Practice Information

Scheduling Office Visits

Generally, our offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for holidays. Each doctor sets aside some days for office visits and other days for surgeries.

Our scheduling takes into account the type of visit (such as initial, pre-surgery, or follow-up) and patients’ medical needs. Patients with acute, life-threatening illnesses take precedence.

Even after you have confirmed your appointment, your neurosurgeon may be called away for an emergency. We regret the inconvenience to you, but hope you’ll understand our desire to help patients when they need us most.

If your doctor leaves for an emergency, a nurse practitioner or physician assistant may see you, or your doctor may see you after a delay. Alternatively, we may have to reschedule your appointment. We make every effort to see rescheduled patients as soon as possible.

Preparing for Office Visits

When you book your first appointment, please ask what you should bring. You can use the following checklist to help your visit go smoothly:

  • Contact your insurance carrier to verify coverage of our services and to determine what procedures your carrier requires you to follow.
  • If another doctor sent you to us, make sure he or she faxes us a referral.
  • Please ask your doctor to also fax us reports on any relevant imaging studies such as MRIs, CAT scans, angiograms, or X rays.
  • Pick up your imaging films, unless you already have them.
  • Sign any necessary release forms so that your primary-care doctor and relevant specialists can send copies of your medical records to us.
  • Let us know if you need a special payment plan.
  • If you received a health questionnaire by mail, by fax, or from our Web site, please complete it before you come in. Otherwise, please be prepared to fill it out on arrival. The questionnaire will ask about your past and present medical conditions, surgeries, medications, dietary supplements, and pertinent insurance policies.

What You Should Bring

When you come for office visits, please bring your:

  • imaging films, such as those from X rays, MRIs, CAT scans, or angiograms;
  • any relevant reports, including pathology reports and imaging study reports, unless your physician has sent them;
  • a list of current medications and supplements that you take;
  • insurance card or information for all applicable policies;
  • co-payment, if applicable; and
  • a completed health questionnaire, if received or downloaded.

Without some of the above items, such as test results and reports, we may have to postpone your visit, which will delay your treatment.

Access for People with Disabilities

Our offices are accessible to people with limited mobility. If you need other accommodations such as a sign-language interpreter, please let us know when making your appointment. Some lead time may be required to arrange accommodations.

Payment and Billing

We take all major, and most minor, insurance plans. Co-payments are due when services are rendered.

We make every effort to work with patients’ insurance companies; however, responsibility for your bills rests with you alone. Before treatment, check with your insurance company to verify authorization and to determine whether you need a referral.

If your insurance representative says you do not need a referral, please bring us either (1) a copy of the insurance policy that states referrals are unnecessary, or (2) the name and phone number of the representative and the date of your conversation.

If you do need a referral, make sure your doctor sends us one. Since referrals may cover a limited time frame or number of visits, please check with the referring doctor as needed to ensure yours stays up-to-date.

Payment plans should be arranged in advance. If you lack insurance or cannot afford medical care, please let us know right away. Depending on your ability to pay, we can help you get reduced-cost or free care, possibly through referral to the appropriate hospital-based clinic.

Please direct any billing questions to the firm that handles our billing:
E-trans Solutions, LLC
47 East Grove Street, Suite 103
Middleboro, MA 02346
P: 888-347-0122
F: 508-947-4776

Prescription Renewals

We only renew prescriptions that we initiated. For other medications, please contact the health professional who prescribed them.

You, or your pharmacy, should call us at least three business days before you expect to run out. Sometimes, for medical reasons, we will need to see you before issuing the prescription.

Surgery / Hospitalization

If Your Doctor Recommends Surgery

If your doctor recommends surgery, we will provide all the necessary support and walk you through the entire process.  Except in certain emergencies, we must get your informed consent before performing a procedure such as surgery. In doing so, we must explain the risks and benefits of the procedure, alternative treatments, and the likely outcomes of not having the procedure.

Surgery

A form may be used to reinforce information given orally and to document that consent was given. If you do not understand any part of the consent form, do not sign it until we have addressed your concerns. If the parts of the form that describe the procedure are blank, please ask your health-care professional to fill in the blanks before you sign

You are always free to seek additional opinions about your treatment options. We would be glad to recommend other doctors, including those inside or outside the Foundation.

If You Need Hospital Care

Foundation doctors have strong ties with the teaching hospitals of Brown Medical School. We work closely with:

  • Rhode Island Hospital
  • Hasbro Children’s Hospital
  • Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island
  • The Miriam Hospital

We are also affiliated with, or practice at:

  • Women and Infants Hospital
  • Newport Hospital
  • South County Hospital

All of our physicians practice at Rhode Island Hospital, but not necessarily at all of the other hospitals. For your particular doctor’s affiliations, please go to your doctor’s page.

Your Hospital Team

If you are admitted to Rhode Island Hospital, a neurosurgery team, headed by an attending faculty neurosurgeon, will care for you. Other team members typically include residents, medical students, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses.   Rounds are completed each morning by the Team.

The attending neurosurgeon provides daily oversight to the residents as part of the Neurosurgery Teaching Service run jointly by Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School. He or she will review your care each day. All critical decisions about your treatment will be made in consultation with your primary neurosurgeon.

Team members will address questions about your care and, on request, communicate with your family. Any change in your condition will be conveyed to your primary attending neurosurgeon or to the attending neurosurgeon on call.

Responsibility for your care rests with your primary neurosurgeon, who visits patients after surgery according to his or her individual schedule.

At Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital, a physician assistant and/or nurse practitioner assigned to your floor will be available during the workday to address your needs. A resident will be assigned to your care around-the-clock.

At the other hospitals in which we practice, your primary neurosurgeon, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners will manage your care.

After Hospitalization

Follow-up care plays a crucial role in your recovery. You will leave the hospital with a set of instructions. Please call your doctor’s office within one business day to make or confirm your follow-up visit and to discuss follow-up care, which may include suture removal and possibly home care visits.

Each follow-up visit will be tailored to your individual needs. Please contact your doctor’s office any time after your surgery with any questions or concerns.

Emergencies

If you need emergency care outside normal office hours, call 911 or go directly to the nearest hospital emergency department. Tell the emergency department staff who your neurosurgeon is and they will contact the Neurosurgery Foundation. A neurosurgeon is always on call and available for emergencies.

Questions or Concerns Between Office Visits

Patients often forget to ask questions during office visits or think of new ones later. If that happens to you, call us. Unless your concerns are urgent, please phone during office hours.

A menu of options will direct you to the appropriate party. If a secretary or receptionist takes your call, be aware that he or she cannot answer clinical questions, but will forward your message to the appropriate practitioner.

A physician, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or resident will return calls about medical matters, typically within one business day. Some questions, though, require a review of tests and records as well as discussions among team members. In those cases, we may ask you to call back or await a call from us the next business day. Sometimes we will ask you to schedule an office visit.

How You Can Help Yourself

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