1. Does SWGI or SWEC accept my insurance? We accept almost all health insurances, commercial and governmental, including Medicare and Medicaid. We have a team of staff members that are dedicated to assuring that your payment issues are handled in the smoothest possible manner. We work to optimize prior authorization, when needed. We offer Care Credit for those who have difficulty obtaining health insurance coverage for our services. Our team is happy to speak to you about payment issues. Call 724-437-7677.
2. What if I can’t make it to my appointment? We strongly request that you call us to reschedule as soon as you know that you will not be able to attend your appointment at SWGI or SWEC. We have a fairly strict no-show policy that discourages patients from not showing-up for their appointments or frequently cancelling their office visits.
3. How do I get the results of tests that were ordered? We do not routinely call patients with test results that are normal. However, if a test is abnormal, you will be called. For pathology results on removed polyps, we send patients a report approximately two weeks after their procedure that explains the pathology result and when a repeat colonoscopy exam should be done.
4. Do you keep track of when my followup EGD or colonoscopy is due? Yes, we have a dedicated system for tracking followup EGD’s and colonoscopies. We will contact you to alert you when the time comes that you are due for your next exam. If you ever have any questions about the timing of your followup scope, please call our endoscopy center team at 724-439-8906.
5. If I have a question for a physician or want to be seen by one of the physicians at SWGI, can I request this? Yes, our physicians are happy to speak to you on the phone about a question that you may have. Office visits are often handled by our physician assistants, but you can always request that a physician see you. In this case, one our physicians will see you with our PA. Our gastroenterologist will review your history, examine you – if needed, explain his impressions of your case and his treatment plan, and answer any of your questions.
6. My primary care doctor thinks I just need a scope and not an office visit. Is this possible? Yes, we often do “direct access endoscopy” whereby your first meeting with one of our providers is at our endoscopy center just prior to your exam. A brief history will be taken by our gastroenterologist at your bedside and shortly thereafter – you will be taken back for your procedure.
7. How do you handle medication refills? Please call our office to get your medications refilled. We do request that you have a patient encounter at SWGI or SWEC within one to two years of the time that you need your refill. We feel that it is not good quality patient care to refill your medicines repeatedly, if we do not have a fairly recent patient encounter with you.
8. Can I obtain my medical records? Absolutely. Your medical records are your property. They are stored in our computerized medical records system. Please call our office ahead of time – to request your records. We will ask you to fill out a release form, and we will provide you with any medical records on you that you may want.
9. I don’t seem to get along with the provider that I have been assigned to at SWGI. Can I switch? You can easily switch providers. Please call our office, explain that you would like to switch to another provider, and our team will be happy to make this happen for you.
10. My GI needs have been cared for by another provider in the past (either by a gastroenterologist outside our area or a local surgeon, for example). Is it possible that I switch my care to SWGI? Yes, we assume the care of patients that have been treated elsewhere, quite often. We will ask you to help us obtain a copy of your medical records from your previous GI care provider, and then we will see you as a new patient in our office or at our endoscopy center.
11. Can I have my GI issues tended to after hours? We are available for emergencies after hours. Calling our main office number at that time will result in your call being forwarded to our answering service. They will then speak to our on-call physician, if needed. We request that items that are not of high-urgency wait until our office is fully open the next working day.