Frequently Asked Questions
What are the practice hours?
Children's Orthopaedics of Atlanta treats patients from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Earlier morning hours (starting at 7:00 a.m.) are available with certain providers upon request.
What if I have a question for my child’s doctor after the appointment?
We encourage you to call 404-255-1933 with concerns about your child's health. Calls made during office hours will be handled by a member of our nursing staff. The nurse may be able to answer your question immediately or may consult with a physician and return your call at the earliest possible opportunity. If you need to speak directly to your child's doctor, the nurse will arrange for your call to be returned as soon as possible.
Should a non-emergent but urgent problem arise after hours, one of our physicians is always on call. When you dial 404-255-1933, you will reach an answering service operator who will instruct the physician to return your call. Please tell the operator your name, your child's name, the nature of the problem, and your telephone number.
If a true emergency arises, call 911 directly.
I need one of my child’s prescriptions refilled. Who should I call?
We accept requests for prescription renewals during normal office hours only. Please call for renewals at least two days before your child runs out of medication. Please keep in mind that due to federal laws, we are no longer able to refill pain medications - prescriptions must be picked up at the office.
Why is my child seeing a Physician Assistant instead of physician?
A Physician Assistant (PA) is a type of physician extender. The PA can treat patients independently, but is always under the supervision of a medical doctor. In the mid 1960’s, there was a shortage of primary care physicians in the United States. To help alleviate the shortage, a physician from Duke University, Dr. Eugene Stead, put together the first class of physician assistants in 1965, and he based the curriculum on his prior experience of fast-track training doctors during the Second World War. Since the first class of PAs graduated in 1967, there are currently more than 80,000 practicing PA’s in the United States.
In order to become a PA, one has to have a bachelor’s degree and then complete about three years of health care experience prior to attending PA School. Most PA programs are approximately 27 months long, and include both classroom work and clinical instruction. Most programs have PA students attend the same classes as medical students. Once a PA completes school, they must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam to become certified.
At Children’s Orthopaedics of Atlanta (COA), eight PAs assist our surgeons in patient care. They are an invaluable asset in providing quality care for your children. All COA PAs specialize in the treatment of non-operative care, mostly orthopaedic fractures and injuries. Occasionally a PA might see your child after surgery as well. They work side-by-side with their supervising surgeon on a weekly basis both for education and for quality of care.
I need a copy of my child’s medical record. How can I get one?
COA uses a company known as Medicopy to assist with medical records. You will need to sign an authorization to release personal health information. Click here for more information.
I don’t understand my child’s fracture and/or surgery bill. Could you please explain?
Physician's and other medical providers are required to bill according to insurance regulations which are established and monitored by the Insurance Commission and the government. This is often confusing to patients and understanding the guidelines that are to be followed will assist you in understanding the charges you have for services provided.
CPT Codes: Physicians bill using CPT codes. These are numbers which have been assigned to describe different types of treatment that patients receive. Physicians are Required to bill according to the CPT guidelines which have been established. These codes are divided into different categories:
The fracture or surgery for which you have been treated falls under the surgical codes. This does not necessarily mean that surgery was performed but that the insurance guidelines require the physician to bill for this service as "global days." Global days are days that have been assigned to a particular type of treatment where the physician must see the patient for the same injury without charging the patient additional charges for his/her services (Professional fees) as long as the treatment is related to the original injury and no complications have occurred. The number of global days for follow up varies by the type of surgery or fracture but is normally 90 days. Charges for other services are still billed during the global period. These may include:
Each CPT code is assigned a charge amount. These are based on the medical expertise required and the average of the cost for treating the particular injury or service. In some instances a fracture or surgery patient may only require minimum treatment and does well, however another patient with the same injury may require extensive treatment. Since we must bill by CPT codes and we cannot vary the charge amounts, an average is used for all CPT codes. These amounts are reviewed on a yearly basis and compared to those of other providers. Our rates are based on the average cost to provide the service and average charges of other orthopaedic practices.
When you have a Fracture or Surgery - you will be billed for the following:
We hope this will answer any questions you may have. However, if you have any other questions, please call our office and we will be glad to assist you.