Office visits are by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please call during regular office hours. If you think you will be late for your appointment, please call as soon as possible so that we may advise you if your late arrival can be accommodated. If you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment, please call the office as soon as possible to cancel and reschedule. This will allow us to schedule another patient in the canceled time slot. If you fail to cancel or reschedule within 24 hours of your scheduled appointment, you will be charged a $50 no show fee.
Orthopaedic offices are known for having unexpected emergencies. We appreciate your patience and consideration during emergencies and will make every effort to meet office appointments on time.
Prior Approval and Eligibility
If you have insurance, our staff will verify your eligibility prior to the office visit. Certain services recommended by our providers may require prior approval by your insurance company. This includes MRIs, CT scans, bone scans, DXA scans, certain injections, nerve conduction tests, certain prescriptions, and almost all surgeries. This process may take a day or two or sometimes even longer to complete. We understand this process can be very frustrating particularly when the patient and the provider are ready to proceed with diagnostic and treatment measures for your condition.
The Bone & Joint Institute of South Georgia treats many workers compensation injuries. All patients with work-related injuries must provide proof of coverage by their employers insurance company or the employer directly. This verification must be received in our office prior to the appointment. Our providers insist that the workers compensation patient be 100% compliant with all instructions. This includes office appointments, physical therapy appointments, diagnostic study appointments and return to work status. The patient’s failure to comply with the provider’s instructions in these cases may result in the provider discharging the patient from care. At the completion of each visit the patient will be provided with a “work status certificate” which outlines the patient’s ability to perform certain functions. The employer will then use this information to determine whether or not the employee can actually return to the workplace.
If your condition results in the inability to work and you have disability insurance, please inform your provider during your office visit. The office staff can complete your disability insurance form for a charge of $30 for up to three pages, payable at the time of request. Please allow ten days for completion. Individual policies define disability and hence your benefits. Disability definitions vary greatly from policy to policy. Our office will state on the forms what you physically can and cannot do. Your insurance company will then determine if that level of function qualifies you for disability benefits.
Medications will be refilled during office hours only (and on Fridays by noon). It is advisable to request prescription refills before the current prescription runs out. This will allow time for your prescription to be refilled properly. Narcotic pain medicines are prescribed with great caution. These medicines have significant dependance and abuse potential and can cause great harm. They are to be taken only as prescribed and must last the length of time noted on the prescription label. If we learn you are receiving narcotic prescription pain medicines from other doctors we will no longer prescribe or refill prescription pain medicines for you.
BONE & JOINT INSTITUTE OF SOUTH GEORGIA AND SURGERY CENTERS OF BJISG, LLC’S
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
As our patient, you have entrusted your medical information to our care. We know that your relationship with us is based on trust, and that you expect us to act in your best interests. As your personal medical history is your private information, we hold ourselves to the highest standards in its safekeeping.
The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) is a Federal program that requests that all medical records and other individually identifiable health information used or disclosed by us in any form, whether electronically, on paper, or orally are kept properly confidential. HIPAA provides penalties for covered entities that misuse personal health information. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your protected healthcare information and to provide you with this notice of our legal duties and our privacy practices. HIPAA gives you, the patient, the right to understand and control how your protected health information (“PHI”) is used.
Under HIPAA regulations, we may use and disclose your Protected Health Information (PHI) without written consent for treatment, payment and health care operations (TPO)
- Treatment means providing, coordinating, or managing health care and related services by one or more healthcare providers. An example of this is communicating with your referring physician, pharmacy or laboratory
- Payment means activities related to obtaining reimbursement for services, confirming coverage, billing or collections activities, and utilization review. An example of this would include verifying insurance coverage or sending you a billing statement
- Health Care Operations include business aspects of running our practice, such as conducting quality assessments and improving activities, auditing functions, cost management analysis, and customer service. Examples of this would be patient survey cards or contacting you, by phone or in writing, to remind you of an appointment
- We may also be required or permitted to disclose your PHI for law enforcement, matters of public health and safety and other legitimate reasons. In all situations, we shall do our best to assure its continued confidentiality to the extent possible.
We will not use your information for marketing or fundraising. We will not sell your information.
In compliance with federal and state privacy laws, written authorization by the patient or legal guardian is required before we can release records for reasons other than treatment, payment and healthcare operations. If you give authorize to release your records, you may revoke such authorization in writing, and we will honor your request from the date we receive your written request forward.
Protecting Your Privacy Online
Our concern for your privacy naturally extends to our online communication. We transfer your data over the internet to submit health insurance claims and send electronic prescriptions to your pharmacy via a secure server. We do NOT use Electronic Medical Records, so your chart is not accessible over the internet.
We will file an insurance claim to your private insurance, Medicare or supplemental insurance if you authorize us to do so. If you ask us not to give details about services to an insurance company that they will not be pay for, such as cosmetic services, we will honor your request.
You may have the following rights with respect to your PHI:
- The right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of PHI, including those related to disclosures of family members, other relatives, close personal friends, or any other person identified by you. We are, however, not required to honor a request restriction except in limited circumstances which we shall explain if you ask. If we do agree to the restriction, we must abide by it unless you notify us in writing.
- You can advise us of the best location to contact you to protect your private information.
- You can request a copy of medical record in writing.
- You can request an amendment of your PHI. This request must be done in writing and will be honored at our discretion.
- We keep a log of disclosures of your medical information for the past six years and you can request a copy
- We will notify you if a breach of your protected health information occurs.
Please let us know if you feel that your protections have been violated by our office. You have the right to file a formal, written complaint with our practice and with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
This notice is effective as of 11/11/2019 and it is our intention to abide by the terms of the Notice of Privacy Practices and HIPAA Regulations currently in effect. We reserve the right to change the terms of our Notice of Privacy Practice and to make the new notice provision effective for all PHI that we maintain. A copy of the revised Notice of Privacy Practices is posted on our website and a copy of the written policy is available at our office and can be mailed upon request.