Southwest Surgical Associates
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Frequently Asked Questions

The physicians of Southwest Surgical Associates want you to feel comfortable and well-informed about our office and procedures, and have provided answers to some of our most frequently asked questions below. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact us.

  • Office Hours and Appointments
  • Emergencies
  • What to Bring to Your First Appointment
  • Cancelling or Rescheduling Appointments
  • Prescription Refills
  • Referring Physicians
  • Confidentiality
  • Insurance, Billing and Payments
  • Office Hours and Appointments

    Our offices are open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Appointments can be requested online or if you need an appointment immedaitely, you may contact 713.772.1200 or any of our offices.

    Emergencies
    If you have an emergency, please call 9-1-1. If your situation is non-emergent but you need to reach the surgeon on call outside of normal business hours, call
    713.772.1200. Our phones are answered at all times.

    What to Bring to Your First Appointment
    Please bring the following items to your appointment:

    • Completed New Patient Forms and Medical History form
    • Any x-rays or other imaging studies pertaining to your current condition
    • Referral from your primary care physician, if necessary. (Referrals are required for all patients covered by an HMO plan.)
    • Your insurance card
    • Picture identification (Required)
    • Co-pay, coinsurance or deductible amounts, if applicable.

    Cancelling or Rescheduling Appointments
    We understand that there will be times when an appointment must be rescheduled due to unavoidable circumstances. Please call our office at least 24 hours prior to your appointment time so proper arrangements can be made and your visit can be rescheduled as soon as possible. Please also call 24 hours in advance of any cancellation. Please do not initiate a cancellation or reschedule request online, but call our office directly instead.

    Prescription Refills
    To refill a current prescription, please contact your pharmacy directly and allow 48 hours to process your request. Please call our office if your prescription has expired.

    Referring Physicians
    We welcome the involvement of your family physician in your care plan. After you have recovered from surgery, you will return to your family physician for continuing medical care. If you require additional services, we are always available to provide you with our highly-skilled services.

    Confidentiality
    The doctor/patient relationship is a privileged one. Communication between you and your doctor will not be disclosed to others without your written permission. Please read our privacy policy included in the new patient packet for more information.

    Inusrance, Billing and Payments

    We are happy you have chosen Southwest Surgical Associate to take part in your medical treatment.  Whether you were referred by your primary physician, seen in the emergency room, or chose our practice on your own, we want you to know that we appreciate your business and are here to answer any questions you may have regarding your billing statement.  Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive in our business office every day.

    • Why am I getting a bill?
      We do our best to ensure the statements we send out to our patients are accurate.  However, we sometimes do not receive all the necessary information needed to bill your insurance carrier.  If you are being seen in the office for the first time, please be sure to provide the front desk with your insurance id card and a picture id.  They will verify your benefits with your carrier and enter the information into the system.
    • Doesn't the hospital give you my insurance information?
      Even if you provided the hospital with your insurance information it is very important that you contact our office also to insure we have received the correct information. This information is not always forwarded to our office in a timely manner.  You can notify our office by mail, by coming into one of our offices,  by calling the business office at 713-255-6300, fax the business office at  713-255-6315 or by email at customerservice@southwestsurgical.com.    We will need the patient name and date of birth, name of insurance plan(s), claims address and insurance company phone number, insurance identification number, group name and number if applicable.  Please be sure to include your current contact number in case we have any questions.  We will do our best to insure your charges are filed accurately to your insurance carrier first for reimbursement.
    • Why didn't the insurnace pay the entire balance of my bill?
      Each insurance plan has different benefits.  Although some do pay 100% of the balance billed, most have deductibles, co-insurance and co pays.  You are responsible for any amount not covered by your insurance plan.  Please contact your carrier with any benefits questions you may have.
    • Why am I getting bills from other providers?
      When you have a procedure done at the hospital, you will receive a statement from each department.  For example, you may receive a bill from the radiologist, pathologist, anesthesiologist, assistant surgeon, consulting physicians and any other service provider who may have been asked to participate in your case.  The hospital will also bill for its services separately.  If you have questions regarding their statements, you will need to contact them directly as they are a separate entity from Southwest Surgical Associates, LLP and we can not access their billing records.
    • Why are my charges more than I was quoted?
      When you request a quote from our office for your procedure, please be aware that it is an ESTIMATE only.  We can not give an exact quote for services that have not been provided as there may be unforeseen circumstances surrounding your case.  For example, you are scheduled for a laparoscopic cholectomy but during the procedure, there is a complication and the surgeon must do an open cholectomy, the charges for the open procedure may be more than you were quoted.  Those charges will be billed to your insurance carrier first, and then you will receive a statement for your portion after the insurance processes your claim.   Another example is you are scheduled for hernia repair and the doctor notices a suspicious lesion on your liver.  A biopsy may be done to insure there is no other medical issue that needs to be addressed.  You will also be billed for those services.  Again, we will bill the insurance carrier first.  Our physicians pride themselves on the quality care they provide to our patients.  Your health and safety are our number one concern.
    • Why am I receiving another statement for a balance I have already paid?
      When we bill the insurance company for your services, they may only pay part of the claim while the remaining charges are being reviewed.  When this happens, you will receive a statement for the balance owed on the charges already processed.  You should receive an EOB (explanations of benefits) from your insurance carrier showing the amount you are responsible for.  This should match the balance on the statement you receive from our office.  If it does not, please contact our office using one of the methods mentioned earlier and we will review the account.   We may have to file an appeal for any remaining charges rejected by your carrier for any number of reasons.  The appeals process can take    60 days or longer.  Once the insurance has made their final determination, you will receive a statement for any balance owed.
    • What should I do if I still have questions?

    Should you have any further concerns regarding your account please feel free to contact one of our billing analysts at 713-255-6300.  Please be sure to have your insurance card available so we can insure all information has been billed correctly. We look forward to working with you.

     
     

     
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