Billing & Insurance
There are two components to the billing services at Andrews & Patel Associates. The first is a careful review of your particular insurance benefits for services provided in our offices, which includes identifying out-of-pocket expenses and authorizations required. The second is submitting claims for those services provided.
Our insurance review includes determining what your insurance requires regarding out-of-pocket expenses. This may differ with each insurance plan and may change over time as claims are processed against your deductible and co-insurance amounts. Our billing staff will review your coverage, deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance percentage and will do their best to keep track of your progress toward meeting out-of-pocket expenses. In situations when an out-of-pocket expense is identified for a service provided in our offices, this is collected at the time of service. An additional component to many insurance plans is the requirement to obtain authorization for services to be provided. Our billing staff will do their best to be aware of these requirements and obtain any authorizations needed for services provided.
The second component of our in-house billing involves submitting claims to the patients' insurance carrier, posting payments from insurance and patients, and communicating with insurance companies for claim discrepancies. Our on-site billing services enable us to process patients' claims quickly and accurately.
Care Coordinator Services
Over the past few years, we have seen insurance matters become significantly more complex, along with patient deductibles and out-of-pocket financial responsibilities increasing for both oral and intravenous chemotherapy. Our care coordinators may be of assistance in helping you understand your insurance plan, apply for financial assistance when needed, or complete any paperwork required to obtain your medications. In addition, their degrees in social work uniquely position them to assist in identifying community agencies to meet related needs. Please feel free to contact one of the care coordinators by calling the main number to either office.
Our Financial Policy is available for review by clicking this link. Our care coordinators are available to discuss your insurance plan and financial responsibility, and help develop a plan of action if your out-of-pocket responsibility is a hardship. They are up to date with community and other resources that may be of assistance.
We participate with most major medical insurances including Highmark Blue Shield, Medicare, Capital Blue Cross, Health America, Aetna, United Healthcare, CIGNA, Geisinger, and Medical Assistance as well as the Medical Assistance HMO, Gateway. Our billing staff is available from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact one of the billing staff members by calling the main number to either office. If you do not have health insurance, our care coordinators are available to meet with you and discuss options that may be available.
Your doctor has referred you to our practice, or you’ve decided on your own to see one of our physicians. Now what?
Hopefully this webpage will answer any questions you may have. You are welcome to call the office during business hours with any questions as well.
Our scheduling staff will mail you a New Patient Packet, click the links below to download.CAMP HILL OFFICE
The packet includes the following:
- A Welcome Letter
- A New Patient Registration Form—Please complete this to the best of your ability and bring it with you to the first appointment
- The Pain Management Agreement—Please review this at your convenience. You will be asked to sign it electronically during the registration process at your first appointment.
- “See Your Chart” letter—This letter explains how we will register you for “SeeYourChart” so that you can access your medical record from home, or anywhere with an internet connection. Some patients are registered during scheduling of the new patient appointment and others are registered for “SeeYourChart” during their first appointment.
- Financial Policy-- please review this at your convenience. You will be asked to sign it electronically during the registration process.
If you have been referred to our office by another physician, we will ask the referring office to provide us with your medical records so that our physician has an opportunity to review them prior to your visit. If you happen to have records that your referring provider does not have, or if you have made your appointment on your own, we request that records be sent to our office at least two days prior to your appointment.
The day before your appointment our office will call you with an appointment reminder and ask that you arrive ten to fifteen minutes prior to your appointment time. If your medical records have not been received, we’ll ask for your help in obtaining them so that the staff is prepared for your visit.
When you arrive at our office for your “New Patient Appointment,” the front desk secretaries will ask for your completed New Patient Registration Form, insurance and prescription cards, driver’s license and a list of your medications. Please bring these with you. They will also ask you to electronically sign the Pain Management Agreement, the Financial Policy, the Assignment of Benefits, and the Acknowledgement of HIPAA Privacy Practices. The assignment of benefits shows that you are allowing your insurance company to reimburse Andrews & Patel Associates for services provided. The HIPAA Privacy Practices acknowledgment shows that you are aware we have posted a summary of A&P Associates Policy and that a full version of our Policy is available for your review.
After registration, most patients have blood drawn in the lab at our office. Some of the labs drawn will be immediately available to the physician you will see during this first visit and other labs may be sent out and results will be returned at a later date. After your time in the lab, you will meet with the physician for your appointment. In some cases, you may start your visit seeing a Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner who will gather some History & Physical information, and spend time getting to know you as well as answering questions you may have, however, the doctor will always visit with you as well and decide upon your plan of care. Your initial visit is likely to take 1 ½ – 2 hours.
Care Coordinator Services
Over the past few years, we have seen insurance matters become significantly more complex. Patient deductibles and out-of-pocket costs continue to rise. Our care coordinators may be of assistance in helping you understand your insurance plan, apply for financial assistance when needed, or complete any paperwork required to obtain your medications. I addition, their degrees in human services uniquely position them to assist in identifying community agencies to meet related needs. Please feel free to contact one of the care coordinators by calling the main number at either office.
Below you will find links to programs and information that our Care Coordinators feel may be helpful to patients.
- My Cancer Circle is an online tool which helps organize the efforts of those who want to help. From coordinating rides to appointments to easing the burden of daily chores, My Cancer Circle takes over and lets caregivers focus on the patient facing cancer.
- Pancreatic Support Group (National Pancreas Foundation)
- Bladder Cancer Support Group (Bladder Advocacy Network)
- Prostate Cancer Support Group
- Celebrating Hope In Cancer Survivors (CHICS)
- ABC Breast Cancer Support Group
- PinnacleHealth Young Cancer Survivor Group - Harrisburg Head, Neck, and Oral Cancers Support Group
- Pink Partners
- WellSpan Breast Cancer Support Group Lebanon
- Moving Forward- Penn State Hershey, For those with newly diagnosed breast cancer.
- Women's Cancer Center Support Group for Gynecological Cancers
- Brain Tumor Community Group
Resources & Education
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Resources:
AndrewsPatel Provider Articles and Tips:
- 5.10.2017: Clinical Trials Myths - Renée Kessler, RN
- 6.4.2017: What is Cancer Survivorship? - Mona Patel, PA-C
- 6.12.2017: Prostate Cancer and Bone Health - Joshua Shipley, MD
- 7.10.2017: Quick Guide to Iron Deficiency - Kathleen Spadaro, CRNP
- 7.26.2017: Caregiver Stress - Amy Cleck, CRNP
- 9.28.17: Bladder Cancer Immunotherapy - Jihua Cheng, MD, PhD
- 10.1.2017: Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Dr. Lily Shah, MD
The Journal of American Medicine publishes Patient Pages in their weekly Medical Journal. Below are a few of these articles that we feel can provide valuable education on topics that are pertinent to our practice.
- Neoadjuvant Therapy
- Clostridum difficile Infection
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
- Hepatitis C
- Hospital Medicine and Hospitalists
- Over The Counter Laxatives
- Proton Beam Therapy for Prostate Cancer
- Air Travel - Related Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism
- Aspirin Therapy
- Bleeding Disorders
- Blood Thinners
- Blood Transfusion
- Breast Cancer and Axillary Lymph Nodes
- Caregiver Support
- FDA Approval of New Drugs
- Hospice Care
- Lung Cancer Screening
- Options for Colorectal Cancer Screening
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Radiation Therapy
- Tamoxifen Update
Living Wills (Advance Directives)
At your doctor’s visit you may be asked about a living will. Below you will find information on this topic.
What is a living will (advance directive)?
- New Patient
- Diagnostic scans (CT, PET, MRI, etc.)
- Paperwork and FMLA
- Palliative Care and Hospice
Where will my first appointment be schedule, how long will it take, and when should I arrive?
Your first appointment is called your new patient appointment. You may be scheduled in our Harrisburg office located at 4518 Union Deposit Road, Harrisburg, PA 17111; or our Camp Hill office located at 3912 Trindle Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011. We will do our best to schedule you where you find it most convenient. Please plan on being in the office 1-2 hours for this first appointment. Depending on whether you have completed your new patient paperwork, we may ask that you arrive 20 minutes early.
Who will I see?
We have ten doctors and four advanced practice providers (APP); three of whom are nurse practitioners and one who is a physician assistant. On your initial visit, you may be seen by only a doctor or by an advance practice professional who will take some general history, followed by a doctor who will speak with you and provide direction as to the next steps in your care.
Which doctor should I see?
Our physicians all have specific areas of interest. Unless requested otherwise, we will schedule you with the physician who specializes in your specific problem. See our website (link to physician page here) to learn more.
Is there any paperwork to complete?
You will need to complete paperwork prior to your first visit. This will include a demographics sheet, a statement allowing us to bill your insurance, etc. If time allows, we will send you the paperwork in advance to complete and bring to your first appointment.If your appointment is within a few days, you may be asked to come 15 minutes prior to your appointment time in order to complete the paperwork while in the office.
What do I need to bring?
Please make sure that you bring your ID, any insurance cards, any prescription drug cards including PACE or PACENET, a list of your current medications, the names and phone numbers of anyone you would like to be able to receive information about you, a list of your physicians,and you have a power of attorney and/or living will. Please bring a copy for your chart so that we are able to understand and follow your wishes. We understand that these documents may not be applicable to your current situation. However, in order to provide you with high quality integrated health care, it is important that we have your wishes on file.(link to info on living wills and POA)
Do I need lab work?
Our office has an in-house laboratory for your convenience. If the doctor feels it is necessary, blood work will be taken prior to your appointment. The front desk will direct you to the lab, if needed. Your next stop will then be see a medical assistant who will take your vital signs, weight, and ask you to answer some questions related to your health.
What do I ask the doctor?
You will meet with a physician or APP. You are welcome to formulate a list of questions prior to your appointment and bring that list to the appointment. At that visit, the physician will review your current health information with you and answer any questions you may have. Often, the physician may require additional information in order to make a decision about the best treatment option for your particular case.
What if the Doctor needs scans or tests to provide more information?
On the way out, you may meet with a medical assistant who will schedule any needed tests or scans ordered. Often, these tests need authorization from your insurance and will not necessarily be able to be scheduled immediately. We will obtain the authorization and schedule the test.
When do I come back?
At the end of your first appointment, you may be scheduled for a return appointment with the physician. Sometimes, the doctor will need the results of your tests prior to seeing you again.In this case, our office will contact you once they are received to schedule this return appointment. At the end of your first visit we will give you a general time frame as to when we expect the next steps to occur. Please contact the office if you have not heard anything in the given time frame.
Diagnostic scans (CT, PET, MRI, etc.)
Where do I go for my tests/scans?
It depends on what tests or scans you have ordered. You may request a certain location. Please be aware that not every test or scan is offered at every imaging center. Our doctors can order tests and scans at any Holy Spirit or Pinnacle facility. Please be aware that your insurance may dictate where you go.
But I might have cancer! Can’t these tests happen any sooner?
Of course you are concerned…. our staff will do their best to sure that you are scheduled as quickly as possible. The medical assistant will determine if your insurance needs an authorization from your insurance company and make the request. Often, it takes the insurance company several days to agree to cover the test.
What if I want to reschedule my test?
AndrewsPatel is responsible to get the authorization. . PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THIS APPOINTMENT WITHOUT COMMUNICATING WITH OUR STAFF. Authorizations are usually only given for a specific day or date range, and moving your appointment could result in it not being covered… or the center not being able to complete the testing without the authorization.
What if my work schedule is tight/difficult?
Please let the scheduling staff know any details of when you are available and where you prefer to go. Our staff will do our very best to try and honor any possible requests you may have. Please note, we cannot guarantee that the testing center will be able to accommodate the requested day or time.
My testing showed that I have cancer…what now?
You will meet with the doctor and together you will agree on the next steps.
Paperwork and FMLA
What about work?
If the doctor recommends chemotherapy, we encourage you to talk with your employer to determine if you are eligible for short-term disability or family medical leave act (FMLA). You may not need to utilize these benefits, but it is helpful to know what benefits are potentially available to you. Some people feel good during treatment and others prefer a modified work schedule for some or the entire treatment course.
What about the paperwork?
If you need paperwork completed, simply supply our staff with the needed form(s). These will be completed as quickly as possible, but during busy times it could take 7-10 days.
How do I get everything coordinated for my chemotherapy treatment?
The doctor may introduce you to the care coordinator. The Care Coordinator will look at your insurance to understand whether a pre-authorization is required in order for our office to supply chemotherapy. The care coordinator will then obtain any necessary authorizations.
How will I afford treatment?
Our care coordinators will also determine your financial responsibility for any needed care.If finances are an issue, she will work with you to determine if there are any specific charities or assistance programs that may be able to assist with the cost of your medications.
How and when do I pay?
The front desk will collect your copayment and co-insurance at the time of service. Your financial responsibility for chemotherapy co-insurance is also required at time of service. Our office can accept cash, checks, MasterCard, VISA and Discover. We will be happy to provide a receipt.
How do I get started?
After the insurance is verified and the financial responsibility has been explained, the care coordinator will set up a meeting with an advanced practice provider (nurse practitioner or physician assistant) who will go over all the information related to your specific treatment. This education session will cover risks and benefits of the medication, signing the consent for treatment, potential side effects, things to look out for as well as when and how to contact the office. A physician in available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We encourage patients to call us FIRST and to call us OFTEN.
During this visit, you will be given a start date for treatment. You will be assigned an oncology nurse who will be your primary nurse throughout your treatment. Please communicate with her early and often. Advocate for yourself and inform your nurse about any symptoms you may have. Should you have issues, please call early in the day. Depending on your issue, your nurse may ask that you come in to be evaluated by a practitioner. We are here to help in any way possible. We can’t assist if we don’t know the problem exists.
What if I don’t feel well?
Please call your nurse and ask for direction. She will be able to talk with the doctor and determine if you should come into the office to be seen, come for hydration or if additional medication should be called in to your pharmacy. We recognize that there are times a hospital admission is needed… but our goal is to treat you at home whenever possible.
What can I bring for my treatment and what is it like?
- You are certainly welcome to bring someone with you to treatment to provide support.
- The office is Wi-Fi enabled and personal tablets are available for use during treatment. The password is Andrews1. You are certainly welcome to use any electronic devices. Should you wish to watch a movie, play a game, etc. headphones are required for the comfort of others. (You are also welcome to bring your own reading material, knitting, crocheting, etc. to pass the time.)
- A microwave and coffee stand are provided for your convenience. (You are welcome to bring your own food and drinks as well.) A loved one may also go out and bring you in lunch, if desired. Staying hydrated is important during treatment. Some people wish to bring a water bottle.
- We have comfortable recliners to sit in during your treatment.
- Your IV pole will be portable, so you will be able to get up to use the restroom and move around as desired.
- Wear comfortable clothes. If you have a mediport, make sure the area is easily accessible. You may also want to wear layers or bring a blanket
Frequently Asked Questions about Social Service and Emotional Needs
- First, recognize these are all common emotions to feel during the course of treatment.
- Talk to your physicians about your concerns.
- Consider attending a support group.(link to support group information).
I need help with transportation or basic needs…..
Talk with the care coordinator in the office. Each office has a Care Coordinator who is a bachelor’s trained human service professionals and can provide you with information on local services. (link to cc email)
I need help with medical equipment such as a hospital bed, wheelchair or oxygen…
Simply tell your physician. Your physician will write a prescription for the needed item, and a member of our staff will make arrangements for a durable medical equipment company to provide the item.
Palliative Care and Hospice
What is Palliative Care? How will it help me?
Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to providing specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses.It focuses on providing relief from symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress caused by the serious illness. The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and their family.
Can I take chemotherapy if I am receiving palliative care?
Absolutely!!!Palliative care is about helping with pain relief, symptom relief, and reducing stress. It has nothing to do with whether or not you choose to take treatment.
Who provides palliative care and where is it given?
Our office works with a number of agencies that provide palliative care. Often, palliative care agencies have a hospice “arm” of their organization, but they are NOT the same thing. Palliative care can be given in your home or a care facility such as a personal care or nursing home. We can even arrange for palliative care staff to meet you here in our office if that is more convenient. (link to palliative care information site)
What is hospice? Do I have to go somewhere?
Hospice is a service that provides care for terminally ill. The purpose of hospice is to attend to the patient’s pain, symptoms, emotional and spiritual needs.Hospice does nothing to hasten death. Hospice can be provided in your home or a care facility.
Doesn’t hospice mean that I have given up?
In our 30 plus years of practice we have found hospice services to be very beneficial for certain individuals. At times, the side effects of the medications can diminish the quality of one’s last days. Sometimes, people feel better and sometimes live longer, when they choose to forgo treatment and pursue hospice care.
Andrews Patel Hematology Oncology recognizes that we are all unique individuals with individual needs… and we welcome you to our extended family. We wish to provide you with a beacon of light during this time.Please know that we believe your outcome is everything!