Southwest Endoscopy is a highly qualified GI specialty care provider in an ambulatory care setting, offering endoscopy services. Southwest Endoscopy, conveniently housed under the same roof as our medical offices, is New Mexico’s only freestanding endoscopy center. Endoscopic procedures are performed safely, conveniently, non-threatening environment, eliminating the need for a hospital stay.
Southwest Endoscopy is licensed in New Mexico and accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), which outlines the core basis for providing high-quality GI care through the development and adoption of nationally recognized standards. Southwest Endoscopy also is proudly Medicare certified serving patients throughout the state and surrounding areas. Through these standards, our Board-Certified Gastroenterologists and our care teams have remained New Mexico’s only freestanding endoscopy center and leaders in endoscopy services.
Staff was great as soon or even before I walked in the door, I felt comfortable. Southwest Endoscopy has great employees. Usually my wife is there with me but the way things are now, we understand why it wasn't possible this time. Thank you for making me feel welcome and important. Like I said it started even before I set foot in the door.
All our outpatient procedures are performed under Moderate Sedation Care (MAC), provided by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Our endoscopy center utilizes the latest generation of endoscopic video equipment that allows us to offer a full range of gastroenterology procedures, including:
Colonoscopy is advised for all average-risk patients, age 45 and older, for routine colon cancer screening, whereby a careful examination is performed to discover and remove polyps. This procedure, which is performed under Moderate Sedation Care (MAC), has many indications, including unexplained diarrhea, rectal bleeding, a family history of colon cancer, and constipation. This procedure is performed at Southwest Endoscopy.
Upper endoscopy is performed to examine the esophagus, stomach, and small bowel for abnormalities. This includes problems related to disorders of swallowing, black stools, ulcer disease, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, reflux, and Barrett's esophagus. This is performed at Southwest Endoscopy.
Patients with a narrowed portion of the esophagus often have trouble swallowing, causing discomfort or pain. This procedure allows your physician to dilate, or stretch, a narrowed area of your esophagus usually performed as part of a sedated upper endoscopy performed at Southwest Endoscopy.
An exam used to evaluate the lower part of the large intestine (colon). A flexible sigmoidoscopy exam can help your doctor explore possible causes of abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, a change in bowel habits, chronic diarrhea, and other intestinal problems. This procedure is performed at Southwest Endoscopy.
Southwest Endoscopy Preps
If for any reason the original Preps/Instructions have been misplaced or lost, please contact our office as soon as possible. We will provide you more information about which prep should be taken prior to your procedure. It is very important to follow the instructions completely, in order to ensure the best possible exam. The following forms and instructions are provided below for your convenience.
All the forms are in PDF Portable Document Format (PDF) format..
Our Endoscopy Center offers Open Access Colonoscopy services for healthy, age-appropriate patients to easily schedule a colonoscopy. In most cases, this does not require a pre-procedure visit. This will help you save time and money.
To see if you qualify to schedule through Open Access, please complete an intake form. You can always call us with questions at 505-999-1600.
Once you have completed your form and qualify to be scheduled, we will contact you. After you are scheduled, one of our many Patient Advisors will help guide you through the prep process and procedure details. You will have the opportunity to meet your doctor at the time of your visit before your colonoscopy. After the procedure, your doctor will discuss the results with you and give you a written report. Any required GI follow-up will get scheduled before you leave.
What if Open Access is not for me?
Not having a pre-procedure visit is not a good option for all our patients. Patients that are experiencing any GI symptoms that have underlying illnesses (poorly controlled diabetes, significant cardiac disease, breathing problems, kidney problems and high BMI) may need an office visit to ensure that the outpatient setting is the best for them.
Our team of gastroenterology specialist and medical staff are dedicated to improving your digestive health.
Before Your Endoscopic Procedure
You should contact your insurance company in advance to verify your coverage.
You must arrange to have a responsible adult (18 or older) come with you to your procedure until you are discharged and will drive you home. You are not allowed to drive, take a bus, or leave the facility alone.
We ask that you arrive 45 minutes before your procedure time.
Check with your physician about the time to stop your blood thinners and when to resume them.
It is ok to take your blood pressure or heart medication the morning of your procedure with a small sip of water at least 2 hours prior to your procedure.
If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar before you arrive.
Follow all the directions you are given to prepare for the procedure and call us if you have any questions.
Coverage of Colonoscopies Under Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010 allowed for several preventative services, such as colonoscopies, to be covered at no cost to the patient. However, there are many caveats that prevent patients from taking advantage of this provision. One example is a “grandfather” clause; where insurance companies have two years before offering preventative services at no cost.
There are now strict and changing guidelines on which colonoscopies are defined as a preventative service (screening). These guidelines may exclude many patients with gastrointestinal histories from taking advantage of the service at no cost. Patients may be required to pay co-pays and deductibles.
What You Need to Know!
Diagnostic/therapeutic colonoscopy patients have past and/or present gastrointestinal symptoms, polyps, or gastrointestinal disease.
Surveillance! High-Risk Screening Colonoscopy patients are asymptomatic (no gastrointestinal symptoms either past or present), have a personal history of gastrointestinal disease, colon polyps, and/or cancer. Patients in this category are required to undergo colonoscopy surveillance at shortened intervals (e.g., every 2-5 years).
Preventive Colonoscopy Screening patients are asymptomatic (no gastrointestinal symptoms, either past or present). Over the age of 50, have no personal or family history of gastrointestinal disease, colon polyps, and/or cancer. The patient has not undergone a colonoscopy within the last 10 years. Your primary care physician may refer you for a “screening” colonoscopy; however, you may not qualify for the “screening” category. This is determined in the pre-operative process. Before the procedure, you should know your colonoscopy category. After establishing what type of procedure you are having, you can do some research.
Why am I being referred to a Gastroenterologist?Your primary care physician may ask you to see a gastroenterologist for many reasons. Gastroenterologists are experts in diagnosing and treating patients for symptoms that arise from the organs of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, large and small bowels, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. Examples of such symptoms could include diarrhea, constipation, trouble swallowing, heartburn, or abdominal pain. They also perform screening or surveillance colonoscopy for patients with a family history of colon cancer or personal history of colon polyps. SWGA physicians have taken at least three years of training in Internal Medicine, have passed board examinations, and have taken at least two additional years of training in digestive disease.
What can I expect on my first visit?Your first visit to Southwest Gastroenterology will allow your gastroenterologist to evaluate your symptoms. As part of that consultation, your gastroenterologist may request additional tests or procedures such as blood tests, imaging studies, or endoscopic examinations for diagnosis or treatment. A treatment plan may also be prescribed along with a follow-up plan of care. Sometimes, follow-up may be through your primary care physician.
How do I schedule an appointment?You may schedule an appointment for any of the SWGA physicians by calling (505) 999-1600. Your first visit will be an office visit only. No procedures will be done at this time. However, our Endoscopy Center offers Open Access Colonoscopy services for healthy, age-appropriate patients to easily schedule a colonoscopy. In most cases, this does not require a pre-procedure visit. This will help you save time and money.To see if you qualify to schedule through Open Access, please complete an intake form. You can always call us with questions at 505-999-1600. Please provide us with 24-hour notice if you are unable to keep an appointment. We have a long wait for appointments, and this courtesy allows other patients who are waiting for an appointment to be scheduled sooner.
What do I need to bring?You will be asked to complete a SWGA registration form and a personal/social history form and return them at the time of your first visit. This will help expedite the registration process. It is also important that you bring the following items with you: Insurance card/Referral documents Recent blood work and x-rays ( upper GI series, barium enema, ultrasound, or CT scans of the abdomen or pelvis) Copies of past medical records Note: If medical records are to be sent by your doctor(s), please call us to verify that we have received them prior to your visit. Lack of these items can result in delays and/or your appointment being rescheduled.
What should I do in case of an emergency?If you are experiencing a medical emergency, Dial 911 on your telephone immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
What about follow-up care?Follow-up care is an important part of your treatment plan. SWGA has a system designed to notify you when you are due for follow-up care such as an office visit or a procedure. When you receive your notification, please contact our office at (505) 999-1600 to schedule your next appointment.
What about hospital care?Southwest Gastroenterology Associates, P.C. works with Lovelace hospital, among others. If you need to be hospitalized, this is the facility that will be utilized. A SWGA gastroenterologist will usually see you on a daily basis.
How do I pay?Every effort is made to collect the correct copay/deductible at the time of service. Physicians services for procedures are billed to the patient after insurance pays. Please note you will receive only one statement for any patient balance due. If not paid within 30 days, the account will be considered for collections unless arrangements have been made with our office. Visa and Mastercard are accepted. Patient share or co-pays will be collected at the time of service. SWGA is prohibited by law from waiving or discounting co-pays, coinsurance or deductible payments required to be made by the patient under their health insurance plan. This prohibition includes so-called “professional courtesy” discounts. If you have circumstances where financial arrangements need further discussion, please contact our business office prior to your appointment time at (505) 999-1600 SWGA will file Medicare or other insurance claim forms as a courtesy for you. The patient is responsible for deductibles, co-payments and any remaining balances after insurance payment at the time of service.
What is the outpatient procedure?Should your SWGA physician schedule you for an outpatient procedure such as an endoscopy or colonoscopy, you can expect to incur charges from possibly three sources: Physician professional fee, processed through our office Pathologist, processed through the lab used to examine biopsy specimens, if any are obtained Hospital or ambulatory surgery center fee, processed where the procedure will be performed Please be prepared to pay your co-pay, co-insurance, or deductible on the day of your procedure. We will file the physician and hospital charges with your insurance company. We encourage you to speak with our billing office should you have questions or concerns.
What if I need a refill on my prescription?When you call for prescription refills, you will be transferred to a medical assistant’s voice mail. Prescription refills can best be handled during office hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday) when your chart is available and the gastroenterologist who knows you best can be contacted. When you call for a refill, please have the name of your medication, the dose, the dosing schedule, the prescription number, the phone number and name of the pharmacy at which you want the prescription to be refilled.
Why do I have to have a consult first?We rarely schedule patients for endoscopies or biopsies without consultation first. We believe a thoughtful consideration of your problem and full discussion of the risks and benefits of any test are mandatory before setting up a procedure. Visa and Mastercard are accepted.
Do I need a referral?Most insurance plans require an authorized referral prior to each visit. You will need to contact your primary care physician prior to making an appointment to obtain a referral for your appointment. Referrals must be validated by your insurance company and be in their system in order to be valid. Referrals can be mailed, faxed or called into our office. Keep in mind referrals can take up to 10 working days to be processed. It is the patient’s responsibility to have the proper referral at the time of their visit. If you arrive at our office without a referral, you will have to either pay in full at the time of service or reschedule your appointment.