Experts in diagnosing and treating disorders and diseases related to the digestive system, Tidelands Health Gastroenterology’s board-certified gastroenterologists draw from their backgrounds and experience to provide each patient with an individualized, coordinated plan of ongoing care for the best quality of life. Services are available to patients ages 18 and older.
Key Areas of Interest and Expertise:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Liver disease
- Celiac disease
- Inflammatory bowel diseases – Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis
Insurance Plans We Accept:
- Absolute Total Care
- BCHP Medicaid
- Care Improvement Plus
- Instil Health - Tricare Prime
- RR Medicare
- Select Health
- Tricare - Standard
- VA - Veterans Choice Program
- US Department of Labor - Worker's Comp Program - Federal Employees
Q. Will my insurance cover a routine or screening colonoscopy?
A. You will need to check with your insurance company to see if this is a covered benefit under your policy. Screening colonoscopies are for patients who are not having any symptoms.
Q. What costs can I expect to have if I am scheduled for a procedure?
A. There are a few charges that you might have depending on the extent of your procedure. You will have a professional fee to cover the doctor’s portion of your procedure and a facility fee charge for the location in which you have your procedure done. You may also have a charge from the pathology providers if specimens are taken, as well as a charge from the anesthesia provider if this service is rendered.
Q. What can I expect to pay at my office visit?
A. Depending on your insurance carrier, you may have a set co-pay amount, a co-insurance amount and/or a deductible amount to meet prior to payment from your insurance company. We would collect any of these amounts at the time of your visit.
Q. Do you set up payment plans?
A. Yes. However, payment plans are evaluated based on the amount to be paid over a period of time. Most payment plans are extended between six and 12 months.
Q. How can I get a copy of my medical records?
A. You can download a copy of our “Authorization to Release Medical Records” form. Complete the form in its entirety, and fax your request to the office in which you are seen. If the form is not completed in its entirety, the release cannot be honored, so please check the form carefully before submitting.
Q. How can my primary care doctor get a copy of what I have done by your doctors?
A. Any office visit notes, procedure notes or pathology reports will be sent to the physician who referred you to our practice. If there is another doctor whom you wish to have these records, just let us know and we will verify the authorization and ensure he or she receives a copy of your records as well.
Q. I am a new patient; how long will my appointment take?
A. Your visit can take up to an hour depending on the physician’s schedule. We strive to be as efficient as possible, but often there are unexpected delays. If there is a delay, we will notify you as soon as possible.
Q. What do I need to bring with me to my appointment?
A. Please bring your insurance cards, any applicable co-pay or co-insurance amount, a picture ID, a current copy of your list of medications and any medical records you think will be helpful to your provider during your visit. If you have been referred by another provider, we may have already received current medical records, including lab reports, X-rays or procedure reports. However, if you have had procedures outside our service area, please bring that information to your office visit if possible.
Q. I was seen at your office many years ago; do I have to have a physician referral to be seen again?
A. No. Simply call the office where you would like to be seen, and we will make an appointment for you.
Q. When can I expect to get the results of the biopsies taken during my procedure?
A. Please allow eight days for the results of your pathology reports. Contact the office in which you were seen to receive those results.
Q. How can I get my prescription renewed?
A. Call the office where you were seen, and leave a voice mail message. Make sure you include the provider you see, the name of the medication, the dosage, the pharmacy name and telephone number and a telephone number where you can be reached in case the clinical staff has questions about the request.
Q. Is there any way I can make the prep taste better?
A. You can try sucking on hard candy or a lemon or lime. You can rinse your mouth with mouthwash or water. You may also add lemonade Crystal Light to the mixture.
Q. Why should I avoid any liquids that are red?
A. The red liquid can persist in the colon and potentially look like blood.
Q. What medications should I take the morning of my procedure?
A. If you normally take medications for blood pressure, heart conditions or seizures in the morning, you should take those the morning of your exam with just enough water to get the pill down. You may use any prescription eye drops the morning of the exam.
Q. I feel like vomiting and don’t think I can drink anymore. What should I do?
A. It is important that you continue drinking the solution if possible. To get the best exam, your physician needs to be able to see the inside of your colon. If it is not clean, he or she may be unable to complete the procedure. If you feel nauseated or vomit, wait 45 minutes or until the nausea improves and then begin drinking the solution again. If not improved, call the office.
Q. I drank most of the laxative, but I still have not gone to the bathroom. What should I do?
A. Keep drinking! Some patients take longer than others, but most will produce a bowel movement within a couple of hours.
Q. When can I stop drinking the solution?
A. Drink all of the solution as described by your doctor. Your bowel movements should be clear. There may be flecks of material, but that generally will not interfere with the examination.
Q. My bottom is sore. Is there anything I can do?
A. You may apply Vaseline, Preparation H or Desitin.
Q. Why does the person who will be driving me home after my exam need to stay while I’m having the procedure done?
A. After the procedure, the physician will want to discuss his or her findings with a family member or driver with your permission. If there is an emergency, this person should be in the building in case he or she is needed.
Q. Can I brush my teeth?
Q. I am on my menstrual period. Can I still have the procedure done?
A. Yes. This should not interfere with the procedure. However, if you are uncomfortable, this can be rescheduled.
Q. How long should I plan to be there?
A. The procedure itself generally takes about 30 minutes; however, there is pre-operative and post-operative time, so plan for about two hours.
Q. Can I drink alcoholic beverages?
A. Yes, but please do so in moderation. And remember, no red wine.
Q. I am on a blood thinner like Coumadin, Plavix, Levonox, Warfarin, Pradaxa. What should I do?
A. The nursing staff should have discussed this with you at the time of your visit. However, if there are no instructions on your instruction sheet, please call the office where you saw the provider and let the nursing staff know. A staff member will tell you what you should do.
Q. What should I do if I need to cancel or reschedule my procedure?
A. This procedure time has been set aside for you, so it is important that you notify the office if you are unable to keep your appointment. Please notify us within 48 hours of your procedure. If you allow us that time, we may be able to schedule another patient in your time slot.