due to the Drug Enforcement Administration ruling we can no longer call these medications in to your pharmacy.

I just saw the doctor and I forgot to ask something.

We suggest you write down your questions before your visit. If you have a difficult time remembering what the doctor told you we suggest asking a family member or trusted friend to assist you or write down the answers for you.

You can also log onto our Patient Portal and send our office a message. All messages are addressed within 48 hours of being received.

Do you have a doctor that speaks Spanish?

Yes we do, and we also have Spanish speaking staff to assist you with making your appointments and all the other phases of your visit.

I need to speak to a nurse, but I don’t want to get their voice mail. Why do I have to leave a message instead of talking to a live person?

Our nurses and clinical assistants assist the patients who are  in the office for a visit or in surgery  as their first priority. In addition to the nurses on the floor or in surgery, we do have telephone triage operators to assist you throughout the workday in order to answer any question you might have. If we are on the phone with another patient, we will ask you to leave a message. All messages left for us that day are reviewed by our triage personnel. Our calls are returned based on the medical situation described and then by the order received. All messages left before 3:00 pm for triage are answered the same day. After 3:00 you will get a call either the following day or the day of the message if time allows. Be sure to leave the number that you can be reached at when we return the call.

What can I do to get better at home?

Ask your doctor about home exercise if that is for you. Our physical therapists can create and explain a home exercise program for you with a doctor’s order.

How much will physical therapy cost me?

It depends on your insurance. Some insurance plans cover physical therapy without limitation and some cover a set number of visits or have an amount that once it is reached coverage stops. Check with your insurance plan or human resource department on your particular coverage.

Why am I being referred for Physical Therapy?

Your physician has determined that you would benefit from Physical Therapy. A licensed physical therapist will evaluate and treat you in conjunction with your physician's order.

How long will I be there?

On your initial visit, you will be evaluated. Please allow 45 minutes to 1 hour for the initial assessment. Allow 30 - 60 minutes for follow-up visits.

What do I wear?

Patient gowns are provided. Comfortable clothes/shoes that will allow you to exercise in a gym setting. Shorts are recommended with diagnosis pertaining to knees and feet.

How will I pay for therapy?

Before your initial visit, insurance benefits will be verified. We will inform you of any co-pay/co-insurance or deductibles you may have.

How do I begin treatment?

Treatment begins with a physician's prescription. Be sure it includes a diagnosis. 

How do I dispose of prescription medications?

1. The patient should follow all disposal instructions on drug labels or patient information leaflet. Medications should not be flushed down the toilet unless specifically instructed to do so, on the patient’s medication label.

2. Community based Drug Take-Back Programs:  These programs are designed to give patients designated locations to drop off unused prescription medications for disposal.  The DEA sponsors this program every 6 months at designated facilities all over the City of Houston.

3. If there are no instructions on the label or the patient does not have a prescription take back location in the area where they live then the following instructions should be followed to dispose of the medication in household trash:

  • Take the pills out of their original container and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. The medication will be less appealing to children and pets and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through their trash.
  • Put it in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from breaking or leaking out of the garbage bag.

Sources for the above information:

http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm101653.htm#GuidelinesforDrugDisposal

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/