General Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do I have to pay my co-pay and coinsurance at the appointment instead of waiting for the insurance company explanation of benefits?
2. What methods of payment do you accept?
3. What if you can't verify and confirm my coverage?
4. I understand you give a discount for paying at the time of service. Is this true?
5. Why would you charge me $25 for a missed appointment?
6. What do you charge for a returned check?
7. How much do you charge to fill out disability forms?
8. Can I take my chart to another medical provider?
9. I have a large deductible. Can I make multiple payments after my surgery?
10. Do you charge me to send me a bill?
11. What happens to those people who do not pay their bill?
12. What do I do if my insurance company sends me the provider's check?
13. What should I do when my insurance coverage changes?
14. What is HIPAA?
15. What does SC OBGYN, PA do regarding HIPAA?
16. Do you make reminder phone calls?
17. Will you leave a message on my answering machine or voice mail concerning normal lab results?
18. Will you discuss my medical condition, diagnosis, payment, and/or health-care options with my spouse or children?
19. What is an Electronic Medical Record?
20. What do I do if I need a refill of my medication?
21. What happens if I put the wrong information on my medical history form?
22. What happens if I'm late to my appointment?
23. No doctors ever run on time, so why do you insist that I be on time and have all my paperwork completed?
24. Do you take care of high-risk pregnancies?
25. Why are there so many forms to fill out?
26. Why do I have to pay my co-pays at time of service?
27. Why do I have to show you my driver’s license at every visit?
28. Why do I have to show my insurance card at each visit?
29. Why do your phones switch off at 4:45 pm when your office is open until 5:00 pm?
30. Why must I turn off my cell phone when I am in the office?
31. Why can’t my child go with me into the exam room?
32. Why does it take 7-10 days to get my test results?
33. What are your office hours?
34. What do I do if I need something outside of these hours?
35. Are you really the only Ob Gyn practice in SC to have in-office mammography services?

1. Why do I have to pay my co-pay and coinsurance at the appointment instead of waiting for the insurance company explanation of benefits?
A. Our contracts with the insurance companies mandate our collection of these fees up front. Also, this decreases costs of billing to the office. >> Return to top

2. What methods of payment do you accept?
A. We except cash, credit cards, personal checks, and debit cards. >> Return to top

3. What if you can't verify and confirm my coverage?
A. You will be responsible for paying the full charge at the time of your visit. You may then submit the bill to your insurance company for reimbursement. >> Return to top

4. I understand you give a discount for paying at the time of service. Is this true?
A. Yes. If you have no insurance, we offer a 20% discount on our professional fees for paying at the time of service. >> Return to top

5. Why would you charge me $25 for a missed appointment?
A. This fee would not be charged if you advise us 1 business day prior to the appointment time. However, you should know that failure to notify us not only results in lost revenue to the practice, but a lost opportunity for another patient to be seen at that time. >> Return to top

6. What do you charge for a returned check?
A. There is a $25 fee that must be paid in addition to the amount of the check. Both of these must be paid in cash or bank check. We regret that any checks not paid for must be prosecuted. >> Return to top

7. How much do you charge to fill out disability forms?
A. The 1st form is FREE, but $15 charge per additional form. >> Return to top

8. Can I take my chart to another medical provider?
A. While the chart itself remains the property of SC OBGYN (per state law), we can provide a copy. Again, per state law, we have reasonable copying charges, but we usually only charge a flat $15 fee. >> Return to top

9. I have a large deductible. Can I make multiple payments after my surgery?
A. Unfortunately, we must insist on collecting this money before performing any procedures. >> Return to top

10. Do you charge me to send me a bill?
A. Only if you don’t pay us. The first invoice we send you for any overlooked charges is included in our fee. If you choose not to pay it in full we add a $10 fee to subsequent bills to offset our expenses. >> Return to top

11. What happens to those people who do not pay their bill?
A. After two attempts to collect the bill these people are turned over to our Collections Agency. ALL costs associated with and from the Collection Agency are added to your original amount. If not paid, their credit will be marred and we also utilize the court system to enforce these obligations. >> Return to top

12. What do I do if my insurance company sends me the provider's check?
A. Do NOT cash it and call us ASAP! >> Return to top

13. What should I do when my insurance coverage changes?
A. Promptly notify SC OBGYN, PA. You can call (803) 799.8816 for this assistance. >> Return to top

14. What is HIPAA?
A. HIPAA is a complex set of federal law designed to secure your personal information. >> Return to top

15. What does SC OBGYN, PA do regarding HIPAA?
A. We have developed a privacy practices brochure that you will be offered at your 1st appointment. We also have it hanging on our wall, it is attached to our web site, and is available at our check-In window. Rest assured, your privacy is of the utmost importance to us. >> Return to top

16. Do you make reminder phone calls?
A. Yes. We have a computerized system that makes reminder phone calls two business days before your appointment. This way, if you have to cancel your appointment, we can try to fill that spot. In this very busy world, many patients say they appreciate this reminder phone call. >> Return to top

17. Will you leave a message on my answering machine or voice mail concerning normal lab results?
A. No. We believe good medical care dictates that, regardless of the results of your lab work, you speak directly with your physician or nurse. It provides you a better opportunity to ask questions. >> Return to top

18. Will you discuss my medical condition, diagnosis, payment, and/or health-care options with my spouse or children?
A. Only after confirming with you, or having your written permission. >> Return to top

19. What is an Electronic Medical Record?
A. SC OBGYN, PA will be moving to a computerized medical record very soon. Our EMR will enable us to access your information more quickly, and record it more legibly. We never have to look for a misplaced chart. Laboratory tests are ordered electronically, and an automatic reminder system ensures that the results are imported automatically into your chart, as soon as they are done. Because the EMR is integrated with our practice management software, appointment and billing information is stored with your chart and is readily accessible. >> Return to top

20. What do I do if I need a refill of my medication?
A. If this is a medication that we have prescribed for you previously, you may call us, FAX your request to (803) 771.7597 or submit your request online by clicking here. It can take us up to 2 business days to respond to this request. If you are requesting a new prescription, or prescription that was previously given to you by another provider, you must be seen prior to fulfilling this request. We do not fill pain medications or antibiotics over the phone. >> Return to top

21. What happens if I put the wrong information on my medical history form?
A. Everyone makes mistakes, and overlooking a small item may be of little consequence. It is imperative, however, that you are honest in answering all questions, and do so as completely as possible. >> Return to top

22. What happens if I'm late to my appointment?
A. Please call us at the first indication that you may be late. We will work with you to try to avoid rescheduling. If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment however, please be advised that you will most likely be asked to reschedule. >> Return to top

23. No doctors ever run on time, so why do you insist that I be on time and have all my paperwork completed?
A. Although emergencies (and babies) happen, we do strive to run on time. If patients before you run late, and we see them anyway, this would inevitably make you late as well, which would not be fair. Please understand that this policy is for your benefit as well as others. >> Return to top

24. Do you take care of high-risk pregnancies?
A. Inevitably, some pregnancies become high-risk after we begin taking care of them. However, depending on the high-risk reason(s), we may not accept some patients for care. When questions arise, these cases are evaluated individually by the physician.
>> Return to top

25. Why are there so many forms to fill out?
A. Ugh! We hate forms, too. Unfortunately, there are many regulatory and legal aspects associated with providing health care services to you. In order to comply with these various agencies, commissions and managed care entities, it is necessary for us to both provide written information or authorization for this information and secure your acknowledgement or authorization for this information. With the onset of the Privacy Rule code of HIPAA and more Medicare compliance, more forms have been required.
>> Return to top

26. Why do I have to pay my co-pays at time of service?
A. Your co-pay is part of your contractual agreement with your insurance carrier. If your insurer requires a co-pay for services rendered in a physician's service, then you are expected to pay this co-pay in order to have your insurance claim filed by the physician. If we accept your co-pay, then we have a contractual obligation to file your claim in a timely manner. Failure to pay your co-pay is a violation of the contract and we are under no obligation to file your claim. You become financially responsible for the fees incurred at the visit. Currently, SC OBGYN does not collect co-pays at the time of check-in due to the varying co-pay amounts that are based on the type of service or procedure performed that day. However, we may begin to collect co-pays prior to the visit in the future if compliance becomes a problem. >> Return to top

27. Why do I have to show you my driver’s license at every visit?
A. Unfortunately, health care fraud is on the increase and it helps us lower healthcare costs for all. We verify your picture, current address, and signature to the driver’s license we have on file. It’s similar to most retailers who ask for your driver’s license when you use a major credit card. Fraud hurts everybody. >> Return to top

28. Why do I have to show my insurance card at each visit?
A. Insurance carriers frequently merge, change product lines, and even change their name. In addition, many employers change their benefits throughout the year resulting in us having out-dated or inaccurate information. Your card tells us what co-pay to collect and how to file the claim. In order for us to ensure that we have the most current information to be able to file your insurance claim, we must verify your card(s) at each visit. This is also a requirement of your insurance carrier. If you cannot provide a current copy of your card, then you will be responsible for payment of that day's services.
>> Return to top

29. Why do your phones switch off at 4:45 pm when your office is open until 5:00 pm?
A. We need that extra 15 minutes to complete all activities for the current day and to prepare for the next. >> Return to top

30. Why must I turn off my cell phone when I am in the office?
A. Because the majority of our communication with patients is by voice, we need for patients to be able to hear us and understand us. Conversations on cell phones are distracting to our patients who have difficulty hearing. A cell phone ringing in the office often interrupts the activity in that area. Private conversations should remain private and that can not occur in an open office setting. In addition, our health care providers are required to carry a cell phone in order to communicate in a timely manner with the providers on call and with the hospital staff. Your cell phone ringing interferes with their ability to distinguish a call that is urgent for our ongoing patient care. We appreciate you cooperation and understanding with this policy. >> Return to top

31. Why can’t my child go with me into the exam room?
A. Our medical specialty handles many types of patients and conditions which are particularly vulnerable to childhood illnesses and viruses. To best protect these patients who are at high risk or who are immuno-compromised, we respectfully request that you do not bring small children to our office. In addition, our exam rooms are not set up for the safety of children. Many of the tools, supplies, and instruments needed to perform the various aspects of OBGYN care are dangerous if used or handled inappropriately. Please help us protect our patients and protect your child. If you absolutely must bring a child to our office, please bring someone who can watch them in the main waiting area. We do encourage and welcome you to bring your newborn to the office for your post-partum visit. We enjoy seeing the “fruits of your labor." >> Return to top

32. Why does it take 7-10 days to get my test results?
A. Different types of tests have various turnaround times. For lab tests performed in our own lab, the results are available in one to two days. For lab tests sent out to the reference lab, it may take two to three days to get the results printed back to us. Cultures take up to four days and biopsies can take up to a week or longer. Pap smears generally require 2-3 weeks. Once we have the test results, then the physician must review them and document a plan of treatment. Because all of our physicians also spend time on call at the hospital and some in the operating room, they are not in the office every day to review these results. Once reviewed, the final results are communicated to you via your physician or nurse. This whole process can easily take 7 to 10 days based on the coordination of results and the schedule of your physician. >> Return to top

33. What are your office hours?
A. Our office is open Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays. We do occasionally close early on Friday afternoons when no patients have been scheduled.
>> Return to top

34. What do I do if I need something outside of these hours?
A. A physician is available 24 hours a day for emergencies and deliveries only. Chronic problems, prescription refills, and appointments are not appropriate reasons to call after hours. >> Return to top

35. Are you really the only Ob Gyn practice in SC to have in-office mammography services?
A. Yes, and it is a major patient convenience. Although it is an expensive service to provide, we believe the mammogram is one of the most important tests all eligible women should have. If eligible, scheduling your well exam along with a mammogram is a perfect, and convenient combination. >> Return to top