Make the Best Choice for Your Endoscopic Procedure

Welcome to our Patient Education page!

Our team of specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your digestive system. Please use the search field below to browse our website. You'll find a wide array of information about our office, your digestive health, and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact our office.

Screening or Diagnostic Colonoscopy?

All colonoscopies, whether diagnostic or screening, are billed under the CPT/Procedure code 45378.  The diagnosis or reason for the colonoscopy is what determines if the procedure is diagnostic/surveillance or preventative/screening. 
 

Diagnostic/Surveillance Colonoscopy: 

The patient has past and/or present gastrointestinal symptoms, polyps, GI disease, iron deficiency anemia and/or any other abnormal tests OR the patient is currently asymptomatic (no gastrointestinal symptoms either past or present) but has a personal history of GI disease, personal and/or family history of colon polyps and/or colon cancer.  Patients in this category are required to undergo colonoscopy surveillance at shortened intervals (e.g. every 2-5 years). 

Insurance plans process these claims subject to the individuals deductible and co-insurance requirements.

Preventative Screening Colonoscopy:

The patient is asymptomatic (no gastrointestinal symptoms either past or present), age 50 or greater, has no personal or family history of GI disease, colon polyps, and/or cancer.  The patient has not undergone a colonoscopy within the last 10 years.

Insurance plans usually process these claims under the wellness benefit, payable at 100% if it is a benefit of the individual’s health insurance plan.

Frequently asked questions:

Who will bill me?

You may receive bills for your procedure from the physician, the facility, anesthesia, pathologist and/or laboratory. 

Can the physician change, add, or delete my diagnosis so that my procedure can be considered a preventative/wellness/routine screening?

NO!  The patient encounter is documented as a medical record from the information you have provided, as well as what is obtained during our pre-procedure history and assessment.  It is a binding legal document that cannot be changed to facilitate better insurance coverage.

What if my insurance company tells me that the doctor can change, add or delete a CPT or diagnosis code?

This happens a lot. Often the representative will tell the patient that if the “doctor had coded this as a screening, it would be paid at 100%."  A member services representative should never suggest a physician alter a medical record for billing purposes. 


FAQS - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will my procedure take?
A: Plan to spend 2- 2 1/2 hours with us from the time you arrive until when you are released to go home. The procedures themselves are relatively quick.
- An upper endoscopy takes 8-10 minutes, depending on what is found and the need for biopsies.
- A colonoscopy usually takes about 20-25 minutes, again depending on the findings and need for polyp removal, biopsies, etc.
The rest of your stay involves going over the consent prior to the procedure, a physical assessment, taking vital signs, placing an IV and attaching you to a continuous monitor. After the procedure, you will stay under our observation until you are deemed ready to be driven home.
 
Q: Can I drive myself home after the procedure?
A: No. The anesthesia and sedation we use, while relatively short-acting, can have subtle effects for hours after your procedure. Possible drowsiness and delayed reaction times make driving potentially dangerous. Therefore, having someone drive you home is necessary. You may drive and return to normal activities the following day.
 
Q: How soon can I eat and drink after my procedure?
A: Usually immediately after you leave the office, unless you are told otherwise. It is best to avoid heavy meals for that day.
 
Q: Can I take routine medications the day of the procedure?
A: Please do not take any of your medications except those for blood pressure, heart and seizures unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
 
Q: Do I need antibiotics prior to my procedure for an artificial joint?
A: No. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has concluded that antibiotic use for a patient with an artificial joint is not necessary.
 
Q: What happens if I begin to vomit during my prep?
A: Wait 1-2 hours to allow your stomach to settle. Start to drink the solution at a slower pace- every 20-30 minutes. This will take longer but should keep you from vomiting the rest of the solution.
 
Q: I have my period. Can I still have my colonoscopy?
A: Yes. This will not interfere with your procedure. You may use a tampon during the procedure.
 
Q: Do I have to drink all of my prep?
A: Yes. You want your colon completely cleaned out. This allows the physician to find and treat the smallest and flattest polyps.
 
Q: I’m diabetic. What precautions should I take?
A: If you are diabetic, we will give you special instructions. You will need to let us know ALL of your medications and doses. You should check your blood sugars periodically throughout the day of the prep and the procedure. Since you are on clear liquids, your blood sugar will tend to drop faster than normal. To avoid this, be sure to include some liquids with sugar.
 
Q: What if I forget to stop my blood thinners?
A: Please contact the office.
 
Q: Can I take over the counter medications with my prep?
A: Most over the counter medications are acceptable except fish oil, aspirin, Motrin, Advil, ibuprofen, Aleve, naprosyn, naproxen or iron supplements. Tylenol will not interfere with your procedure.
 
Q: Is it OK to drink alcohol?
A: NO! We strongly suggest that you avoid all alcohol before your procedure as it can cause dehydration and may thin your blood.
 
Q: Can I brush my teeth?
A: Yes.
 
Q: Can I chew gum or suck on hard candy?
A: Yes, but no red candy or candy with soft centers. Nothing after midnight.
 
Q: What can I take for a headache?
A: Tylenol or Extra-Strength Tylenol only.

This information was developed by the Publications Committee of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). For more information about ASGE, visit www.asge.org.

This information is intended only to provide general guidance. It does not provide definitive medical advice. It is important that you consult your doctor about your specific condition.

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Endoscopy can provide an accurate diagnosis of conditions such as a bleeding duodenal ulcer.

Why Should You Choose an ASGE Member for Your Endoscopic Procedure?

Having an ASGE member perform your endoscopic procedures ensures that you are in the hands of someone who is highly trained. Physicians and surgeons who are members of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) have highly specialized training in endoscopic procedures of the digestive tract, including upper GI (gastrointestinal) endoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS).

ASGE members undergo a rigorous application and screening process and are recognized by the medical community as knowledgeable, experienced experts in gastroenterology and GI surgery who, in addition, have advanced training in gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures.

ASGE members have demonstrated proof of rigorous endoscopic training. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is the only medical society that requires documentation of specific training in GI endoscopic procedures.

In an upper endoscopy, the physician passes an endoscope through the mouth and into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.

How will your GI endoscopist work with your primary care physician?

ASGE physicians usually work on referral from your primary care physician. Your GI endoscopist will communicate with your primary care physician about the results of your endoscopic procedure. Together, they will determine what is appropriate for treatment, follow-up visits and/or if future endoscopic exams are needed.

Is your physician an ASGE member? Ask.

Make the best choice. If you need an endoscopic procedure, ask your primary care doctor to recommend a specialist in gastrointestinal endoscopy who is also an ASGE member. ASGE members are distinctively qualified to perform the gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures that your primary care physician or other healthcare provider recommends and to work with you and your primary care provider on issues of digestive health.

Find an endoscopist in your area.

ASGE can help you find a GI endoscopist in your area. It's easy. Visit the ASGE Web site at www.asge.org and click on the Find an Doctor. By typing in your zip code, the Find a Doctor program will give you a list of the ASGE members in your area. Remember, you can always ask if your physician is an ASGE member.

Need more information on endoscopy or colonoscopy?

ASGE offers additional materials on GI endoscopy and endoscopic procedures including brochures on Upper GI Endoscopy, Endoscopic Ultrasound, ERCP, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy and Colonoscopy on the ASGE Web site at www.asge.org as well as other useful information on digestive health and gastrointestinal problems.

In a lower endoscopy, the physician passes the endoscope through the rectum and into the colon.

Make the Best Choice for Your Endoscopic Procedure-An ASGE Gastrointestinal Endoscopist

ASGE Active Physician Members have met the following rigorous requirements:

  • Unlimited medical license.
  • Graduation from an accredited medical school and completion of a residency program.
  • Documented evidence of formal training in gastrointestinal endoscopy under the supervision of certified gastroenterologists or gastrointestinal surgeons - ASGE is the only society that requires evidence of such training.
  • Finally, ASGE Active Members must provide evidence of professional competence through sponsorship by at least one member who has personal knowledge of the applicant's endoscopic training and skills.

Be certain your physician meets the high standards of ASGE membership.

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