Q. Why am I being referred to your group?
A. Your doctor found a medical problem that he or she thought a kidney specialist could help with. The most common problems seen in our office include progressive deterioration of kidney function (chronic kidney disease), difficult to control hypertension (high blood pressure), or abnormalities of your electrolytes (chemicals in the blood like potassium, sodium, or calcium). Ask your primary doctor if, before your appointment, you are not sure why you need to see a nephrologist; we will try to answer this question at your initial visit with us.
Q. What is Nephrology?
A. Nephrology is an Internal Medicine Subspeciality dealing with the evaluation and treatment of Kidney Diseases. Our area of interest includes Hypertension, Chronic Kidney Disease, Hemodialysis/Peritoneal Dialysis, Transplant Management (pre- and post procedure), Fluid-Electrolyte disorders, Kidney Stones and Metabolic Bone Disease.
Q. Can I bring a family member with me?
A. Yes, if you feel you need someone to be with you, by all means bring him/her with you.
Q. How long will my first visit take?
A. You should plan on spending at least 45 minutes with the doctor; sometimes the first visit may take longer.
Q. If I have an HMO, who is responsible for getting a referral from my Primary Care Physician?
A. It is your responsibility to get a referral, if you don’t obtain a referral, the charges will be your responsibility to pay. Our staff will assist you, if you are having a problem obtaining a referral, but in the end this is the patient’s responsibility.
Q. Do I need to pay for services as they are provided?
A. We require co-pays and deductibles be paid at the time of service, if additional balances are due, we will bill you for these and expect quick payment.
Q. Do you accept my insurance plan?
A. We currently have contracts with many insurance carriers. Yours may or may not be included. It is very important that you know what services are covered by your plan and where the services can be obtained. We will file ALL insurance as a convenience to our patients. Since we are the only adult Nephrologists in the Lancaster, PA area, some insurance companies will approve and pay as if they were in-network. You will need to check with your insurance carrier to see how this would be handled.
Q. What should I bring for my first appointment?
A. All of your current medicines in their original containers, your insurance cards, copies of your medical records (if they haven’t been supplied by your referring doctor), and any paper work you have received from our office via mail.
Q. What is a Nurse Practitioner?
A. A Nurse Practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse who has completed advanced education and training in a specific field of nursing. NPs have a master’s degree and some have a doctoral degree. NPs are trained in the diagnosis and management of common as well as complex medical conditions. NPs are considered “Mid-level Providers/Practitioners,” along with Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Nurse Anesthetists and Physician Assistants.
At HKS, all NP’s are licensed by the state of Pennsylvania and have national board certification through the Nurses Credentialing Center or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. All of our NPs continue to attend national nephrology education programs on a yearly basis and seek additional certifications specific to the diseases of kidney.
Q. Why am I seeing an Nurse Practitioner at HKS?
A. Nurse Practitioners at Hypertension and Kidney Specialists are crucial to the success of our chronic kidney disease management. NPs provide comprehensive and personalized education regarding chronic kidney disease. NPs deliver a unique blend of nursing and medical care. At HKS, we believe that adding the services of an NP enhances our ability to provide attentive care to our patients. NPs strive to focus on the specific needs of each patient and assist in the individual goals and plan of care specific to chronic kidney disease. Chronic conditions require frequent monitoring and adjustments to promote slowing of the disease process. Our approach often involves alternating appointments with a physician and an NP.
If you have been seen by HKS for the first time during hospitalization, your first office appointment at HKS may be with an NP. The NPs at HKS will review your hospital records, recent laboratory studies, and perform a thorough history and physical examination. They will then provide education and follow-up care for your specific needs. All of our NPs and physicians will communicate with your primary care provider.
Q. What are your office hours?
A. Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 4:30pm