Scroll down for information on our appointment and payment policies, and for helpful links to many patient resources.
Information for Our Patients on Procedure Preps (click on the following):
- BOWEL CLEANSING INSTRUCTIONS FOR COLONOSCOPY
- COLONOSCOPY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- PREPARATION FOR UPPER ENDOSCOPY
Bravo Information (click on the following):
In the news…Questions about Cologuard?
Screening tests for colon cancer can be divided into those tests that can prevent colon cancer and those tests that just detect a cancer after it has formed.
Cologuard is a cancer detection test. Specifically, it tests for genetic mutations in stool that are associated with colon cancer. It will correctly identify 92% of individuals that have colon cancer. It will not, however, be able to decrease your risk of developing cancer because it is not able to reliably detect precancerous polyps. If a Cologuard test comes back positive, a follow up colonoscopy will be recommended.
Recognize that only a colonoscopy can prevent colon cancer by detecting and removing precancerous polyps. About one out of three patients will have polyps removed during his or her colonoscopy.
So what is the bottom line?
Colon cancer is common and not everybody that should be coming in for screening does. Colonoscopy is the only test presently that is proven to detect and prevent colon cancer, but there are alternatives for those individuals not wishing to undergo colonoscopy. Cologuard is one of those options. Remember that any colon cancer screening test is better than none.
In the news…Bacterial infection from specialized endoscope
At Portland Gastroenterology Center, we are aware of reports from medical centers in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago of a drug resistant bacterial infection transmitted via a specialized endoscope, called a duodenoscope, used to diagnose and treat disorders of the pancreas and bile ducts.
We do not do this procedure in our facility at Portland Gastroenterology Center.
This rare infection has not been associated with other far more common procedures such as colonoscopy or upper endoscopy.
Patient safety is a primary concern for all of us at Portland Gastroenterology Center. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and follow guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as they evaluate and address this issue.
Our New Patient Portal
Patients can request an appointment, check their lab results, send a secure message to our practice, and update their personal medical information.
If you have an email address and would like to sign up for our Patient Portal, please call our office. Staff is available Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30AM and 4:30PM at 207-773-7964. When calling, please select 4 on your telephone keypad. Our patient service representatives will be glad to take your email information and send you an email invitation to register for our secure patient portal.
Patient Education Materials
These informative articles appeared in our Maine Sunday Telegram patient education insert in 2005, and were written and photographed by the Marketing Department of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram (Chris Stewart and Peter Weed, photography by Merry Farnum).
- Colonoscopy: simple screening saves lives (PDF)
- Hepatitis (PDF)
- Pancreatic Disorders (PDF)
- Reflux Disease: know the options (PDF)
- Genetics and Colorectal Cancer (PDF)
- Capsule Endoscopy (PDF)
Additional Articles by Our Physicians
APPOINTMENTS – Our office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. When you call for an appointment, please let our patient service representative know what services you need so we can make the appropriate arrangements. You can reach us at (207) 773-7964, option 4 for scheduling. Once we’ve scheduled your appointment, we’ll mail you a health questionnaire. Please complete and return it before your visit.
RESCHEDULING – Procedures are scheduled between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. We’ll do our best to find a time that’s convenient for you. Should you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. As a courtesy to other patients waiting to see our physicians, we ask that you notify us at least five business days in advance of your appointment.
MEDICATION REFILL – Requests for refills of medications may take up to three (3) business days to be processed.
* No prescriptions will be refilled or reviewed on Friday after 12:00 p.m., weekends, and holidays or by the on-call physician.
- You should contact your pharmacy or our office and leave a voicemail 3-5 days before your medication is due to run out. If you use a mail order company, please contact us 14 days before your medication is due to run out.
- Certain medications may require laboratory testing before they can be refilled, examples: Imuran, 6-mp, methotrexate, etc.
- We utilize strict controls for medications containing opioids. Opioids cannot be called into the pharmacy for refills. The patient must be seen in the office for those non-refillable pain medications be to refilled. Patients taking opioid medications cannot have the medication refilled until the prescription is fully expired. We will not fill urgent requests for narcotics after 12:00 p.m. on Fridays.
WE KNOW YOUR TIME IS VALUABLE. Our goal is to see all patients on time. Occasionally we have to change the schedule to accommodate an emergency patient. We greatly appreciate your understanding when this situation causes an unavoidable delay. Please feel free to call us on the day of your appointment to see if any scheduling delays are anticipated.
BILLING – Our physicians perform procedures at Maine Medical Center as well as at the Endoscopy Center, located on the second floor of our building. If you had your procedure done at the Maine Medical Center, you will receive a bill directly from them. This will be in addition to the bill from your Portland Gastroenterology Center physician. You may also receive separate bills for laboratory, pathology and anesthesiology services.
Referrals and insurance coverage – Before your visit, be sure to obtain any referrals required by your insurance company. In most cases, this will involve a call to your primary care physician.
Screening colonoscopies and other procedures may or may not be covered in your insurance plan. We encourage you to verify coverage prior to receiving services. You will be responsible for any non-covered services, out-of-network fees, copayments and deductibles. If you have questions about referrals or insurance coverage, our billing staff would be happy to assist you.
Payment policies – We participate with most major insurance companies and will be glad to submit your bill directly. Any copayments due should be paid at the time of service. If you do not have insurance, you should be prepared to make payment arrangements at the time of your visit. If you have financial concerns, please let us know so we can work out a mutually acceptable payment schedule. We accept all major credit cards. As always, your health is our top priority.
Health Care Price Transparency – Portland Gastroenterology Center supports health care price transparency and adheres to the Public Disclosure of Health Care Prices Law.
If you would like information about the prices of your health care services, please contact our Billing Department at 207-874-1493.
Maine Health Data Organization (MHDO) is a state agency that collects health care data and makes those data available to researchers, policy makers, and the public while protecting individual privacy.
The purpose of the organization is to create and maintain a useful, objective, reliable and comprehensive health information database that is used to improve the health of Maine citizens.
The data available includes the average cost of specific medical procedures at over 50 different high volume health care facilities and hospitals around the State of Maine.
The MHDO website address is: https://mhdo.maine.gov/
Links and Resources
All external sites will open in a new browser window. You may need to set your browser to allow pop ups. These links are provided as a courtesy. Portland Gastroenterology Center is not responsible for the availability, updating or accuracy of any information provided on these outside sites or for the privacy or security of these outside sites.
American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)
Barrett’s Information from NIDDK
American Cancer Society
Celiac Sprue Association
Crohn’s & Colitis
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America
General Helpful Patient Information
Focus on Digestion
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Inc.
American Liver Foundation
American Heart Association
National Pancreas Foundation
Reflux Disease (GERD)
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Inc.