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Frequently Asked Questions

University Surgical Associates has compiled a list of frequently asked questions by our patients and hope this information will be useful to you.

In the event this listing does not completely answer your question(s), please feel free to contact us at (423) 267-0466 or click on the "Chat Live" link to the right to speak with a USA representative.

You may also submit questions through our Patient Feedback feature.


What are your office hours?
Answer: USA normal business office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

Do you collect co-pays during appointments?
Answer: Yes. With our easy, online registration system you can now pay co-pays when you complete pre-registration. Please check with a USA registration specialist as to the amount as determined by your insurance carrier.  

How early do I need to arrive for my appointment?
Answer: If you have chosen not to submit your registration paperwork online prior to your scheduled appointment, please be sure to arrive at least 20 minutes early in order to complete the necessary paperwork. If you've submitted registration forms online, please arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.

How long will my first appointment last?
Answer: Appointments vary in length of time and depend on many factors, including evaluation for surgery. In most cases, your appointment will not last beyond 45 minutes.

Do I need a referral for an appointment?
Answer: This is determined by your insurance provider. In some cases, your insurance provider will not approve an appointment unless referred by a primary care physician. Please check with your insurance provider as to their policies.

What’s the best way to get directions to my appointment?
Answer: Please click here to learn more about USA locations.

Should I bring my films when I come in for my appointment?
Answer: Yes. If you have had films completed at another facility, bring them with you. It may save time during your visit.

Where do I park? Is there a charge?
Answer: Because USA surgeons see patients in multiple locations, parking and associated costs vary. The USA Medical Mall location is on the campus of Erlanger downtown, which provides a parking garage at a rate of $2 a day. Most other locations do not charge money to park. Please click here to learn more about USA locations and parking information.

How do I schedule an appointment?
Answer: Simply call our general office number at (423) 267-0466 and speak with a USA scheduling operator.

How do I confirm my appointment?
Answer: A USA operator will confirm your appointment via telephone 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment time. 

What should I do if I need to cancel an appointment?
Answer: If you are unable to keep a scheduled appointment, please call USA's main office number at (423) 267-0466 as soon as possible to reschedule. No-show fees are applicable in several specialty areas of the practice.

Will my USA surgeon have access to diagnostic information ordered by another physician?
Answer: We do request information from your primary care physician prior to your first visit. Please bring any information your doctor has provided.

Is it possible to complete my registration paperwork before my first visit?
Answer: Yes. As of April 2021 we have switched from paper forms to online pre-registration. Three days before your scheduled appointment, you will receive a link via email or text to a secure, HIPAA-compliant online registration system. You can complete all of your information using your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Find more information here.  

How do I get a refill for my prescription?
Answer: Please click here to learn more about obtaining prescriptions and refills.

Does USA offer a payment plan?
Answer: Yes. All co-pays are collected at the time of service, or when you pre-register online. You will assume responsibility for any outstanding balance. If needed, a USA financial counselor will be happy to assist you in arranging a suitable payment plan. If you are in need of financial aid, please contact (423) 265-6578.

Who do I contact for billing concerns?
Answer: You can contact our billing office at (423) 265-6578.

Do I need to come back after surgery or do I need to return to my regular physician?
Answer: Following any surgery or procedure, your USA surgeon or assistant will provide all necessary follow-up procedures and instructions based on the patient's individual circumstance.

What if I need wheelchair assistance?
Answer: All USA locations are fully equipped to assist those patients in need of wheelchair service.

Will I be seen for followup by a physician or nurse?
Answer: Depending on the physician and type of surgery, USA nurses are trained to see patients for an initial post-operative visit, if so requested by the physician.

Who should I call if I have questions about my treatment?
Answer: It's recommended for any true emergency to first dial 911 or visit the nearest emergency facility. If you have an urgent need during University Surgical Associates' (USA) normal business hours (Monday–Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.), surgeons, nurses and triage staff are available by calling our main office number at (423) 267-0466. For urgent needs after hours, USA surgeons are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week and can be reached by calling our main office number. USA's 24-hour answering service will assist you between the hours of 4:45 p.m. and 8:45 a.m.

What insurance do you take?
Answer: USA participates in many insurance plans and networks. We suggest you ask your insurance carrier if USA is in-network or call us at 423-267-0466.

Will I need to file claims with my insurance company or will USA handle that for me?
Answer: As a courtesy to our patients, USA will file all insurance claims for services rendered.

What does it mean to be “Out of Network?”
Answer: An "out of network" medical provider will not receive payment for services if not pre-authorized by a medical insurance company. It also requires the provider to agree to accept the pay scale if authorized.

What if I am here because of Workers Comp?

Answer: When you pre-register, be sure to select the worker's comp option. You will need to bring numbers or paperwork verifying your place of employment and worker's comp status. Many times your case manager can provide you this information. 

Why do you need a copy of my insurance card every visit?
Answer: USA will request a copy of your insurance card at each visit to ensure our records match your current insurance carrier. A change of insurance in any form may result in the delay of your claim being paid in a timely fashion or at all. 

How much will my insurance company pay, and how much will I be responsible for?
Answer: Because insurance plans vary, you should contact your carrier regarding payment policies and procedures.

Does USA assist in filling out disability/FMLA/worker’s comp paperwork? How long does it take?
Answer: All forms are processed within 10–14 business days. A USA representative will contact you by phone once the forms are complete and can be picked up or mailed to your home address. USA charges a $25 fee for this service.

Does USA participate in clinical research studies?  
Answer: Yes.

If USA is doing a research study involving my medical condition, can I be involved in the study?
Answer: Each study has specific criteria that must be met in order for any patient to be eligible for participation. If, after reviewing these criteria, your doctor determines you to be a good candidate for this study, your possible participation will be discussed.

If USA is doing a research study on a condition I qualify for, will I automatically be placed in that study?
Answer: No. Clinical research study participation is voluntary.

How can I find out about the risks/benefits of a particular study?
Answer: If you meet the eligible criteria for a study, all details, including risks/benefits, will be explained to you in full detail. 

Can I drive immediately after surgery?
Answer: Depending on the procedure, some patients may be able to drive following completion but, generally, you will need to have someone drive you home following a procedure. All patients will receive specific transportation instructions from their physician following surgery or a procedure.  

What if my treatment requires a hospital stay?
Answer: USA surgeons have admitting privileges at several local hospitals. In the event surgery becomes necessary, USA surgeons will admit patients based on several factors, including but not limited to, patient's specific request of hospital, technical/equipment needs and urgency.

What are the qualifications of your surgeons?
Answer: Please click here to learn more about USA surgeons.

What hospitals do USA physicians perform surgery?
Answer: USA surgeons have admitting/surgical privileges locally at Erlanger, Erlanger East, Parkridge, Parkridge East, CHI Memorial, CHI Memorial Hixson, and Rhea County Hospitals.

What does it mean when it says a USA physician is “Board Certified?”
Answer: Not all surgeons are board certified. Board certification is a voluntary process that demonstrates a surgeon's commitment to quality patient care. Certification by the American Board of Surgery (ABS) recognizes individuals who have met a defined standard of education, training and knowledge specifically in general surgery and its related specialties. Board certification is different from possessing a medical license, which is required by law for an individual to practice medicine and is not specialty specific.

What does it mean when it says a USA physician is “Fellowship Trained?”
Answer: A fellowship is the period of medical training that a physician may undertake after completing aspecialty training program. During this time (usually more than one year), the physician is known as a Fellow. Fellows are capable of acting as attending physician or consultant physician in the generalist field in which they were trained. After completing a fellowship in the relevant subspecialty, the physician is permitted to practice without direct supervision by other physicians in that subspecialty.

What is a PA-C?
Answer: A certified physician's assistant. A PA-C is a physician extender who can see patients in the office and hospital in place of the attending physician.

What is an ANRP?
Answer: A registered nurse with advanced degrees and training as a board certified nurse practitioner. A ANRP is a physician extender who can see patients in the office and hospital in place of the attending physician.