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, Carling, Ruan, Mitchell, Parrack, Rhodes, Suh, and Watkins
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 online consultation occurs weeks (or a month or more) prior to you coming to Tampa for your day of surgery in-person consultation, exam, scanning, and eventual operation, and this online 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 Linda (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.
Second Opinion Online Consultation Option. Because many patients live a long distance from our Center in Tampa, we have a method by which you can recieve a Second Opinion Online Conslutation without taking the time and expense of traveling to Tampa to meet with him here in person days or weeks prior to your trip here for surgery. Thus you have a choice, you can travel to Tampa for an in-person visit, or you can elect to have the Online Second Opinion Consultation. The in-person visit will be covered by nearly all insurance companies. The Second Opinion Online Consultation is not a covered benefit for any insurance company, and therefore if you elect to go this route, the cost of the Second Opinion Online Consult must be paid by you.
Payment of Second Opinion Online Consultation Fees for Services Received Prior to Traveling to Tampa for Surgery
Second Opinion Online Consultation Fee, with Personalized Disease Summary: Florida patients who elect to undergo a Second Opinion Online Consultation with one of our experts 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, Carling, Ruan, Mitchell, Parrack, Rhodes, Suh, and Watkins, and then a phone/online second opinion consultation with you by one of these doctors. At the completion you will recieve a summary of your parathyroid disease in the form of a Second Opinion Document which is typically 8-9 pages in length. Difficult cases are always reviewed by two or more of our doctors. Once your chart is reviewed, one of our seven 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, Carling, Ruan, Mitchell, Parrack, Rhodes, Suh, and Watkins 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, Carling, Ruan, Mitchell, Parrack, Rhodes, Suh, and Watkins will call you to discuss their findings and recommendations. Patients who live in Florida and undergo an online consultation 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. 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. Alternatively, you can come to Tampa for an in-person visit which will be covered by your insurance in almost every case.
If you live outside of the state of Florida, the Second Opinion Online Consultation Fee and Personalized Disease Summary 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 online 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 "Second Opinion Online 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, Carling, Ruan, Mitchell, Parrack, Rhodes, Suh, and Watkins 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 for the second opinion online consultation and disease summary document.
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 online 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 any patient that wants to come to clinic for an in-person consultation which would negate any online consultation fees.
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, Carling, Ruan, Mitchell, Parrack, Rhodes, Suh, and Watkins 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 Linda 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.