Frequently Asked Questions
How long does an appointment usually last?
It varies for each patient and how involved their appointment may be, but please be prepared to stay an hour and a half. If you feel your needs are not being met in a timely manner, please inform the nursing staff.
Do you accept new patients without a doctor’s referral?
We accept new patients without a doctor’s referral provided the insurance does not require a referral from a primary care physician. To determine if your insurance requires a referral, you can contact the customer service number listed on your insurance card. You can also learn more on our blog: Do I need a referral to make an appointment at Piedmont Orthopaedic?
Do you accept patients without insurance?
Yes, Piedmont will see new and existing patients for a self-pay fee that must be paid at the time services are rendered. Please call our office at 478-474-2114 to ask about our self-pay rates and to schedule an appointment.
Can I get my X-ray at Piedmont? What about an MRI?
At Piedmont, we have full capability to perform X-rays onsite, but we do not have the abilities to perform MRI’s. One of our staff members will schedule an MRI for you and direct you where to go to have it completed.
Where will my surgery be performed?
Piedmont Orthopaedic Complex has a convenient, on-site ambulatory surgery center where a variety of outpatient surgeries are performed. Our surgeons also have privileges at Coliseum Northside Hospital, Coliseum Medical Centers and Navicent Health/The Medical Center of Central Georgia.
FAQs about Billing
Does Piedmont accept my insurance policy?
Piedmont Orthopaedic Complex greatly values the choices each patient has in today’s complicated healthcare market. While we would like to be in-network with each carrier, this is not possible. Therefore, we have carefully selected to be in networks with carriers that provide coverage to the majority of the area’s residents. Piedmont does accept Medicare (and HMO replacements), Medicaid (and Medicaid products), Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, Humana, as well as many other plans. It is always best to check with your insurance carrier to verify that our facility is in your network, and the number to reach them should be on the back of your insurance card. Your carrier may ask you for our provider identifier in order to check for in-network status. Piedmont’s physician group National Provider Identifier (NPI) is 1396761260. This information may also be available on your carrier’s website.
What if I don’t have insurance?
Piedmont is proud to provide care to patients in all walks of life, regardless of their coverage. Therefore, we offer a self-pay rate to all new and established patients. All new patients are charged a $300 fee for their initial consultation, paid up front. This fee is all-inclusive, and includes X-rays, DME, or any other required material received during your visit. Established patients are charged $150 for their follow up visits with our physician. Again, this fee is all-inclusive. If you do require surgery, our billing department will be happy to work with you to help make financial arrangements, although it is important to note that usually surgical fees are required up front. Additionally, our policy regarding surgeries for self-pay patients extends to our surgery center.
I paid my co-payment, why am I getting a bill?
Piedmont bills your insurance as a courtesy to you, and in order to simplify your healthcare experience. However, it is important to note that each patient is individually financially responsible for what is not covered under their plan. While we will collect any co-payments due, this co-payment amount may not cover your whole visit. Please review your explanation of benefits (EOB) as was provided to you from your insurance company. If one was not provided to you, we will be happy to provide you with our copy. An EOB will break down for you the reason for your responsibility. If you disagree with how your claim was processed, please contact your insurance company for assistance. If you find that your EOB does not match what is on your bill, please contact us immediately for resolution at (478) 471-2350.
Why did I get more than one bill from you?
While we operate under one roof, Piedmont is divided into professional (physicians, therapy, etc.) and facility services (surgery center). Both the professional and facility services offered at Piedmont operate under separate headings, and therefore you may receive a bill from each Piedmont Orthopedic Complex and Piedmont Surgery Center if services were performed at our on-site surgery facility. Furthermore, some surgeries involve anesthesia or other related services that may be billed from an outside agency. If you have questions about any bill you receive, be sure to call the number on the statement for clarity related to services rendered.
How can I talk to someone about my bill?
For questions about a statement you received, please contact the number on that statement. Or, for any billing questions, you may call the professional billing office at (478) 474-2114 or the surgery center at (478) 471-6300.
FAQs About Piedmont's Surgery Center
Click here for a quick run-down of what to expect in the weeks before and the day of your surgery at the Piedmont Surgery Center.
Who will be in the operating room when I am having the surgery done?
When you are undergoing a surgical procedure, your care is in the hands of many people who make up the operating room team. Your surgeon will obviously be present and will likely have assistants which may be other surgeons or physicians, nurses and/or technologists. A specialist in anesthesiology will be present as well – either a physician (known as an anesthesiologist) or a certified registered nurse anesthetist (or CRNA). Their job is to prevent discomfort, monitor your condition and care for the general needs of the patient. Others in the room include a scrub nurse who prepares the instruments and supplies and a circulating nurse who assists with patient safety and other needs in the room.
What are the pre-surgery appointments for? Why do I have to see so many people and answer so many questions?
The pre-surgical appointments serve a dual purpose. First, they are a chance for your team to gather important information about you and your medical condition in order to ensure your safety and your comfort. In addition, it is a chance for you to ask any questions you might have about what is going to happen, make decisions about your options and give informed consent.
What is informed consent?
Informed consent means that you, the patient, has been presented with the options for treatment, the commone and serious risks and expected benefits of each option and what the likely outcomes of the treatment (or of no treatment) are. In addition, you should be given a chance to ask questiosn. Informed consent is usually given in writing and requires a signature (exceptions are extreme emergencies).
What do I need to tell the anesthetist?
It is important that you are complete and honest when answering questions prior to surgery. These questions relate to your general health and any specific medical conditions that may present a risk to you. You should be prepared to discuss your health history, the history of your blood relatives (if known), any medications including over the counter products, smoking, drug use, past experiences with surgery and anesthesia, etc.
Why can’t I eat or drink before the surgery?
You should not eat or drink anything before your surgery. You anesthesiologist will give you instructions about how long you need to fast. You should also refrain from smoking. Some types of surgery require you to be fasting in order to aid in the actual surgery (stomach surgery for example) or to reduce the chances of infection. Anesthesia is a risk when it is given with a full stomach as well and can result in what is known as aspiration. Basically, aspiration occurs when stomach contents end up in the lungs – this can lead to a serious pneumonia and a life threatening situation.
What about jewelry? Why do I have to remove it all?
During surgery, the surgeon may use an instrument to stop bleeding. This instrument relies on an electrical current. If you are wearing metal jewelry which is in contact with your skin, you might receive an electrical burn in the area of contact.
What happens in the operating room once I get there?
You might be given some medication prior to entering the operating room. Therefore, you might be aware some of what happens when you first enter the operating room but you may or may not remember it. The lights may be very bright and it might feel very cool in the room. There will be a great deal of equipment in the room. The operating room team will be dressed in gowns, masks, head covering, etc. which may make them look unusual or unrecognizable. You will be moved from the stretcher to a narrow table and monitors to watch your vital signs will be attached to your body.
What happens after the surgery?
You will be allowed to rest in a recovery area or in a room while the anesthesia wears off. This is an opportunity for your medical care to continue and to insure that you do not have any problems from the surgery or anesthesia. You might have some side effects – common ones include nausea, vomiting, shivering, thirst, a sore throat or a sore jaw. Many of these are irritating but not dangerous or life threatening. Many are easily treated. Make sure you let your nurse know if you should experience anything unpleasant.
After I recover? Then what?
You will go to discharge and when ready, be able to go home that same day. You will be given specific instructions about wound care, eating, activity level, medications, etc. and should follow these carefully. Again, don’t be afraid to ask questions when you receive these instructions.
What kinds of anesthesia are there?
There are four types of anesthesia commonly employed – general, regional, monitored anesthesia care (MAC) and local. In very broad terms:
- General Anesthesia affects your entire body and may be given intravenously or as an inhaled gas. These medications cause you to lose consciousness. As a result of these medications, you might stop breathing on your own and therefore you might have breaths given to you through a mask or a small tube gently inserted into your lungs through your mouth.
- Regional Anesthesia only affects a section of your body, blocking sensation and making it numb. You may remain awake or be sedated. Spinal and epidural anesthesia fall in this category.
- Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) involves medications given to make you drowsy and to relieve pain. This type of anesthesia may be given to supplement local anesthesia (see below) or to make the injection of local anesthesia more tolerable.
- Local Anesthesia affects only the location of surgery. It is usually injected, but can sometimes be given as a ointment, cream or spray. You may remain awake or be sedated for this as well. This type of anesthesia is usually used for small, less extensive procedures.