NORMAN PARATHYROID CENTER ADVANCE BENEFICIARY NOTICE
And Notification of Research Policies
This page outlines the billing policy of the Norman Parathyroid Center. All patients are required to acknowledge their understanding of this policy prior to undergoing consultation with us.
Insurance Billing: The billing staff of the Norman Parathyroid Center will submit all surgeon charges for your operation to your insurance company for you (specifically, this is the fee due the surgeon and the assistant surgeon for performing the actual operation). The cost of your operation that is covered by your insurance will be known prior to your operation, as will the amount (if any) of your co-pay, and any deductible that you still owe on your insurance for this year. We are preferred providers for most major health plans, including Medicare, BC/BS, Humana, Aetna, Cigna, and others. Each of these insurances cover the cost of the operation (the amount covered depends on your plan, your deductibles, and other plan-specific issues, but all cover parathyroid surgery). Occasionally, there will be a remaining balance not covered by your insurance that will be your responsibility. By signing this form, you acknowledge and understand that you are responsible for any and all remaining balances that your insurance carrier indicates is patient responsibility for services rendered by Drs Norman, Politz, Ruan, Lopez, Boone, Mitchell, and Parrack
PLEASE NOTE: Do not confuse collecting operation fees from your insurance company for the surgeon's operation fee with collecting consultation fees directly from you. Consultation fees are the patient's responsibility and cannot be submitted to the insurance company. This is detailed further below. The phone consultation occurs weeks (or a month or more) prior to you coming to Tampa for your in-person consultation, exam, scanning, and eventual operation (should you need one), and this phone interview/consultation is not billable to any insurance company, or to Medicare.
Payment of Co-Pay and Deductibles: It is the policy of the Norman Parathyroid Center to collect your co-pay and any deductible still owed AT THE TIME OF SERVICE. We will contact you to let you know your payment requirements and to help you make arrangements for payment prior to the day of your operation. Our billing staff will tell you the amount that is your responsibility prior to you coming to the office / hospital. If there are any questions regarding payment and the need to establish a payment plan, please email Kim (Click Here) to discuss (or call her at 813-972-0000). Our policy (like almost all doctors') is that the patient is responsible for any outstanding payments not made by their insurance company. In almost all cases, this will be known before the operation.
Payment of Consultation Fees for Services Received Prior to Traveling to Tampa
Consultation Fee: Florida patients outside of the Tampa Bay area will be required to pay a $750 fee for the assimilation and organization of their medical chart, entry of this data into our extensive computer database for comparisons with thousands of other patients, a review of your chart and data by either Drs Norman, Politz, Ruan, Lopez, Boone, Mitchell, and Parrack, and then a phone consultation with you by one of these doctors. Difficult cases are always reviewed by two of our doctors. Once your chart is reviewed, one of our four expert doctors will call you on the phone to discuss their findings and recommendations. The chart we prepare for you will include labs, clinic notes, x-ray results, and other records from one or more physician's offices and labs. This chart will organize your calcium levels and parathyroid hormone levels over the past several years (as many as are available to us) and will show how your disease has progressed. Your information will be organized and graphed in such a way that will allow Drs Norman, Politz, Ruan, Lopez, Boone, Mitchell, and Parrack to review all pertinent information regarding your parathyroid problem, helping them make recommendations regarding your needs and expectations post operatively. Your information will be entered into our computer database so that comparisons can be made between your parathyroid disease and thousands of previous patients we have seen with this disease previously. Drs Norman, Politz, Ruan, Lopez, Boone, Mitchell, and Parrack will call you to discuss their findings and recommendations. Patients who live in Florida but not in the Tampa Bay area will be charged a $750 Consultation Fee. This fee is not covered by insurance and it will be your responsibility to pay. Remember, preparing your chart this way and consulting with you on the phone will almost always save you a day or two of travel to and from Tampa as well as the cost of a night in a Tampa hotel. It also speeds up the process, allowing us to see you and fix your problem all in one visit. It also allows us to compare your problem with thousands of others with the same uncommon disease so that we can make the best recommendations for you and increase your chance of cure. No other doctor in the world can offer this service. This fee is NOT billable to your insurance company, so don't ask them to pay it -- they will not -- it is NOT their responsibility If you cannot afford this fee, please let our office know and we will work with you, however, your insurance will not pay it. YOU MUST UNDERSTAND, YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY IS NOT REQUIRED TO PAY THIS CONSULTATION FEE AND THEY WILL NOT. BY FILLING OUT THE FORMS ONLINE AND FORWARDING YOUR INFORMATION TO US TO ASSIMILATE INTO A CHART, AND HAVING THAT CHART UNDERGO A REVIEW BY ONE OF OUR PARATHYROID EXPERTS AND UNDERGO A PHONE INTERVIEW MEANS THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS CONSULTATION FEE. YOU CANNOT ASK YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THIS FEE. THEY WILL NOT.
IMPORTANT. The consultation fee is for the consultation to determine if you are a good candidate to be evaluated in person in Tampa. It does not guarantee that you need surgery or that you will undergo surgery when you get here. We can give you our best ideas regarding surgery or no surgery during a phone consultation, but the final decision to be operated on or not is made at the hospital during your in-person consultation the morning of surgery. We cannot say definatively that an operation is necessary, nor the extent of the operation without an in-person evaluation. Said again, the decision to operate on you will be made at the hospital after we have examined your neck, evaluated your scans, and assessed your overall health and concurrent medical issues. The phone assessment fee will be due even if we determine that you do not need to make a trip to Tampa (half of the fee is returned), or that surgery is not in your best interest, (again, avoiding a trip to Tampa for an in-person evaluation and formal consultation). Furthermore, this fee is due if we decide you need surgery and you decide to be operated on somewhere else by somebody else. This is not a surgery fee, this is a consultation fee to see if you should travel to Tampa to be evaluated formally with sestamibi scans and ultrasound scans, and in-person interviews with our surgeons. Only then can we say that you should undergo surgery, and what type/extent it should be. If you ask for our opinions about your parathyroid disease and you go through the steps that lead to the preparation of a parathyroid-specific medical record for you and a review of your records by our experts ending with a phone consultation with one of our parathyroid experts, then this fee is due. The fee is not dependent upon you having parathyroid surgery with us. Many people that we consult on do not need a parathyroid operation and we prevent them from coming to Tampa for their in-person consultation.
If you live outside of the state of Florida, the Consultation Fee is $1750.
We have developed a very smooth process to bring patients from all over the US to Tampa for their mini-parathyroid surgery, however, since it takes more time and effort by our staff to work with insurance companies and physicians from outside Florida, ALL patients from outside the state of Florida are required to pay a $1750 Consultation Fee. We will work with your insurance company to collect as much from them as possible for the cost of the OPERATION, decreasing the financial burden to you as much as possible. However, the chart preparation and consultation fee is NOT paid by insurance companies and will be your responsibility. Of course this fee covers all those items covered in the paragraph above regarding Florida patients, so you must read the section above for details. This fee prevents 17% of people from coming to Tampa for an in-person meeting and being told they do not need surgery. However, some people that do come to Tampa for an in-person meeting (about 2-3%) will still be deemed not to need surgery (or it is not in their best interest) and an operation not be performed. The type of surgery, the type of anesthesia, the size and placement of the incision and the extent of the opertion will be made the morning of the operation. The phone consultation does not guarantee an operation. The decision to operate can only be made by an in-person consult that includes an examination and review of x-rays and scans. Thus, the only time that a decision to operate is made, is the morning of the surgery. The phone consults helps make sure that you need to see specialists such as ourselves before you go through the expense of travel. If you are from out of state, this will save you at least 1 (usually 2) hotel nights and airplane fare. If you desire, all patients can elect to be evaluated in our office in the standard fashion. In this case, the in-state or out of state conslult fee will be waived. Please let us know if you chose this option.
If you require a second surgery (or third, etc) for parathyroid disease because a previous surgeon was unsuccessful then the "Consultation Fee" is $2,500. This "complex" consultation fee is also applied to all patients that require a parathyroid operation and have had THYROID surgery in the past 20 years, but the fee will be $2000. This "complex" fee will be applied to ALL patients needing parathyroid surgery who have had a previous thyroid or parathyroid operation regardless of what state they live in. This fee covers all aspects of "re-do" neck surgery. This type of surgery is far more complex than first-time neck operations and there are few doctors in the US who do this type of operation with any frequency. Drs Norman, Politz, Ruan, Lopez, Boone, Mitchell, and Parrack perform more re-operations for parathyroid disease than any other surgeons in the world (they do at least 1 or 2 every day, sometimes as many as 4 times per day!). Your chart is MUCH more complex. The disease is more complex. The decisions preoperatively and intra-operatively are MUCH more complex. The decisions that need to be made prior to the operation and the planning of the operation is much more complex. Our computer database of these patients is unparalleled. YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY WILL NOT PAY THIS FEE. IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD THIS FEE, THEN DO NOT ASK US TO PERFORM YOUR RE-DO PARATHYROID SURGERY, AND DO NOT ASK US TO CONSULT WITH YOU REGARDING YOUR PREVIOUS FAILED PARATHYROID SURGERY. This is very difficult surgery and nobody has ever done more of this than Dr Norman. THIS FEE WILL HAVE TO BE PAID BY THE PATIENT, NOT THE INSURANCE COMPANY. You cannot ask your insurance company to cover this fee, or to reimburse you for this fee.
If you are on a limited income and cannot afford our consultation fee, then please let us know and we will work with you. Choices include decreasing the amount of the fee, or even elminating the consult fee altogether. All patients have the right to come to Tampa for an in-person consultation and thus the phone consultation would not apply--so just let us know if this is what you want. Our goal is to take care of you and get you better. Let us know about money or travel issues so we can help.
While our practice is nationwide, we welcome those patients living in the immediate area of our office (30.0 mile radius), at 2400 Cypress Glen Drive Wesley Chapel, FL, 33544, to come in for a traditional in-office consultation. Whether you automatically qualify for an office visit vs. consultation by phone will be established by MapQuest Maps.
By acknowledging this form (by checking the box on the Insurance Information Page of this Website) patients understand that this Consultation Fee is considered a non-covered service by their insurance company and/or Medicare. By submitting your records for review you agree to be financially responsible for payment of this chart review and phone consultation charge. Remember, you are not just paying for the phone call, you are paying for the expertise and interpretation of your entire chart by the world's most experienced parathyroid team. You are also paying for the extra time and effort it takes for our staff to work with out of area and out of network insurance companies. Also realize that this method almost always allows you to avoid an extra day (or two) in Tampa since you will be able to meet and speak with Drs Norman, Politz, Ruan, Lopez, Boone, Mitchell, and Parrack the morning of the operation instead of a day or two prior to the operation. Thus this policy saves you travel expenses, hotel bills, office visit fees, and time away from home. It also speeds up the time it takes to get your problem cured by about 1-2 months. However, it does not guarantee that you need surgery. The only time that a formal decision to operate is made is in person in Tampa, after you have had scans and been examined by our experts.
Appeals: All patients have the right to appeal any decision that is made by their insurance / Medicare carrier about any payments or refusal of services. This is federal law. As noted above, any patient can elect to be evaluated in the Tampa clinic and therefore elect not to pay the phone consultation fee. Please let us know.
Questions Regarding Your Bill: Questions should be addressed to Kim via email or via phone at 813-972-0000. Please do not call her or email her unless you have ALREADY had your phone consultation with one of the doctors.
The physicians at the Norman Parathyroid Center are constantly engaged with ongoing research into many aspects of parathyroid disease. By becoming a patient you acknowledge that your medical records will likely be included with hundreds or thousands of other patients with parathyroid disease (hyperparathyroidism) and that specific aspects of your case will likely be examined. The purpose of this research is to allow for a better understanding of parathyroid disease and hyperparathyroidism, how it is diagnosed, and how best it can be treated. Your information will be studied only in the collective, along with many other patients. Specific studies of you as an individual will not be undertaken. No outside information will be requested as a part of these studies.
Your information will remain private and confidential at all times. You information will not be identifiable, and at no time will your information be examined as an individual, or in any way that would allow you to be identified. Your privacy is paramount and under no circumstances will be jeopardized.
Norman Parathyroid Center
2400 Cypress Glen Drive
Wesley Chapel, FL, 33544