Southwest Endoscopy

About

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.

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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

Colonoscopy is advised for all average-risk patients, age 50 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.

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Upper 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.

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Esophageal Dilation

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.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

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.

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Outpatient Procedures

 

Prep Information

 

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..

Getting Started

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

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  • 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!

Colonoscopy Categories:

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.

Who Will Bill Me?


You may receive bills from separate entities associated with your procedure, such as the physician, facility, anesthesia, pathologist, and/or laboratory.




How Will I Know What I Will Owe?


Call Southwest Endoscopy billing department at 505-999-1600 with any questions or concerns. They are a great source of information and are happy to help if you are struggling to understand your financial obligations. However, it is still necessary for you to first call your insurance company and ask the above questions.




Can The Physician Change, Add, Or Delete My Diagnosis So That I Can Be Considered A Colon Screening?


No. The patient encounter is documented as a medical record from information you have provided as well as an evaluation and assessment from the physician. It is a binding legal document that cannot be changed to facilitate better insurance coverage. Patients need to understand that strict government and insurance company documentation and coding guidelines prevent a physician from altering a chart or bill for the sole purpose of coverage determination. This is considered insurance fraud and punishable by law. However, if a patient notices an error in the medical record (e.g. date of birth, medication dosage, history notation, etc), he/she may request a correction/amendment.




What If My Insurance Company Tells Me That SWE Can Change, Add, Or Delete A CPT Or Diagnosis Code?


This is actually a common occurrence. Often member service representatives will tell a patient that if only the physician coded it with a “screening” diagnosis if would have been covered at 100%. However, further questioning of the representative will reveal that the “screening” diagnosis can only be amended if it applies to the patient. Remember, many insurance carriers only consider a patient over the age of 50 with no personal or family history as well as no past or present gastrointestinal symptoms as a “screening” (V76.51 ). If you are given this information, please document the date, name, and phone number of the insurance representative. Next, contact our billing department who will perform an audit of the billing and investigate the information given. Often the outcome results in the insurance company calling the patient back and explaining that the member services representative should never suggest a physician change their billing to produce