Frequently asked questions and answers about general, medical and financial matters
We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions our patients have posed to us. If you don’t see your query addressed in this list, please feel free to contact our office with your question(s). We’ll be happy to answer you and update our Frequently Asked Questions list based on your input.
What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones are solid materials made of salts and minerals in the urine that stick together to form small “pebbles.” They can be as small as grains of sand or as large as golf balls. Visit our resources page on Kidney Stones for more information. Also, visit our Service page on Kidney Stones Treatment.
What if you do not participate in my insurance plan?
Payment is required at the time of service. We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express and personal checks. As a courtesy, we will submit your claim to your insurance company for your reimbursement if you supply us with the necessary information.
I have Medicare as my primary insurance. Do you accept the Medicare?
All our physicians participate in Medicare and accept assignment. “Accepting assignment” means that we accept the approved Medicare charge and will only bill the patient for the yearly deductible and the 20% Medicare does not pay. Many patients have secondary insurance coverage for the 20%. If you supply us with the secondary payer information, our office will send the secondary payer a claim. However, the patient is ultimately responsible for the 20% and/or the deductible. Some secondary insurance coverage through managed care companies requires a referral at the time of the visit for payment of the 20%. Be sure and check with your secondary payer as to their rules prior to your visit to our office.
Why do I have to give the office my insurance card every time I visit the doctor?
In the past, the enrollment period for insurance coverage was January 1st of each year. Now, many employers and patients change insurance coverage at various times throughout the year. Many patients are not aware that they have new coverage. Therefore, to ensure that your insurance processes your claims and provides benefits, we have instituted a policy that all patients must show us their insurance card prior to their visit. You may also fax the front and back of the card to our offices if you prefer. Please be sure to show all insurance information available. Should you have an additional insurance policy for your new visit, you must disclose it.
Why do I have to pay my co-pays at the time of service?
Co-pays are required by your insurance company at the time of service. They may range from $5 – $100 and it is the patient’s responsibility as established by your insurance policy. You are welcome to make your co-pay with cash, check or credit card (MasterCard, Visa and American Express).
If I have a question regarding my bill, who do I call?
Our billing office is at our 245 East 54th Street location and is staffed by three full-time and one part-time employee. Please feel free to call or email us regarding any billing issues that you may have. We are available during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Does my insurance pay for in-office procedures?
Many insurance plans pay for in-office procedures. Managed care plans can be more restrictive and each patient is responsible for contacting their insurance company if they have a question about a specific procedure. Our office staff can help you with this, if necessary. If procedures require special authorization we will help obtain it. Please note that insurance rules and requirements vary, so you need to verify what applies to your particular policy. Note that your insurance may cover some office procedures after deductibles are applied some of the fee may be billable to you.
Is Dr Kavaler a gynecologist?
Dr. Kavaler is an urologist with special training in urogynecology. Dr. Kavaler completed a fellowship in Urogynecology and Urodynamics at UCLA prior to joining the Practice. The types of problems she specializes in are prolapses of the female organs, stress incontinence, and interstitial cystitis.
Who tells me the results of my test(s)?
Usually, your physician will contact you or will ask that you call a week after the tests have been performed. A staff member may also contact you to arrange treatment or follow up.
What is a PSA?
PSA stands for “Prostate Specific Antigen” and is a blood test that measures the amount of antigen (PSA) expressed into the blood stream by the prostate.
Why do I leave a urine specimen every time I visit my doctor?
A routine urinalysis is an integral part of the examination of the urinary tract.
I want a report or records sent to one of my doctors. Will my physician do that for me?
Our Doctors provide reports and follow up notes to your primary care physician or to any Doctor you indicate in your intake forms as the doctor to report to. Should you need to have reports sent to another doctor, please advise a staff member at our office and he/she will make arrangements for it.
If you would like all your records sent to another doctor who is not in your existing list, we ask that you please follow through the records request protocol and provide us with a signed request. You can email, fax or mail a written signed request to us and it will be sent to the physician. We can usually honor such requests within 48 hours, but sometimes it may take longer.
If my doctor orders a special test and it requires prior approval what do I do?
If a special test is ordered, you need to call the office and ask for one of our staff members to call your insurance company for any prior approval required. Some insurance companies take 48-72 hours to respond to our request for authorization, so be sure and give us plenty of notice. It is preferable to know where you will have your special test rendered before calling for the prior approval. Your doctor is not aware that you need the prior approval, so it is up to you to notify the office staff.
Are your physicians specialists?
All of our physicians are specialists in and are Board Certified by the American Board of Urology. Many of our physicians have had additional fellowship training and have areas of special interest in Urology.
- Dr. Armenakas specializes in urological trauma and genitourinary reconstruction.
- Dr. Kavaler specializes in female urology with emphasis on female voiding disorders.
- Dr. Lizza specializes in infertility and erectile dysfunction.
- Dr. Danziger has special interest in minimally invasive robotic surgery, robotic prostatectomy and upper and lower urinary tract reconstruction.
Are my medical files and information confidential?
Yes, we take patient confidentiality very seriously. Prior to enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), we adhered to strict privacy rules. As of April 14, 2003, we were required to post our Privacy Practices and make them available to patients. You can read our Privacy Practices on this site and if you have any questions, please contact our Privacy Officer, Janet Bernstein.
Who do I talk to if I have a non-medical problem?
We have a very capable staff who can talk to if you have questions or non-medical problems. If they are not able to assist you, they will refer you to our Practice Manager, Janet Bernstein. Ms. Bernstein has a Bachelors Degree from the University of Missouri and an MBA in Health Care Administration from Baruch College/Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.
Why do I have to sign so many forms before I see my doctor?
Some of the forms required are mandated by the federal government and/or your insurance company. For our office to be in compliance with various regulations, we need to have your written permission on file for your insurance company. The permission needs to be updated yearly. The federal government passed the Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act (HIPAA) which requires us to disclose to you our privacy practices. The notice of Privacy Practices is available on this site or in either of our offices for you to read. You only have to sign the acknowledgement once. Our Financial Policy is provided to assist in the understanding of your financial responsibility. Specific situations include, an insurance we do not participate in and services that go beyond your coverage.
What hospitals are you affiliated with?
Our physicians are currently affiliated with two Manhattan hospitals: Lenox Hill Hospital at 77th Street and Park Avenue and the New York Presbyterian Hospital at 68 Street and York Ave. In addition, our doctors perform procedures at several specialty ambulatory surgery offices and facilities in Manhattan.
Do I see a different physician each time I come?
It is preferable for the continuity of your care that you visit the same physician on each visit. However, if you have an urgent/emergency situation and your physician is not in the office, you may see anyone in the group that is available.
How long do I have to wait after I call to get an appointment?
If you are a new patient, you can usually schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, within 1-2 working days. If you are in any emergency, we can usually have a physician see you the same day you call.
If you are an established patient and you do not have an emergency, you can usually see your doctor within a week.
What can I expect on my first visit to New York Urological Associates?
We want you to have a pleasant and productive visit with us. You will be greeted by one of our receptionists in the reception area. You can save yourself about 15 minutes of time if you fill our Patient Registration Form online or download the New Patient Information Form and then fax the completed form (no later than 24 hours before your visit) to the secure fax number attendant to the office where your visit will take place. If this is not possible, please plan on arriving approximately at least 15 minutes before your scheduled visit to complete the necessary forms.
You will also be asked to furnish at the time of your visit:
- Your insurance card*
- Your insurance referral, if applicable*
- Your co-pay, if any, which can be paid by cash, check or credit card
- Name, address and telephone number of your referring physician
- Your list of medications
- Your allergies to any medications, contrast material, etc.
- Your list of serious illnesses and past hospitalizations
- Your list of previous surgeries
In most visits, you will be asked to leave a urine specimen so please try not to void immediately prior to arriving at the office. The urine sample will be tested to get a more complete assessment of your condition or complaint. This test may be rendered in our office, a third party laboratory or both, depending on your healthcare needs.
You will be escorted to your physician’s consultation room. Your physician will review and discuss the reason for your visit, your medical history, etc. with you. Thereafter, you will be taken to an examination room for evaluation. You will then be advised as to what to do next (medication, additional visit, procedure, etc).
As you leave the office, please see one of our staff members and arrange for your next appointment, if recommended. If your physician has asked you to schedule a radiographic examination, please inform a member of our staff so that we can obtain prior insurance authorization for you, if necessary.
If you have any questions prior to your first visit, please feel free to call our staff so that we can assist you.
*If you are unable to present your insurance card and your referral (if applicable) at the time of your visit, we will be unable to see you unless you provide a financial guarantee with a credit card or personal check.