Frequently Asked Questions

1)     What is “Gastroenterology” and what is a “Gastroenterologist”?

Gastroenterology is the study of the digestive system (esophagus, stomach, large intestine/colon, liver, pancreas and gallbladder). A Gastroenterologist (you can also call us G.I.s, stomach docs, etc) is a medical specialist who is broadly trained in internal medicine and then has taken special training in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving the digestive system. Most gastroenterologists also take additional testing to certify them as competent in the field of gastroenterology. Dr. Burrows is Board Certified in both internal medicine and gastroenterology.

 2)     How is Summit Gastroenterology different from other G.I. practices?

 I started this practice from the ground up in 2007. My practice is geared toward the patient who is looking for a more personalized approach and is willing to form a partnership in their medical care. Those of you that have been to other specialty practices will notice some of the differences.

Longer office visits. Our office visits are 30-60 minute visits compared to a typical 15-20 minute visit.  More time for you and me means less time rushing and more time getting to know each other as well as the medical issues at hand.

Office visits scheduled in the same week and sometimes even the very same day. No more waiting 4-6 weeks to see a doctor.  Nobody wants to feel sick that long. I will even extend office hours, if medically necessary, just so you can be seen!

No answering service. Every established patient gets a direct cell phone number directly to me. Talk to me immediately or leave a voice message and I’ll call you back. No more leaving an urgent message with an assistant, hoping that it makes its way to the doctor someday.

Speak with your doctor about your medical condition. There is no “on-call” doctor who has no idea who you are when you call! It’s just you and me, remember that partnership I mentioned above? Reach us by Email, cell phone, and traditional office calls. Additionally, I discuss most test results with you personally and not through a medical assistant. I also explain your procedures and set them up for you.

A focus on helping you understand your illness and educating you as to the cause and the treatments. Admittedly, it sometimes feels like you’re back in school L

Select Evening office hours. Evening visits for specialists? Yep, I had never heard of that either until I started doing it! I realize patients work too.

3)     What is a colonoscopy and do I need one?

 Colonoscopy is a procedure performed to see inside the colon and rectum. Colonoscopy can detect inflamed tissue, ulcers, and abnormal growths called polyps. The procedure is used to look for early signs of colorectal cancer and can help doctors diagnose unexplained changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, anemia, bleeding from the anus, and weight loss. Colonoscopy is often used to remove polyps, a technique called a polypectomy.

Current guidelines advise anyone over the age 50 to have an initial screening colonoscopy and then repeat the procedure every 5-10 years depending on the findings and family history. Additionally, African Americans, smokers and obese patients should consider beginning screening for colon cancer at age 45. If you or a family member has had colon polyps or colon cancer, you should consider beginning screening much earlier. Please discuss with Dr. Burrows if early colorectal cancer screening is right for you.

4)     Is a colonoscopy as terrible as it sounds?

 I feel colonoscopy has in many ways received a bad reputation.  As most experienced patients will attest, the colon cleanse is arguably the worst part of the process. The preparation includes 24 hours of clear liquids and a powerful laxative that will place you “intermittently” on the toilet the night before the procedure.  The procedure itself is often the easiest part of the overall experience since we utilize strong intravenous pain and sedation medications and excellent patient care. In fact, the procedure typically lasts only 20 minutes and often you will spend less than 2½ hours in the outpatient facility before heading back home. I have always felt that one day dedicated to your colon health every 5-10 years is a small price to pay for good health. Again, I would be happy to address any concerns you may have.

5)     How expensive is an Endoscopy or Colonoscopy and does my insurance cover it?

 Most medical procedures are not inexpensive prospects and colonoscopy and upper endoscopy are no exception. The true out-of-pocket cost for any particular patient will depend on their particular insurance plan, remaining deductible and the procedures indication.  Though the total cost of a colonoscopy (including the doctor’s fee and the facility fee) may be a few thousand dollars, most patients do not pay more than a few hundred dollars and many pay much less than that or even nothing at all. I always encourage patients to check with their insurance company to determine their true out-of-pocket expense.

6)     What is an open access colonoscopy and how do I schedule one?

Are you generally healthy? Do you need a screening colonoscopy scheduled? Skip the office visit next time and just give us a call! We can arrange everything by phone and save you the time (and money) of coming into the office.

7)     What do I need to know about insurance, medical fees and insurance claims?

We recognize the need for a definite understanding between you and your physician concerning health care and the financial arrangements for this medical care. Our commitment is to provide the very best health care to our patients while recognizing the need to limit services to only those that are necessary. The responsibility for payment of fees for these services is the direct obligation of the patient. Any financial payment you may receive from private insurance or government agencies is a matter strictly between you and the insurance carriers or government agencies. Dr Burrows is a participating Medicare physician and does accept assignment on Medicare claims; however, any deductible, co-payment, or percentage not paid by Medicare or other carrier is your responsibility. It is also your responsibility to know if your insurance has specific rules or regulations, such as the need for referrals from primary care physicians, pre-certification, limits on outpatient charges, specific physicians and/or hospitals to use. You should be knowledgeable of any deductible, co-pay and / or percentage for which you are responsible. The same responsibility exists for HMOs or PPOs in which our physicians participate. Our staff will be happy to assist you in this matter.

Our fees reflect the time spent by the physician with you, the specialized-nature of the physician training, and the individual diagnostic studies performed. Our fees are comparable to other similarly trained specialists in the community. We will discuss fees with you at any time, and encourage you to inquire about a fee prior to receiving the service.

A facility fee is issued by the location where your procedure was done to cover the expense of the sophisticated equipment and nursing staff. This fee has been approved for coverage by Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and other major insurance companies. Following your treatment at our Endoscopy Center, you will be mailed a separate facility fee statement. This means you will receive two bills - one for physician's services, the other for facility usage.

You will receive monthly statements. The first statement will show all charges, with subsequent statements showing any insurance payments (it takes 4-6 weeks for most carriers to pay). You are responsible for any unpaid balance.

8)     What do I need to do before being seen in the office?

You should review the new patient information packet and fill out the two pages of paperwork. Then simply call us at (303) 320-1111 to schedule your appointment!

9)     Do I really get to call you directly on your cell phone?

Yes. The rumors are true. If you are an established patient, you can call me directly on my cell phone for urgent issues.

10)      I have a balance. How do I pay it?

Please call us during normal business hours and we would be happy to accept your payment! We accept all major credit cards, personal checks, and of course, cash.

11)    Where are you located?

We are located on the Rose Medical Campus on the corner of Cherry and 9th Ave

 4500 East 9th Avenue, Suite 170, Denver, CO 80220

12)      What are your office hours?

We see patients in the office:

Monday 1PM to 6PM

Tuesday 8AM to 5PM

Wednesday 2PM to 6PM

Thursday 8AM to 5PM

Sorry, there are no office hours on Fridays

13)      I don’t have insurance!  Now what?

We have set self-pay fees for office visits and procedures. We feel that everyone who needs to see a gastroenterologist should have that opportunity so please contact us to discuss your options.

14)      How do I schedule an appointment?

Simply call us at (303) 320-1111 during normal business hours and we would be happy to schedule you for the next available appointment.

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