Frequently Asked Questions

What is Board Certification and why is it important? – A Neurosurgeon can become board certified by completing the requirements of the American Board of Neurological Surgery. This rigorous process of testing, demonstrating patient care excellence and a comprehensive oral examination shows that the Neurosurgeon is among the finest trained doctors in the world. Board Certification also requires lifelong learning every year to maintain competence and stay on the cutting edge of medical treatments. Make sure you choose a Neurosurgeon who is Board Certified or Board Eligible (Completing the process for certification).

Why do I have to see a PA or NP? – All our patients are seen by our Neurosurgical Mid-level’s. The Mid-level reviews the history, performs a physical exam and makes sure all appropriate testing and conservative measures have been addressed. In many cases, an appointment can be scheduled much quicker with our Mid-levels so you can see the surgeon in a more timely fashion.

Why don’t you take my insurance? – Unfortunately, many insurance companies are placing profit over care and have drastically lowered what they reimburse for care below the cost of providing care. Other insurance companies may not pay for care in a timely fashion or have rules that are impossible to comply with. Our office attempts to contract with all local major carriers.

What if I have no insurance? – The responsibility to pay for medical care always rests with the patient. We can accommodate those without insurance but you will be asked to pay for your office visit up front and we do offer a discounted rate. Please remember that many procedures and tests can become very expensive so arrangements for these will need to be made in advance.

What if I have auto insurance? – You can be seen in our office but must pay your office visit fee up front. You should handle any reimbursement by contacting your auto insurance carrier.

What do I do if my MRI or surgery is declined? – We will meet with you in the office and review the reasons your insurance declined the request for service. If we can refile or appeal, we will assist you with the process. Many times, you will need to call your insurance company to appeal their decision. We cannot guarantee your insurance company will pay for the medical care you need.

Why do I need to come in? Why can’t a doctor look at my MRI and call me back? – A comprehensive neurosurgical opinion can only be made with an in-person history, a physical exam and a review of all necessary tests and imaging. We cannot form an opinion or recommend treatment by simply looking at a picture. Our office takes pride in spending time with patients to formulate a unique treatment plan for each individual.

Why do I have to come for visits more than once? – Many insurance companies will not authorize MRI and other testing until you are seen in our office. The first visit with a mid-level allows for us to get necessary testing and then return to see the surgeon. Some insurance companies are also requiring 2 or more visits before testing or surgery is allowed.

What if I have been injured at work and have worker’s comp? – You are responsible for filing your claim, obtaining pre-authorization for an appointment with us and providing or arranging any necessary imaging.

Can I get a second opinion from you? – Our surgeons do offer second opinions. It is your responsibility to provide all previous therapy, pain management, imaging and evaluations prior.

What if I want a legal question answered or my lawyer to come with me? – Our surgeons do not provide causation or form legal opinions in the office during an office visit. Legal questions or requests for a legal visit with a lawyer are handled through our office manager and our legal fee schedule. These are only done at the approval of one of our surgeons. Please call our office for more information.

Will you fill out my disability, FMLA or other paperwork? – Short term disability, FMLA and other paperwork related to surgery is completed by our office only for patients who have undergone a surgical procedure and only in the 90-day global period after surgery. This is done as a courtesy to our surgical patients. Our surgeons are not disability doctors and do not complete disability paperwork. We will make appropriate referrals to disability doctors or functional capacity physical therapists if required.

Do you prescribe pain pills? – Our surgeons are not pain management doctors. Our surgeons provide pain pills only in the first 6 weeks after surgery. All patients are tapered off of the pain medication during that first 6 weeks. Any further pain management required will require a consultation with a pain management physician or your primary care provider. Medication management will be done through your primary care provider or pain management specialist.

What if I have a concern or complaint? – If there are any concerns or complaints, please speak with one of our staff, your surgeon or our office manager. We are always trying to improve our office and services and welcome constructive suggestions for improvement.

I really loved the care I received. How do I leave feedback? – Our staff loves to hear when they have helped someone. Please feel free to write or leave your feedback with our office manager or your surgeon. You can also email feedback to the office manager at: ins@idahoneuro.com