Frequently asked questions

APPOINTMENTS

BILLING

RECORDS

MEDICAL STAFF

TREATMENTS

APPOINTMENTS

Will I need a referral before I can schedule my appointment?  

Before scheduling your first appointment, check with your insurance plan regarding their referral requirements. The referral requirements of your health insurance plan will determine whether your claim is accepted and paid by your insurer.  

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How much time will my appointment take?

For your first appointment, you should plan for approximately ninety minutes. This will allow sufficient time for your provider to evaluate your past medical history, evaluate your current condition/injury, order and evaluate your imaging studies and initiate your treatment plan. The length of your follow up visit depends on several considerations including: the complexity of your condition/injury, the need for additional imaging studies, cast removal or application, staple/suture removal and whether a hospital admission is indicated. We know that your time is valuable. We make every effort to see our patients in a timely manner.

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What is your cancellation policy?

Please provide at least 24 hours notice of any cancellation or rescheduling needs. New patients who do not provide us with a 24 hour cancellation notice will not be scheduled for another new patient appointment. Patients, who chronically do not show up for their appointments, may be dismissed from our practice. Two days prior to your appointment, you will receive a telephone reminder stating the date, time and location of your appointment. If you enroll in our patient portal program, two days prior to your appointment, you will receive an e-mail reminder.

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Will I be charged if I do not keep my appointment?

We do not charge for no-show appointments. New patients who do not provide us with 24 hours notice of cancellation will not be scheduled for another new patient appointment. Patients who chronically do not show up for their appointments may be dismissed from our practice.

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May I transfer my care to another provider in your group?

You may request to have your care transferred to another provider with in our group provided that the provider specializes in your orthopaedic condition.

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Can I see one doctor for all of my orthopaedic conditions?

In our group, each provider is fellowship trained to treat and manage conditions/injuries in a specific area of the musculoskeletal system. As a result, it is unlikely that one provider could treat all of your orthopaedic conditions.

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Is my provider running on time?

We know your time is valuable. We make every effort to see our patients in a timely manner. However, scheduling is not an exact science. If your provider is behind schedule, our staff will keep you informed. In the event you need to alter you plans, a courtesy phone is available for your use. Ask the reception staff for our courtesy phone. In the event you reschedule your appointment due to delays of our office, your co-payment will be waived for your subsequent follow up appointment.  

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What is your waiting time for an initial appointment?

We strive to schedule each appointment on a day and time of your convenience. Every effort is made to schedule you with the provider of your choice suited to your orthopaedic condition. If we are not able to schedule your appointment with your preferred provider at a day and time of your convenience, we will offer alternatives for your consideration.

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Should I have any tests or imaging studies completed prior to my first appointment?

Please bring to your first appointment any tests or imaging studies you have which are related to your orthopaedic condition. Once your provider completes your orthopaedic history and examination, if they are needed, you will be referred for the additional studies and tests.  

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Do I need to bring my X-rays if they are negative?

Yes, all X-rays/MRI/CT scans on CD or film that are pertinent to the musculoskeletal part of body being evaluated, need to be available at your first appointment. If you do not bring your originals to your appointment, X-rays may need to be repeated in our office.

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Do you have a wheelchair and are you handicap accessible?

Yes, we have wheelchairs available and our offices are handicap accessible.

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Why do I have to update your forms if I am already a patient?

They need to be updated once every two years to reflect any changes in your health status.

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What is your fax number?

585.248.5106

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What are your office hours?

Our offices are open Monday thru Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. Our phones are open Monday thru Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.  

 

BILLING

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Which insurance plans do you accept?

We participate with most of the insurance plans available in the greater Rochester metropolitan area. To verify that GRO is a participating provider in your plan, please call the member services telephone number provided on your insurance card.  

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What is your billing policy?

We will submit your claim(s) to your insurance company. You can help us file your claims effectively by, at the time of your office visit, providing a copy of your current insurance card and all necessary billing information.

You are responsible for any copayments, coinsurance, and/or deductible obligations due. Copayments are due at the time of service. Insurance payments made directly to Greater Rochester Orthopaedics will be applied to your account. If a balance remains, you will receive a billing statement. You can pay your remaining balance by credit card through our website.

Our policy regarding high deductible insurance plans is to collect co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles at the time of service. If, according to information provided by your insurance plan, your deductible has not been met, you are required to pay a deposit towards your deductible. You may pay your deposit by cash, check or credit card. For your convenience, we offer a recurring credit card plan.

Any remaining balance will be due within thirty (30) days of our receipt of payment from your insurance plan. Any refundable balance will be refunded to the responsible party within thirty (30) days of GRO receipt of payment from your insurance plan.

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Why do I have co-payments and deductibles?

Your co-payments and deductibles are part of your contract with your insurance carrier. Due to government regulations and contractual obligations with your insurance plan, we are required to collect co-payments and deductibles.

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Why am I asked to show my insurance card at each visit?

 

Presenting your insurance card at each visit will ensure your claims are processed correctly in accordance with your insurance benefit plan. Though your insurance plan may not have changed, it is not uncommon for your group and/or plan group number to change. Those changes, if not updated can affect the processing of your claim.

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Why do I have to file my injury through Worker’s Compensation?

 

It you are injured at work or believe that your condition is related to your work, you are required by law to report your injury/condition to your employer. You cannot claim a work related injury/condition unless you file an injury report with your employer. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance plan will pay your medical claim providing an injury report was filed by your employer. Your commercial insurance plan will not pay claims for your work related injury. If you require additional information on how to file a workers’ compensation claim, please contact the Workers’ Compensation Board at 866.211.0644 or contact our billing office at 585.295.5351.

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What is a global period?

A global period is the period of time which begins with the decision to schedule a surgical procedure or initiate treatment of a fracture and ends a certain number of days after the surgical procedure or initial treatment of a fracture. During a global period, co-payments, coinsurance or deductibles for casting materials, imaging studies and durable medical equipment may apply. Charges for professional services by your provider are included in the payment for the surgery or fracture. A global period typically lasts for ninety days.

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Who do I call to help me understand my statement or the balance on my patient account?

Our Billing Department will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have regarding your statement, and can be reached at 585.295.5351.

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RECORDS

How do I obtain my medical records?

A Medical Records Release form must be signed by the patient or guardian before any records can be released. This form should state what records are requested and where the records should be sent. This form may be accessed on our website. You may contact our Medical Records Department at 585.295.5354.

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Why do I have to sign a release for my medical records?

We undertake a legal and ethical responsibility to foster and preserve the privacy and confidentiality of patient information. Accordingly, we will strictly adhere to obtaining prior consent of the patient before information is released except where a specific law or regulation requires or permits such access without patient consent. HIPAA Policy

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Can you fax my records?

Yes. However we may require a completed Medical Records Release form. Please be aware that not all fax machines are secure.

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How long does it take to receive my records?

  • Emergency requests involving immediate emergency care of the patient: immediate processing
  • Priority requests pertaining to current care of the patient: within one working day
  • Patient request for access to own record: within two working days
  • Subpoenas: as required
  • All other requests: within five working days

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Where do I go to pick up my records?

Your records may be picked up at either of our two locations. Please inform our Medical Records Department which office you prefer.

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Why is there a charge for my x-ray images?

Original x-ray images are part of your permanent medical record and therefore are kept by Greater Rochester Orthopaedics. Copies of your x-ray images are provided at your request. The cost you pay covers only the expense of duplicating your images.

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May I send someone to pick up my medical records or x-ray images?

You may send someone in your place providing you send a written permission slip for the person you are appointing to pick up your records or films. Please notify our Medical Records Department in advance if you will be sending someone in your place.

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Will I need to provide current records/films from my primary care or referring physician?

If your primary care physician or referring physician is treating you for the same injury for which you are seeing our provider, it is beneficial to have your current records and imaging studies available at your appointment. This will ensure that our provider has all the information available to properly diagnosis your injury or condition. Your primary care physician or referring physician may require that you sign for the release of your records and pick them up prior to your appointment.  

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Can you call my primary care physician office and request my records?

 

In order for records to be released, patients themselves must call. Your primary care physician office may or may not require you to sign a release form.

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Is my paperwork completed? When will it be?

All paperwork should be delivered to Greater Rochester Orthopaedics. Please complete all required patient information, including your signature. Under normal circumstances and with appropriate information, you can expect that your paperwork will be completed within 7-10 working days. In order to submit the paperwork to your employer or insurance company, a Medical Records Release form is needed. You may access this form on our website.  Medical Records Release Form

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MEDICAL STAFF

Who are your physicians and what are their specialties?

 

At Greater Rochester Orthopaedics our surgeons are skilled in a variety of orthopaedic sub-specialties. Please refer to the Meet our Team section for a detailed explanation.

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Is my doctor board certified and what does that mean?

 

Board certification signifies that your physician has met important educational, evaluation and examination requirements. What’s more, it demonstrates a commitment to ongoing medical education. All of the physicians at Greater Rochester Orthopaedics are board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS). Since 1986, ABOS has issued time limited certificates. Those surgeons who were certified in 1986 and thereafter must main their certification by completing 120 hours of pertinent continuing medical education, undergoing a stringent peer review process to make certain they are respected by their peers and practicing ethical orthopaedic surgery, and taking and passing a written or oral examination. This certification process must be completed every ten years.

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What does fellowship trained mean?  

 

To be fellowship trained a physician must complete one additional year of in-depth specialty training after orthopaedic residency. The specialty training is in one specific area in which the physician will specialize under the guidance of top orthopaedic specialists. Greater Rochester Orthopaedics has fellowship trained physicians in spine, hand and upper extremity, foot and ankle, joint replacement surgery, and pediatric orthopaedics.

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What is a physician assistant (PA)?

Physician Assistants are certified and licensed health care professionals who practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat conditions, order and interpret tests, and write prescriptions. In our team approach to delivering orthopedic care, our PAs work very closely with our physicians to ensure that we provide the access and quality that you have come to expect at Greater Rochester Orthopaedics.

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Is there a physician on call after hours?

A physician is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To contact our physician, call our main number, 585.295.5476. Please note that prescriptions are refilled during office hours only.

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TREATMENTS

Should I apply ice or heat to an injury?

Ice should be used in the acute stage of an injury (within the first 24-48 hours), or whenever there is swelling. Ice helps to reduce inflammation by decreasing blood flow to the area in which cold is applied. Heat increases blood flow and may promote pain relief after swelling subsides. Heat may also be used to warm up muscles prior to exercise or physical therapy.

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What is physical therapy?

Physical Therapy is the treatment of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions to promote a return to function and independent living. Physical therapy incorporates both exercise and functional training. Exercise restores motion and strength while functional training facilitates a return to daily activities, work or sport.

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What is a cortisone/corticosteroid injection?

 

Cortisone is a steroid that is produced naturally in the body. Synthetically produced cortisone can also be injected into soft tissues and joints to help decrease inflammation. While cortisone is not a pain reliever, pain may diminish as a result of reduced inflammation. In orthopaedics, cortisone injections are commonly used as a treatment for chronic conditions such as bursitis, tendinitis and arthritis.

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Tell me more about surgical procedures and treatments.

 

There is a wealth of information regarding a variety of procedures and diagnosis under the Patient Education tab. Although this is not an extensive list of all of the surgical procedures that the surgeons at Greater Rochester Orthopaedics perform, it provides general guidelines about each modality. Where Does it Hurt?

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Will I need surgery for my condition?

Most of the patients seen at Greater Rochester Orthopaedics do not require surgery for their condition. Of course, this decision is made individually for each patient after examination and discussion with your doctor. Many of the conditions that we care for are treated with medication, therapy, braces, orthotics, or injections. If surgery is indicated for your condition, we will help you schedule the procedure.

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Where can I find post-operative recovery information?

You will be scheduled for a post-operative visit with either your surgeon or a Physician Assistant. Copies of our discharge instructions are located on this website. If you have any questions or concerns about your post-operative period, please feel free to call our nurse at 585.295.5355.

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How long after my surgery can I return to work?

That will be determined by your particular procedure. Please discuss this with your surgeon on your pre-operative appointment to ensure that all of your questions are answered.  

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Who do I contact to schedule my follow-up appointment or answer my questions?

The best person to initially contact is the medical secretary associated with your provider.

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