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f.a.q

frequently asked questions

At-a-glance information and quick answers to our most frequently asked questions.

What is Endocrinology?

Endocrinology is the science and medical specialty of internal hormonal secretions and their physiologic and pathologic relations. This area of medicine includes the treatment of a number of hormone secreting glands. These glands are: adrenal, pituitary, thyroid, pancreas (diabetes is considered a pancreatic disorder), ovary, testis and parathyroid.

The endocrine system is one of the body’s primary systems for controlling and coordinating the metabolism. It produces hormones, or chemical messengers, that travel through the blood to specific parts of the body, where they help maintain all tissues and organ systems.

The following are some of the actions controlled by hormones:

  • Body energy levels
  • Reproduction Growth and sexual development
  • Internal balance of body systems
  • Responses to stress and injury
  • Bone and muscle strength
  • Temperature regulation

What does an Endocrinologist treat?

An Endocrinologist will diagnose and treat hormonal disorders by attempting to restore hormonal balance within the body’s system. The following diseases are treated by our endocrinologists:

  • Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
  • Prediabetes (“Borderline diabetes”)
  • Lipid disorders (hypercholesterolemia and hypertrigliceridemia)
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Insulin Resistance Syndrome
  • Atypical Diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders (Thyroid nodules, Multinodular goiter, Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism)
  • Hashimoto's Disease
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Pituitary disorders
  • Adrenal disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Primary hyperparathyroidism and other bone and mineral disorders
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Certain disorders causing infertility
  • Male Hypogonadism (low testosterone)

What makes DECO different?

Our practice focuses solely on endocrine care. Both of our endocrinologists are Board-Certified in Endocrinology. We use state-of-the-art technology, but strive to provide personalized care to every patient. We specialize in individualized diabetes education, and have an extensive insulin pump program that incorporates in office certified insulin pump trainers. Our electronic medical record (EMR) system allows our patients to have access to the Patient Portal, thereby serving as an additional means of communication and physician access. In addition, our physicians routinely perform convenient in-office thyroid ultrasound and biopsy (fine needle aspiration) using Afirma Thyroid FNA Analysis and gene sequencing.

What is a Physician Assistant?

A Physician Assistant (PA) is a health care professional that is licensed to practice medicine as part of a team of physicians. Physician Assistants conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, prescribe medications, counsel on preventive health care and may assist in surgery. Learn more about our PAs.

Is a Referral required to be seen at DECO?

We do require a Physician Referral for all diagnoses other than Diabetes and Thyroid cancer. If you do not have diabetes or thyroid cancer and would like to be seen, please ask your doctor to send a referral to our office and we will contact you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

My insurance does not require a Referral. Do I still need to contact my Physician?

Yes. Even though your insurance company does not require a referral, a referral from your primary care or other treating physician allows us to involve them in your care, and provides for better communication. We can obtain necessary testing and records from your physician more easily. Our patients ultimately benefit when their physicians all work together as a team. When an insurance company requires a referral, it is actually requiring an authorization to be given to us by the referring physician to evaluate and treat you as a patient.

What do I need to bring to my first appointment?

Please arrive 20 minutes prior to appointment time and bring the following items with you:

  • Driver’s License
  • Insurance Card
  • Co-Pay
  • New Patient Paperwork
  • Copies of test results or lab work that your physician may not have provided to us. If you have not had lab work done within 8 weeks of your visit, please be prepared to provide a blood sample.
  • All of your medications, including supplements and vitamins.
  • Blood glucose meter (Please bring all meters, if you have more than one)
  • Glucose sensor, if you wear one (i.e, DEXCOM, Medtronic)

What should I expect when arrive for an appointment?

Each time you arrive for an appointment you will be required to:

  • Present a current copy of your insurance card, as well a Driver’s License, if either have been updated since your last visit
  • Verify your current mailing address and phone number
  • Pay your Co-Pay
  • Pay any outstanding account balance

How long can I expect my appointment to last?

Your first appointment is scheduled for 40 minutes, but we ask that you allow 1.5 hours. Our providers are very thorough and like to make sure that you leave our office with all of your questions answered. If you are coming in for a follow-up appointment, you are scheduled for 20-30 minutes, but we ask that you allow up to an hour for these appointments.

What is the prescription refill policy?

Be prepared to request all prescription refills during your scheduled office visit. We will prescribe enough medication for you until your next regular visit. We do not allow call-ins for refills. Those must be completed through a request from your pharmacy or through our Patient Portal.

What insurance does DECO accept?

We are in-network with all of the major payers- Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, and Medical Mutual of Ohio. We do accept Medicare, Ohio Medicaid, Caresource and Molina insurances for our existing patients, however we are currently not accepting new patients with Medicaid.  We are also not contracted with many of the exchange plans, so please contact your insurance provider for a detailed list of in-network providers. As of March 31, 2015 we are not in network with United Healthcare.  If you would like to be seen out of network you subject to self-pay rates.  If your insurance company is not listed, please call the Customer Service number on the back of your card and ask if the physician is in-network.

What if I don't have my insurance card at my visit?

It is your responsibility to bring your insurance card to each visit; however, in the event that you forget to bring this with you, please make us aware of any insurance changes as soon as possible. If your visit is denied by the insurance company, it is your responsibility to contact the insurance company to see if there is additional information that they may need from you.

How do you handle fees and payments?

As a courtesy to our patients, we will file claims to your primary and secondary insurance. Please note, your health insurance is a contract between you and your insurance company so it is your responsibility as the patient to make sure our physicians are covered under your plan. All insurance companies do not carry the same benefits so the services rendered to you in this office may or may not be covered. It is the patients’ responsibility to know what is covered and if you need a referral.

To pay your bill online, please log-in to the Patient Portal. If you have any questions, please contact our billing department at 614-764-0707, option 2.  If there is no answer, please leave a message and our billing manager will return your call within 2 business days.

What if I can't pay my balance in full?

Payment in full of either your insurance copay or the complete cost of visit, if you are a self pay patient, is expected at time of service. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash or checks. Please contact our billing department at 614-764-0707, option 2 and we can set up a 6 month payment plan.  If there is no answer, please leave a message and our billing manager will return your call within 2 business days.

What is the Patient Portal?

Our Patient Portal is a virtual office which allows patients and doctors to communicate easily, safely, and securely over the Internet. Patients are given secure passwords that allow them to log into their physician’s system to see their own private set of documents including labs, diagnostics and messages. Patients can also view their statements and make payment online through the portal.

Why can't I see my lab results?

If you had your labs drawn in our office, at Ohio Health or at a Quest Lab, you will be able to see your results on the Patient Portal. Once your results have been reviewed, you will have access to some of the results. We do not release the results of some tests until you have spoken face to face with a provider about your tests. If you have your labs drawn at your family doctor’s office or LabCorp, you will NOT be able to see your results online.

What do my lab results mean?

For the basic interpretation, you can refer to the Lab Results page on our website. Your provider will interpret your labs and what they mean specifically to you, either at your visit the following week or in a web-message via the patient portal. If you are not signed up for the patient portal, one of the nurses will contact you with your results. If it has been more than one week since you had your labs drawn and do not have a follow up appointment, please contact the office to make sure that the results were received.

How do I get a user name and password?

If you are new to the practice, you will need to pre-register as a patient and we will contact you to schedule an appointment. If you are an existing patient (have been seen at least one time in our office), you can either get a user name and password at your visit or you may call the office and request that one be generated for you.

I'm locked out of the Patient Portal? How do I reset this?

If you have been locked out of the Patient Portal, and know your user name, you can use the “Forgot Password” feature on the log-in screen. Once you enter your user name, you will receive an email, allowing you to update your password. Even if you are locked out, you will be able to reset your password and will be able to log in again. If you have forgotten your user name as well, you will need to call the office to have this information reset for you.

How can I access the Patient Portal on the go?

You can download the Healow mobile app for your device, that allows you to access your patient health record anywhere.